The wedding day is undoubtedly one of the few special days in your life. You should plan to do it once, and do it right! Planning a wedding can be a tricky business. No wonder why people avoid this headache by employing the services of a wedding planner. You would not want the memories of such day to haunt you forever, as a result of bad planning.
So, let’s do the work of a wedding planner together here, as we thoroughly examine 6 important elements that make a wedding day unforgettable. :)
THE WEDDING DRESS
The wedding dress is a heart of the wedding. Every woman looks forward to putting on the wedding gown, as family and friends anticipate the sight of gracefulness. It is a matter not to be taken lightly at the very least - take your mind off renting or hiring. It is your special day, and I don’t think you intend to do 2 or 3 or 4 in your lifetime, so SPOIL YOURSELF! Get a befitting gown that will bring you out to the spotlight. Manage your budget so you can afford an elegant yet not too expensive gown.
As she walked down the aisle, many faces felt tears stream down their cheeks. They had never before seen a more beautiful and graceful bride. Her serene expression gave away no nervousness, save for the gentle flush of her cheeks. The walk through the woods beforehand with her father had been a different story. As she clung to her father's hand, trembling breaths causing her to shake slightly, the only other sound was that of the birds chirping and the echo of waves crashing on the seashore. But she was ready. Upon approaching the last stretch of woodland trail, she leaned over and whispered in her fathers ear and saw a single tear roll down his cheek.
The wedding ceremony for Alice and Daniel took place at Gjorgjić-Mayneri park on island Lopud in southern Croatia amidst the tall pillars and fluttering leaves of the trees. The ceremony was in all ways beautiful, but no element shown more brightly than the loving glow on Alice and Daniel's faces. They simply couldn't take their eyes off each other as they spoke the words that would bind them for life. Then came the fist bump. It was an unexpected moment of hilarity between the two that let everyone know just how at ease they were with one another. It was funny, touching and a sign of the quirky type of love they shared.
The reception and after-party was at Villa on a hillside overlooking the bay. It's a gorgeous stone house with a large pool and spacious balcony, perfect for hosting the wedding party and their guests. Before the festivities got started, Alice and Daniel danced their first couples dance to Henry Mancini's “Moon River” in the silver moonlight drifting over the balcony. They leaned tenderly against one another, eyes closed to the moment. I don't think they were even aware of the guests around them as they slowly circled the dance floor.
I felt a little twinge as I watched them. The way they held each other and laughed with one another made me think of the phrase “two against the world.” They are each other's rock, a steadying hand when the storms of life threaten to wash them both away. When you find someone that understands you the way that no one else can, who accepts the crazy part of you by showing you their own, you know you've found your soulmate. I know that Alice and Daniel will stand by each other for their entire lives. Theirs is a love that will never die, come rain or come shine.
Even in the photography business, it is a thrill to see an editorial about you in the paper. Photography magazines are an excellent way to get your name out there; it is even better to expose your art to the world in full-color spreads, where high definition lets your audience see even the tiniest of details where twisting of a sheer dress in the wind become sculptures through the lens of your camera.
I had the pleasure of photographing one of my lovely models at the beautiful Akrotiri salt lake in Cyprus at the end of past year; this photo shoot was picked up a year later by the Croatian bridal magazine Nova Vjenčanja.
The editorial team was a joy to work with. I have never worked with a more talented team; although there were a few moments during the shoot where things got tough, they and I powered through. I want to give a special thanks to Crina Barbu, whose make-up jobs are absolutely splendid. Osan Suzana Shirinian, who was our Litous designers assistant, was especially patient throughout the whole process, as was our model Alice Vuap.
Being published by this magazine has not just gained me a bigger audience. It's also provided me with the recognition and appreciation for my work that I and all photographers need. My work is my life, and I put every fibre of my being into each and every photo I produce. I am happy for getting that acknowledgement and validation to thrive me and be inspired to do more. After all, every appreciation and kind word means the world to me.
