I don’t know whether it is the beautiful part of France that I am in; with the warmth of the sun on my face, my lush green surroundings or the wonderful company of who I deem to be my oldest friend and her parents (my second family!) – but I am feeling reflective.

It has been a challenging few months with lots of change for me and my gorgeous future wife but with that has come pockets of pure joy and genuine happiness. One of those times perhaps five weeks ago now, was when I was lucky enough to be the best person at my best friends’ wedding – they married each other!

Perhaps it is the peace and tranquility that is encouraging such reflection and the week I spent in Cumbria for their wedding was perhaps one of the best weeks of my life – I felt peaceful, relaxed and surrounded by love – not dissimilar of course to how I’m feeling now in France.

Kayleigh and Rach got married in the beautiful Lake District. And it was more than just the area of natural beauty that was beautiful. The genuine and true love and acceptance for them, as two women committing to spend the rest of their lives together, was without a doubt unlike anything I had ever seen. And of course, as doomy gloomy as it sounds, not to be taken for granted with the increase in LGBT+ hate crimes and hate incidents we are seeing across the UK.

The wedding party was made up of people from all over the UK – from Southampton to Middlesbrough and everywhere in between and beyond. There were people with disabilities, older people, straight people, people who voted for Brexit and people who didn’t. There were babies and children, cisgender people, LGBT+ or queer people and people who confidently danced the Ceilidh and others who happily sat and watched!

No matter where they came from, their gender identity, their sexuality or whether they wanted us to leave the European Union or to remain, they were there to support Kayleigh and Rach and did so whole heartedly.

Watching Kayleigh and Rach walk down the aisle – their smiles and their excitement for what they were about to do; commit to each other forever and have it recognised in law was so special. I don’t have the words – and for me that really is saying something! Equally, I looked around the room, seeing the happy tears, the beaming smiles and hearing the ‘whoop whoops’ of celebration and it warmed my heart and I felt that love and acceptance to my very core.

Photography Credit – Tiree Dawson Photography

So no matter where we come from, our identities our thoughts on Brexit and other things that all too often divide us, I believe now more than I ever have done before, that love unites us. I always knew this, and I’ve seen it when supporting trans and non-binary people and LGBT+ youth but of course, not nearly enough.

The love that Kayleigh and Rach have for each other and the love we all have for them was our commonality that day. People smiled at each other, hugged each other, danced together and everyone from the youngest child to the oldest relative understood and embraced the love the new ‘Mrs and Mrs’ had for each other – they didn’t see gender or sexuality. They saw love, kindness and happiness – something that should be cherished, celebrated and shouted about from the rooftops!

Wedding Photography – Tiree Dawson Photography

Wedding Film – Veiled Productions

Wedding Venue – New House Farm, Cumbria