Lewa Pertl of The Love Lab shares with us her love of the Tasmanian landscape, and why a tiny wedding or elopement in Tassie will fill your craving for Vitamin Nature.
Hi Lewa, great to have you with us. Your wedding films seem to feature Tasmanian landscapes a lot. Tell us more about that and how that shaped your story telling.
First, I would like to acknowledge and pay my respect to the Tasmanian Aboriginal people as the traditional and original owners, and continuing custodians of this land and acknowledge Elders – past, present and emerging.
My family migrated from Germany to Australia when I was two years old. My dad is half-British, half-German; mum is Iranian who fled the Iranian 1970s revolution. They both spent their adolescence in Germany and faced prejudice, which compelled them to seek a better life somewhere else. We ended up in Melbourne and dad was pretty disappointed when they landed (laughs). He once told me – in his thick German accent – that it was “too industrial” (back in the 80’s!) and ended up falling in love with Tasmania’s natural beauty, where I grew up on the enchanting shores of Bass Strait. My parents were sociable and exposed me to people from many cultures (indigenous, local and abroad). Constantly people would drop in-and-out of our house and tell their life stories. I learned where people came from, what inspired them, and what they wanted to give back to the space around them. I also got to explore mysterious and wonderful places in Tasmania throughout my life – caves, forests, mountains, waterfalls, beaches – all of this inspired my wonder for nature. My childhood shaped the way I value people and place and inspired me to film my couples against the dramatic backdrop of Tasmania’s wilderness.
What are your favourite types of weddings?
I love “micro-weddings”, but I call them “tiny weddings” because it sounds cute – like a tiny house! A tiny wedding is a low-key and relaxed wedding with your closest and dearest in an epic place (anywhere from 5 to 15 people). They’re also much more eco-friendly than your traditional wedding – bonus! Tiny weddings aren’t “elopements.” This word can be confusing, because the strict definition of elopements of it means running away and getting married without anyone knowing.
Couples have adapted due to COVID, and I’ve been seeing a bigger trend in tiny weddings – where people are getting married somewhere beautiful with their closest and are waiting out for a party later where they showcase their film. Films are a great way to connect to your guests, because although they couldn’t be there on the day, they can experience it through the film.
What are some of your standout tiny weddings?
I filmed one on the East Coast of Tasmania for Nikita and Mitch a few years back. They flew down from Brisbane and got hitched their way. There was a Haka (Nikita is Maori), black wedding dress, fishing in the morning and dinner catered with fresh Tassie produce. It was absolutely epic! A few months later, Nikita and Mitch held a huge party later in Brisvegas and screened the wedding film there.
Another one was Christy and Nick. They had a tiny wedding on the shores of Lake Augusta at Thousand Lakes Lodge (smack bang in the middle of Tasmania). It was also mind-blowingly stunning! I feel so lucky to live in such a beautiful country.
Interestingly you have a science background AND you’re super creative! Are you secretly a genius?? How do these two things work together?
Ha ha, definitely not a genius! I’m just curious. I believe that science and art are two sides of the same coin. Both disciplines start with a question or hypothesis, research, experiment, and conclusion. They also require storytelling to get the information across in the most palatable way.
If you are a creative, you are probably using the scientific process in your artistry; and if you are scientific, you are probably using story-telling to make sense of data.
What is it that you love about creating wedding films?
Connecting with people, the technical challenges and pushing creative boundaries. I want each one of my films to truly represent the couples; what they value and stand for. I also want everyone to feel completely relaxed and at ease so they can focus on celebrating, joy and love. It’s very much about the experience and the feeling as much as it is about the process.
Your films are hugely emotive. Tell us more about how you achieve this?
Such a good question! I guess the best way to describe it is tapping into human connection and intentionality. I want to reflect people’s value, nobility and create something that speaks to their dignity.
What’s been your most heartfelt wedding experience?
There’s too many! Each wedding shows me something amazing. Seeing the groom’s reaction to the bride in either a reveal or her coming down the aisle always gets me. I always feel so honoured to be a fly on the wall when capturing that.
What has been the nicest feedback you’ve received for your work?
Actually, Christy and Nick filmed their reaction to their first time viewing their wedding film. Their faces said it all!
What would be your most recommended places to wed in Tasmania?
Where do I start? We are so spoilt for choice, but my favourites so far have been:
- Central plateau: Lake St Clair, Cradle Mountain (for moody and otherworldly looks – lakes, mountains and grasslands)
- East coast of Tasmania: Freycinet, Little Swanport, Maria Island (mountains, cliffs and white beaches)
- South-East: Eaglehawk Neck, Bruny Island (cliffs, yellow sand beaches and bush)
- Hobart area: kunyani/Mt. Wellington (Cliffs, bush and epic views)
What advice would you give to couples so they can enjoy their wedding day to the full?
Do it your way – whether it’s a big or small wedding, running away and eloping, your dress is white, black or multi-coloured; just be you. To quote the great Persian Poet, Rumi;
“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth. . .”
Thank-you so much for sharing your passion and story Lewa! You can get in touch with Lewa HERE.