It's always a joy when teenage sweethearts tie the knot, but Lisa and Austin had more reason to celebrate than most. Their story started at school where, in an area of the playground populated by the ‘Goths’, Lisa spotted Austin through a sea of dyed black hair.
His opening words, 'Hola señorita' reduced her to a giggling mess, while his email asking,‘will you be my girlfriend… or whatever’ was the answer to her dreams. For five years, everything seemed to be going fine, but then they came crashing down from Cloud 9 when Lisa was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of cancer.
She found herself in hospital through the worst weather of the winter. Austin visited her every day. One day the snow was so deep, the official advice was not to travel unless absolutely necessary, but Austin was determined to see her. He abandoned his car, walked through the snow and waited hours for a train. Amazingly one showed up and he made it to Lisa's bedside.
When he walked in, Lisa just glowed with happiness. As they said in their ceremony, "In this moment they both realised how much they needed each other for strength and happiness. Austin was inspired by her strength through the chemotherapy and Lisa fell in love with him all over again, as he made her smile laugh and feel beautiful everyday."
As Lisa said in her message to me, "It really was the most perfect ceremony. I still feel like it was a bit of a dream! We were so lucky with everything, from finding you as our humanist, to how brightly the sun was shining for us on a spring day."
"I'll never forget seeing Austin's face, all blotchy and red from crying the moment we saw each other."
"How proud I was to have my dad walking beside me, despite his recent diagnosis of MS, and looking at all the happy faces of our friends and family as you read our story of how Austin and I fell in love."
It was an exceptionally smiley, happy day! I loved the way Austin came down the aisle with his mum and dad. I loved how he and Lisa involved their friends, Claire, Gavin, Robert and Rachael, who all wrote their own secret contributions, and I loved Lisa's brother Danny's reading of an excerpt from their favourite book, The Hobbit.
In their vows, both Austin and Lisa said, "I promise to work with you to make the best of whatever life throws at us." It's a phrase many couples say, but that day, it had more meaning than most.
As Lisa also said,"It was everything I could have hoped for. We've been through a lot as a young couple, so to have a perfect day like that was the best gift we could ever get."
Thank you again for keeping me calm and making us smile so much on our wedding day."
It's just over a year since their marriage at Houstoun House, but what I remember more than anything else is just how happy Austin and Lisa were, and how that made their guests enjoy it even more.
Lisa said, "Our family and friends are still telling us it's the best ceremony they have been to, so personal emotional loving funny and relaxed. You read our words beautifully, understanding our humour and love for each other in the most respectful way.
We may be a young couple but have been through a lot so after everything giving us this dream ceremony to celebrate our love for each other was the greatest gift!
So thank you Tim you will always be a part of our most special day and we thank you for making it everything we wanted."
I'm just glad you chose to make me a part of it, Lisa! Thank you again for your very kind words, and thanks to Dan and Matt of Fern Photography for these photos. You can see more of them on their blog here