I remember I was in the bridal suite bedroom, photographing Alicia’s dress, shoes and jewellery – where I usually find myself at the beginning of every wedding. Alicia and her bridesmaids were out in the main living room, their hair being curled and their makeup being done… their laughs bellowing over the sound of her sister’s iPod playlist. It was Alicia’s big day after all and they were right to be excited. I carried on, doing my thing, until something very unexpectedly changed. It hadn’t yet been half an hour when I noticed that the voices had stopped and the music was no longer playing. Curious and concerned, I walked back towards where the girls had been sitting only moments ago, to find the hair stylist sitting there alone.
“Where did everyone go??”
“Alicia’s dad isn’t holding up very well, she just got a phone call and they’ve all rushed to his room.”
In December last year I was blessed with the opportunity to share in a very special day half-way around the world. In the small town of Victoria BC, only a short distance off Canada’s mainland, Trevor & Alicia wed in a simple ceremony at the Marriott Hotel. It was a personal and intimate celebration, with special moments shared with the people that really mean the most – family. It was also a day charged with more emotion than any wedding I have experienced to date, and it was a day that will forever leave a burning impression in my mind and in my heart.
Moments later, Alicia charged back into the room. Visibly shaken and being comforted by those around her. Her dad was okay for now, but you could tell that seeing him in that frail state was tough. The joy of being united with your one true love was being marred by the fear of losing another. It wasn’t fair.
Here is the other man in every bride’s life. The one who normally sits silent, watching from the pews. The one you can always guarantee to give a wedding speech with equal helpings of embarrassing jokes and fatherly pride. The one whom little girls dream will one day hand them over to the love of their life.
Mr Spark gave everything he had to make sure he was there to hand over his eldest daughter on her wedding day. It was Alicia’s one true wish. And I can assure you that no eye remained dry on that cold winter morning.
My job has so many great blessings, but it is the power to capture and preserve moments like these that leave me truly humbled. This is why I love doing what I do.
No series of photographs can do justice to that day, so instead I present them to you strung together. The soundtrack behind these photos is from Canadian singer Crystal Shawanda, and is the track Alicia wanted played during her father & daughter waltz. Her father was unfortunately too weak to attend the remainder of her wedding celebrations, and they never shared that final dance.
In loving memory of Mr Spark.
Click play, above, to watch…
wedding | the details