Natasha and Sebastiaan

 I never quite get over the feeling of an intimate, backyard wedding. It’s almost magical because everything seems that much more heightened- emotions, traditions and moments. Two cultures came together (Muslim and Jewish) for a very special marriage ceremony.

“We met at work four years ago in The Netherlands. After 3 years together, we decided to take the leap and migrated to Australia. Marriage wasn’t really on our minds. Then  Sebastiaan’s father got diagnosed with cancer in February this year and we had the wish  to consolidate our relationship while both families were still able to travel to Australia. After some months of waiting for green light for Sebastiaan’s father to travel, we got the go-ahead in August and planned the wedding in 3 months (it can be done!).

The most remarkable thing about our relationship would have be the fact that Sebastiaan stems from a Jewish tradition and Natasha originates from a Muslim – Catholic background. Although it hasn’t always been easy, our families have come to accept and embrace these differences.”

Photos are by Laki Sideris. I love Laki’s photo journalistic style which captures the emotion and intensity of the day but doesn’t lose the humor and lightness.

Natasha’s hair and makeup was styled by Rachael Rayner. She chose an elegant lace gown designed by Deborah Selleck with shoes from Jeanette Maree.

Sebastiaan chose a grey suit from Joe Black The Tailor.

Of their photographer, Natasha says ” Sebastiaan had seen some of Laki’s work and was really impressed. Laki tells stories rather than shooting pictures and he has an eye for quirky details. He did a fantastic job on the day despite the fact that, as it later turned out, was actually coming down with the flu and was quite ill. He captured us, our family and friends and the celebration in a very original way. He really took the time to get to know everybody and how people related to each other. He used this info in his pictures and we’re more than happy with the result. ”

The floral arrangements in the day were styled by Flos Florum,

Natasha and Sebastiaan held their ceremony in the Rose Garden in the St Kilda Botanic Gardens.

For her walk down the aisle, Natasha recalls “We chose a violin track from gypsy swing artist Django Reinhardt, emotional but not too heavy.”

Natasha remarks “The ceremony and reception were both outdoors, which we thought embodied the Australian way. We did check the weather forecast maniacally for weeks ahead, as Melbourne weather is famously fickle, but thankfully it was a dry and sunny day.”

Natasha  remarks, “Having both of the fathers embrace each other’s culture and respect each other’s tradition is amazing. They both have strong characters and can be pretty headstrong. But the smile on their faces made once we got married was priceless. The fact that Sebastiaan’s father was present made it a very special day. His father was diagnosed with cancer and the treatment made him very ill. The travel from Europe to Australia was pretty demanding, but worth the investment.”

The ceremony was a blending of the two families cultures. Natasha explains “Our goal was to bring together all of our friends and family and celebrate the beauty of two traditions coming together. I am from a Muslim background and Sebastiaan is from a Jewish background. In the ceremony we choose to take important elements from both cultures and use them to on the one hand show respect to our parents and out heritage as well as show our friends who we are and why we have decided to get married. The photographer Laki was aware of all this and definitely knew how to capture those beautiful moments without making too much of drama of it. In a very playful way he knew how to make everybody at ease.”

The couple chose Sharon Vanderputt to officiate the ceremony.

The reception was held in a Melbourne backyard.

Red Door Corner Store catered the event.

The wedding was planned in three months. Natasha explains “Due to our families being overseas and Sebastiaan’s father not knowing if and when he would be able to travel, we had about 3 months to plan the whole wedding. This meant a lot of improvising and also some budget-driven DIY as we hadn’t saved up for the event. We DIYed the whole reception venue and decoration with lots of help from families and friends, made our own (digital) invitations, did all the planning including logistics for overseas visitors and provided the music for both ceremony and reception ourselves using a laptop and sound system.”

Natasha loved “The fact that after only one year in Australia we were lucky enough to have a wonderful group of friends celebrate our special day with us. And the family and friends that came over from interstate or overseas and helped us so much – priceless.”

There was more surprising celebrations. Natasha recalls “We hadn’t really anticipated any dancing and certainly no formal first dance since it was a daytime, outdoors affair, but it so happened that  someone put on some Arabic bellydance music and a few moments later we were shimmying away.”

Congratulations Natasha and Sebastiaan! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Laki Sideris. for sharing today’s images!