There is something indescribably romantic about the beach; perhaps it is the gentle way the waves caress the shore, that symbolism of the land meeting the sea in an eternal embrace, each shaping the other over time. Or perhaps it is the way the ocean so aptly represents love and longing—both through the many uncertain voyages which have taken place across it, parting and reuniting lovers for aeons, and through its vast, fathomlessly deep, and altogether incomprehensible nature.
Whatever the underpinning reasons for our fixation with the sea, it is little wonder that so many happy couples like Jenny and Lee choose to take their vows on the beach—the views alone inevitably make for a beautiful ceremony, a fact I was able to thoroughly enjoy while engaging in some recent wedding photography at Aliathon Beach Holiday in Paphos, Cyprus.
Jenny and Lee, who are from the UK, brought their charming little family (consisting of their two lovely children, Annie-Mai and Louie) along on that greatest of British traditions: The seaside holiday. Underneath the bubbling and raucous joy of a family vacation, however, lie an undercurrent of timeless romance: For Jenny and Lee, love began with a song in the heart, with a first dance sweet enough to befit two shy teenagers at a high school prom, falling in love for the first time. The song? “How long will I love you?” by Ellie Goulding. The answer? “Always.”
The song is itself bound up with the sea, and the stars above, those two mirror images that so often orient the compass of the heart:
“How long will I love you?
As long as stars are above you
And longer, if I can.
How long will I need you?
As long as the seasons need to
Follow their plan.
How long will I be with you?
As long as the sea is bound to
Wash upon the sand.”
How could I, as a photographer, not be captured by such a story? For me, this session of wedding photography at Aliathon Beach Holiday was as golden an opportunity as catching that last warm day on the beach as summer wanes into autumn.