Two nights ago, after a late wedding enquiry, I arrived home just on bedtime for my 3 little boys. One of my 6 year old, Evan, had a book under his arm and pleaded for me to read it to him. If only I’d realised I was being set up. I confess that I am not the best of readers, but a children’s book is usually within my grasp… until this book. Like all good children’s books this one had a solid, repeatable theme. Except this “theme” hit me hard and I had to stop reading at about page 5. I found myself getting all choked up over a kids book. Evan put his little arm on my shoulder & said “Oh Daddy, it’s okay”. So I took a deep breath & tried again. But a few more pages & I was a hopeless mess so instead I gave up reading, hugged my boy & whispered in his ear the title of this book “Love You Forever”. “It’s okay Daddy. I love you too”.
Back in our living room I said to Penny “That book Evan picked, I couldn’t finish it”. Matter-of-factly she replied with, “Don’t worry. No one can.”. Seems she has also struggled to reach the end of this one, and went on to tell me that she had seen this book read by an MC to a room full of 300 mums. The MC couldn’t finish it & every woman in the room was crying. Perhaps I had been set up by my 6 year old? And, I suspect, my wife (although Penny denies any involvement). On a night when I work late my six year old chooses a book that reminds me what is really important in life. Hmmm?
What a remarkable book. A book that no parent can finish. “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Anthony Lewis. If you have kids, read it. Hey, if you don’t have kids, read it. I challenge you not to cry.
So what has this book got to do with Vanessa and Robert’s wedding? Well everything. This is a book about love, family, parents, children, human companionship, human sharing and the cycle of life. Marriage is part of that and a wedding is like the convergence of all these things on one memorable day. It is what I saw at Vanessa & Robert’s wedding. In Robert’s speech, he spoke about how so many events had coincided so that he and Vanessa would meet at just the most perfect time in their lives to meet – fate. He also spoke about all the people dear to them, especially his father. “I am proud to be your son”. My heart swelled when I heard this because earlier in the day, through my lens, I could see the impact Robert’s Dad had on him & the bond they shared. It was there, in the pictures in front of me and it was just so good to hear him say it. ‘Cause sometimes we forget, you know, to say it.
There is so much richness in life. People see and express it in different ways. For some it is in the clothes they wear, or the car they drive or the house they live in. But true richness, I believe, is measured in the love you share and with who you hold dear to your heart. Surrounded by family & true friends, a handful of people and things dear to them, Vanessa and Robert’s wedding was filled with this kind of richness. Looking at their photos today it reminded me how that short children’s book could so simply point out what life (and weddings) is really all about. I suppose that is why I couldn’t finish it – because the words were so simple and so powerful that all I could do was admire them and reflect on what they meant to me. That is also what I hope for my photographs – that they are powerful reminders of what is great and important in life and that they have long lasting personal meaning to the people in them.
Thank you Evan and Vanessa and Robert for pulling back the blinkers I wear in peak wedding season and reminding me again why I want to do this job so well. Vanessa and Robert, I look forward to the day that you read this book to your beautiful little boy, and then I get a call…”Marcus, I couldn’t finish it.”
And I know that when you all look at these photos so many of you will want to know….Vanessa’s dress was by Darb, her shoes & bag by Jimmy Choo. Those beautiful flowers by Mondo Floral Design. Aurelie from our studio second shot and captured some remarkable images, like the hand and the chopper. Trudy from Lovebird Weddings did an amazing job helping Vanessa and Robert plan the biggest (and I would say the most beautiful) wedding that Spicers Peak Lodge has ever done. This venue is truly stunning and is one of Vanessa and Robert’s favourite places to escape. Imagine escaping for a day with all the special people in your life, eating great food, dancing, laughing, and actually telling people that they are special to you? How good would that feel? Just ask Vanessa & Robert.