Ok – hear me out if you have the patience – self-indulgent soppy d&m coming up…
So there was this wedding on the weekend… It was a pretty darn spectacular day, as weddings usually are.
This one though was particularly special for me – as I was not only the official photographer but guest as well. This is always a blast – I’ve had the pleasure of photographing my family and friends weddings several times now – and I think I have the balance of my two roles down pat!
I truly love being both guest and photographer. I get to party-party, AND am privy to all the moments that happen behind the scenes that make the day what it is… The anticipation, the excitement, the nerves, and even the stress. It’s a selfish thing – I get a kick out of contributing. I enjoy helping things be the best they can be. It gives me a feeling like I am making a difference for someone I care about. Plus seeing everything come together before most others is a bit of a thrill! (Nyer nyer!!) I get to spend more time with the couple than most people do, so I count myself lucky.
On top of all that rad stuff – this wedding on the weekend was a little bit more amazing for a few more reasons. My brother in law Christopher married the love of his life, Angela. I love these two like blood. They’re not just my family as a result of me marrying Chris’s brother – they are my dear friends. We’ve been through a lot together. A heck of a lot of fun stuff, and some horrid miserable times too – including grieving the loss of Michael – Chris’s brother. My husband.
Chris and Angela always have my back. They help me move house each and every time I need them. They go to music gigs with me (Michael was my gig buddy previously). They are two of the most thoughtful gift givers I know! I would do anything to ensure they’re happy in return.
When Chris and Angela acknowledged my major hints that I wanted to be their photographer, and agreed(!), they then followed up with a request of their own. They wanted to include Michael in part of their celebrations and asked for my help in doing so.
As such, I had the honour of being asked to step up on the day and read a poem by Dr. Suess, during their wedding ceremony. It was one that Michael and I chose to have at our own wedding. The very same poem that we asked Chris himself to read for us on our special day.
When Chris and Angela first asked me, I couldn’t speak – I was fairly overwhelmed with the significance of it all. It’s like my throat closed, I couldn’t swallow, and I couldn’t blink. I took my time to process it, and of course said yes. It simultaneously made me sad, as Michael couldn’t be there in person to do it himself – and thrilled that I could help include him this way.
I practiced reading the poem out loud countless times (it’s a long and wordy poem!) – and finally felt like I’d nail it on the day. I’ve previously been able to put on my game face and get done whatever is needed, even if I feel less than whole or ready.
This time, I crumbled a bit. I actually froze, and once again couldn’t swallow, couldn’t blink. I could barely see the page I was reading off, because of my leaky eyeballs. The undoing of me was seeing that the usually very stoic Chris had welled up, and beside him, Angela was crying her little eyes out. Agh! What an emotional day! So much love between the families and friends coming together to celebrate Chris and Angela’s relationship. In the end, I had to laugh at myself and that broke the ice. I got through it, and am so happy to have done it.
Michael would have been overjoyed for his youngest brother, and incredibly proud of where he is in life. A great career, a lovely home, so many wonderful adventures – all with a beautiful wife by his side.
So – I share this picture to show you a moment I am proud of – for me, for Michael, for Chris and his wonderful wife Angela. It is a moment for me where I felt very vulnerable, but very loved and so incredibly lucky to have been included in such a significant way for two people I love dearly.
Taking part in the wedding celebrations for Chris and Angela reinforced for me why I do what I do. I love authentic moments like the one I was part of. I want to help everyone reflect on how amazing their friends and family are – just like I am able to now with this photo here. I know not every wedding will have this emotional element – but the happy vibes have just as much impact for me! I will forever remember this moment, and each time I see this photo, I will be taken straight back to the feelings we were experiencing at that time.
My very good friend Michelle Lucking (Lucking Photography) was my trusty second shooter for the day, and she took this image for us all. She is the person I entrusted to be by my side so that I could partake as a guest as well as document the day. Michelle – I truly adore you and am so thankful for all the support you provided. You’re so talented, and I know Chris and Angela appreciate you helping so I could be present for them as their guest as well.
Chris and Angela – I bloody love your guts. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your day in so many ways, and bringing a bit more of Michael to the party too. I am one lucky girl to have you both (and your families) in my life.
More big awkward hugs to you!