I was so excited when Melanie reached out to tell me about her gorgeous little girl’s upcoming first birthday, Soraya. I had photographed Mel and Joe’s engagement party a few years ago and I was so delighted to hear from them again. At the time, they lived in the UK and had come to celebrate with family and friends at Joe’s family home in Warrandyte South.
It was such a pleasure to be returning back to this beautiful location, where Soraya’s birthday party was being held. Mel had done a fabulous job preparing for this. We spoke on the phone the night before; she was still placing all the final balloons on the feature wall of the buffet. She was giggling with Soraya, who was strapped into her carrier. Throughout the time leading up to the big day, Mel was so pleasant and a joy to communicate with.
When I drove into the long and stunning driveway, I could see the final details that had been organised for the day. The marquees, balloons and picnic rugs all looked fabulous and I knew it was going to be a fun day for everyone. Family members were buzzing around doing final touches. Upon our reunion, we were so excited to see each other again. It was lovely seeing everyone’s familiar faces as we quickly caught up on what had clearly been a busy few years!
The spread of treats that had been set up for this event was amazing: donuts, cake pops, shortbreads, cupcakes and a divine cake were set atop a buffet table for the occasion. Melanie’s mum, Carol, had been busy baking the treats, which she should be very proud of. Everything was a popping pink colour to stay in line with their fabulous Flamingo Pool Party theme. Carol even made little flamingo-shaped biscuits.
There was a massive floating flamingo bopping around in the pool. Although this did make the pool look inviting, the sun was hidden behind the clouds most of the day. Melbourne gave us its typical four seasons in one day; when the sun came out it was hot, but there was also a tiny bit of rain. In spite of this, the day went off without a hitch!
The party was in a gorgeous garden where two marquees had been set up. One was for the buffet tables, while the other was set up as an area for guests to sit in. Northern Star Catering served a buffet lunch and guests filed up to get a meal. Everyone then brought their plates to the picnic rugs around the garden. As this was happening, I marvelled at the amazing decorations. Flamingo balloons, as well as a large number ‘1’, were floating amongst the marquee. Tassels and bunting also adorned the area.
Plenty of adorable kids made this a celebration that was so much fun to photograph. There was a ball pit set up for them to play in. I love snapping away with my camera as kids play without a care in the world. They watched each other play and were amazed by the brightly coloured balls.
It was then time to cut the magnificent cake by La Manna. All of the guests huddled around and sang the Happy Birthday Song in unison to little Soraya. The beautiful little family then cut the cake, which looked delicious. This wrapped up with Joe saying a few lovely words thanking everyone for coming to celebrate this happy occasion with them.
I also had the opportunity to sneak away with Mel, Joe and Soraya for a portrait session. We took some beautiful shots of the three of them. They are such a lovely little family and Soraya looked so happy in their arms! I also photographed Soraya by herself as she sat happily on the grass. She looked so cute in her pink flamingo outfit by Cocktail Kids. This was followed by some adorable shots of her sitting in her ‘royal’ highchair with a little gold crown on her head.
I’m sure these photographs will be cherished forever, as it was such a great celebration. Thank you to Joe and Mel for welcoming me back as your photographer on this wonderful day! Soraya is so beautiful and you were all a joy to be around! Wishing you three all the best!