I started off the day by driving to Vimbayi’s house where the surprise birthday garden party was being held. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, they couldn’t have chosen a better day if they tried. On arrival it was all go at the house, everyone was chipping in to make sure everything was just right. As I stepped out into the garden there was an amazing balloon and lights display, which was ace for photographs. Further down the garden they put together a beautiful marquee, which created a lovely dining area for all to sit.
As the day went on guests started to arrive, families from all over the country came together to celebrate Petrusa’s birthday. When the word got around that Petrusa was less than 5 minutes away, everyone got into position for the big arrival! As soon as Petrusa walked through the living room door she was swarmed by all of the children, all wanting a hug from the birthday girl. Petrusa then ventured outside, only to be welcomed by even more family members.
After everyone had arrived and had a bit of a chat with each other, everyone was seated underneath the marquee. The family did two things before eating. They had an opening prayer and then everyone at the table introduced themselves and explained how they knew Petrusa. During these periods I felt quite emotional, but in a happy way. It was lovely to see some form of normality, after the crazy life that we have all lived over the past year or so. Just one big family all getting together to celebrate a very important person’s birthday. Shortly after everyone tucked into their delicious meal, what a fantastic selection of food they had!
Once everyone had finished eating, we captured quite a few group photos. It was easy to see how much Petrusa means to everyone at the party, as everyone wanted a photograph with her! Once all of the group shots were taken care of, it was time for the CAKE!!! The cake looked amazing, it was both green and white with a macaroon theme. They lit the gigantic sparkler on top of the cake and carried it down to Petrusa, where everyone came together to sing a very special Happy Birthday. There were also about 8 children all behind the microphone singing at the top of their lungs. The cake was then shared with the whole party and I saw lots of empty plates, which is always a good sign.
Shorty after it was time for me to leave, but I can easily say I loved every minute of photographing the party. They were such a lovely family, as soon as I entered the house I was welcomed in. The good vibes and smiling faces were infectious, you could feel the happiness and joy from everyone at the party. Overall it was a brilliant celebration and I am honoured to have been a part of it.
James Bentley Photography 🙂