This was the first ever wedding to which I had to fly and it made me feel pretty cool. I thought to myself, I could get used to this. Now I just need to figure out how to get flown into shoot weddings of people I’m not related to.
My father and Ryan’s grandmother are brother and sister. A quick Google search reveals that makes him my first cousin once removed. I think we met once when I was 5 or 6. I have a murky memory of visiting my cousin’s house at Christmas and them spurring me on the kiss a baby and I wouldn’t unless the baby was a girl – but I couldn’t tell because the baby was so new. I took my chances and kissed the baby and was mortified when they revealed that he was indeed a boy. I’m thinking this baby boy may have been Ryan.
Fast forward approximately 25 years. Ryan has met a wonderful girl named Maria. When they came to pick me up, we went to Tim Horton’s to chit-chat about their wedding and I felt instantly comfortable. What is it that makes being related so easy to talk to someone even if they’re essentially a stranger? But even if we weren’t first cousins once removed I’m positive I would have felt just as at ease. Ryan and Maria have this openness and lightness about them and are genuinely caring people. I have never been asked so many times if I was hungry or if I needed anything while shooting a wedding. I’ve also never had my picture taken by so many guests and had so many people come over and introduce themselves to me and tell me I was doing such a great job… before they even saw any of the photos! I guess that’s the warmth we’ve come to know and love from Newfoundlanders.
Ryan and Maria, thank you for trusting me with the honour of capturing your wedding day. Your ceremony was beautiful and your dance was once of the best parties I’ve seen. I’m hoping this marks a time of new connections and friendships with the Whelan side of my family… sending love and appreciation. xo.