This week we get a peek at the Anti-Wedding of all weddings. John-Paul and Hazel threw a Tropical themed wedding in December, with more colour and fun than I've ever witnessed. Everything from palm tree earrings, to tropical shirts. Seriously, it made me realise just how serious weddings can become, and how liberating and beautiful it is, to tear up the rule book every now and then...
Don't get me wrong, a sense of ceremony and occasion is important, but this wedding made me realise just how much emotion can be lost in tradition and expectation.
And for all the hidden parrots and comedy tropical sunglasses, this wedding had emotion by the bucketload.
Flicking back through the images of the actual marriage, all I found were tears and giggles; a magic combination of heavy and light. Not a bad way to describe the entire day.
John-Paul and Hazel had initially wanted to get married abroad in a more traditional set up. But on realising the logistics of getting their families out there, decided to go completely the other way. They also decided to book it with only three months to plan. one of which they would spend on holiday (that's the way to do it). You'd think this was a crazy idea, but somehow, it worked. Trust me, given three years to plan a wedding, that's how long it would take. You would honestly spend three years planning it, and still feel like there wasn't enough time. But three months, and a modest budget, and nothing but a focus on F U N - and let me tell you, they absolutely pulled it off.
Every time I met another guest,
there was another fancy dress item or amazing tropical print to chat about and giggle over;
it was so energising. Guests engaged with my camera more openly, and with more energy, and people were excited to be part of something so different. Of course, the rum punch drinks helped too!
At the heart of all this fun though, were John-Paul and Hazel;
Hazel beamed in every single frame
I took, from wherever she was in the room. I've known Hazel some years, and I've never seen her so happy and smiley.
When we headed outside to do the couple photos, in the dark cloud and bitter cold, they continued to shine. Despite goosebumps and a chilly breeze, they chatted and smiled by their favourite tree.
Muted oranges settled in the grass, whilst soft bare branches bowed down around them;
her brightly coloured bouquet, and palm tree earrings, added an apt dash of eccentric, and I wouldn't have had it any other way...
There's something incredible about watching two people who are clearly into each other; and it runs deeper than eye contact and cuddly poses. You can create gorgeous settings, and perfectly composed photos, but if there's no emotion, there's no soul to the images.
And soulful imagery is what I live to capture.
To this day, I still don't really know what my trick is. I think I work with each couple differently, but the thing that always applies, is trust; if they completely trust everything I do, as both a person and a creative, then I can really tap into their chemistry.
If you flick through a wedding that I have photographed, I want you to feel like you might know the couple. And if you already know them, I want you to feel like I 'got them'. With John-Paul and Hazel, I want you to see how much fun they are, how creative and quirky they are, and just how much they love each other and their friends and family. Being amidst all this, was quite frankly, the perfect way to wrap my wedding season 2016. For that, and for all the awesome music, I must thank you both. You total legends..
Huge congrats to the newlywed, Mr and Mrs Jones!