A two day extravaganza with three gorgeous ceremonies, Divie and Wei’s outdoor, picnic wedding was the culmination of many changed plans and the magnificent celebration of love. Holding an Indian temple ceremony and a Chinese Tea ceremony the day prior to their civil ceremony, the bride and groom made sure to include and celebrate their culture and family. Anni Maria Photography captured the magic.
Divie shares, ”The first time we met was at the back of a strip club, going to a mutual friend’s birthday in the building behind the club. Sounds suss but we promise it was all PG rated. Since then our paths crossed many times. I was constantly ‘seeing’ Wei for all his basketball injuries when I worked in an OT clinic back in the day. Wei continued to date other ladies until one night he was finally single and ready to mingle. I dazzled him but alas, I had to return to the Gold Coast to become a dentist. Wei could see that he could get free dental care and realised what a great investment this could be. So he spontaneously dropped his life in Perth and left the nest for the first time for love – what a mushball!”
Weir proposed to Divia after a day of snowboarding, as the sun was setting. The bride remembers, ”Wei had been snowboarding with the ring in his pocket for three days and was glad to finally bring it out as he proposed on bended knee.”
Wearing a gorgeous two-piece by Greta Kate Bridal for the civil ceremony, Divia had the top custom made. She shares, ”I had three outfits for the three different ceremonies. I wore a traditional red silk sari that my parents bought from India for the Indian temple ceremony and I wore a contemporary red cheongsam dress for the Chinese Tea ceremony. For the civil ceremony, I wanted a non-traditional dress with texture and comfort and found all of this in a beautiful skirt by Greta Kate Bridal, and had a top made by a local seamstress.” The bride and bridesmaid both wore headbands, the bridesmaid in a blush Shona Joy gown.
With less than a days notice, the abundant and beautiful wedding reception picnic was put together. The bride tells, ”We had three ceremonies over two days to celebrate both of our cultures. We had an Indian temple ceremony and a Chinese Tea ceremony on the 20th of March followed by a civil ceremony on the 21st March at the Cottesloe Civic Centre. We had to cancel our reception at the last minute with the ever changing Covid restrictions but somehow we managed to have a picnic at Manners Hill park which was set up by Jess from Lace Petals And Hearts with less than 24 hours notice.”
Choosing what to keep and what to leave behind, Divia and Wei made the day meaningful for them, and their families. They share, ”Paying homage to both our cultures and traditions was important to both of us. We got rid of the traditions of staying in separate accommodations on the night before the wedding. We do everything together and it just felt right to wake up in the morning together on the wedding day and enjoy each other’s company. Wei brought me coffee and food then met his brown brothers. We also did a first look before the ceremony. That was special for us as we finally took a minute to finally be in the moment after all that was happening around us, and around the world, and to remind ourselves that it was time to be selfish and make this day about us!”
Photographer Anni Maria Photography captured the romance and sheer joy of the day. Divia remembers, ”Anni was amazing at making us both feel so comfortable. I was so happy to see her on the morning of the wedding and even cried out of happiness as soon as she walked in the apartment. Anni has the ability to make you have fun while taking all the photos so you manage to forget about feeling self conscious. She’s incredibly flexible and generous, and quite honestly just an outright awesome human being. She’s also a viking. True story.”
Location, location, location! With all three events being celebrated in Perth, the bride and groom chose meaningful and beautiful places. They share, ”The Indian temple ceremony was held at the Indian temple in Perth (Canning Vale area). We kept this intimate and invited only very close family and friends. For the tea ceremony, we had rented a stunning studio apartment in Fremantle. Traditionally it would have been held at both the bride and groom’s house but as a compromise we chose a neutral location so both our families could join in on the festivities. The civil ceremony was held on the lower lawn of the Cottesloe Civic Centre as it was a close to the beach. We initially wanted a beach wedding but realised the practicality behind this would be a tragic nightmare for some, so this was a compromise.”
Planning a wedding during a pandemic is no easy feat. Divia shares, ”With all the stress of Covid and the daily changes in restrictions, many of our plans that we prepared for over the last year went out the window. With all that was going on in the background, our aim was to simply get married and keep all our family and guests safe and healthy. Nonetheless, we still had tears of joy, maybe some tears of exhaustion, but mainly joy. Our celebrant Annette Carone, kept us calm and brought a happy tone to the ceremony. Our guests loved her. We prepared our own vows. Wei did his weeks in advance, and myself in usual fashion, a couple nights before the day. We wanted a casual and fun vibe, which we think we achieved in the end! Annette got us to do ninja vows, which we totally recommend to other to-be weds! We each wrote three vow promises for each other and read them out at the end. It was a great way to get the other half to promise something that you’ve been wanting them to for a long time. You can imagine the possibilities…” The bride walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of Tamia’s ‘So Into You’.
Keeping the flowers and decorations in a muted palette meant loads of texture. Divia tells, ”The flowers were a selection of textures and pastels; pampas grass, quicksand roses and palm spears. For my bouquet we had a classic bunch of roses in quicksilver for myself and white roses for the bridesmaids.”
An extra special tip for those wanting to win over their guests – always have KFC. The bride and groom share, ”This was apparently the highlight for most guests. Pro tip – KFC always wins.” They also list as favourite moments, ”Having our first dance with our song playing on a mini boom box in the dark with phones swaying in the air, having close family and friends with us despite many who were unable to attend due to last minute restrictions, and having three ceremonies!”
With so many last minute changes, a lot fell by the wayside. The bride remembers, ”We DIY’d the name cards for the reception, which we ended up throwing away. We also had made thank you stickers that we were going to stick on a toilet roll to give as a novelty gift, but we didn’t want to be too wasteful and they sure were a hot commodity at the time.”
Ending their weekend of wedding celebrations with their outdoor picnic reception, some quick thinking was needed as the sun set – fast. Divia shares, ”Our first dance was incredibly memorable. Since we changed our reception to a picnic in the park at the very last minute, we lost a lot of day light very quickly. As it went dark we had an impromptu dance the end of the night to an acoustic version (Schitts Creek cover) of Tina Turners ‘Simply The Best’. Our friends and family all held their phones in the air to give us some light to dance, and it felt like we were on stage at an Ed Sheeran concert. It was a beautiful reminder that we were surrounded by so much love from our friends and family who were so flexible and considerate with all our daily wedding itinerary schedule.”
Thank you so much to our gorgeous bride and groom for sharing your beautiful wedding day with us, and congratulations! Thank you also to Anni Maria Photography for your stunning images.