Soulmate. It’s a concept that divides. A concept of sweet serendipity. A meant-to-be, love-of-your-life recognisable connection with another. The concept that there is a person out there, who is meant just for you; that each individual is meant just for that one other someone; it’s the epitome of romantic notions and one that has inspired the most famous of love stories and it’s my job as a wedding photographer to capture that.
Some claim there is no such thing. Choosing instead a more pragmatic approach to love… We are all individuals looking for connection and there are many viable partners with whom we could build happy and loving lives given the right set of circumstances.
And I must admit, I sit somewhere in the middle on this one. Or at least I used to. I challenge anyone, even the most skeptic of skeptics, to maintain their disbelief after seeing the connection between these two individuals.
If a picture speaks a thousand words, then as a wedding photographer, on this day, I was privileged to write a truly beautiful love story. Allow me to introduce you to my beautiful friends…
Chris. A kind, generous and authentic guy with a musician’s soul.
Maddie: A strong and spirited stunner with the heart of a yoga-loving gypsy.
Together they are unlike anything I’ve witnessed or photographed before. It’s impossible to describe, and downright uncanny how much these two really do fit. They are best friends; they balance; they challenge; and they definitely, definitely belong together.
“Important encounters are planned by the souls long before the bodies see each other” (-Paulo Coelho). You see, whether they knew it or not, Maddie and Chris were preparing for one another long before either of them realised. That’s the thing about soulmates, it’s not just physical… it’s a connection of a deeper, more intangible nature.
Maddie believes in the power of thought. She believes in the power of intention. Long before she met Chris, she set her intentions and they were clear: A nature loving guy who enjoyed the outdoors as much as she did; a surfer; musician; adventurer; a blonde and sexy as all hell too… (you get the picture).
And one night, not long after setting these intentions, she walked into a bar and there he was. Him. Chris. Good looks, guitar and all. And as he sat there playing that Radiohead cover like on so many inconsequential nights before, he was perfectly (albeit unwittingly) ticking a LOT of boxes.
Maddie grew increasingly uncomfortable with what she had to do next. After all, there’s only one thing for a girl to do in that situation: Write your number on a napkin and give it to a mutual friend to deliver. Then… leave.
Chris, as any humble and intelligent gentleman would, suspected foul play. This was clearly a joke. But… just in case… he dialed the number. The fact is, he was suspicious and disbelieving until the day he laid eyes on her. But once he did, that was that.
It was an average night several weeks later when it happened. They sat there, on Chris’ apartment floor, eating sushi and listening to the Stereophonics:
“When you open up your tired eyes
And take a look at what’s inside
The mirror on your wall tells you the truth
You’re exactly where you wanna be
There is no room for streams of tears
The sun is shining down, the clouds have cleared
Could you be the one for me?”
They both burst into tears as the realisation washed over each of them simultaneously: they were in love. Game over.
Fast forward 2 years later and Chris found himself down on one knee, far more nervous than he’d ever felt performing in any pub. This time, Chris made the move and proposed with a custom ring he’d designed just for her. As he slid the pink stone onto her finger, they cried once again as they realised just how lucky they were.
A winter wedding in the mountains was exactly as atmospheric and dramatic as you’d expect. Mt. Warning (AKA the ‘Cloud Catcher’) was the perfect backdrop for this adventurous pair and as their wedding photographer I couldn’t have asked for a more ideal location.
The Cloud Catcher truly lived up to its name and the morning of the ceremony was off to a rather damp start. Before long however, the clouds gave way to patches of blue sky and rainbows just hours after the news about the U.S. marriage equality ruling reached Australia. Being huge supporters of equal rights, this was incredibly meaningful and poignant timing for both of them.
Maddie looked stunning in her Grandmother’s vintage wedding gown (also worn by her mother) and Chris carried an old pocket watch with a photo from his childhood with his beloved mother in it. Chris and Maddie’s day was a far cry from the typical wedding style I so often see, and yet so perfectly matched. So perfectly suited. Every detail on point.
For the post ceremony wedding photography we stole the couple away to some picturesque locations which included a river, a dam wall and, thanks to an unsuspecting farm owner, one very magical hill in a paddock totally worth the somewhat steep and cow-pie-riddled climb. It was an incredibly special time and an absolute privilege to be able to capture the love and connection between these two dear friends. The way these two look at each other… is just… pure love.
I think it’s time I shut up and let these very special wedding photos do some talking. Maybe it’s because I know them and love them they are so special to me; or maybe it’s because I was there that they hold such significance; but maybe it’s because their souls had planned this important encounter and I was just a witness to it.
I’d like to think there’s only one word that describes whatever ‘it’ is that these two are, and that my friends, is soulmates.
– Written by Jennifer Young