Gemma and Lachlan

Ladies Prep: Novotel NorthBeach
Mens Prep: Best Western City Sands
Venue: Novotel NorthBeach
Portraits: Wollongong Breakwater Lighthouse, Flagstaff Hill, and Puckey’s Lagoon/Stuart Park

Straight outta lockdown.

This was the BIGGEST wedding I’ve ever shot alone, taking place about two weeks after NSW’s last COVID Lockdown ceased on August 21st, 2021. Boy, was it a night to remember!

It was really clear to everyone in attendance how much they had missed being able to have big gatherings. Fresh out of that time wormhole, able to stretch the legs outdoors, after having barely seen anyone for months. No one had forgotten how to party, even though it was their first big gathering in almost 2 years. Long story short, the atmosphere surrounding Gemma and Lachlan’s big day was amazing.

This momentous occasion was celebrated with about 80 guests and coverage started with prep for both bride and groom, and ended at almost 11 pm with their guard of honour exit. It also had the most people on a dancefloor I’ve ever seen!

The ceremony took place on the large outdoor deck of the Novotel with the sunny beach and norfolk pines as our backdrop. We were expecting heavy wind and rain that day, however the predictions were wrong and we were treated to a stunning blue sky.

After having all our family photos at the back of the ceremony space, we moved on to some of Wollongong’s most iconic locations for our portraits. Wollongong was a place that was held dear in the hearts of Gemma and Lachlan, so we stacked on some extra time for photos to make sure we could fit multiple locations – starting at the Harbour lighthouse (and waiting WAY too long for a splashy wave that didn’t happen until our party decided to leave, almost drenching them), making our way up the hill to the big lighthouse and then jumping back into the adorable VW Kombi to make the most of golden hour at the sides of Puckey’s Lagoon. You know what they say, it’s not a Wollongong wedding unless you’ve got two lighthouses and some canons in the shots!

The reception went off with a bang, with heartfelt speeches, a packed dancefloor, and the funniest round of the shoe game I’ve ever witnessed. I was also lucky enough to catch a whole room sized conga line, some pretty epic jenga stacking, and some miracle shots at the bean bag toss. If you’re considering having games set up, this is your sign!

I stayed right to the end of this whole epic event and got to capture their departure, a super-sweet tunnel guard-of-honour, followed by a parting wave from our couple before they hightailed it onto the long journey off into the night (which was really just an elevator ride to their room)!

Published by Chloe Ianni

I am a Wollongong based photographer who specializes in small weddings and on-location portraits.