When Neil and Fiona finally (and I do mean finally) set a date for their wedding I was so excited. I honestly hadn't been this excited since my own wedding. Coming from a large family it is surprising that it is only this year, 8 years into my photography career that I shot my first family wedding and of all my extended family I have probably spent the most time with Neil. My brother Mark has been best friends with Neil since childhood so he was always around, even on family holidays. I could use this opportunity to remind Neil of things such as his Vanilla Ice haircut, and I do have photographic evidence, but I won't as I am slightly afraid. As a teen Mark and Neil had a great talent of standing too close to any boy that wanted to talk to me, sporting such menacing looks that made them turn and run so I think I will stay on his good side here ;)
Back to this gorgeous couple finally setting their date though, Neil and Fiona met 14 years ago and things went so fast, within what seemed like days they were living together, within weeks they were on holiday and within months the super handsome Tadgh was born. Not that their relationship took a back seat or anything but even though Neil and Fiona had reached the settled couple stage sooner than some people get to the introducing to the parents stage they were happy, they had a lovely home and a lovely son, what more did they need. When the question was popped the wedding was expected to happen pretty soon but we were all left waiting, and waiting, and waiting and yes, waiting.
I can speak of all the details on the day, the weather, the venue etc etc but I think the focus of the day for me lies in part with Neil's speech. In between the numerous statements at how beautiful Fiona was, and yes she was looking pretty darn amazing, Neil did get in a few more stray words. His emphasis was on what a nice person she is, the fact that she cried when he proposed and his shock that they were tears of joy. The truth is Fiona is special, she is one in a million, an absolute beauty of a girl, one that will turn heads everywhere she goes but yet she has no idea of how much of an effect she can have on people, Fiona is the type of girl that you know every smile is genuine and every word true, she is always surrounded by happy people as she has a way to make people happy. I always say that a persons friends and family are a testament to them, well if you spent 2 minutes with Tadgh you would know he comes from something special.
Tadgh is adorable, he is a real cool kid. With almost every expression he reminds me of Neil and he has Fiona's awesomeness too. When a teenage boy proudly cries in front of over 100 people at the sight of his mother walking down the aisle you know there is a special relationship there, as Neil said, he has a heart of gold and they have every reason to be as proud as they are.
There is something Neil left out though. He spoke about how special his wife and son are and how lucky he is to have them, I would not for a moment deny that but Neil is a pretty great guy too! Neil is the type of person who would bend over backwards to help you if he could, he has a sensitive soul and deep down is a very caring person. No matter what happens, Neil will have your back and you can rely on his support. As probably the best tattooist in this country I bet everyone reading this knows someone who Neil looked after.
Neil, you might not see why Fiona cried with delight when you proposed, many of us do though. You are always there for those who matter, looking out for everyone around you, over the years your kindness to me has been greatly appreciated, the way you looked out for all of our family too and it is rare anyone has an opportunity to repay you for your kindness. I am only delighted that I had the opportunity to give something back to someone who is forever doing favours for family and friends, I get to look at your art on my skin everyday, now you get to look at mine on your walls!
I usually sign off by wishing my clients all of the best of luck in their future together, I know I don't need to wish this to you guys, you already have all the luck in the world having found each other and I know you will always make the most of life together. Neil keep reminding your amazing and beautiful wife how special she is but don't forget she chose you for a reason!