“Have you ever really held the hand of someone you love? Not just in passing, a loose link between you – but truly clasped, with the pulses of your wrists beating together and your fingers mapping the knuckles and nails like a cartographer learning a country by heart?” ― Jodi Picoult
The simple act of hand-holding is one that we often take for granted until its quiet poignancy changes our lives forever. As children, our parents holding our hands often gives us one of our earliest memories of feeling safe. As adults, holding the hand of a sick relative, we realise just how fragile life really is. We go through life being reached out to this way countless times, receiving offers of support that carry us through our darkest moments… And for some people, taking another’s hand goes beyond even these comforts; for the lucky few, this one gesture is the beginning of life’s greatest journey.
This was the case for Helen and Johnson, whose beautiful Elias Beach Hotel wedding I was lucky enough to be invited to photograph. It all began when Helen confided to her best friend, Mimi, that a charming man named Johnson (a friend of Mimi’s friend) had caught her eye, with his clean-cut good looks and dazzling smile. The spark was lit—as it turns out, the attraction was mutual, and Johnson soon asked Helen out.
During one of their early dates, Johnson happened to catch hold of Helen’s hand and suddenly, the connection between them anchored itself as something unquestionable: Helen’s hand was the perfect size, the perfect fit, for Johnson’s. In that instant, he knew he’d found the woman that God had made especially for him.
Thus began a wild seven years of midnight phone calls full of hushed excitement and trusting words, along with trips all over London absorbing the sunset magic of the city in a way that only lovers can. All the while, something deeper—the friendship of two souls who are always open to one another—was growing and entwining the both of them.
The more time they spent together, the more they realised they looked forward to each day foremost because it was another day to spend with one another—that all each of them could see in the future was the other’s smiling face lighting the way.
So it was that Helen and Johnson found themselves at the Elias Beach Hotel, saying their vows as the sea’s endless horizon reached out to unite with the sky…