We are a couple of wedding photographers living in the Blue Mountains.
Nastia is also a botanical mural and installation artist. Damien was born in Belgium and has been living in Australia for 12 years. Nastia was born in Ukraine and moved to Australia with her parents when she was seven.
We feel so fortunate that our paths crossed, as we are both nomads at heart. We love exploring remote places together and have complementary values and views on the world. Our first meeting was in a nightclub called Oxford Art Factory in Darlinghurst, Sydney, 11 years ago. The connection was instant, even though we didn’t always understand each other. We like to call it a ‘one life stand’. Our shared love for traveling really shapes our relationship. We are both dreamers and meeting each other helped us to dream bigger together.
Bringing both our families together has always been a challenge as all Damien’s family live in Belgium while Nastia’s are spread between Ukraine and Sydney. This is one of the reasons we decided to elope — to stay fair to friends and family. We asked them to write messages and letters for us to read on the day. It really felt like they were there with us in spirit and was a highlight of the day.
We both felt a strong connection with Tasmania ever since our first visit. We love the raw beauty of its landscapes so it felt like the perfect location. When we found the shack on Bruny Island on Airbnb, we fell in love with its simplicity. From there, the rest of the planning came very naturally. We are both deeply inspired by wild nature and wanted to honour that on our wedding day.
We had originally planned to elope on June 20, exactly 11 years from the night we met. However, the forecast was heavy rain so we decided to postpone our ceremony for a day. Luckily, our amazing photographers, celebrant and caterers could accommodate this. As the sky cleared after a rainy morning, we decided to grab that chance. The sun appeared in time for our ceremony and we had just enough time to exchange our vows before the most beautiful rain shower came down as we kissed as husband and wife. It was all a bit magic.
Finally, our wedding cake and picnic, prepared by our dear friends Franca and Asher from Port Cygnet Cannery Kitchen, was out of this world. Nastia found a slip dress from Melbourne designer Alpha 60 and asked one of her favourite local designers, Annie Hamilton, to create an organza piece to wear over it. The headpiece was made from local dried flowers I found on the property in Bruny Island. Damien’s corduroy blazer, made by an Italian designer, was bought online via Farfetch. Our incredible photographers and witnesses Simon and Sophia of Bayly & Moore and our wonderful celebrant Maria all felt like family after sharing these moments together, and we loved sharing a glass of sparkling wine with them in the rain under a huge gumtree after the ceremony.
Photography: Bayly & Moore | Bride’s organza dress: Annie Hamilton | Bride’s boots: Aquatalia | Groom’s blazer: Golden Goose | Groom’s shirt and trousers: Cos | Groom’s boots: Red Wing Deluxe Brand | Celebrant: Maria Bond | Location: The Shack at Sheepwash Bay | Bride’s slip dress & coat: Alpha 60 | Flora: The Bride – Nastia Gladushchenko | Engagement & wedding rings: Bobini Roots | Styling & Planning: The couple | Ribbon for flowers: Annie Hamilton | Make up: The Bride with consultation by Liv Lundelius | Bride’s fragrance: Bal D’Afrique by Byredo | Groom’s fragrance: 34 Boulevard Saint Germain by Diptyque | Groom’s bolo: Collaboration between Damien & JIKA | Bride’s headpiece: The Flowerhead (The bride’s company) | Moss blanket: Seljak | Elopement picnic & cake: Port Cygnet Catering Co