Every once in a while we get to do a wedding so incredibly full of love and energy that it feeds us and maintains us for months on end. Yesterday was such a wedding. Fabio is Italian and Joanna is Greek. That should say it all!
I left home shortly after 11 am and made my way to the Sandton Sun suite where Joanna and co. were getting ready. I knew the minute I walked into room 1907 that this was going to be a very long and special day. The room was filled to capacity with grannies, aunts, sisters, friends, babies, make up artists and hairdressers. I, one of the photographers just added to that list.
Now being Spanish, I know all about family events and family gatherings. My boyfriends over the years have either fled or survived based on their ability to handle the chaos involving a Moreno clan gathering. So I felt right at home. In true Mediterranean fashion I was fed and watered the minute I walked into the room, just to make sure my energy levels did not wane in the hours to come.
Calm turned into some level of panic as I got asked for the umpteenth time what the time was. Then pandemonium hit and everyone had to get dressed at the same time with hardly enough room in the room for a mouse to squeak! However, Mediterraneans know how to handle chaos and in no time at all, the children were sorted, the adults were dressed, the traveling arrangements had been made and we made our merry way to Shepstone Gardens for the photo shoot. By this stage I had already filled a one gig card. I had no idea what I had taken photos of, but taken them I had.
The onset of a typical JHB summer thundershower made the photo shoot interesting if not a little chaotic. By this stage I was prepared for anything to be thrown our way and changed my mindset to one of capturing the wedding day in true pj (photojournalistic) style. This didn’t phase me at all as it’s my favorite way of taking photos anyway.
By the time we arrived at the Greek Orthodox church in Alberton, I was looking forward to the ceremony. Little did I suspect that half way through it, one of the little bridesmaids whispered in my ear that she needed to, erm, how did she put it…. make a wee wee??? My business partner, Cormac thought I had gone absolutely crazy when I signaled to him that he was on his own and I hastily made my way out the church, little bridesmaid in tow for that critical toilet break. Despite it all, Fabio and Joanna got through it all unscathed and are now happily married.
The celebrations got truly under way at the reception venue, Vilamoura in Sandton. Unlike many other weddings I attend, people had to be begged to sit down to eat their meal. The room hummed with conversation and energy. Everyone was in high spirits and a party of note was going to be had by all. I resigned myself to the fact that I would not be in bed by midnight. The formalities took place at a Mediterranean pace. Slowly,unhurried and with meaning! The dance floor was packed from the word go with the youngsters sharing happily with the older folk as traditional Greek dancing was performed.
At midnight I reminded the couple that they had still not thrown the bouquet or garter. Swiftly the dance floor was cleared, the mandatory chair was found and the proceedings got under way with as much jostling and heckling by the ladies for the bouquet as by the men for the garter. Everyone including myself was hysterical when Fabio emerged from under Joanna’s skirts with his glasses hanging half off his face.
As the dancing continued I looked around for different vantage points or interesting angles for photographs. The mirrored ceiling kept proving a temptation. The movement, colours and figures reflected looked great, but extremely challenging to photograph. I kept pointing my camera up towards the ceiling much to the amusement of the guests on the dance floor. I took loads of photos without really knowing if I had gotten anything worthwhile. Today, in preparing for this blog and looking at the photos, I came across one that I like. It’s different and somewhat quirky, much like Fabio and Joanna’s wedding.
By 1am we thought it rude to overstay our welcome and bid the couple farewell. I have no idea what time this party finished, but I know for a fact, that today, Sunday, everyone will be recovering from a Mediterranean celebration of great magnitude. We had a ball!!!