What if you're ill on our wedding day? I get asked this question A LOT. It's every photographers fear. And I have always answered it in the same way. Which is, it would take a lot to make me miss a wedding but no one is unbreakable. I had never missed a wedding in 18 years...... until I did. Last year.

I was devastated.

I kept thinking 'this can't be happening'. I kept telling myself I would be ok, I'd make it. But by 10.30pm on the eve of the wedding, I had to resign myself to the fact that I just wasn't well enough to do the wedding. I somehow managed to type in a photography group (I'm still not sure how I did it) and a superb photographer called Matthew Laraway stepped in, literally at the 11th hour, to save the day.

Now, whilst Russ was suggesting he phoned for an ambulance, all I could think of was how I was letting my couple down. I was devastated by this thought. I didn't care that I might end the evening in hospital, I just felt bad that I was letting people down.

Now that I'm feeling much better, I can see that I was being irrational. But I couldn't see it at the time. The next day I fought with myself for the entire day. One minute feeling like I had let everyone down. The next minute trying to make myself feel better by reminding myself that I am only human. Other people are allowed to be ill why shouldn't I? I couldn't even comprehend that notion.

After 18 years of shooting weddings, what I now realise is this:

A. I'm not that important! Others will step in to help out and cover me.

B. The world won't stop because I'm ill.

C. I need to cut myself some slack.

I guess being in this line of work we just don't think in this way. Not naturally anyway. We feel that we need to be there no matter what. But you know what? We are human. We are replaceable. I owe it to myself not to feel this pressure.

After all this though, I do hope it will be another 18 years before I'm too ill to make a wedding. (Seriously, in 18 years time I will be spending my days in the swimming pool drinking cocktails).

So today I am showing myself some love. I always tell others that they need to look after themselves, think about themselves and their own mental health. So from now on, I'll try and take my own advice.

Thanks to my gorgeous couple Ele & Dave for being so understanding.

Massive thanks to Matthew for stepping in.

Also huge thanks go to Kate for always being an amazing second photographer for me.

And, I am happy to report that Ele & Dave had this to say to me after they received their images ❤️

"Hey Debs,

So sorry for my lack of response to our photos this past week, it's safe to say I think we've both been in such awe with them we've forgotten how to communicate! They are, without a shadow of a doubt the most precious thing we have ever owned and we have you to thank.

Both the albums are stunning, and despite you not having taken the wedding ones, we so glad both they still had your flare, both in editing and in Kates excellent planning, she knows what she's doing! We've spent the weekend sharing our wedding ones with family and will continue to privately for a few weeks, but will be spamming social media the minute they've been viewed by all closest to us. However, I do have to ask, do we just tag you in them? Want to make sure I share them however you wish! 🙂 

Choosing you three years ago was legit the best decision ever. 
You are a star, and it's sad to feel like this is a kind of goodbye, but not forever we hope. We truly hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family, and we'll be seeing you in less than a year anyway!!

Lots of love Ele, (And Dave) 


Ele and Dave, you are the most beautiful humans ever, Thank you from the bottom of my heart xxx

Here are a few from their engagement shoot which I did mange to do! (I am going to meet up with them a year from now to do an anniversary shoot )

What if you're ill on our wedding day?

Images taken at the beautiful Downs Banks, Barlaston, a National Trust area.


I have an update to this post that I'll share in the next few weeks. It turns out that 3 weeks ago I discovered what was happening to me on this particular day as it reared its head again and I was rushed into emergency surgery.

Fully recovered now thankfully but more on this later xx

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