Trina and Drew. Where do I even begin with these two. Trina & Drew came over from Australia to be married in front of their nearest and dearest in Mangawhai, it was an insanely heartfelt, beautiful and intimate day. Every wedding I ever photograph holds so many special moments and so many memories but this one has something that many don't and one I will never forget. Trina has stage 4 cancer.
When you hear that word you always want to hug your family a little closer and take note of the small things that you're normally too busy to notice just that little bit more. With so many emotions running wild on this day, the most prominent I saw as an outsider as such was the love and happiness. When life sends someone the most painful of curve balls and they handle it all with such grace and beauty. I want to say I would be as strong as this woman but I'm not sure that I could be.
This wedding featured little Jai & Luella. Two of the cutest most loved little kids I have ever seen. It is so clear to see from the view inside my camera how much love not just Trina & Drew have for these two little humans but also the friends and family that attended this day to support them.
Trina & Drew did things a little different. They did a first look with Trina surprising Drew with a new tattoo on her upper back and then a private reading of their vows before the ceremony along with their wedding party photographs. I also took their little family photographs before the ceremony as well as little feet tend to get a bit tired and hot during these long Summer days with so much going on. Their ceremony was simply beautiful. After the ceremony they did something I've never seen before (which doesn't happen that often now), they stood in the middle of all their guests in a big circle around them and introduced everyone. The idea of going to a wedding in my mind is to celebrate everything you have accomplished together and everything you are going to achieve together with the people who you love, you're hosting an event for your family and friends to celebrate this with you, to have a good time with you and this was such a kind and inclusive way to ensure that everyone felt welcome and brought together.
After a bit of mingling, hugs and handshakes and those all important stare at the camera group photographs we headed over with Rob & Wincy from Pause Films & Photo and did a photoshoot with just Trina & Drew. This is always such a nice thing to do when the light is softer and it's not so hot with just the couple and the worries of the day not quite going to plan are usually gone by now because the big things (your ceremony) is over and done with and you've had some time to chat to your family and friends. And then it's time for the rest of the evening to start! The reception started with the cake being cut and smooshed a bit on some faces and a later than normal ring exchange in front of their guests with the help of little Jai. The gorgeous space was created in the lead up to the wedding day by some very busy and awesome helping hands and you could just tell how much love was poured into this room. My day finished up with a very brave little Jai making everyone laugh and cry doing his own speech, which if you know me, speeches make me cry every time, especially when it's a little person so I can tell you there was all kinds of happy tears during this.
If I could wish anything for anyone it would be that they never experience the love, strength, pain or loss associated with cancer but to live life like they have, because being touched by this experience personally truly makes you appreciate those little moments all the more. It makes you prioritise what is really important to you. It makes all the photographs and videos and memories all the more valuable. It makes living your life matter more.
To Jai & Luella. In my short time of meeting your parents I can tell you this. Your parents are amazing. They are strong. You are so loved and so cared for and you are both going to just as amazing as big humans as you are as little humans.
Vendors: Grace Loves Lace
Pause Films & Photo