As a destination wedding photographer, I have seen it all. From grandiose weddings streaming with expensive decorations, to the humblest of ceremonies with only a select number of guests, I have experienced every one differently. However, the blossoming love between soulmates Josipa and Josip had a depth which I find hard to describe. You could see the deep feeling they had for one another in every look, every touch, every gesture that they gave to each other.
The ceremony took place in a modest church with no more than 100 guests in attendance. As I took pre-wedding photos of the bride as I was arranging her dress, ensuring every finite detail was perfect, I listened as she spoke lovingly of her husband-to-be. Her blushing cheeks and tear-brimmed eyes shone as she expressed her nervousness at her fiance seeing her in her wedding dress for the first time. With as lovely as she was at that moment, I wished he could have seen her.
And then the moment finally came... As Josipa glided down the aisle in an ethereal vision of lace and light, I could see the tears forming in Josip's eyes as he walked alongside his beautiful bride. They arrived at the altar and embraced with a quiet fierceness that moved some in the audience to tears as well. I was able to capture so many reactions to this sublime romance, but my favorite picture out of them all is when Josipa bowed her head in prayer, veil floating around her still blushing cheeks as everyone said a prayer of blessing for their marriage.
After the ceremony, I was able to capture some truly romantic moments between the newlyweds as they paddled through the nearby lake in a canoe for two. The clear reflections in the lake and the surrounding lily pads made for a beautiful setting, and every shot seemed to have a magic to it.
Their wedding dance was equally enchanting, with sweeping curtain backdrops and a starlit ceiling glimmering above the first dance they would dance as husband and wife.
Many brides and grooms have pulled off their wedding day with style and more than a touch of charm and grace, but Josipa and Josip's wedding will always have a special place in my memory. Theirs is a love that will last through every year of their lives, and as the storms of life wash over them, I know that they will cling fast to each other throughout it all with the bright shining hope of true love.
My morning begins at 6am, when the daylight hours have barely begun to peek over the horizon with pink and golden rays. I drag myself out of bed, eyelids still heavy, and take a quick shot of the sunrise in stunning panorama. I check to make sure the shots are good and then stumble down to breakfast. Even half asleep, I am still a photographer.
The moment I'm fully awake, it is time to get to work. As a destination wedding photographer, my job takes me to the most amazing places. I have been through the hectic haze of London, taking pictures of every police box I see and stopping native Londoners for a fashion photo op. I have been to the coastal Mediterranean island of Cyprus, where crystal waves break on turquoise shores. The shore glows at night with lights peeking from city windows, tall buildings engraved in the cliff side.
Each day is a new adventure, ripe with potential and the chance to take that perfect shot, the one all photographers dream about. It's not all fun and games, though.
When I tell people what I do for a living, I typically get the same response: “Oh, so you take pictures?”
Well, duh. But there's so much more to it than that. Wedding photographers oftentimes are the lynch pin that holds the wedding together. We are not only photographing your special moments; we do a bit of everything.
I have many times found myself playing decorator, coordinator, therapist... I should really start putting these things on my resume. I am also a stylist, entertainer and children-finder. I have had brides and mothers cry on my shoulder, and I have taken more coffee orders than I can count, or drink orders for that matter. The list goes on and on...
But I am not complaining. I love all of it. I love the bustle and energy, the beauty of fresh new love blossoming in front of me as I capture romantic moments, but most of all, I love knowing that I've made the bride's day special. I guess you could say I set the mood. How I do my job sets the tone for how the wedding is going to be. When I do my job well, everybody's happy, which makes me feel rewarded and sets my heart aflutter.
It is not just my work; it is my passion. It is the tidal wave that sweeps me away into an ocean of ideas, and it's also the gentle flow that brings me back to calm waters. My brain is always bursting with anticipation of where my job will bring me next, what exciting new opportunities I will find that day.
