Recently I had the great pleasure of shooting the wedding of Paula and Antun—who you may remember from this post—the star-crossed lovers who overcame distance to find one another in the lush hills of Croatia.
Just as the tangerine trees grown by Paula's family blossom, ripen, and bear fruit, Paula and Antun's love has gone from trembling bud to bold, nourishing colour, culminating in them being wed in Konavle, near Dubrovnik.
Konavle, like Paula and Antun, is both lovely and traditional, with centuries-old streets and pristine nature all around. The couple were wed in a small, intimate ceremony in an old stone church, before moving on to a dinner party at the Konavoski Dvori resturant. This restaurant, which abuts an ancient mill that straddles the clear, cold Ljuta river (one Croatia's cleanest and most beautiful mountain streams) was rich in traditional, home-cooked food and fine wines—the perfect fare to toast a love as real and robust as Paula and Antun's.
During the ceremony I witnessed Paula—dressed in a stunning vintage style, right down to her perfect shoes and bouquet—being given away by her father, in a scene so elegant and moving it could have been taken right from a classic movie. No one at the wedding held back; emotion poured more freely than wine, as Paula's father gave his cherished daughter over to the embrace of her devoted suitor.
In this day and age, when so many people try to come across as being “cool”, downplaying what they feel and putting up an iron guard of modern, jaded cynicism, the emotion of this beautiful family seemed like a miracle from another time.
In the vivid beauty of such open love, I was reminded that to show unrestrained emotion is to express the glory of nature. It is to become one with the joy of a river flowing unhindered, the leaping antelope, the wildcat at play, and the sun that rises in a cloudless sky. Nature is, after all, not self-conscious; it does not apologize for its power or its honesty, just as great love ought not.
This was a particular treat for me as capturing raw emotion is, of course, what makes a photograph powerful!
Wedding dress: I Do / Demetrios Vintage
Floral and Design: Pat Rea
Makeup & Hairstyle: Ana's Studio
Venue: Konavoski Dvori
Thank-you gifts: Maja Vidak