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.