It's not just a job. It's my way of life.
The wind softly caresses her hair, the sun kisses her skin, nature recognizes her as her child and embraces her. Never has her beauty been so strong and present, never have her eyes shown that special spark of freedom and happiness, a wild child, a wild love.
For me as a photographer, it is my ultimate goal to unite both nature's and fashion's beauty, to create a perfect ensemble of a free spirited wearing a breathtaking dress that makes her one with mother nature and at the same time makes her stand out and shows her inner beautiful energy. She is a strong individual, she knows what she wants and she knows her strength. But at the same time there is this undeniable softness in her soul, the elegance in her movement that is reflected by the lightness of the fabric flowing down her body, moving in the wind, dancing to the distant sound of a melody only she can hear. The sound of freedom, the sound of passion, a sound that takes your mind to some far away place where everything is possible and where there are no rules to follow. She is the bride, she is personified passion and love, she is the object of her husband's desire but also she is the unique individual living her dreams, fighting for her passions, caring for her loved ones.
Beauty does not have to be complex all the time, look at the simple but stunning beauty that lies in the lively flowing of a river, in the calm presence of a mountain lake, in the impressive strength of an old tree, held upright by roots that go so much deeper than anyone would ever imagine. Beauty often lies in the simple things. A gentle breeze moving the branches, a small bird singing its song.
The Akrotiri Salt lake in Cyprus inspired me to create this setting as a mixture of fairy tale, love story and adventure. You can find the 'behind the scenes' and some extra material here.
My bride is a woman who knows it does not take a loud and screaming styling to make perfectly stage her beauty. She surrounds herself with elegance and simplicity, which also shows in the simple but all the more beautiful shape and flow of her dress. She becomes one with nature, finds back to her own roots only to grow even stronger. Her strength and her softness combine and create her own unique aura, feminine, beautiful, pure grace. And she is standing there, her eyes fixed on the horizon, awaiting new adventures...
While fanfare provides its own sort of rapture, as a photographer I delight in capturing something far more rare: True intimacy.
Having frequently acted as a destination wedding photographer, I am used to boisterous Mediterranean celebrations, but during my recent two-month stay in Cyprus, I was treated to a rare display of relaxed, low-key closeness full of little moments of enchantment.
I was invited to shoot the wedding of a beautiful Polish girl named Aleksandra and her dashing Lebanese groom, Ghassan, on location there in Nicosia. To my surprise, I found that the only guests were to be their witnesses, Celine and Charbel. This might seem unusual and informal at first glance, but as it turns out, these four friends (all professional architects living in Lebanon) functioned like a little family of their own, with Celine and Charbel celebrating their own union in tandem with the happy couple: The six month anniversary of their Paris wedding.
The quirky chemistry of the four friends was most evident in their choice of attire: The men's unusul blue suits (with brown leather ties) were the perfect complement to Aleksandra's home-made bouquet (comprised of both real flowers and cut paper), with its bold blue accents, while the green leaves in said bouquet balanced her unusual choice of shoes. I loved the extra kick of colour her green heels added to her ensemble, breaking up the miles of white that usually goes with being a bride. Celine added the final note of aesthetic harmony, with her blue heels and cute peach dress adding a bit of warmth to offset all the cool tones worn by the others. Getting to see the vibrance of their originality reminded me that the greatest joy of being a destination wedding photographer is not solely about the new places you see—it is very much about the diverse and unique people you meet.
Without the organisational logistics of getting a large group of people together, we were all able to savour the experience of the wedding, to take our time and not worry about schedules. As such, after the ceremony, we all took a leisurely stroll through the old part of Nicosia, where the four architects delighted in the marvels there: the grand buildings with their old windows and doors. As we passed in front of a big house covered in flowers, an old lady came out to congratulate the newly married couple in Greek, sharing an offering of fresh home-made lemonade—the perfect toast.
