September 12, 2020
Amanda and Gavin’s story has truly inspired me and really made me reflect on what it means to be flexible and adapt…….everything has so fundamentally changed this year for so many engaged couples like Amanda and Gavin when planning their weddings and they have each had to make often difficult choices.
And this made me think about New Year’s resolutions (more on the connection to Amanda and Gavin below!). Each year on New Year’s Eve, instead of coming up with New Year’s resolutions (that I know I will never meet), I choose a word to guide me through the year, as a way of reminding myself of what’s important to me, what my goals are, where I’m headed. This year I chose the word ‘grace’. It has worked very well so far, especially during these uncertain times. I have been able to apply it to so many situations and it keeps me on the right track. I think I could add a second word in 2020 to reflect what a strange year this pandemic year has turned out to be. The word I would add is ‘resilience’.
Resilience truly describes the couples I have met this year. In the face of multiple disappointments, they have pivoted, changed their plans, taken a step back, and focused on what is important to them. Instead of being able to have what would be their dream wedding, couples have needed to change and adapt, and be resilient.
Amanda and Gavin are no exception. Ironically, they wanted to be married on New Year’s Eve (maybe that’s what got me thinking of New Years’ celebrations…..), in Jamaica at a destination wedding of their dreams. I so admire the way they embraced wholeheartedly a change of plans to create instead their beautiful, outdoor, intimate backyard wedding. Reflecting their sense of humour and fun, their wedding date of September 12th was actually supposed to be the date of their Jamaican-themed engagement party at Amanda’s parents’ house. At the last minute they decided to turn the party into a surprise wedding. What’s more, the wedding was pulled together in one week! Amazing!
In addition, they included another fun gag when they pretended to have forgotten a most important detail – the officiant, only to have a friend jump up out of the family members in attendance, put on an officiant robe, and offer to officiate. Very soon after, the official officiant arrived to marry them. Many laughs were had at the fun of it all!
The entire wedding was a family affair, with close family and friends making up the stunning bridal party and the guests in attendance. The florals were gorgeous as was the bride in her dress with layers of lace complete with train and all topped off with a gorgeous lace-trimmed veil. So fun for those flying veil shots! Together, Amanda and Gavin made a very chic, stylish couple!
And their breathtaking ‘back field’/meadow was this photographer’s dream, filled with yellow golden-rod. A small patch was cleared by Amanda’s dad to make room for the couple portraits and some of the family formals and we were rewarded with a beautiful sunset behind the trees.
So to Amanda and Gavin, and to their families who had to scrap their plans, pivot, embrace new ones, and plan all over again, I say congratulations, ‘way to go’ and I am inspired by your resilience. You are already off to a great start in your marriage, as you show the world your resilience, your flexibility, and your ability to adapt when circumstances change. Amanda and Gavin – it was my pleasure to meet you, and celebrate with you and your families, and I wish you all the best in this next chapter together!