I hardly know how to begin. When I was travelling Portugal last August an email rolled in from Kirsten who was planning to get married here on Aeroe island with the help of local wedding planner extraordinaire, Louise, of Danish Island Weddings:
"Dear Camilla, Firstly I would like to say how moved I am by your work...exactly the thing we would like to capture on our day. It is a very special situation. My partner and I each have two children from previous marriages and for us this day will be a celebration of not only the love we have for each other but also the love we have for all 4 children. Its a day of commitment to each other and to them. I feel so strongly that therefore we need a special person to capture this very special day for all of us!!! I am keeping everything crossed that you have time for us! Looking forward to hearing from you! all the best, Kirsten, Hardy and Co"
I knew instantly that of course I would love to document this coming together of two families, and as I got to know Kirsten over the course of the next few months we discovered we had many things in common, that what we thought we wanted maybe wasn't what we actually needed, that we both had needed to make changes in our lives to be truly fulfilled and find 'peace' and contentment. And when I listened to her describe how she imagined their day would look and feel, I grew more and more excited.
When May 21st finally arrived, I joined the couple and their families at Guesthouse Andelen to document them getting ready for their big day. In the spirit of family, they all got ready together (same room but on different floors), and the kids were allowed to be kids. At one point, it all got a little too much for one of the boys and without rushing, Kirsten sat down with him to make sure he was alright before she and I headed out to meet Hardy for their 'first look' before the ceremony.
I love when couples have a first look before their ceremony. Not only does it give more time for portraits thus freeing up time after the ceremony for the couple to enjoy the company of their guests, it is also a beautiful intimate way of seeing eachother for the first time on the day. Just the two of you (and me in the background). My couples who choose to have a first look, tell me that it in no way diminishes the joy or excitement of the ceremony afterwards, on the contrary, they are able to relax and take it all in, be present in the moment, because the nervousness has been released already :)
After their emotional meeting, we walked down to the harbour for their seaside garden ceremony where their loved ones were waiting.
After lots of hugs, laughs and best wishes in the sunfilled garden, the couple and their guests walked through the streets of Aeroeskoebing to Den Gamle Købmandsgaard (The Old Merchant's Court) on the town square to enjoy whole roasted pork (the sight of which the children found incredibly fascinating) and a variety of fresh salads in the cosy rustic surroundings of the cafe.
Later that afternoon, I took the couple to one of my favourite locations on the island: Voderup Klint. This is not a great place for sunny days as there is absolutely no shade to find among these open rolling hills and cliffs but on an overcast days like this or even a dark windy day with dramatic clouds it is perfect for photos, to capture both the quiet intimate moments and the grand landscape. Kirsten and Hardy gave me their all and photographing them reminded me once again how absolutely fantastic it is to work with clients who truly value me and love what I can do. At that moment, there was nowhere else I'd rather be.
On our drive back to town there was time for one more little stop. I have been driving past this location hundreds of times over the past few years but had been 'saving' it for the right moment, and when I saw Kirsten's look come together in the morning, I knew this day was that moment, this was the couple for it :)
After this quick stop we headed back to town for cake
Before I left to let them party the night away, we grabbed the kids and took a few informal family portraits. I absolutely LOVE this set of images. I have two lively kids myself and I know that these images portray the actual life of a family, not a polished-once-a-year-smile-into-the-camera-shot. Life with kids is messy, crazy, exhausting, rewarding, joyful, and beautifully imperfect :)