And so the magic of love, friendship, and the warmth of the Cypriot people combined to end the day on a truly golden note. As you can see expressed by the playful candour of the four friends posing together in the outdoor photos, love and happiness do not require spectacle and expense to be genuine, heartfelt, and moving—at their best, they are simply natural.
The image of a beautiful woman waiting by the shore faithfully for the man she loves goes back eons, to the time of the mythical Odysseus and his wife Penelope. We can easily call to mind the image of her, candle in hand, peering out the window, gazing far out over the moonlit sea, thinking of the day when her partner will return to her.
Such images of faithful love waiting by the sea seems the stuff of ancient tales, but Ana and Marko show us that in some small Mediterranean towns, this timeless tradition still lives on. She works as a makeup artist while he works as a sailboat skipper—hence the image of this beautiful couple posing together near a line of boats—and as such, they are often parted for long periods of time as Marko deftly pilots sailboats around the Mediterranean.
In spite of this, their love has remained strong; each time they are reunited, they feel a rush of joy similar to that which they felt when they first met and fell for one another. Ana and Marko therefore decided to make their bond eternal with a simple, heartfelt ceremony, one which fittingly took place by the sea in Zadar, Croatia. The couple was wed in the ancient Cathedral of St. Anastasia, a grand structure which has been in existence since the middle ages, and which has no doubt housed a great many lovers oft parted by the crashing waves of the sea.
After the ceremony was completed, Ana and Marko exited the church in a rush of colour and bliss, knowing that now, nothing on earth could truly ever part them. To forever cement this rapture in their memories, they posed for a photo with all of their family and friends, the crowd raising their arms to the heavens in celebration.
Have you ever seen someone in a crowded place and felt a sudden tingle down your spine, a sense of immediate familiarity? You may feel unsure: have you met them somewhere before, or are you simply destined to know them?
That was the question, the sensation, that sizzled in the air when Martina and Lin crossed paths one night while they were both out on the town. Lin was arrested by the sight of the lovely young woman, called by both her beauty and the pull of a memory he could not immediately place - and then it came to him: he had seen her a year prior, clad in a white T-shirt, her hair neatly tied up in a ponytail. From that moment on, Lin vowed to not let Martina slip away again, and six years later, they were organizing their wedding.
There was no pomp or pretension about this wedding, only the couple's authentic selves; Martina and Lin chose to have the ceremony and the party at the same location, so the day flowed naturally, relaxed and easy.
Their rustic, vintage-inspired wedding took place largely in the open air, the sun shining on the bride's joyous face, the gentle breeze whispering its blessings. Everywhere around there was the touch of love, for Martina had planned and decorated the entire wedding herself, with the aid of her dear friends. Her deft hands had adorned the candle sticks and vases with pretty ribbons, and her cheerful nature could clearly be seen in the way the photo booth was decorated like a cozy living room, complete with a sweets table full of cookies and candies. Martina even chose to eschew formal shoes for her favorite footwear - sneakers - opting for a beautiful pair of custom-made, prettily-decorated sneakers from shoe designer Shuz.
The black and white photos from this shoot are, I feel, evocative of another time, of dreams and memories - the perfect complement to the finale of the ceremony, whereupon a very special memory was honored.As the lights dimmed down, everyone lit up sparklers to represent the shimmering light that was all around them, but not seen: the loving spirit of Martina's mother, and all the joyful memories associated with her.
Such is the true magic of marriage: it binds families across the years, transcending time and change.
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!
When vibrant nature becomes silent below frost crystals and soft fluffy blankets, a special romantic time of the year is coming. Magic and fragrant, magnificent, pearl white and almost silky winter is arriving.
The long nights are illuminated with holiday magic lights, gold and red details, and rich velvet textures.
Days becomes a tale of our reality, just as editorial which we did by gathering the most skilled hands and eyes of art.
So take a look, gently awaken your senses and take inspiration from the month which always fascinates us.