The tears pouring down Anna’s grandmother’s face during Anna’s speech said it all. These were tears of bittersweetness – happiness in the fact that Luke and Anna had committed their lives to each other but there was something else as well. I gently asked Anna a little later in the day what she had been referring to during her speech. What she told me made my heart sink. This had been one of the hardest years in her family’s life. I won’t go into the details but the list of things that she named made me intensely sad that these wonderful people had had to experience such sorrow, difficulty and sadness in the previous 12 months. Anna acknowledged that her and Luke’s wedding was a shining ray of light in their collective lives and it was hopefully the end of their annus horribilis.
For me, even through the tears, there was so much happiness and rejoicing. Anna and Luke wanted their immediate families around them for an intimate ceremony followed by a dinner at their favourite restaurant in the Chinatown district of the Melbourne CBD. Luke had taken Anna there on their very first date, but after their first meal together, she understood why he loved it so much. And on their wedding day, Luke, being the expert in the cuisine was left in charge of picking his favourite dishes. And I must admit, he picked very well. A few hours later, we met up with all of their friends at a cute local pub in Fitzroy and knowing Anna and Luke, they definitely do like a pub. And as my images hopefully show, they managed to put aside everything that they had been through and celebrated their love with all of the people that they cared about by their side.