Amy and Donovan’s ritual Sydney wedding


Amy and Donovan met at a house party (of some sorts) in Canada. If you know Amy then you know that when she walks into a room she immediately lights it up and I can imagine that is exactly when Donovan would have first noticed her and that night she too was drawn to Donovan, a gentle and kind soul.

A couple of years later the couple travelled back to Amy’s native Sydney to get married.

Amy’s ancestry is Vietnamese and the events of the wedding day started with a traditional tea ceremony.

At 5 am the house was already bustling. Donovan’s family arrived to the street in Marrickville not long after 8 am bearing gifts and ready to receive the bride at her family home.

Amy and Donovan united in front of her family’s ancestor altar asking permission to be blessed then following the ceremony with gift bearing, acts of gratitude, words of advice and tea sipping.

Seeped in ritual, color and emotion I found the tea ceremony a joy to photograph and deeply moving. It was especially so when Amy presented her mother, Maria, with tea. Breaking down into sobs, the lifetime journey between mother and her only daughter was highlighted (Maria fled Vietnam by boat with Amy when she was a 1 year old) and I am  sure that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.




After the tea ceremony we jumped into cars for the Catholic church ceremony in Glebe. Amy took off the amazing traditional red gown and transferred into a equally amazing white gown. ( and there was still to be one more costume change before the night was over!)

From there it was back to the house for a traditional Vietnamese lunch before we headed to Observatory hill for some late afternoon photos and that mesmerising view of Sydney harbour which the Canadians enjoyed.

Amy is the only bride that I know of who drove herself around on her wedding day. And before we set off to take some locations photos Amy made sure that her guests where all looked after. 

Yes, that’s Amy. Even on her special day, thinking of others.

The reception was a barrel of fun with a funky covers band keeping the guests grooving through smoke clouds and confetti blasts. 

I wish Amy and Donovan a lifetime of love and adventure.


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