Peter & Despina Photography & Videography, Orthodox Church, Gold Coast

He was looking at her like she was the most perfect person he’d ever seen. The way his eyes gleamed as she smiled back at him with her bouquet resting to the side. it was a split second moment before the camera caught her eye again and our team member caught her attention.  Still Peter didn’t mind, he sat down on one of the benches at Emerald Lakes on the gold coast in silence and beaming at her. 

When starting our adventure on march the 12th 2016 the team at J’adore set out to create more magic. While doing both photo and video, we ventured to many locations on the  gold coast, creating many diverse backdrops, quirky photos.

While two our of our team members joined Despina the bride to be, the other three members ventured to Ashmore to peter and his groomsmen. It’s always an eye opener, looking at the different customs people have on their wedding days.

Despina looked like she was glowing, and who wouldn’t be, after many years of committing yourself to a person you believe is the ‘one’, the day had finally come to cement their relationship. As we entered the venue where Despina was getting ready, we found all of the bridesmaids and herself in matching dresses.  The same traditions were done with Despina, as her family members/ bridesmaids wished her good fortune with these quirky customs. when it was time to put on her dress, Despina’s strapless bridal gown clung to her her figure as the ruffles sashayed down to the ground creating a wave, this tied in with her corseted back. With a white and cream bouquet and her hair pinned up, no one could say she wasn’t beautiful. Adorning her gown, Despina picked fuchsia floor length gowns with the same colour of bouquet roses to complete her bridal theme look. Another quirky tradition that took place was Despina preparing her shoe as she littered the name of all her unmarried Bridesmaids. if the names get worn away by the end of the night, this shows who will be married soon themselves. 

Peter wore a white suit with black pants and adorning his look with a pale pink boutonniere pinned to his tuxedo. Complimenting his look, his choice of groomsmen wore black tuxedo’s with white button up shirts. One of the most interesting customs, a red ribbon was tied around Peters neck, and a smokey object moved around his head in circles three times. This was a hopeful sign of good fortune to come as each member of Peter’s groomsmen took hold to do the same thing.


The  ceremony was held at the Greek orthodox church. The church was beautifully done, with crystallised chandeliers that lit up the whole room.  One of the main differences was the celestially hand painted ceilings which were comprised of vibrant colours that caught our camera’s eye. The first array of the bridal party slowly descended down the aisle  as their floor length vibrant fuchsia dresses swung down the aisle to the front. You could see Peter tapping his foot as he looked, waiting for his bride.  Seeing  Despina come down the aisle for the first time,  she was radiating joy, this was perfect for our crew as the lighting was just perfect in the church to quickly snap shots. Specific elements of the ceremony included there gowns, candles and the common cup. As two crowns are made by a single strand of ribbon, this symbolises two single individuals creating a union. The bride and Groom also hold candles during the ceremony, this symbolziers the light of christ. 


The photo section was done in numerous locations ranging from Macintosh island to Emerald lakes. The bridal crew were more than helpful as we got out of our comfort zone and theirs to create more adventurous scenes. The park was like an oasis on the outskirts of the hustle and bustle that is Surfers paradise, this helped us achieve some great shots.From our member getting high up in the tree tops with both video and photo to our bridge scenes that lit up the fuchsia gowns, we decided we weren’t finished yet. The Emerald Lakes French Quater was our next location this is where dreams were made of encompassing classical french provision architecture admits the Surfers Paradise’s vibrant and never ending energy Consisting of three building and a staircase that resembled the Spanish steps, the best groups shots/scenes were made  as Peter gently dipped his new bride smiling down at her. We’ve been lucky enough to shoot at emerald lakes before, attuned with the lighting and techniques needing to create the best images, our crew took Peter and Despina aside eventually over to the board water to create more intimate moments that consisted of portrait shots just before the sun went down. 


Our next location was the reception, to which was held at the Parkwood/Arundel Community Centre. The reception was simple yet collaborated Despina and Peter’s chosen colours, white and pink to perfectly create a vibrant energy. This was great for our videographers and camera men, as we always love playing around the lighting and testing our limits. Their was two seperate long tables that sat on opposite ends with a wide open dance floor in the middle that was efficiently used towards the end of the night. 

When looking back at Despina and Peters first dance, it was filled full with laughter as the lights dimmed perfectly for our members to create an intimate scene. More traditions were brought forth to our visions as 'The Money Dance' was taking place with both the groom and bride together, to which we had not previously experienced yet. The money dance is done to give the couple a little extra cash for their honeymoon. In retrospective this custom has different views in each country ranging from Ukraine, Poland and Greece.  Traditionally the Greek money dance is held right before the couple leave the reception. The maid of honour is responsible for collecting and safeguarding the cash the couple makes. One of the other traditions consisted of the 'Kalamationos dance’. This is done dancing to traditional rhythmic music, as everyone at the reception moved holding hands, and rooting in a counter-clockwise direction, this opened our crews eyes up more to the cultural notions across the world. 

We always love being pulled out of our comfort zone and putting ourselves in a situation that isn’t accustomed to our day to day lives. This is why we love being apart of every different type of wedding. Peter and Despina kept us laughing the whole day, from the start right to the end of the reception as Peter held his fist up in Rocky formation leaving the venue. We hoped we made their day just as enjoyable as it was for us.