, ,

A Love Like That: Geri and Kev

In Madagascar’s unforgiving heat, Romy, Bon and I sat with our feet over the side of the ferry. Soldiers, making the crossing too, flanked us. One of them stared with enough intensity to make us a little uncomfortable. “Avoid eye contact,” Bon instructed. Trained in the art, we distracted each other from the hot sun and unwanted attention. The topic of discussion: finesse. Earlier on in our trip, we had listed characteristics we value and look for in people. Romy: kindness. Bon: a higher calling. I offered up finesse and we were now dissecting it. What is it? More than manners, more than presentation, more than poise – on this we agreed. Something close to grace. But we struggled to define it exactly. And so, we tried – instead – to think of someone who possessed the quality. Again, we all agreed. Geri.

That finesse ran throughout Geri and Kev’s wedding. I saw it in Geri’s inability to sit while others helped; in her willingness to climb onto a big fallen tree in her wedding dress; in the personalised and handwritten card on each guest’s place setting; in her persistent and constant efforts to deflect the limelight onto those she loves; in every word of her speech, but in these in particular: “Even after all this time, the Sun never says to the Earth, you owe me. Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.” There were other more precise examples and subtle moments of kindness that I clocked but I know that Geri wouldn’t want me to draw attention to them. As I said: finesse.

How does one complement that finesse? With boldness. I saw it in Kev’s unapologetic individuality and his intolerance for pretense; in his robust and long friendships and firm belief that consistency is the most underrated of qualities but, most especially, in his love and adoration for his new wife. As his best man, Craig said, there’s no app for Kev’s brand of determination.

Together, Kev and Geri sifted through weddings’ traditions, keeping the few that suited them, discarding those that didn’t. Within that decision exists their boldness and finesse. Boldness, in making it. Finesse, in doing so quietly, without the need to make it a statement. I hope these photos convey Geri’s and Kev’s softness. I hope these photos convey their strength.