The heavens opened and the rain came down. It bucketed. We had to come up with a plan B for photos so we invaded a local primary school. Then we moved on to a new location and the bride hitched up her dress and took off into the field while the rain was still coming down. She was laughing and having a ball the whole time, then her groom went off after her and took her hand. They are what weddings should be about.
A while back we ran our ‘Pay it Forward’ competition where couples had to tell us what they would do for someone else in exchange for full wedding coverage. We received some fabulous entries but our overall winners were Danielle and Paul.
And we couldn’t have found a couple more deserving.
Danielle offered respite care to a family with a disabled teenage daughter as her ‘pay it forward’. This was enough for them to win the competition but there is so much more to the story. When we eventually met with Danielle and Paul it was unexpectedly while we were working a stand at a wedding expo. They came up and introduced themselves as the winners and told us more about themselves, their lives and why winning meant so much to them and they couldn’t believe they won something so huge. We listened to their story and were floored with all they have been through and continue to go through (most recently heart surgery for Paul). We knew none of their hardship when they won the competition, we just knew that there was a lot of heart in this couple. I had to ask them to stop talking to me and walk away as I would have started crying in front of a rather large crowd. Wow… and they were all smiles the whole time.
We quickly discovered that the smiles are what makes them both so magical. Danielle is the type of person that can’t hide how she’s feeling because every emotion is written on her face. She’s the sort of person that you want to reach out and cuddle, you want to laugh with her, you want to watch her sing bad karaoke and crack up giggling with her. Paul is a rock, he is steadfast and solid and has a wicked sense of humor… as you would have to have if you’re marrying a girl like Danielle.
I have NEVER cried during a wedding ceremony before this one. The minister even had to pause due to his own tears having known Danielle since she was a little girl. I have never laughed so hard when taking photos, particularly shooting the boys.
I have NEVER seen a bride and groom introduced at a reception and welcomed like they were rock stars with all the guests taking photos and screaming and cheering and generally going CRAZY. It was a testament to how much Danielle and Paul are loved by everyone.
Danielle and Paul; you are a truly amazing couple and we were so happy to have you as winners of our pay it forward competition. We hope life gives you more lucky breaks because you certainly deserve them. You are both generous and kind and thoughtful beyond words. Congratulations and much happiness for your future.
Photographed by Alex and Alicia
No Danielle and Paul; we thank you 🙂