Carson + Victoria: Bitter sweet I do's
Hours before I was scheduled to arrive the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, BC for Carson and Victoria's wedding I got a phone call from Suzanne of West Coast Weddings and Events, she was clearly upset and told me that Victoria's mom had been in an accident while surfing at Long Beach and was being airlifted to Victoria and that wedding plans were on standby. A couple hours later she phoned back in tears saying that Anne didn't make it and had passed away on the beach. I was shocked, it was unfathomable that something this tragic could actually happen, I felt sick with sadness for Victoria and her family, no one should have to go though this, especially on their wedding day.
As difficult of a thing it would be to carry on with your wedding after tragically loosing your mom Victoria and Carson decided that it was the right thing to do. I was initially very surprised by this but the more I thought about it the more I realized how much sense it made, Anne would have wanted it to happen and was absolutely there in spirit, and was proud as punch watching her beautiful daughter walk down the aisle, and she would have wanted everyone to celebrate and not be sad. The strength that Victoria and her family had on this day was incredible. Despite going through the loss of a loved one hours before, the feeling and atmosphere at the wedding was anything but sad, there were tears for sure, but there was also so much laughter, love and celebration, everyone had an amazing time, Victoria included. My heart broke for Victoria when I saw her looking at the party and realizing that her mom, the person you want the most at your wedding day, wasn't there and physically wouldn't ever be again, I would see her tear up but then I would see her look at her guests, her handsome new husband and beautiful little boy and she would smile, it was almost as if her mom was telling her that everything was okay and to enjoy her wedding day, and that she did.
This was by far the most difficult wedding I have ever photographed, as a wedding photographer you become emotionally involved in your weddings and with your clients, you are capturing one of if not the most important day of peoples lives, you can't help but get caught up in the emotions that go with it. This wedding was no exception, it was particularly hard and effected me greatly. But, my job is to document. The good and the bad, the happy and the sad and I hope that when Victoria and Carson look back on these images they don't reflect on the sadness but on what an amazing day it was and how much beauty and love surrounded them throughout it.