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Brace yourselves, friends – this is going to be a long post!

I first met my wonderful friends Deric and Janis around three years ago at a dance class – the same weekly dance class where they first met each other. Deric is a teddy bear – a comforting presence, never without a smile. He once told me he cries from joy a lot, because his happiness meter is always so high that anything extra tips it over the edge. Janis is a llama enthusiast, a generous and goofy soul who becomes an elegant and graceful being when she dances. Their wedding was fondly dubbed the “Llama-Bear Big Day”, and it was one for the history books.

Janis’ parents traveled from Hong Kong to walk their daughter down the aisle, and their whole day was a combination of Australian and Chinese wedding traditions. I loved capturing the Chinese “gatecrashing” ritual – in which Deric and his boys must prove, through a series of knowledge and skill-based games designed by the bridesmaids, that he is worthy of reaching his bride. Watching Team Bear weave Entrapment-style through red streamer “lasers”, answer obscure Janis-centric trivia questions and pick her lipstick imprint from a lineup was so much fun – and learning the symbolic meanings behind the traditional red wedding gown and tea ceremony made the day all the more special.

With so many cultural traditions, a change of “costume” for Janis (including hair and makeup!) and your standard wedding day nerves, it was a huge day – but so full of love it was bursting from the windows. The incredibly well-timed annual Riverfire fireworks display made the evening extra-romantic, and with half the guests being dance-school friends there was never a dull moment on dance floor – we hear staff working in other function rooms at Victoria Park expressed their remorse at not being assigned to the “fun room”!

It was a love-in, a celebration, a union and a heck of a party. Congratulations, Bear and Llama. I can’t wait to dance with you again soon.

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A huge thank-you to the vendors who made the LlamaBear Big Day so incredible:
Janis’ hair: Yunmi Hair
Janis’ makeup: Angel’s Nail and Eyelash Brisbane
Bridesmaids’ hair and makeup: Emily-Kate MacDonald and Ghassani Swaryandini
Venue: Victoria Park Golf Complex
Celebrant: Robyn Nicolle
Cake: A Little Cake Place
Photo booth: In The Booth