A Rainy Day Forest Wedding
The Dream Of Their Forest Wedding
Until mid-2022, I had declined any enquiries asking me to photograph weddings. Then I heard from Bec and Dan and something about them made me want to say yes to their forest wedding. If starting a business for – what is at the end of the day a luxury services – in the middle of a global pandemic taught me one thing it is to listen to my gut and to that quiet, little voice that sometimes says “back yourself, do it”.
So what was it about Bec and Dan? Well for a start it was that they seemed like “my kind” of people. They were local. Both were down to earth. They were super casual and relaxed. Bec said she just wanted to be married in a lowkey way in the forest. She told me she would love to be barefoot. I asked her about wet weather contingencies and she told me it was actually her dream to marry in the rain.
Well, Bec got her dream. Well. And. Truly.
The Day Of Their Forest Wedding
It was the last Friday in October. Mid Spring. You would think it would be warm, or at least not cold. Well it was freezing. It was wet. It was misty. And IT WAS MAGICAL.
Bec and Dan had chosen a spot for the ceremony behind the well known Dragon’s Nests at Kallista in the Dandenong Ranges National Park. We were able to gain permission from Parks Victoria for them to marry there because I already held an existing license with them. They had less than a dozen guests and as each of them arrived, brandishing coats and umbrellas, they were in high spirits, stating this was “so typical of Bec and Dan”.
The guests headed off down the forest path with local celebrant Gin Lawrence leading them to the chosen spot. Giving them a 5 minute head start, I then followed Bec and Dan as they walked to their wedding together. What struck me was how each was the rock for the other.
Their Forest Wedding Ceremony
We arrived at “the spot” and they shed their coats, seemingly oblivious to the chill in the air and the goose bumps on their skin. Their service was so full of love and laughter. Nothing could dampen the mood, not even the rain that was so heavy it was automatically turning the pages on the kindle Gin was trying to read the service from. Eventually, she resorted to a printed copy. Then that got sodden and the pages stuck together. Bec giggled and said “Sorry, everyone” and they smiled lovingly back.
Once rings were exchanged, vows made and a kiss had it was time for the rain soaked friends and family who had gathered to congratulate the newly weds. They were then quickly put to work to form an umbrellas huddle so that legal paperwork could be signed without that too becoming drenched.
Forest Wedding Portraits
Then as the rain intensified it was time to do photos with the guests before sending them off to get dry and be warm. Dan, Bec and I then headed off further into the forest to take their bridal portraits. In a sign of good planning, both were wearing gumboots. Despite the conditions we captured beautiful images before making the most of the mud to finish with a mini trash the dress session, jumping in puddles. And that spirit is why I agreed to photograph Bec and Dan’s micro forest wedding. I wish them and their menagerie of animals a life full of much love, laughter and happiness.