DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER. Last November, my good friend Andrea got engaged and asked me to be her wedding photographer. I was really thrilled to be asked as Andrea has encouraged my every step as a photographer, and even more thrilled to be going to the sunny island of St Lucia where the wedding was being held!!
I’ve known Andrea for about 18 years, since we flatted together for about 6 months when she was still a trainee teacher in some of the tough inner city schools, and I was still biding my time in the city. Andrea’s parents were both from the Caribbean and she always dreamt of going back there one day to set up home and create a new life for herself. So she made a plan! Not one for sitting on her laurels, fast forward a few years, and Andrea did exactly that – she moved lock stock and barrel (even taking Eliza her rescue cat with her) and made that new life for herself. And then she met the man of her dreams!
So in February I went to St Lucia to photograph her big St Lucian wedding adventure. Andrea is a beautifully soft and happy person, filled with fun, laughter and joy – and she definitely met her match with her larger than life, husband-to-be Sherman, originally from Dominica. If happiness could be bottled, it would be called Sherman. Big, loud, effervescent and clearly madly in love with Andrea. I was so looking forward to my trip out there to see them both and to photograph their wedding. So the big day arrived, it was hot, hot hot and in true Caribbean stylie, Andrea was a few hours late but unperturbed, took everything in her happy easy-going stride. After the Bridal prep, I left the gorgeous Bride and made my way over to their Church in the small town of Gros Islet where a very,very nervous Sherman was eagerly awaiting the arrival of his now, very late Bride. But it was worth the wait.
Andrea made her grand entrance and was given away by her lovely brother Leo. They are regular church goers and their church ‘family’ were all there to celebrate with them – if you’ve not witnessed praise and worship Caribbean style, let me tell you, it’s something else!! Loud singing, music and happy voices filled the church that day, and after a few small ceremonies with no less than 3 pastors and lots more singing, Andrea and Sherman were finally pronounced Husband and Wife. After lots of hugging, some confetti and photos at nearby Pigeon Island, we literally dashed across the North of the Island to The Benedictine Place where the reception was being held outside Castries, the capital city, just in time to get a big group shot and some smaller groups before the sun finally set.
Then there were lots of emotional speeches, lots of eating, dancing and loud celebrations to follow. Friends and family flew in from all over the Caribbean, the US and UK to attend and I joined the fabulous east London posse for dinner and a few rum punches before the night was out. It really was an amazing day – I say that about a lot of weddings, and they all truly are in their own way. But this one will take a lot of beating. Not just because I was lucky enough to able to attend a good friends wedding in the Caribbean, but because sometimes, good things really do happen to good people and there really can be a happily ever after.
HUGE congratulations to my lovely special friends, Andrea and Sherman. I know you’ve an amazing life ahead of you both and I wish you all the love in the world xxx