I already miss Jamaica and I’ve only been back for just a little over 24hours! I had the absolute pleasure to travel to Jamaica with Christina, Mark and their 40 guests for their destination wedding this past week and we had such a wonderful time. I met Christina back at the Wedding Palace bridal show where we then met up for coffee with Mark and sparks happened. I loved their charisma and the very evident love they had for one another. Fast forward a few months. During one of my soccer games I was discussing with the team some of my upcoming weddings including the Jamaica one in 2016, lo and behold one of our subs that day was Christina! I was actually pretty excited to have her play with us, which she did a few more times throughout the season. The engagement session never happened because Christina broker her thumb and didn’t really want the cast (I think it was a cast) in the photos which I can totally understand. Time passed and before we knew it we were waking up at 2am to head to the airport for this amazing couples wedding.
The airport was an emotional event and a half for me due to miss communication and human error with my carry-on. Let’s just say carrying camera equipment can at times be a pain in the butt. But everything was resolved and on the plane we went to our sunny destination. The Riu Ocho Rios was our resort for the week and it was wonderful for the simple fact that it was purple, how could I not love a purple resort! As always the people in Jamaica were wonderful and kind, the food was excellent and the entertainment was great! We spent the early portion of the week just relaxing by the beach and by the pool and taking some time for ourselves before the big day.
Wednesday came and what a beautiful day it was! It had rained all night so I was a little worried but everything turned out great and we had a sunny and warm afternoon. The boys were late getting ready as always while the girls got primped and pampered at the salon with some beautiful hair and makeup. I actually lived a first this time around, I was the one to help the bride into her dress! We waited for her mum but then we figured we would just do a reveal to her as well as her father and since I’ve laced up a few corsets we figured why not. Katie, the maid of honour helped me by lacing most of it while I tightened and finished her up. Christina looked absolutely stunning. We also had a good laugh as her Garter and Cups were star wars themed, only Christina :). Mum came in and had a good cry as she saw her baby girl in her white gown and her dad was all smiles with his little Chewbacca teddy in his pocket. Off to the beach we went to finally marry these two. Mark had his sunglasses on, I’m assuming to hide his tears,nothing to do with the sun here, let’s be honest. Off they went right before his lovely bride came down the aisle. His hands were moving and fixing his cuffs non stop out of anticipation and the smile on his face was probably the biggest mega watt smile I’ve ever seen and it was just so cute to watch. As he reached for his bride he gave her an unexpected smooch out of excitement. Mark, You’re suppose to wait till the end of the ceremony for the kiss my friend! Christina’s brother, Mark, read a passing from the show Babylon 5 and it read:
The universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice.
It speaks in the language of hope
It speaks in the language of trust
It speaks in the language of strength and the language of compassion
It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul.
But always it is the same voice
It is the voice of our ancestors, speaking through us,
And the voice of our inheritors, waiting to be born
It is the small, still voice that says
We are one
No matter the blood
No matter the skin
We are one
No matter the pain
No matter the loss
We are one
Here, gathered together in common cause, we agree to recognize this
singular truth and this singular rule:
That we must be kind to one another
Because each voice enriches us and ennobles us and each voice lost
We are the voice of the Universe, the soul of creation, the fire
that will light the way to a better future.
We are one.
Christina’s mum was pretty much in tears at this point. The bride and groom exchanged their own personal vows which were also to die for, in a hilarious way. They had the crowd laughing the entire time. The bride and groom exchanged rings and it was done, Mark time to finally kiss your bride! It happened so fast I’m glad my camera was already up to my eye, luckily I caught some more smooches throughout the day on top of this ever important moment. They walked down to flower petals being thrown and Christina’s smile was as big as Mark’s was as he looked at his now wife. Some quick family photos and off we were to take some photos in the courtyard. The beach was full so we decided the green space and greenery were a great option for these two. I made the wedding party work, they jumped about a billion times and went for a few sprints, well wroth it guys, you did great! A beautiful intimate session with the bride and groom, and a few friends like a heron and turtles and off we were to the reception.
We had a private restaurant for just the wedding group and it was beautiful decorated by Christina’s family and DIY things she made herself like all the adorable name cards. The kissing game was a new one for me. Instead of clinging glasses, or rolling a dice or singing a song, people would have to volunteer to preform a dare which the bride then chose for them. If they performed it successfully, they would kiss. Needless to say, with this group there was always a kiss. Speeches were told, tears and laughter all around with some great food and soon enough it was time for the first dance. They waltzed to a beautiful song, Fire in the Flood my Vance Joy. I couldn’t help but watch them dance so beautifully while singing to the beautiful lyrics. A beautiful Father daughter and son and mother dance and the party got started. Christina’s family is honestly full of amazing dancing fools. I had such a great time dancing with them and even just watching them from the sidelines. Brandon, a friend of theirs was the lucky guy to catch the garter. When the bouquet toss came around, which I actually was forced to participate in for once by the family (who knew being single at a wedding was actually this much fun) we got a little bit of a surprise (not really, it was totally planned this way) Katie, the MOH and Brandon’s girlfriend caught the bouquet! Brandon, you know what that means *wink, wink*. The party was hopping until late into the wet and rainy night and I finished the evening off with a sneaky moment with bride and groom under the rain.
Other than being sick myself, the day was a total success. And I am so grateful to have been a part of it. Thank you Christina & Mark for choosing me to capture these memories and thank you to your family for being so welcoming. xox