Becki and Jay’s wedding was incredibly special to me. By the time I shot their wedding I’d known them for more than two years after meeting them at Sally & Benji’s awesome tipi wedding which you can check out on Rock n’ Roll Bride here. Becki was a bridesmaid & on the day we all got on so well, they made me feel like part of the gang and I had a good old natter with Becki and her whole family throughout the day between grabbing shots and grabbing dinner.
So naturally I was over the moon when Becki got in touch asking if I would shoot her wedding. Time passed without a date being set but we stayed in touch and met up for a coffee now and then, and so when Becki told me her Mum had been given a terminal cancer diagnosis I was deeply, deeply saddened. Having lost my own Mum to cancer of course I could empathise with just what Becki was going through and I was absolutely speechless when Becki and Jay decided to set their date around my availability and sooner rather than later due to the circumstances. It was all sadly familiar to me, as my own wedding was just six weeks after our engagement to ensure my Mum could be with us on the day, and she was taken into the hospice for the final time just a few weeks after our wedding.
With both the bond we’d developed over time and also the horribly familiar circumstances I knew it would be an emotional day. So of course I was heart broken when Becki called on the week of the wedding and explained her Mum would too poorly to attend. Losing my mum gave me a totally new understanding of the importance of photography. Now she’s not here the photos of us together are even more precious, especially the ones from my wedding and this really inspires me at every single wedding I shoot; but this situation gave me a whole new purpose: I knew I had to capture the day perfectly so Becki’s Mum could see the photos and share in it in some way.
As you can imagine it was an incredibly special and moving day for everyone. There are loads and loads of shitty things about cancer, but there are some good things. Firstly it shows everyone around it that life is short, that you have to embrace the good times and any scrap of happiness and you live life to the full; and secondly it forces you to be the strongest version of yourself. Cancer will show you strength you didn’t know you had. On her wedding day Becki was a pillar of strength, one of the strongest people I’ve ever seen. She and her lovely Dad and sister got through the day and had an absolutely amazing time. Of course there were tears but there was also laughter and joy, and above all love. And it truly touched everyone who was there. And the party was banging.
Becki’s Mum died just a few short weeks after the wedding, but was able to see some of the photos which meant everything to me. I could say so many other things about this wedding, I could write a normal blog write up for this awesome wedding about how much I love the venue- The Horniman Museum Orangery in London, and about the awesome little unicorn and dinosaur favours, or the fact Jay’s wedding ring was in a little film canister as he shoots film, but I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
This post is in memory of our Mums. It would have been my Mama’s 62nd birthday today. And it’s dedicated to all of you who have dealt with cancer and grief and loss at your weddings and all of you whose parents couldn’t or can’t be with you on your wedding day.
And finally it comes with all the love in the world to Becki, Jay and their incredible families. There will never be another wedding quite like yours you guys, and I don’t think I can ever tell you how much it meant to capture it for you.