“For those searching for something more than just the norm. We lay it all down, including what others call sanity, for just a few moments on waves larger than life. We do this because we know there is still something greater than all of us. Something that inspires us spiritually. We start going down hill, when we stop taking risks.”
– Laird Hamilton
I’ve been waiting nervously for this. These two lovers are the reason why I boarded three planes, travelled approximately around 16000km (one way) with a travel time of about 24 hours and, having arrived in Sydney, felt totally overwhelmed just by the fact someone wanted especially me to be part of this so badly that they didn’t care about all this. Petra and Roman decided to get married in Australia in a non-conventional way and I was part of this. It’s still feels so unreal, even if these images are proof.
So, sitting at home a few weeks after having experienced the longest trip for a wedding yet and trying to write about Petra’s and Roman’s elopement is not the easiest thing to do. When you start realizing you just spent a whole day in several planes and covered about 16k km of ground to be the photographer to document someone’s special day you can’t really seem to get a grip on it. Every wedding is special to me, but this felt different. There are so many photographers out there and I am the one they chose despite all the distance in between me and the wedding destination. This means so much.
So, let’s talk about this a little more in detail. Petra & Roman are from Switzerland and they share a love for traveling, surfing and of course for each other. They chose Australia as their elopement destination because Roman wanted to show Petra the place he fell in love with a few years ago when he was living down under. Officially they just went on vacation to have a good time and eventually celebrate Roman’s 40th birthday. No one knew about their plans of getting married. Well, no one but me, the celebrant and Roman’s former flatmates who were gonna be their witnesses.
After spending a few days at Bondi Beach to acclimatize and getting rid of jet lag, “wasting” time exploring the city, swimming and getting back on a skateboard after many many years finally the day before the wedding arrived and we decided to hang out and snap some frames at sunset. It was an evening well spent before we all went to rest and decided to meet again around 5am in the morning or so.
Oh, I forgot to tell you about the original plan, which kinda fell through. So, initially the plan was to get married during sunrise, but the officiant wasn’t happy with this decision. “Too dangerous because of sharks!” These were her words. So, we had to accept that, at least for the ceremony. Of course that didn’t mean we wouldn’t shoot frames in the morning. Said and done.
Having arrived in Palm Beach, New South Wales, Australia in the very early morning we started the day with a sunrise portrait session and after that waited for the witnesses and the officiant to arrive. Then it was on and so the five of them started paddling out on their surfboards. To be honest, not everyone was able to paddle out by themselves as Jess was pregnant, so Tom paddled on his board while Jess grabbed the board’s leash and in that way got towed by Tom.
After the ceremony the day continued as laid back as it started, surf was on and after that a delicious brunch. The two newly-weds then headed off towards Seal Rocks to spend the night in a very special place Roman had rented out to surprise Petra. In the evening a text message came my way: “we just swam with dolphins!”
Petra & Roman, I want to thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for believing in me and my work to be the perfect match for you guys. This meant a lot and I’m already looking forward to see you again this summer.