Sergeants Mess Wedding

Sergeants Mess Wedding

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Wedding Photographer

Richard Johnston

At Lonely Hunter, we only photograph a limited number of weddings each year and do book out quite far in advance. 
Don't leave it until we are already booked before you decide to make an enquiry..

sydney wedding photographer shooting at Sergeants Mess


Jane Lu & James Waldie – Sergeants Mess Wedding

After spending the entire day with Jane lu & James Waldie at their Sergeants Mess Wedding, it was clear these two were a perfect match. Both Jane and James had rather infectious personalities, you know, the type that makes you want to be around them. With lots of energy and bubbling personalities, there was always something eventful going on when these two were concerned.

For anyone who doesn’t know who Jane lu is, she is the mastermind and founder behind Showpo. She explained that she started the business nine years ago after quitting a corporate job that she disliked. Initially, it wasn’t all smooth sailing but persistence paid off and she eventually found the road to success. After dating for nine years Jane eventually decided to poach her partner from Uber and bring him onto the Showpo team as a CFO. Jane explained that this worked out quite well and has turned out to be one of the best decisions they have made.

Before they got to that point though, Jane mentioned that they met while on exchange in a small student town south of Sweden. It was here where James (Waldie) and Jane became good friends before Waldie decided to make his move. Jane explained that Waldie’s first attempt failed miserably due to his eagerness to sneak a few roadies into a night club. It would seem that security was on the ball that fateful night and quickly ejected him from the club. Still determined Waldie managed to find another moment in time a few days later which was to be much more ideal. They may not have known it at the time, but this event started the wheels in motion which lead to their Sergeants Mess wedding ten years later.

My morning for Jane Lu and James’s Sergeants Mess Wedding began at a little two-storey house in Balmain. It was here were the bride, bridesmaids and brides tribe were getting ready for the big day. I started the morning photographing the details as I usually would. It was at this point when Jane happened to point out that her mum (Queenie) had also chosen to wear white. Maybe not the most appropriate choice of colour when both mum & dad were supposed to walk Jane down the aisle. It’s a good thing Jane saw the funny side of it though and was able laugh about it.

After spending some time photographing everyone going about their morning, it was time to start getting Jane ready. As this was taking place, Janes father (Frank) was on his way over to the house. The plan was to photograph his reaction to seeing his daughter Jane all dressed for the first time. This is always a very special moment and one that I wanted to prioritise as it’s usually filled with lots of emotion.

While all this was taking place, my associate was with Waldie and his groomsmen in the city. The guys didn’t require as much time to get ready in the morning, so their morning unfolded a lot quicker. Before we knew it we were back in the cars and making a b-line for the ceremony of their Sergeants Mess wedding.




If you hadn’t already guessed, Jane & Waldie’s wedding ceremony and reception was to take place at Sergeants Mess. A beautiful venue perched on the side of a hill overlooking Sydney Harbour. Waldie was the one who picked out the venue as he was after somewhere with water views. Jane told me that she was actually away for work when it came to picking their venue, so Waldie went with two of her bridesmaids to look at their shortlist and Sergeants Mess blew the others out of the park.

Upon arrival to their Sergents Mess wedding, we had a spare 45 minutes up our sleeve. This is always handy as it gives us time to not only photograph the ceremony details and guests arriving but also the reception room details. That’s providing it’s close by and styling is almost finished.

Soon after their guests had found a spot in the small amphitheatre it was time to get these two married. With a rockin’ pair of cowboy boots and a whip by his side, their celebrant Monty began the proceedings. Feeling a little overwhelmed Jane requested a drink of water before they got to the pointy end of the things. With a loud cheer from their friends and family, Jane & James eventually sealed it with a kiss. Once the ceremony was complete it was time for the family formals before moving onto the locations shoot.




Following Jane Lu & Waldies Sergeants Mess wedding ceremony we began to get organised ready for their location shoot. Shayna from Event To A T approached me and asked if we would like to take some balloons down to the docks at Chowder bay. This required no thought at all and I immediately replied “yes”. It was a great idea and one which would and an extra element to their photos.

I also mentioned to Jane that it would be worthwhile bringing some drinks along so that we could keep things a little more candid. My thought process behind this was that I also wanted the party to continue. I didn’t want it to stop on account of the photos.

Jane & Waldie were so very easy to work with during their location shoot. Both had lots of energy and were all smiles, which made our job easy. Upon arrival, the sun was in the midst of setting which was great because it added a hint of warmth to their photos. This, coupled with a mixture of subtle tones from their florals and bridal party attire made for a wonderful colour palette to work with!



After the location shoot was complete the bridal party took 5 minutes to freshen up before making their entrance into the Sergeants Mess wedding reception. Jane lu & Waldie had everyone standing and cheering as they entered with fireworks and some killer dance moves. Following the entrance, it was straight into the formalities of the evening.

Once everyone had a chance to share some laughs and “shame shots” (a game brought from the Showpo office) it was almost time to get the party started. But first, the newly wed’s needed to cut their cake – The mini cheesus. If your not sure what a mini cheesus is then you will need to either take a look at the photos or watch some Kath and Kim episodes.

Furnace and The Fundementals then began to get the dance floor going. Jane & Waldie’s guests were on their feet in no time and dancing up a storm. These guys were easily one of the best cover bands I have witnessed at a wedding to date. By the end of the night, Jane and Waldie were both on stage and making the most of the celebrations. Waldie was belting out Piano Man on the harmonica while Jane was on the tambourine and his father on the drums. What a High to finish on!


Venue – Sergeants Mess | Planning & Styling – Events To A T | Videographer – Keeper Films | Celebrant – Holy MatriMonty | Florist – Elle Bore | Make-up – Hair & Makeup By Ariela | Hair – Djs Hair Artistry | Live Music – Furnace & The Fundementals | Rings – Nicolas Haywood | Bride Shoes – Sophia Webster | Groom’s suit: MJ Bale | Groom’s accessories: RM Williams