I don't think there can possibly be a prouder moment in a girl's life than to watch her little sister float down the aisle in acres of white lace to marry the best guy in the world. Except for if she gets to shoot it too. Then it's perfect.
Jenny and Michael got engaged in summer 2013 (the story and shots of which can be found here) in the UK on a visit from Melbourne, where Jen has made her home for the last decade. Very sensibly they opted to have an almost-Christmas wedding in 2014, which in Oz doesn't mean themes of red, green and white, fur stoles and decorative welly boots - it means sunshine, summer dresses and more fizz than you can shake a soggy stick at.
There was no way I could watch anyone else shoot the big day - when you get hitched the only person you see more than your wedding photographer is the person you're actually marrying. What I didn't bargain for is the amount that I'd cry.
The day, after a week of horror thunderstorms, low temps and mild to severe panic attacks, dawned bright and clear and the temperature began to rise. The champagne flowed, the lovely hair and makeup girls worked wonders and the bride and her best mates were soon giggling away. Over the road Michael and his homies swilled beer and doubled checked they had the required footwear / readings / rings. And rehearsed shampoo commercials. Don't ask.
One vintage busride (bridal party) and old steam train ride (everyone else) later, everyone converged at Queenscliffe for the ceremony. Horribly bright light. Beautiful vows. Seriously, I sobbed so hard I could barely hold the camera still. Goodness knows what will become of the video as I was standing next to the cam and all that's going to be audible is the photographer blowing her nose. Classy.
A walk along the beach for shots and another train ride (a-mazing, people. This is deffo the way to travel) the whole party stopped at Suma Park vineyard and ... well... partied. Properly! It was a real DIY affair. Jenny had been working to make decorations and details for months, my darling mama and my new-kindof-mama-in-law Wendy sewed hundreds of metres of white bunting, Michael's sister Kate did the flowers, his muso papa set up the sound (respect!), my papa gave a speech that made everyone's mascara run and I... well, I ordered everyone around and drank a lot of fizz. Situation normal then. I reckon one of the best bits was when the B&G gave up their sappy Wet Wet Wet first dance half way through, grabbed the mic (Jen) and guitar (Michael) and gave it some serious funk with a cover of Eddie Bo and Inez Cheetham's 'A Lover and a Friend', before handing it over to the evening's band, the ridiculously talented Deep Street Soul.
I tell you the truth... I have never ever seen my sister look so beautiful. I have never seen her look so happy. I've never been to a wedding I've loved so much. I've never been so exhausted and hungover the next day (it's true, I showered in sunglasses). And I'm so happy to have a new brother in law - and a new extra family!
I normally choose somewhere about 80 photos to tell the story of a wedding. You're going to have to indulge me on this one occasion - there are a few more than that... so many that my site host has made me split the blog! Folks, this was one of the best days of my whole life... am so happy to share these shots!
... and when you're done, head to http://www.mariposaphoto.co.uk/blog/2015/2/McVassie_wedding2 for the 2nd instalment!