A Story of Tartans - Two Mann Studios

A Story of Tartans

These photos tell the story of Nikki, James, Heather, Finlay, and Otis. It’s the story of an intimate, relaxed, family wedding in the midst of a global pandemic. It’s also the story of someone who is not physically present in the photos, but present nonetheless.

Elaine had the kind of quiet wisdom you didn’t necessarily notice in the moment, but its absence is loud. Like her family’s tartan, from her Scottish heritage, her wisdom was strong. It was bold while being subtle and understated. It was a distinct pattern of white, green, and dark blue, with the most beautiful vibrant yellow lines running through it. Its tight weave thick, protective, and rugged. A little itchy next to the skin, letting you know it’s there. Durable. Dependable. An heirloom passed down for generations.

Elaine’s tartan, with its yellow streak of wisdom, weaved into its pattern, blanketed James, Heather, and Finlay, in warmth and protection.

As she got closer to death (from esophageal cancer), the tartan’s protection became tighter, more enduring. As the yellow got brighter, the wisdom got stronger. So strong you could feel it in the air that surrounded her, without even exchanging words. When Elaine passed into another world on Feb. 3, 2015, the tartan’s yellow streak shone brighter than ever. The tight weave of the fabric, steeped in warmth, knowledge, and durability, wrapped around her family as tight as it could.

Slowly, and unknowingly at first, the tartan began to loosen its tight weave. It still protected the family, but the weave loosened just enough for another, completely unique fibre to weave its way into the already bold pattern. The new fibre was different than the yellow streak.

It was silky. It was smooth and it was a bright blue. It felt nice against the skin. It was also durable. And it was also wise, but in a completely different way. It was warming, comforting, protective, accepting, non-judgemental. It was pure. Pure love.

This is also Nikki’s story.

Nikki’s love became woven into the tartan, making it stronger, with a brand new bright streak next to the yellow. It became a pattern so beautiful for its inclusiveness, commitment, and its vibrant contrast.

This is the story of Nikki, James, Heather, Finlay, and Otis. And of Elaine. A beautiful, technicolour family of many weaves and dreams.