When today’s bride, Lauren, received news that her dad was ill, she and her fiancé Joel set about planning their wedding for less than a month away. All the details fell into place as the couple realized that what they wanted most of all was just to celebrate with their nearest and dearest. Todd Hunter McGaw beautifully captured all the waves of emotion with tenderness and creativity, and I’m betting that his photos and Lauren and Joel’s touching story will tug at your heartstrings as they have mine.
Junebug: What three adjectives best describe your wedding?
Lauren and Joel: Genuine, spontaneous and inspiring
Junebug: What inspired your personal wedding style, and how did you incorporate your style and personalities into your big day?
Lauren: After ten years as a couple, we planned and executed our wedding in less than a month when my Dad became acutely unwell. The most important part for us (apart from getting to be married to each other, of course!) was undoubtedly the people we got to share the experience with. We knew that if we could book a venue, arrange some food and drinks and get invitations out, then all of the details that really mattered would fall into place as soon as all our friends and family were together in that room with us. We saw the day as a compelling and precious opportunity to celebrate our love for each other, our relationships with our loved ones, our past, our present, and all of the reasons we consider our lives to be so blessed. It was an emotion-charged day full of honesty, hilarity and heartbreak.
Were both generally quite laid back and I suppose that was ultimately reflected in the way the day ran. It was an unrehearsed, unscripted, spontaneous kind of event that evolved organically on the day as we knew it would when we had all the right people in the room. Plus, at the time we were living a poignant lesson that life is too short to sweat the small stuff.
Junebug: Looking back, what are the moments, decisions or memories that you love the most about your wedding?
Lauren: It is said so often that it sounds clichéd but it really was our best day ever. We pulled it together quickly but, in retrospect, would not change a single thing.
Our lives had been turbulent, to say the least, in the lead up to the wedding and one highlight was spending a few hours with each other and with our photographers before the ceremony. It gave us an opportunity to centre ourselves, focus on each other and delight in the moment.
Another unforgettable moment was orchestrated by Joels sister Kristen who had contacted Paul Andrews from Sydney band Lazy Susan. Paul sang our favourite song via video link and we were so moved that we handed off our drinks and shared our first dance as husband and wife then and there in the kind of once-in-a-lifetime amazing experience that you couldnt plan if you tried.
Having my Dad see us married was essential. But he did more than just that he walked me up the aisle, he laughed, he danced, he enjoyed a few generous whiskeys and he honoured us all with a beautiful speech. We created memories that will last a lifetime invaluable memories, as Dad passed away just four days later. It was a momentous few days in our lives as I gained one of the two greatest men Ive ever known as my husband and said goodbye to the other one, my dad.
Junebug: What specifically drew you to Todd Hunter McGaw and his imagery?
Lauren and Joel: We stumbled across some of Todds work online quite a few years ago and have been avid followers of the photographic wizardry on his blog ever since. We were drawn to Todd and Alydas incredibly creative, non-traditional approach to wedding portraits, as well as their ability to capture and convey the raw emotion associated with a wedding through their candid, documentary-style shots. We really felt like wed won the lotto when we discovered they were available and willing to shoot our wedding at such short notice and found the end results to be breathtaking. The value of the memories theyve captured simply cannot be understated.
Thank you Lauren and Joel for sharing your special day with us and thank you to Todd Hunter McGaw for capturing it all so beautifully!
The Wedding Team:
Photographer: Todd Hunter McGaw
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Bistrot Bistro
Officiant: Jemma Somerville
Invitation Designer: Lauren
Catering: Bistrot Bistro
Cake: Vikki, Lauren’s witness
Wedding Dress: Karen Willis Holmes
Bridal accessories: Witchery
Groom and groomsmen apparel and accessories: The Cloakroom
Hair and make-up: Joel’s sister, Kristen
Live music: Joel’s cousin, Joe
Rings: Blue Nile