Being gay and wedding photographers it’s more than just a job for us, it’s also a passion. A passion for our art and a passion for the wonderful right of marriage. It's something that we hold close to our hearts, particularly since my Spanish husband, Manuel and I were married in Barcelona, we knew that sadly, it would not be recognised once we were back in Australia.
It saddens us both that not everyone could share the joy and emotion of getting married. It's a basic civil right that you want to share, celebrate and let the world know how much this person means to you. When your own country won’t recognise your spouse, it is quite sad.
Our wedding in Barcelona was something of a masterpiece in so many ways, full of surprises and little details. Apart from the actual song “Masterpiece" by Madonna, playing as we walked down the aisle with my mother and my daughter, it truly brought together the pure love which we had found in each other. It also brought together different cultures, people and spirituality’s.
It was a celebration of love and acceptance. We had friends and family attend from Spain, Holland, Italy, Israel, Sweden and the UK. One of my very dear friends who is a Church of England minister, created a wonderful spiritual service for us, combining both the Catholic and Jewish wedding ceremony and vows, and though Manuel and I are both not “religious" we are both “spiritual" and for us this is also the way we try to approach our life.
Manuel & Ben's Wedding Photography by Black & Blanc
We had a wonderful speech on the importance of “acceptance and rights" from a well-known Spanish writer and a very moving surprise duo from a friend who performed the very touching song from the movie "Life is Beautiful” (La vita è bella) called “beautiful that way”. In three months, we managed to organise an amazing and warm ceremony from invitations, and cakes, to flowers and many other fine details. I guess being quite creative makes that easier.
As you can see above, our wedding was full of details and surprises. For us the most important thing was going to be the photos as we knew the day would pass so quickly. We wanted to look back and be reminded of all those special moments and most importantly the emotions. In the end that’s what it is all about, the memory.
Being photographers, you have very high expectations, and for both of us our special day could only be recorded by true photojournalists. That is, a photographer who tells a story, who does not carry you away for a posed and stayed shoot, but one who unobtrusively follows you around recording those special candid moments of you, your partner and those close to you, as they are. A photojournalist does not follow a trend but provides you a timeless and modern portrayal of your day no matter what your styling is. Manuel and I both love the details, the shared looks, the laughter, the tears, our friends and families and the joy.
We were married on Friday June 28th the anniversary of the stonewall riots, a truly significant date.
Same-sex Wedding Photography by Manuel Vicente Photography
Manuel and I were so overwhelmed with love and emotion from all those who attended. Even the staff of the beautiful venue perched up in the Catalan hills commented that in 30 years they had never seen such an emotional and beautiful wedding. For us this was the most important day of our lives, and to hear these comments made us feel that it was a true reflection on how we are as people. This is also our philosophy with our work and our clients. Sadly, being an Australian I was ashamed that it was not legal by the state to marry the one I love therefore l could not feel proud of my own country. I am, however, holding on tightly to the reality that soon this will be different.
In July we will work as photographers on our first gay wedding here in Australia. Although we have done a few in Europe, for me this one being in Australia will have a lot of meaning as I will get to capture through my own eyes the special love that I felt on my own wedding through another couple who will manage to celebrate their important day on Australian soil.
Capturing love for us is what we do best and we know how to do this from our own experience, we know how lucky we are to have the privilege of our love being recognised.
Ben CoburnManuel Vicente Photography
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