Twelve weeks ago today I answered a plea by Anna of Sugar Bowl Bakes; a school Mum friend of hers had just discovered that her fiance had cancer. From that moment on the wedding industry professionals in the Cheltenham area pulled together to create a wedding day for them in double quick time.
Ten weeks ago Shelly and Mark came to my Studio to chat to me about their wedding plans. Mark was quite poorly however they were so positive and so thrilled to be getting married, so in love and so full of hope.
Nine weeks ago today they were married at Cheltenham Registry Office.
Shelly carried wore a beautiful dress gifted to her by Infinity Dresses Bridalwear and carried an exquisite cascade bouquet gifted to her by Lilyfee Floral Designs. Clare had taken the time to include flowers that were significant to Shelly and in memory of Shelly’s Mum who had passed away in 2017. Clare also created a matching button hole for Mark. Their ceremony was followed by a small reception at The Hatherley with a wonderful cake made for them by Anna of Sugar Bowl Bakes.
For their wedding photographs the wonderful Team at the iconic Pittville Pump Room opened the Pump Room up just for us that day so that I could take Shelly and Mark there en route to their reception for their wedding photographs.
Two weeks ago today Mark died.
This morning we said goodbye at Cheltenham Crematorium.
My heart is breaking and tears are pouring down my cheeks as I type this. To see Shelly so bravely saying goodbye to the man she loves, gone from this world far too soon, and with two small children also left behind is beyond comprehension yet it happened today.
This photograph is one of Shelly and Mark at the Pittville Pump Room on their wedding day and its one that now more than ever holds such special significance.
When I was taking this photograph I asked Mark to hold Shelly close. To Shelly I asked that she close her eyes, sink into Mark’s arms and to breathe in.
To make a memory of how it felt to be held in her Husband’s arms at that moment. To breathe in his scent. To make a memory of every sensation she felt at that exact moment in time.
Asking them to do this emotionally pushed me to the limit as a photographer, and yes I admit to crying like a child on the other side of the Gallery high above the Pump Room. However I had to put aside how I was feeling and focus on them and their love for one another that I knew was to be cruelly taken from them sooner than it should have been.
Shelly and Mark wrote a blog post together for me which I will share in due course. But today is about love and remembrance. To hug your loved ones a little tighter. To be grateful for friendship. And to live every day to the max.
Our love and prayers are with Shelly and the children at this time.
A crowd funding appeal to help Shelly and her children has been set up. They face a very difficult time ahead. Even a fiver will help if you can spare it: CLICK HERE TO DONATE