Olivia & Alex – St Barnabas Church, Bishops Waltham & Marriott Meon Valley Country Club, Bishops Waltham.

Friday 16th September dawned beautiful, sunny and warm. Olivia was radiant – from first thing.  Even without her hair and makeup done. With all the stresses of preparing a wedding behind her, she looked fit to pop with excitement and I couldn’t have been happier for her.

I remember, so clearly, the morning of my wedding; the nervous excitement, the anticipation and the sheer scale of all that planning coming to fruition – watching her was the nearest I’d been to stepping back into those shoes. Whenever I watch a bride get ready, I feel butterflies; both for her and for myself.  I know exactly how much this day means to her and I want to capture it as beautifully as I can. This day was different, I wasn’t the “official”  photographer, my Step-Dad, Ric , was in the chair but Olivia and Alex’s prep shots were down to us….along with our respective roles of being a Bridesmaid, Aunt, Uncle, Reader, Childminder and Chauffeur!!!!  I didn’t have time to dilly-dally with butterflies, I had a lot to do! Did this destract in any way?  Not a chance. I’ll admit there was a moment where I wondered if I would make it into my dress on time and may, briefly, have succommbed to a momentary panic but seeing Olivia stunningly made up with her beautiful son on one hip and hoover in the other hand vaccuming her way around the kitchen only an hour before she was due at the Church brought me back to reality – if she was handling it all with that much ease, so could I.

It was a magical day, Livvy married Alex at St Barnabas Church in Swanmore and the celebrations were continued at the Marriott Meon Valley Country Club in Bishops Waltham.  The reception was stunning, the sight of loved ones drinking and laughing against the backdrop of a sun drenched golf course was wonderful, it couldn’t have been more perfect.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t shed a tear, or several, throughout the day.  Seeing my little sister “grown up”  was a bit of a shock.   I had thought I was prepared but clearly, I wasn’t. I kept re-running images of her playing in the garden with the dog aged 6, starting secondary school aged 11, going to her prom aged 16 – to see her stood at the altar of the church holding her husbands’ hand with the sound of her son gurgling nearby I was overcome.  All day I watched her laugh, saw her radiate happiness and my eyes would start to leak again, I couldn’t help but look away before I ruined my makeup.

I’ll stop wittering on. Take a look at a few of the pics we did manage to capture during the whirlwind day….enoy!

Liv, Alex and Max, we wish you all the happiness in the world from now to eternity – you are such beautiful people and we shall treasure the memory of your magical day forever. x

Abi Cole - The Cole Portfolio

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