I’ve never really told anyone about how being involved in someones wedding has reduced me to tears of utter dispair. Only this one occasion. It was all down to photographer, James Melia, really. No, i’m not blaming him at all. James among others has become a great friend. He always begins his phone calls to me with. “Hello, trouble!” No, I have no idea why, but it always makes me smile.
James contacted me last year, around early September to be exact, with. “I’m photographer for a couples wedding next year. Never met them, but I’m not taking a fee. There are circumstances you see. Can you be involved?” I raised an eyebrow and asked. “What’s up?” So there begins a journey.
Victoria has a rare and terminal cancer. She’s only twenty eight.
Designing and making Victorias gown was easy to begin with. It wasn’t until I met both her and Darren at the studio did it instantly become the most diffult gown I’ve ever had to work on. The difficulty wasn’t in the skill of making the gown, working with the fabric, or even finishing it with only one fitting in between, but the circumstances behind it.
I remained professional at every instance I could. I did have to nip to the back for a moment to take in deep breaths and hold back the tears. Victoria was so calm. Darren had been sent to a local cafe while the fitting took place. Victoria was to text him when it was all over.
Darren returned to a very happy V. However, I looked at this man who was about to marry this very beautiful woman, a women he was caring for and supporting and I wondered, when the time came, will he be surrounded by people who will care and support him. I know he has a massive support network, so am sure he will be well cared for too. He later text me. “Thank you. Seeing V with the biggest of smiles was the best.” I could safely conclude she was happy with her wedding dress. For a while I was content.
I often listen to music while I work. The Tuesday after Victorias fitting, I had her gown draped over the ironing board. In the back ground Sand and Water sung by Beth Nielsen played. You can listen to it here .I had to move away from Victorias gown and call my lovely friend Jane Hardman Ferris. Jane was to lend Victoria a headpiece as a choice to flowers. Victoria couldn’t decide when we tried the piece at her fitting, so we felt having the option was the way to go. It wasn’t so much of a phone call where I spoke. Jane just listened to me sob.
Along with James Melia was Jo Bilham. Both he and Jo were travelling south to Victoria and Darren for their wedding. Jo was providing the make up for Victoria so the gown was carefully packed up and the two were taking it and themselves to Victoria’s the morning of the wedding. Later that day, Jo sent me a picture text of the bride and groom. Victoria looked nothing short of stunning. I couldn’t help look beyond the smiling faces and I cried.
I think I continued to cry for days afterwards, sharing much of the sobbing with Jo. “I was putting Victoria’s false lashes on,” she told me. “Victoria asked if she could keep them as she may not have her own for much longer.” We cried again.
Today, Victoria and Darren made the papers. I’m so pleased that this couple are raising the awareness. In some bizzare way, Victoria does have a gift. She is learning to live her precious life to the full every day. Something we all are very complacent with. They have taught me a very valuable lesson. Live your life to the max. You only have one!
The wonderful images James took of Darren and Victorias wedding can be viewed here
To what indeed are a very wonderful and special couple. Victoria and Darren. For giving me the gift of not ever taking my life for granted again. xx