Jean and Danny were teenagers when they met, introduced by friends in their hometown of Sydney, Australia, and they have been in a relationship ever since. Like many Australians, they are true world travelers and over the last nine years they have lived together in various places around the world and commuted in a long-distance relationship, as well. Today you’ll find this fun and relaxed couple at home in Hong Kong, spending time outdoors, socializing with friends, relaxing together and – key point here – making gentle fun of one another and laughing.
“We love spending time together,” says Jean. “Whether we’re talking or just being quiet together. And if it looks like I’m angry with Danny, don’t take it seriously,” she adds, mischievously. “I’m usually just irritated with him for burping.” She smiles. “Or farting.” Jean laughs again, and Danny joins in this time, too.
Their easy, relaxed way made our work together not only stress-free but genuinely fun. In fact, Jean and Danny told us at the beginning, when we first started talking about their wedding, that what drew them to contact our studio was their interest in relaxed, natural photographs – nothing too stylized – that would capture the true essence of their day. The quality of the photos is what mattered most to Jean and Danny. Not so much “make sure you get a good shot of Aunt Sally”. More like, “Make sure the photos are natural and unique and special.”
We love working with people like Jean and Danny!
From the beginning, Jean and Danny had in mind a small, intimate and casual wedding, where their 80 guests would be able to enjoy their time and create some terrific memories. “We’re counting on the photos and on our friends and family to capture all the fun, because we plan to get more than a little drunk on that night,” Danny told me.
So that was the concept. Lu and I had the couple’s ideas and hopes firmly in mind as the day approached.
Jean and Danny decided to be married at Montestigliano, a luxury farmhouse in the heart of Tuscany, just a few kilometers from historic Siena. The farmhouse dates back to 1783, giving a delicate balance between tradition and innovation. Perfect for Jean and Danny – a young and modern couple — as well as for their 80 special guests, as well, all of whom stayed at the farmhouse.
Part of the work we did for this wedding was to capture the full feeling of the day – from the arrival of the videographers to staff preparations and even Lu having a quick lunch before strapping on her cameras and getting to work. Jean and Danny loved the resulting shots, as did we, because they captured the sense of friends and colleagues joining together to honor and celebrate this young couple. It felt to us like everyone was a part of making the day so special. And we loved that.
The wedding itself began with a special tea ceremony for the bride, the groom, their parents and friends. This took place inside Casa Virginia, the house where Jean was staying, now decorated with Chinese pillows and traditional elements. Jean was dressed in a stunning traditional Chinese wedding outfit –the first of two bridal outfits she would wear that day.
Immediately after the tea ceremony, Jean put on her white lace gown and prepared to meet her father for the walk down the aisle, where Danny awaited his beautiful bride’s arrival. Carrying a bouquet of assorted white flowers and wearing a simple, elegant, timeless strand of lustrous pearls, Jean was, quite simply, a vision of loveliness. An especially sweet moment was when Danny first saw Jean and needed to wipe his eyes. And he did so while still smiling.
Because Jean and Danny were married in April, the temperatures were definitely on the cooler side! When Danny and his three groomsmen – dapper and handsome in their blue suits, white shirts and light blue ties and seriously cool shades, walked across the farm with glasses of single malt whiskey, many of us thought, Wow, great way to warm right up! They followed that up with a Coca Cola chug. And a lot of laughter.
Another powerful memory from the day was the incredibly relaxed atmosphere. And the number of children. Nieces, nephews, children of friends – these smaller guests automatically gave a completely natural and authentic feeling to the fun. Kids up the fun quotient, for sure, and seeing them dressed up in party dresses and small suits was delightful. The flower girl and the page boy made the guests smile.
And did we mention that the bride and the groom each read their vows from their iPhones? And that “making music with your body parts” featured in the heartfelt vows?!
The lush and beautiful Tuscan hills. The relaxed, intimate feeling, the friends and, of course, the children, combined with the traditional and the modern – these are the feelings that came through during that wonderful day at Montestigliano with Jean and Danny and their families and friends.