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Belinda & Damian, Malolo Lailai, Fiji

When Belinda asked me to photograph her wedding last year, I was super excited, because Belinda & Damian are one of those cool couples that make you hope their coolness rubs off on you. When she dropped into the conversation that it was to be in Fiji, in a beautiful resort, I thought to myself ‘Be cool… just play it cool’….What  I should have said was: “Oh, that sounds lovely!” but I think what  I actually said was: “SQUEEEEEEE!!! Are you fo realz!!!?? Ummmm..? YESSS!!!” And jumped on her. When she later said “Bring Ben and your kids! You should totally have a holiday!”  I could have jumped on her again.

So, 8 months later, the 5 of us were at the airport, leaving the cold winter behind us to defrost in beautiful, amazing, spectacular, breathtaking  Fiji.

We arrived at Musket Cove, and from the moment my feet hit the sand, I knew I was in love. It was dark, I could see practically nothing, but I just knew. It was love at first sight. Even as I write this I feel strangely homesick, something which in all my extensive travels I have never felt. I could have stayed there for the rest of my days, surrounded by the beautiful people that are lucky enough to call it their home, and the calmness which came over us all (yes, even The Fat Baby) as soon as we arrived. Belinda & Damian, in my eyes, bought us to Paradise.

The thing I realised early on in this epic week, was that other people also think these two are awesome humans. So many of their family and friends made the journey from all over to be apart of their celebration, which really is a reflection of the type of people they are. They have a really close knit family, that made us feel right at home from the moment we stepped off the boat. Bel had a small group of women there who have remained friends from way back in high school. I  have a similar group of girls in my life, who have been my friends for nearly 2 decades, and I know how much they mean to me, so the fact that she had this same connection made me love her even more.

The day before the wedding it started to rain. And it rained and rained and rained. Then it got really windy and rained some more. The day of the wedding I woke up to……rain. Like I wasn’t nervous enough!!! It stayed that way right up until lunch time, and then it just stopped! The sun didn’t make much of an appearance, but it was dry and the gale force wind had subsided, so I was happy. Not that that was hard. I had such a fun day, that I kept having to pinch myself had how very lucky I was to be there.

The boys wore Sulu va Taga, a traditional Fijian mens skirt. The ceremony was held in the Chapel on top of the hill with spectacular views of the ocean and surrounding areas. Belinda was escorted by traditional Fijian Warriors (*swoooon*). They had a ring blessing, where their wedding bands were passed around to all the guests to pass on their love and well wishes, as well as incorporating a traditional Hawaiian leis ceremony, both having strong connections of time spent in Hawaii. It was amazing. They even had a special Kava ceremony at the reception. Told you they were cool.

I have posted more photos than I usually do, (it was so hard to choose) but I really wanted to tell the story of the day as best I could. I hope with all my heart I have done it justice. I hope that it portrays how amazing this day was and what amazing people Bel & Damo are. Laid back, cruisey, funny, generous and so full of love.

A special shout out to Grandma. What an amazing woman you are. It is your influence that has shaped your family, and what an amazing family they are. In particular your beautiful grandchildren. You should be very proud.

El

xox

El Hogan Photography 2011

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