Almost 6 years ago, my Welsh friend Lawrence came to live in New Zealand. He met a girl – Nas, and now they live across the road from us.
When Elmer was starting to talk he would say “lonsandnas” – just one shoved together word, and that seemed to sound about right. One week after Lawrence and Nas met it was like they’d been together forever. It was fascinating to witness – how two people could meet and fit so easily together. Not very long after that, they were stuffing straw bales into our house in a crazed attempt to finish our place before I had a baby. They’ve wrestled with my over eager children, totally rescued last minute birthday parties, sat and watched Peppa Pig or Thomas the Tank more than any sane adult would put up with, and helped and cajoled us in our first couple of years living in this semi wilderness. My children’s faces light up like it’s Christmas every time they come around. It’s kind of hard to even start talking about these two because I could be here forever. They are funny, and generous, and have the same quirky, confident way of looking at the world. They also just executed a very, very fine wedding and I got to photograph it.
There are of course going to be good things and not so good things about photographing a friend’s wedding. I’ll be honest. One of the not so good things might be if you bring along a 2 year old who at any point during the ceremony could shout “MUMMY!!! POOS!!!” or cling to your leg like a crazy monkey just as the couple are about to kiss. There’s the fact that you can’t get roaring drunk because, well, you’re working. Also for someone who has trained themselves to eat a wedding meal in around 25 seconds flat (the amount of time between the last person getting served food, and the next speech starting) that’s kind of a hard habit to break..
The positives? Well, where do I start?
There’s all the inside info you have on the couple that you might not normally have access to. The fact that you can help to make big wedding decisions beforehand that will make your photography so much easier.. (and better! what wedding photographer hasn’t wanted to tweak things just a little bit??). There’s capturing a moment and thinking “That is SO THEM!”. There’s knowing how people will react all day; having nicer hair than usual; being able to tell the boy carrying the wedding sign to hurry up because he’s your son…
Mostly though, it’s having the complete privilege of knowing that all of those moments that happen at a wedding between two people who love each other enormously are being captured. By you. Those parts you want to remember properly. The parts you want to show them later and say “see how he looks at you?” “Remember how you felt here?” “Look how happy you make each other”.
Of course there is that one downside, especially if you’re a cryer like me. And that’s the bit when you start ugly crying during the wedding and everyone can see you. I don’t think I was alone though. During a beautiful and emotional part of the ceremony Lawrence and Nas released a big balloon to remember Nas’s mum who was killed in a car crash a few months ago. I think I started crying BECAUSE Nas was holding it together so well, and I knew how much effort that took. And then I was zooming in on their faces during the vows and I’m afraid that was it, I lost it.
What an utterly beautiful day, planned to perfection by Nas (everything is totally hand made), and a testament to how much these two have been through, and how much they value their relationship. High fives you two. I look forward to having you over next week for a Peppa Pig marathon session. xxx