Anna-Marie & Emmanual
For Anna-Marie and Emmanuel, their faith and family were foremost in their minds when it came to creating their wedding day. The couple chose Infinity Photography to capture their elegantly timeless church wedding, and we just adore its simplicity, and the heartfelt stories that go with it.
Of how they met and came to be, Anna-Marie explains, “We are both Sunday School teachers and met at one of our Sunday School kids’ birthday parties. I made a complete fool of myself the first time we meet, so I was still embarrassed three weeks later when I ran into him again at another birthday party. Thankfully, Manny found my awkwardness endearing and gave me a second chance at a first impression. Later on, we were asked to collaborate on a Church production together – he directed the drama side of things, and I taught the singing. We ended up seeing a lot of each other through this process and soon realised that, despite our awkward start, we could talk for hours and not feel the time pass. I guess the rest is history!”
The groom wore a black, textured suit from Peter Jackson, with a white shirt and bow-tie both from T.M. Lewin. His cuff links were by Paul Smith, and his shoes from Ted Baker, and featured blue laces and blue accents. He also had multicoloured striped socks from Happy Socks. “Emmanuel wanted his attire to be traditional with a bit of a twist,” explains Anna-Marie. “He has a lot of personality, so he wanted that to reflect in what he wore on the day.”
“I really wanted something simple, timeless and elegant,” the bride tells of her wedding day attire. “The dress I liked the most for its simplicity and cost was the Dakota gown by Nicole Miller. For our church ceremony, I paired it with the lace, off-the-shoulder Marisol top by Rebecca Schoneveld. Both the gown and lace top were purchased at The Babushka Ballerina in Brisbane.When I went to try on dresses, I took my Mum and my four bridesmaids with me to The Babushka Ballerina. I picked out six gowns, including ones I hadn’t even thought of trying on. I knew from how I felt in the dress and how my Mum and bridesmaids reacted that the Dakota gown definitely was my wedding dress. I truly felt like a bride! For our reception, I swapped the lace top for a detailed belt from White Lily Couture, paired it with my Grandmother’s faux fur shawl.”
“My parents got married in London, and around that time my Mum’s father was having surgery in Australia. He wasn’t allowed to fly over for the wedding and so he missed the opportunity to walk my Mum down the aisle. About one and a half years prior to our wedding, he had a massive stroke and was in hospital for many months. With vigorous rehabilitation. and God’s grace, he made a dramatic recovery. About six months after that, my own father had a massive heart attack and spent weeks in hospital after undergoing a massive operation. I felt so blessed that both my father and grandfather even lived to see my wedding day, and so it was only fitting that they both walked me down the aisle, one on each side…”
The couple were married at St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Arncliffe, which is the church Emmanuel and his family grew up in, and still regularly attend in Sydney. “Our ceremony was a traditional Coptic Orthodox (Egyptian Christian) Church ceremony,” they explain. “We had ten priests officiate the ceremony, which was attended by over 300 guests. We were blessed to have Father Moses open our wedding ceremony, and to be surrounded by priests from Brisbane, Sydney and the Gold Coast who witnessed us grow up, and mature as a couple.”
Anna-Marie and Emmanuel chose Simon from Infinity Photography to take their wedding photos. “We were fortunate enough to secure Simon to capture our wedding day. Simon’s work is internationally acclaimed, but he now does wedding photography for the love of the work. Simon certainly delivered on candid photography that captured the essence of the day, which was exactly what we were looking for.”
The reception venue was The Venus Reception Centre, the bride gushing, “The manager, George Christodoulouwas, an absolute pleasure to work with. He truly went above and beyond for us; nothing was too difficult to organise or too much to include in our wedding package. Organising a wedding in Sydney when we both lived in Queensland meant that we only had a few weekends to fly down to sort out details, and George always made himself available, even at short notice for our impromptu visits. We cannot sing his praises highly enough. He really did make the night one to remember!”
“As a special touch, I wanted to do something to surprise my Mum on the day, and to thank her for everything that she did in contributing to our wedding. To honour my mother’s Scottish heritage, we asked Dave the Wild Scotsman and his Highland dancers to entertain guests with bagpipes and girls dancing over swords, which added a cultural twist to the night.”
The newlywed’s first dance was to “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King. “Initially I didn’t want to have a first dance, because I felt awkward about sharing such an intimate moment with over 300 people, but I’m glad Emmanuel talked me into it. We didn’t really dance, more just swayed on the spot, but in that moment I think it hit us both that we were finally married and were about to start the rest of our lives together as husband and wife!” remembers the bride.
“Hot Potato Band were an incredible addition to the entertainment,” she tells of their reception band. “Their roaming 7 piece brass band had kids limboing under the trombone, wedding guests wearing the tuba as a hat as it continued to play, and everyone out of their seats and on the dance floor. They really kicked the night off with a bang!”
Congratulations Anna-Marie and Emmanuel! Thank you to Infinity Photography, and the gorgeous couple, for sharing this beautiful day with us.