From a Canberra Wedding Photographer’s Perspective, Nadia and Josh’s Wedding was just so Beautiful

Each year, I hit the road south out of Sydney on my way to Canberra. It’s a fairly regular occurrence, and I love it. Canberra is full of photogenic backgrounds and is highly suitable for photography as a city backdrop. Canberra is a planned city, so there is lots of symmetry that contributes to visually appealing photographs. And so, this autumn in 2022 I put on my Canberra wedding photographer hat, and I drove down the Federal Highway for Nadia and Josh’s wedding at the Royal Canberra Golf Club.

Canberra Wedding Photographer

As a Canberra wedding photographer, I’ve shot several nuptials in the Nation’s capital. You can see some of them here. But this would be different. This wedding was captured during a time of conflict in Europe. Nadia’s family is Ukrainian. Whilst I did anticipate Ukrainian traditions at this wedding, the love and support for her family back home and those that made it to Australia for this celebration were heartwarming. More on this below.

One of my favourite locations to shoot, although not the subject of this blog post, is within the Sky Garden structure at the National Gallery. It’s a surreal location; tall triangular walls that give dramatic light reflected off a central water pool. Very cool!

On this occasion, however, Nadia and Josh wanted to shoot at the National Carillon on Aspen Island. I drove down to Canberra on Friday afternoon, with enough time to walk around Aspen Island and scope some locations for photos. It’s a great location and I’d love to come back again.

Nadia and Josh’s Ceremonious Nuptials at Royal Military College, Duntroon

It’s not every day that you get to witness a wedding celebration at RMC Duntroon. I have several friends who have been through the Australian Military, and this isn’t the first time that I have visited Duntroon. I remember seeing friends parade their way around on their first year in pristine outfits (with ultra-polished back boots – my favourite part).

Nadia and Josh held their ceremony at the Military Chapel, and after the ceremony, their colleagues performed a guard of honour to welcome the newlyweds out of the church. It’s a ceremonious occasion and the guard was a fitting occurance for the day.

Wedding Photos at National Carillon, Aspen Island

What is a Carillon? A Carillon is a large musical instrument that contains several (around 30-35) bells that are tuned by pitch. The bells are played by a keyboard and struck by timber. Another way of thinking of a Carillon is that it is essentially a large version of a chime (and has more than 23 bells, but otherwise is technically a chime). Carillons are large and are considered to be one of the world’s heaviest instruments.

As it turns out, the National Carillon on Aspen Island Canberra was a gift from the British government to celebrate Canberra’s 50th birthday. The National Carillon was built in 1970 and opened by Queen Elizabeth II. The brutalist style is classic in the area and is yet another example of why Canberra’s streetscape, including the Carillon, creates interesting photogenic backgrounds.

When we arrived at Aspen Island, we started in the park on the eastern side of the bridge. With drinks in hand, we captured a few group portraits. We shot on the footbridge on the way over the Carillon, on the small beach with Parliament House in the background and captured a few more static frames to build up the variety. This location is a great example of the architectural features that I look forward to photographing as a Canberra wedding photographer.

I took Nadia and Josh along the garden path to the north to capture some portraits with just the two of them. We timed the portrait session perfectly so that shadows were not too harsh, the afternoon sky was blue and clear, and some light remained for sunset at their wedding venue – Royal Canberra Golf Club.

Wedding reception at Royal Canberra Golf Club

On arrival at the Royal Canberra Golf Club, we were greeted with golf buggies (I freakin’ love golf buggies!). The whole bridal party drove up the hill to the southwest, where can captured a few last portraits with the setting sun, before heading on into Nadia and Josh’s reception in the clubhouse.

I mentioned above that some of Nadia’s family made it out of Europe and into Australia. I’m not going into the specifics of this, but there were some very special people to Nadia (of a very young age), that are now in Australia and could share in the day’s festivities.

The reception featured lots of beautiful Ukrainian colour, music, dance and Horilka (*I think it’s called ‘Horilka’; a traditional strong Ukrainian spirit). We heard messages from close family and friends, drank a few shots (one aspect I love about Canberra wedding photography is that I stay down for the weekend) and celebrated Nadia and Josh’s wedding day.

If you’d like more information about a Canberra wedding photographer, or natural wedding photos in Cenberra more generally, please reach out via the contact page linked here.

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