Sometimes during a wedding you capture a fleeting moment, maybe 2 or 3 very quick frames, and as your eye moves dutifully onto the next scene, a small part of your mind lingers on what you’ve just witnessed. It might not be anything outstanding on the surface, but for whatever reason, something about that moment resonates and you turn it over in your mind a couple of times before setting it aside as a mystery to be solved later, when time permits. For now, the day goes on.
There is one such image featured below. It’s a shot of Leo welcoming Adele’s mother into the Serbian Orthodox Church of St George before their wedding ceremony. There’s a warmth, an affection evident as you would hope in any such situation. But at the time I remember thinking that there was so much more to this, a gratitude almost, a big unspoken thankyou. There was a connection here beyond that of the usual. And for a while I must admit, I just put it down to Leo – he is that rare soul that seems to draw people to him, a planet around which others are happy to be held in orbit. However upon hearing Adele’s father speak during the reception, the veil was lifted on this puzzle.
It goes a little like this. Leo use to pull up in his car, killing the lights, shutting down the engine, a few doors down from Adele’s parents’ place. Adele, would then gather her things, walk quietly down the stairs and slip out the door. This continued for some time before Adele’s mother, perhaps from a mother’s curiosity, perhaps from a weariness of subterfuge, beat a path down to Leo’s car, and peering through the darkness gently said, “it might be time you came up to the house…” Upon hearing this story, it all became so clear. What had been offered as a simple invitation into their house, had, as it transpired, ultimately become an open invitation into their hearts and home. It was one which Leo had wholly accepted.
And why shouldn’t he, for as couples go, I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of photographing two people so comfortable in their own skin. They look at each other, move together, hold each other in ways that no amount of words from me could possibly do justice. So perhaps it’s best I stop with the words and allow the pictures to take up the rest of the story…