Hipsters say I do, with a twist

KATE WILCOX
Last updated 05:00 23/01/2013

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Weddings

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Most of Wendy Zreika and Kash Sharma's wedding photos were taken in an ice-cream truck. After their ceremony in Elkington Park in Sydney's Balmain, the truck pulled up and served ice-cream to the guests, before the bride and bridegroom piled in and posed for the camera.

There are pictures of them with ice-creams, pulling silly faces behind their cones, and a series in which Zreika squashes her ice-cream onto Sharma's nose and licks it off.

"I was really not into the whole traditional wedding," says Zreika.

"I've been to a lot of weddings and every wedding is the same. So for me it was all about being different. I come from a Lebanese background, my husband comes from a Fijian-Indian background, and he's Hindu and I'm Muslim. So, to me ... our marriage itself is different, let's just throw in something even quirkier."

Their offbeat photographs represent a rising trend in indie - or independent - weddings and non-traditional photography.

The couple's photographer, Lara Hotz, says more and more couples are eschewing the traditional poses for a more playful and artistic approach.

"When I first started," she says, "everything was very traditional and then people started taking more risks. Now people do anything."

These risks range from couples wearing animal masks and fake moustaches to posing in unusual locations - in trees, at train stations or on bicycles - or just being willing to ham it up in front of the camera.

"People want something different, they want their own personalities to come across through their photos," says photographer Rachael Muller. "They don't want their parents' wedding album."

The editor of Modern Wedding magazine, Victoria Black, estimates about 40 per cent of today's weddings are indie style.

''It is so hot right now it's not funny,'' she says. ''Couples who opt for the style tend to be younger. They want something different to the traditional princess wedding with the ball gown in a big reception venue."

Black says the photography is beautiful, quirky and eclectic.

But she adds a note of caution: "Typewriters and old luggage in fields leave me cold. What are you doing in the middle of a field with old luggage? I think you can go too far with it."

This indie style is not limited to photography. A growing number of couples, often those marrying in their 20s and early 30s, are moving away from grand, opulent, elegant weddings, in favour of the relaxed, do-it-yourself, bohemian style.

Spurred on by indie wedding blogs, brides are making their own dresses, bridegrooms are throwing off tuxedos and couples are paying a lot of attention to the style of photography used on the day.

No generation of marrying age is so used to having their photo taken as those now walking down the aisle, which photographer James Day thinks contributes to the present trend.

"Couples are starting to care a little bit more about how they want themselves portrayed in the images, rather than just accepting what has been done for years and years."

Trish Lee from Tealily Photography Sydney warns indie-style weddings won't be in vogue forever. "As long as it stays a representation of the couple themselves, and it's real to an extent, I love it," she says.

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- Sydney Morning Herald 

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