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Ann & Sern

The modern art gallery wedding of Ann & Sern has all the personal trimmings that makes me fall in love with a celebration. The couple held a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, the bride wore a diamond necklace her mother wore on her own wedding day and family and friends who flew in from all over the world to celebrate. All this with their own desire for a beautiful wedding without much fuss – a dream which most certainly came true for this newlywed couple. Lah’za Photography  was there to capture it all.

Ann tells the story of how they ended up together. “We became friends a decade ago at university, where we bonded over everything except our coursework. Eventually we became closer, and our relationship also brought our respective families together. Seven and half years on, we were driving home after an exhilarating night out seeing Morrissey perform at Festival Hall. Sern stopped me outside the car and asked if I would marry him. It later transpired that he’d planned to ask during the gig, but was waiting for “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” that was never played! I had been expecting the proposal for some time, but on that particular night he caught me completely by surprise.”

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Ann wore a gown by Karen Willis Holmes and carried a bouquet created by Native Bloom and Foliage Design. She remarks, “My beautiful bouquet in apricot tones was created by June at Native Bloom and Foliage Design. It had a fresh, cottagey, springtime air to it. I loved the embroidery detailing on the back of my sequin gown from Karen Willis Holmes, which was the very first gown I tried on.”

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The groom’s navy blue suit was created by BMV Bespoke.

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For the processional, Ann remembers, “Virginia, one of the parish organists, played Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” as I walked down the aisle with my mother. Sadly, my father had passed away the year before. I’d been planning to walk with both of them.”

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Ann and Sern chose St Roch’s Church, Glen Iris  for their ceremony, noting, “Our celebrant, Father Ian Waters, conducted the ceremony at St Roch’s Church in Glen Iris, where I am a parishioner. It’s a beautiful, light-filled church and it was very special to be married in a place so familiar to me. Sern is not a churchgoer so the ceremony was brief and simple. We did not write our own vows; it was comforting to use words that have been uttered by many a couple before us.”

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The traditional Chinese tea ceremony followed, the bride remembering, “After the church ceremony, we had a tea ceremony at our new home. This is a Chinese tradition that involves the couple serving tea to their family elders, who give blessings and gifts in return. It was a good opportunity to express formal thanks and appreciation.”

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Of their photographers, Ann says, “Choosing Lah’za Photography was one of the best decisions we made. Sern found Ahmad and Zahrah’s work on the internet and loved their naturalistic style. Meeting them was the clincher – they are generous, funny, down-to-earth people, and they are artists with broad interests outside of wedding photography. We loved how they captured the day and interacted with our guests. Their original 1960s Polaroid cameras were a big hit at the reception.”

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The bride wore the necklace her mother wore on her wedding day, paired with earrings gifted from her parents in law.

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The groom had a costume change, Ann noting, “I didn’t change for the evening, but Sern took the opportunity to switch his blue suit for a sexy oxblood number. He was also very pleased with the vintage Yves Saint Laurent tie he found in a suburban op shop.”

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Ann and Sern celebrated with their guests in The Great Hall at National Gallery of Victoria . The bride recalling, “The reception was in the Great Hall of the National Gallery of Victoria, under the iconic stained glass ceiling designed by Leonard French. It’s one of my favourite public spaces in Melbourne and looked absolutely stunning lit up at night.”

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Ann and Sern purchased favors for their guests from Gewurzhaus. “Our wedding favours were bags of chai-spiced sugar and coconut sugar that doubled as guest place cards. They smelt amazing.”

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Ann tells, “We entered the reception bopping along to “Stoned Love” by The Supremes. It was a fun way for us to relax in front of the crowd and lose our nerves. For our slow dance, Sern chose The Jackson Five’s “All I Do Is Think Of You”. He choreographed it after much YouTube study and I think we only practiced twice. He wowed everyone with his fancy moves, particularly his aunts and uncles who had no idea of his ability!”

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Guests enjoyed a traditional Asian banquet created by Crystal Palace Catering. “Special thanks go to Lili, Peter and everyone at Crystal Palace Catering. They provided practical advice, good cheer, flawless service and a seemingly never-ending banquet of delicious Asian food.”

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DJ Richie1250 was a highlight of the night, the bride remarking, “Richie1250’s seamless vinyl-spinning resulted in a packed-out dance floor for much of the night. We were chuffed. All we wanted was for our guests to have a great time.”

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Congratulations on your marriage Ann & Sern! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Lahza Photography for sharing today’s wedding.