I am a firm believer that every person you meet or who passes you by was supposed to do so. Holding a door for someone, not making eye contact, catching a smile from a stranger, making a life-changing phone call without knowing it- all of those things contribute to the person you are at this very moment, no matter how big or seemingly little of an impact they’ve had on your life. Adelaide changed my life as soon as she walked over and introduced herself. She’d lforgotten the keys to the apartment I’d come to see, so her boyfriend, Darren was bringing them and he’d be there momentarily to save the day. She sighed and shifted, her big baby belly very obvious on her five foot frame. We talked about where they were from and what they did. I met her dog, and found out she had horses. She liked Carrie. We were friends for sure. For the next two years, Adelaide and Darren would be my landlords- helping me grow and keeping an eye on me while I transitioned through one of the harder times in my life. They gave me a chance when not many would (mid 20′s, no job, and a dog…those things don’t usually bode well for scoring an apartment), and I can never thank them enough for that.
When Norah was born, I was intrigued. This mom did things differently. I loved looking at her pictures and I’d always ask such strange strange questions. Adelaide chuckled and on more than one occasion asked me, mid answer, if I was going to have babies. I’d physically recoil away from her question, my expression softening a bit when Norah would do something awesome (which is pretty much everything she does, despite what her mother will tell you). After two years of Adelaide’s baby stories and just recently watching her family grow by one more (welcome baby Maelbel!) I’ve almost got this kid thing down. In my mind at least.
I was honoured when Darren and Adelaide asked me to join them for their very private wedding in Jamaica. Being huge advocates of supporting local, Darren and Adelaide picked Coyaba Beach Resort and Club- a very small, 50 room ‘resort’ where all the staff knew your name. The food was all locally grown and harvested and the workers at Coyaba would climb the trees and pick coconuts for you if you asked. We drank a LOT of coconut water that week. Everything I could have asked for was on that resort- amazing people, a beautiful room with an outstanding view of where the sun set every night, delicious food, bartenders who didn’t judge at 10am, a perfect beach.
The wedding was perfect. Watching two people who’ve grown so much together, surrounded by family and a few very close friends pledge their love, loyalty, their lives to each other- that never gets old for me. The day we got to Jamaica, Darren and I sat by the boardwalk and had a drink. “I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have Adelaide, Danique, ” Darren told me. One drink in and already feeling great, I replied “She did all the planning for the trip?” Duh. “No, really. Not here, not anywhere. She’s totally changed who I am. And now with Norah…” and he got a little choked up. I melted. Darren the pussycat. Keeper.
If you look at the pictures of Adelaide walking up the aisle, her smile is huge. And real. Their vows were some of the most moving words I’ve heard to date. Their wedding clothes- Adelaide’s raw silk dress, Darren’s linen suit, Norah’s orange flower-girl dress, they were handmade by handpicked seamstresses. Every detail overflowed with personal touches (note the handmade felted flowers). It was perfect.
Amidst these pictures are some from around the resort (maybe you could tell that the hot tub was our favourite hangout), Montego Bay, YS Falls, and from a beautiful sunrise that Norah and I shared one morning on the beach. Darren and Adelaide chose to do their ‘trash the dress’ session a few days after their wedding. We hopped in a cab and told our driver to take us anywhere cool. We were on the same page and he knew the exact places to go. The last few frames finish with a gorgeous sunset on the beach at Coyaba. I couldn’t have asked for better people, a better place, or a better day for these photos.
So, Darren and Adelaide- here are a few of my favourites. It’s pretty hard to pick just a handful for a blog out of over 2000, but here’s what I thought best represented the time we shared in such a beautiful place. Thanks for trusting me, encouraging me, taking care of me, buying me Jamaican jewelry, lending me your kid, and for being my friends. You guys are awesome.