weddings

The poignant reason Steph and Robbie's wedding guests wore blindfolds for their vows.

As Rob Campbell said his vows to love and cherish Stephanie Agnew for the rest of his life, their guests wore blindfolds.

No iPhones or social media, just the couple and their 54 guests experiencing Rob’s vows in the same way his wife was.

Steph hasn’t been able to see for four years because of Cone-Rod Distrophy, a genetic condition in which the cells in your retina slowly deteriorate and die. At first, the 31-year-old’s vision started getting blurry, but today, she describes what she sees as like watching static on a TV screen.

“The way I explain the way I see now is it’s like an old TV you’re trying to tune in and you get the fuzziness of the black, white and grey. That’s what I see, complete and utter fuzz,” she told Mamamia.

In order for her wedding guests to be present in the moment and fully experience Steph and Rob’s wedding from the bride’s perspective, all but one of the guests put on blindfolds to hear the vows. Steph’s mother Linda simply closed here eyes because she also lost her sight to the same genetic condition.

“We came up with the idea to use the blindfolds when Rob and I met with our photographer [James Day] and videographers [Toni-Jo and Shaun from Lemon Tree Film House] to try and think of other ways to create meaning and include tactile elements into the day.”

“We wanted our guests to be able to really be present and hear our vows the same way my mum and I did, everyone loved it and gave such great feedback about how special the day was.”

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Image: Supplied/Mark Pawlyszyn.
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Image: Supplied/James Day.
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steph-and-robbie-wedding-4
Image: Supplied/James Day.
steph-and-robbie-wedding-4
Image: Supplied/James Day.

The poignant moment at Weddings At Tiffany's in Maleny, Queensland was captured by Sydney photographer James Day, who said Steph and Rob's wedding was "easily the most emotional wedding ceremony I’ve ever been a part of."

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"When we lose one of our senses the others become heightened. This allowed us to experience something as beautiful as these vows in a totally unique way. During the experience, I discovered that my purpose in my work is to remind people of special moment, no matter the medium," he told Mamamia.

"We got to experience them from Steph’s perspective. It is a moment I will never forget."

Description is an important part of how Steph is able to visualise the world around her. Having grown up with her sight, she said thanks to Day's and the Tiffany's staff's descriptions of every detail of her wedding, she's still able to picture it now.

"I remember the view from our wedding venue overlooking Glasshouse Mountains from when I was a kid, my great aunt had a property in the same area, so when the staff described the view from our venue on the day, I was able to picture it so clearly in my mind," she told Mamamia.

"The staff took the time to describe everything to me in detail - when they brought me my bouquet, they sat with me and described the colour and texture of each flower thoroughly as I touched it. Taking that time meant so much, not many other venues would've gone to that effort."

Watch Steph and Rob's incredible wedding video shot by Lemon Tree Film House below. Post continues after video.

The day was also full of tactile moments where Steph could touch and feel the little moments we often take for granted.

"During the ceremony it was important to us to include tactile elements. There were elements, like the best an giving Rob the rings, that I wouldn't have been able to see, so we had an owl from Raptor Vision fly down the aisle, and land on my arm to deliver the rings."

"James added to the tactile elements by giving me different pieces of fabric infused with different essential oils so that I could be reminded of different parts of the day in the future. When I was getting ready, he came over and told me what he was going to do, and handed me the first patch of fabric. I got another one when I was dressed and my mum came over and felt me wearing the dress. They all had different scents and textures - suede, silk, some were embroidered. It was so special."

For Steph, it was her dream wedding day. Even though she couldn't see the emotion on her husband's face as he broke down at the sight of his bride walking down the aisle or the moment the celebrant named them husband and wife, she felt like a true princess.

All images were supplied by the couple and James Day. You can find out more about James Day Photography via the website or by following James Day on Instagram. You can also find Lemon Tree Film House's website here, and follow them on Instagram.

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