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I have been quiet for a few days as I had to travel to my niece’s wedding.. Well, 2 nieces.  Actually, one is my cousin’s daughter who has always called me Aunty… and the other is my sister’s daughter.. Emma is the cousin’s daughter and I attended her wedding on Saturday… Ebony, my sister’s daughter,  gets married next Saturday..  I was privileged to be asked to do the photography for both weddings.. A pretty scary prospect for someone who isn’t a photographer.. but, what the hell.. What’s the worst thing I can do… Oh that’s right.. stuff up their wedding day??

One wedding has been done and I didn’t totally screw it up.. In fact, I’m reasonably happy with the results so far, though I do have to crop, darken, lighten and generally just do a bit of tizzying up of them, but will have to wait till I get back home to do that.

It was a gorgeous spring day on Saturday and to watch the excitement unfold as the bride got ready was a joy.   Whilst my own marriage has left me with a bit of an allergy to the institution (actually a huge allergy), I still believe in love and was just thrilled to see these two declare their love and commitment to each other.  They have been together for  10 years and have 2 beautiful children together.  They’ve done it tough over the years and so to see them finally back on top, enjoying life, loving their family unit and just generally having a ball was an absolute joy.

It made me think… Would I do it again?  Is my marriage allergy as bad as it once was??  Does marriage have the same meaning in society it once did?  When I got married we pretty much got engaged, got married and had kids. in that order. Nowadays, so many couples get married after they have had their family.  Does this lessen the meaning of marriage?  I had a hundred questions going through my head so you get to share them with me.

After a lot of thinking, I decided this.  Yes, if the person was right and it meant a lot to him, I would marry again.  So I guess this means my marriage allergy has eased a bit.  It would still take an awful lot of antihistamines, counseling and  wine to get me up the aisle again, but I’m sure the right person would find a way. ( If Colin Firth or Robert Downey Jnr are reading this, my preferred tipple is Moscato… just saying.. )  I definitely think marriage is as important now as it ever was. In fact, I think couples now go into a marriage with more thought than we ever did.  It was almost expected of us.  When I got married at 21, I was feeling like it was a necessity in my life so I probably didn’t make as wise a choice as I could have.  Now, that in no way is a regret.. I had 3 beautiful children and the early years were happy, but with hindsight and maturity, I may have made a different decision if I hadn’t felt the pressure to conform to society’s expectations.

I honestly believe that when couples enter into a marriage now, generally they do so in an informed way.   They have shared a commitment already.  They have lived together, quite often raised a family together, so when they decide to get married, they know they mean it.  That’s not saying that I think everyone should live together or have kids first either.  I think every situation is completely different.  All I’m suggesting, is that if you have lived with someone for 10 years, had 2 children with them, been through really bad times with them and you still want to marry them, then you have probably know what you’re doing.

That was certainly the case with Emma and Dean..  Their love for each other, their children and their extended families was obvious.  They renewed my faith in love to a large degree.  Knowing what they’ve been through made me sure that theirs is a love that will endure. After all, it already has.  That’s reassuring.  I know it doesn’t work for everyone and time changes people.. People used to stick with a marriage because there was a stigma associated with divorce. How many marriages that made 60 years were truly happy? Hopefully a lot.. but Im sure a lot of couples lived their lives without being completely happy.  Thank goodness there are choices nowadays.

Another benefit of weddings is the family reunions.  My cousins and I were close  growing up.  On Saturday, we sat watching our children laughing and joking with each other and all felt happy watching their  friendships blossoming as ours did all those years ago.  Cousins really are the first friends you know.  You learn so much about friendships through them.  The added advantage is that you are joined by DNA so the friendships are harder to walk away from, so you fight, make up and still love each other through it all. I’m pretty damn lucky with the cousins I have.

I have to also put a shout out to the amazing Duart Homestead in Maffra Victoria.  Wow, what a place.  It’s beauty added so much to what was already a beautiful, romantic day.  The staff were just brilliant.  Nothing was too much trouble.  After a few bad experiences lately with event venues, it was a breath of fresh air to be treated so well by the people at Duart Homestead.  If you are in the Gippsland area, call in sometime and take in the sheer beauty.  If you’re planning an event in that area, don’t hesitate to go speak to them.  I am pretty positive you wouldn’t be disappointed.. Thanks to all there for making such a wonderful day even more special.  You are fantastic!!!

So next Saturday, I head off to another wedding and am thrilled to be capturing their happiness on film as I did last Saturday. A picture really does paint a thousand words.  So instead of typing more words, let me say it all with a photo.. This, my friends, is love personified.  Congratulations Emma and Dean.. Wishing you a lifetime of love, laughter and joy.  You both deserve it..

Happy snapping…. Livvy xxx