Diza & Gerard
Diza and Gerard married in a beautiful blend of Indonesian and western cultures, with a ceremony in the lush Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden, followed by a reception at Lyrebird Falls. There on the day to capture the couple’s love and the gorgeous natural setting the bride had dreamed of for her wedding was Tamara Little Photography and Rays Weddings. Below, Diza and Gerard share their story with us and how they created their perfect wedding.
We first met at Gerard’s brother’s wedding but sparks didn’t fly initially. Six months later, we met again in Niseko, Japan through mutual friends/family. It was then that our love began to develop. We had planned to go on a simple date at a cafe but Gerard cancelled as he wasn’t feeling well. I was upset as I thought he wasn’t keen and was using not feeling feeling well as an excuse! I quickly forgave him, however, and we tired again and hit it off.
As for our proposal, we went to Malaysia to attend a good friend’s wedding. The night before we left the country, Gerard proposed.
“I tried a few times before this but was hindered by extreme heat that was bothering us both,” says Gerard. “The very final night, I proposed in our hotel room. The first thing Diza said was, ‘Are you pulling my leg?’ Being the gentleman I am, I gave Diza time to make a decision. We kept our engagement a secret for four months before finally telling family and friends.”
For our wedding, I always knew I wanted to pay homage to my culture and wore the traditional Indonesian dress. Gerard did the same and we also encouraged our guests to embrace my culture and dress in Indonesian clothing. It was also important for me to wear the Betawi headdress. For the reception, our guests changed into western clothing, the perfect coming together of two cultures!
The colour palette was green, dusky pink and white. Native flowers also featured. Flowers were purchased wholesale and my niece put them all together.
We introduced the Indonesian traditional wedding suit for the groom, to match my Indonesian wedding dress.
It was my dream to be married in a natural environment. The first venue for the ceremony was in the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden at Serenity Point. It has stunning views across to the mountain ranges of Mt Donna Buang and beyond.
Gerard’s father walked me down the aisle.
We had a Muslim ceremony. Being Muslim, it was important for me to make sure we both are married under the one belief. When the celebrant read out the reading, I cried as I felt I was “being released as a wife”.
Our photographer, Tamara Little, was outstanding! She was understanding of our vision for the day and executed it perfectly. We had an engagement session just prior to the wedding, which helped us both feel comfortable in front of the camera and all get to know each other well.
Both the photographer and the videographer (Rays Weddings) worked so well together and with us to produce beautiful imagery and footage of our special day.
For our bridal party, both of us had our best friends whom we have know for many years.
I love the photo of us walking hand in hand under the tree canopy in the Botanical Garden as we look so happy together. I love the natural beauty of the greenery surrounding them.
For our reception, we fell in love with Lyrebird Falls as it’s nestled within the lush forest of the Dandenong Ranges with a modern, romantic feel.
Gerard says, “Abigail’s (my daughter’s) speech was one of my favourite moments. She initially clammed up and couldn’t deliver her speech but Gerard’s parents helped her through it. There was not a dry eye in the house as Abigail spoke about how Diza had transformed their house into a forest and how Diza was like a mum to her.”
Gerard’s speech was so special. He spoke tenderly of his love for me and how he’s proud to have me as his wife.
I love butterflies. Butterflies featured a lot throughout the wedding from the Indonesian butterfly dance to the butterflies on the cake.
We put a lot of effort into the first dance. Gerard is the shy type and doesn’t like being the centre of attention. I knew and appreciated this was a big thing for him to get up in front of everyone and perform.
Gerard recalls the first dance, “The song we danced to was ‘Beautiful Night’ by Eric Clapton. I chose this as this was the song I also chose to play as I proposed to Diza in KL. We practised for a month prior to the wedding. This was one of the most favourite parts of the day, dancing in front of all our family and friends and all the hard work practising the dance paid off.”