It would be doing their decision making a disservice to say that Alan and Annie “settled” on an Intercontinental Double Bay wedding. The Eastern Suburbs is a world to itself - an enclave of proximity and closeness, lots of good taste, long-standing traditions and fantastic venues. If you’ve ever had a soft spot for a place, count me in for Double Bay, where gentility is an art form and being made to feel special is de rigour.
In choosing this location, it perfectly matched the calm and peace that Annie and Alan exude, quite helpful given their professions in the medical world.
Alan and his groomsmen got ready at home, Kings Cross. In the meantime, Annie, her bridesmaids, family and many of the guests, who had flown in from around the world, were deep into preparations in different suites at the Intercontinental Double Bay. Annie was getting ready initially for the tea ceremony up in the Royal Suite. I’ve made no secret of my fondness of tea ceremonies. Firstly it’s tea, but beyond that it’s significance shouldn’t be lost, and its meaning more universally embraced. It's called jing cha in Chinese, literally meaning, 'to respectfully offer tea'.
From watching so many over the years, it’s very clearly a way of showing respect to the family members, parents and grandparents especially, Aunts and Uncles, and the older siblings and cousins. It is a way of thanking the parents, grandparents and the others for their years of love and care. It shows the respect and gratitude that builds in families over the years. At weddings, it embraces the aspect of formally introducing the partner to the families.
And then there is the handing over of special gifts from the family to the couple. In some ways, this seems to take the traditional aspect of allowing the couple to set up home - money, gold, necklaces, watches and the like. But it is certainly done as a form of care for the couple — a recognition we all need a start.
There are symbols used, the tea itself, the colour red, the envelopes of Double Happiness, and so often a bride’s dress will be a formal red gown, bought especially for this.
Annie was making a couple of changes for her wedding day, stunning Asian influences evident in her choice of dresses.
The Grand Ballroom was the location for the reception. A dance floor at one end with all the formalities at the other. Behind a wall at the other end was the location for the ceremony. That way Annie would enter from the main door and then take an L-shaped journey down the aisle, into this gorgeous grey and white room.
Post ceremony, and with wanting to spend as much time with their guests as possible, we quickly shot for just a few minutes, taking formal bridal portraits inside the Intercontinental, before heading to the reception where lots of handshakes and hugs, applause, laughter, toasts, goodwill, and dancing reigned supreme.
If you've found the one, the love of your life, and you are now planning your wedding (and especially a city wedding at InterContinental Sydney Double Bay) and want beautiful photography to remember this special day then it's time to talk to Sarah or myself. We take compelling, elegant and timeless stills. We capture the most valuable images in the world. Yours.
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