On 4 November 2017, we attended Antoinette and Mario Garcia’s wedding at Katy’s Palace Bar in Kramerville, Johannesburg. When we met the couple earlier on in the year we soon realized that their wedding would be anything but ordinary. For starters, Antoinette and Mario opted to enter into a civil union rather than to get married under the Marriage Act. They explained that they felt uncomfortable with the complicated legacy of this Act which still discriminates against queer couples. Similarly, they said, their ceremony would not include any religious elements.  Our challenge as photographers would be to find ways of visually expressing their desire to create their own story rather than relying on dated or stereotypical images and shots. These images beautifully capture their insistence on creativity and originality as our central brief.

Wendy and her team at Dimity Bridal Studio made Antoinette’s exquisite dress using lace from Antoinette’s mother’s wedding dress. Similarly, the lace from Antoinette’s grandmother’s wedding dress (from the ‘50s!) formed part of the flower girls’ dresses. The ceremony itself took place on the balcony of Katy’s Palace Bar with the Sandton skyline providing a breathtaking backdrop. The bride is vegetarian and so the menu for the most part consisted of delicious vegetable curries, salads and quiches (by Fresh Creative Catering), with a jaw-dropping cheese wheel cake (by Flavourex) instead of a traditional wedding cake.

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