I liked Liz and Chris the moment I met them ... I was in a bit of a life-funk at the time of our first meeting and didn't want to go and meet strangers about celebrating happiness ... but their blunt cheekiness and delightful humour turned me around that evening and I left their company occupying a very different emotional space. I didn't think through that this would probably mean I was also in for a fantastic time at their wedding ... but boy was I. A few of my favourite things:
The banter: this was unleashed the moment I arrived at Liz's parents' 'mad house' and made me feel right at home. It encouraged me to give banter back which meant I engaged with the day from a much greater sense of confidence in playfulness and impish delight. This manifested in a number of ways including .... unleashing my inner "Gok Wan" who bloody loves women and hates letting them linger in insecurity they don't deserve. It meant I found myself demonstrably telling a number of women that they were bloody gorgeous or sumptuous or profoundly loved: not my (or this cultures) usual way of addressing strangers but I have to say ... I did rather like it!
The wholehearted banter levels also led to another first during the rather excellent speeches. Usually in speeches I am focussed on watching the room for reactions. I don't normally have to watch for my own ... but I giggled along to everything that delighted me. And then ... then ... then I got caught totally off guard by a particular piece of genius best man innuendo that got lost on the room but set me off giggling loudly ... alone ... to a silent room ... which only made me giggle more and led to a total body melt down where I was corpsed on the floor laughing my head off sat at the foot of the top table. Chris, in full cheeky eye line of me then announced to the room 'we've lost the photographer, the photographer is down' which only made me lose it more as the room joined in with laughing at me. Totally unprofessional but bloody marvellous.
I loved watching this group of people manifest family and love ... whether this was family members heckling the speeches with 'Oh yes, family is important', or the repeated fond re-telling of the legend of 'Gary'ness ( the grooms dad) and his particular ways, or the deep emotion of the speeches reflecting a family that has been through a LOT, or a photo call for 'urban family' reflecting a commitment to non blood familial ties that keep us held in this life in the day to day, or a heartfelt reading by the brides sister of the poem 'Love' by Roy Croft that had me (and plenty of others) weeping in the church (and I do not cry at weddings!), .
It was an extraordinarily emotional day and I loved every moment of it. Thanks guys. I hope I've done you proud.
All images ©KateCooperPhotography2013