To mark a new year, we’ve got a new blog!
Please come and visit us here.
Jess and Tim’s wonderful wedding was recently featured on Love My Dress, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to post it here; but better late than never, right?
I remember when I first received Jess and Tim’s enquiry, and the words, Whitstable, rustic lobster shack and beach immediately piqued my interest. Add to that Jess mentioned fish and chips for the main meal and the fact they were making the 7 bridesmaids dresses – I was sold. We wanted to shoot this wedding! I was SO excited when they finally booked us, and then when we met them for the pre-wedding shoot, I knew my hunch was spot on.
Even that however could not have prepared me for how wonderful this day was. Not only are they the sweetest couple (which by proxy means their friends and family are too) but their homespun details were so beautiful and personal, it was truly a dream and privilege to be part of the day.
Jess has now launched her own business designing and making bow ties, and you must check out the gorgeous materials here!
I have been reading a lot about what makes a good story recently, and how all good stories focus on a character who overcomes conflict to achieve what they want.
My mother lived a good story. A story filled with big dreams and a never-ending belief that love can conquer all.
In her younger years, having been borne into a theatrical family, my mother dreamt of being an actress, and although she didn’t end up pursuing this – the magic of theatre and movies lived within her until the end. She believed in the proverbial love story, and even after she fled China, in the lead up to the Cultural Revolution, and found herself working in a factory and living in a makeshift refugee camp in Hong Kong, she didn’t stop believing. I remember her telling me how she would sit on a grassy mound looking across at the twinkling lights of the City and let her imagination take her there. She wanted to wear the pretty dresses, and sip cocktails with handsome suitors – just like the movies.
So, through sheer determination for a better life, my mother put herself through night school and made her way to the other side of the Island. Here she met my father, fell in love, and took on her greatest role, as a wife and mother, and dedicated her life to it.
Now that I am a wife myself, and can see what it takes to be a mother by watching my friends around me, I know this was not always an easy thing to do; and her selflessness did not come without sacrifice, pain and a strength of character I can only dream to have.
The marriage had it’s own story of struggles, but it was a true love story nonetheless which lasted both their lifetimes. And, my relationship with my mother, which was fraught with a cultural divide of Chinese subtext and Western explicitness, merely clouded our common desire to be closer to each other.
Still, I read somewhere that ‘in the end it won’t matter what we felt, it will only matter what we did.’ And I think that’s true, because although I’ll never really know what my mother felt, what I do know for sure is that she loved wholly, because her every action was made with it; even when she could no longer move or speak, and despite all her suffering, she still found the one thing that she could do for us, to make us feel better – smile.
That is the woman my mother was. For her love was a verb. And that was what she wrote her story with.
So it is that and the little things we’ll always remember. How tasteful things will forever be tasty to us, how we will never watch the Sound of Music again without hearing my mother exclaim how much she loves the song Climb Every Mountain. We’ll always picture her silent disco in the kitchen or power walking along the harbour. And for me, I hope to always remember and carry with me, her unfaltering courage to dream big and to love in action.
The song is Human by The Killers – one of my mother’s favourites.
May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring,
May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you look for things to praise, often say ‘I love you’ and take no notice of small faults.
May you enter into the mystery which is the awareness of one another’s presence,
- James Dillet Froeman
37 years ago today the World became a better place.
Happy birthday to my World, and happy anniversary, Cam – I love you.
* reading from our wedding