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Freya Dowson is an international documentary photographer based in Dubai.

About Freya

The day of the wedding I was too nervous to stomach anything but a mint chocolate chip milkshake. Probably because I hadn’t yet finished writing our table settings!!

I am beyond excited to start sharing the photos from our wedding!! I hope you don’t mind photo overload because I find it impossible to commit to being subtle and selecting just a few. And also, our wedding day comes with a long story, so I feel like I need to paint you a full picture. 

When Adam and I started organising our wedding, the one and only decision I made with absolute certainty throughout the entire process was who I wanted to be our photographer. Olivia Rae James is pretty much my dream photographer! She’s always been such an inspiration to me and she shoots weddings so beautifully – it had to be her. If only I could have been so decisive with everything else… 

The entire week and a half that I had been in Bermuda before the wedding, the weather had been so beautiful. Bright and breezy days, clear nights with a full moon, stars as far as the eye could see, exactly the kind of weather you would want for your wedding. My mum and I kept on saying, “if the wedding was tonight, this weather would be perfect” – who knows, maybe we jinxed it. 

A few days before the wedding, our caterers came over for a last minute look around and planning session. They said they had been tracking the weather and there was a 90% chance of rain the evening of our wedding, we should probably go ahead and put up tents. I was sad because I had pictured a beautiful, open-air dinner with lights strung between the palm trees and the tree frogs peeping away in the background. I find it funny now to look back and think about how I was a little sad about the tents, because in the end we didn’t actually need them!

The morning of the wedding I woke up, saw how grey the sky was, and declared I wasn’t getting out of bed until the weather had improved it’s attitude. Adam went off to have coffee with his parents and came back at around 8:30 and sat on the bed next to me. I rolled over and honestly by the look on his face I thought someone had died – it was one of those “just tell me!!!” moments because he couldn’t get the words out. As it happens, we didn’t need the tents because our caterers had to take them down. There was a tropical storm heading for Bermuda and they weren’t insured to have tents up in such high winds. Because of the placement of the tents, there was a good chance that the wind could pick them up and blow them straight through the windows of my grandfathers house. The location we had been planning and decorating for months was just not an option anymore. We needed to change venue…

Suddenly everything went crazy. Our caterer was on his way to pick us up and take us to a venue he could offer us on short notice. My mum was on the phone to Morgan, my maid of honor, and Eve, Sara Jane and Kate, my other bridesmaids, to come over as quickly as possible. Groomsmen arrived on an army of scooters and started to stuff decorations into plastic bags to move them. The alcohol that was taking up most of the garage had to be sent back. The tents were being taken down along with the lights and speakers. It was all organised chaos and I was just in shock, I didn’t know what to make of it!

When we saw our new venue, I didn’t really take any of it in. Thank goodness we had hired a wedding planner to help with coordination on the day because she was already at the venue when we arrived and immediately jumped in and started negotiating for all the extra benefits she could get from the manager. 

Looking at these photos, you would never be able to tell, would you? We all look so happy and stress free, like we had planned on the tropical storm all along! As I was getting ready and putting my dress on, I completely let go of everything. I wasn’t in control of anything anymore and there wasn’t anything I could do. Every time I thought of something and said, “MUM!!! WHAT ABOUT THE….”, she just said “it’s already done”. What a superwoman. 

Adam and I decided to have a “first look” before the ceremony. Neither of us could take any more emotion than we had already had to deal with that day. If we had to see each other for the first time walking down the aisle I don’t think either of us could have held it together. As it is, I think we did pretty well! I’ll carry on with the story tomorrow…

Wedding Dress and Bridesmaid Dresses :: BHLDN, Gold Orchid Hair Ornaments :: Twigs & Honey, My Shoes :: Kurt Geiger, Wedding Rings :: WeAreArrow, Adams Suit :: Suit Supply, Adams Tie :: The Bay

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