I won't forget the day I received a call from my amazing ladies from Shot From The Heart Photography. They were ringing to tell me about a beautiful bride they had just met called Adena and they continued to explain what they had just learnt about this brides condition and that they were not going to charge for their photography work. Without a second thought I said "i'm in!"
When i finally met Adena I could see why my wonderful friends had fallen in love with her and her story. To meet Adena and see her smile you would think the sun shined every day in her world, but as you watch and see the struggle she has to walk, lift a coffee cup and hug her babies tightly you realise that behind that smile there is an amazing strength. A strength to keep going, a strength to walk, a strength to love and a strength to be here for her family.
Adena has MND (Motor Neurone Disease) and it is rapidly weakening every muscle in her body. This wedding meant she would have the same last name as her husband and children. This wedding was to be her walking down the aisle and she was determined to do it. This wedding was a celebration of her love for her husband and her children. This day was special and I couldn't wait to be able to capture it for her.
I thought it would be a sad day, as a mother of young children it broke my heart that another mum had to suffer like this but when i arrived at Adena's parents house on the day of her wedding I realised that regardless of Adena's situation this was her wedding day and wedding days are full of love, laughter and happiness and Shane & Adena's day would be no exception.
Make up was applied. hair was done, bridesmaids were dressed and then so was the bride (after a quickly youtube tutorial to ensure the amazing bridal gown was done up correctly) Champagne was sipped, laughs were shared and photos taken before it was time to head to the stunning Zonzo Estate for the ceremony.
I never tire of the excitement i feel from the guests as the patiently and excitedly wait for the bride to arrive but this day also had an element of 'hold your breath' from the guests as they all knew how important this moment was for Adena. This bride had worked so hard with her rigorous physio to ensure she could walk down the aisle and as the beautiful voices sung the bridal walk song the tears along with the proud gazes watched as Adena, along with the help of her parents slowly made her way, walking, towards to her soon to be husband, down the aisle to the groom who had the most tears and the most pride in his future wife.
For the rest of the afternoon and evening Adena & Shane enjoyed getting lost in the moments as they celebrated their marriage, their love, their children, their family and their loved ones. With constant strength Adena avoided her wheelchair through out the afternoon so she could be the bride she'd always dreamt to be, standing side by side with her husband.
After speeches and cake cutting Adena was told of a little suprise that her bridesmaids and many friends and community members had got involved in to celebrate and treat Shane & Adena on their wedding day. Adena was wheeled outside to await the surprise and then suddenly the sky lit up with a loud clap as the dark night sky filled with fireworks! Just as expected Adena's face lit up as much as the colours in the sky with a smile that assured her bridesmaids it was the best surprise ever!
Shane & Adena's Wedding day was emotional, but not in the way I had expected. The love that not only is shared between these two but the love that surrounds them both is exceptional and unlike much I've seen. This wedding day was a day to celebrate, to smile and celebrate love, not to cry and feel sorry for themselves but to embrace love and marriage and family and all the happiness there is.
A special thanks goes to the 2 companies who help us make our wedding video's special. Lenshire for donating the use of their steadycam equipment and Personalised Keepsakes for donating our beautiful timber storage boxes and USB so we could still provide Shane & Adena with their memories in the way we always do for our couples.
Congratulations to Shane & Adena and their little family. May your love continue to help overcome obstacles and keep the smiles on your faces.