Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Destination wedding photography Bulgaria - beautiful orthodox Christianity wedding ceremony

I've often mentioned that I love shooting destination wedding photography as each country presents beautiful opportunities for creative wedding photography with new locations, different wedding ceremonies, beautiful churches and interesting traditions. The destination wedding photography in Sofia, Bulgaria was no exception. Niki and Eli live in London but as they are originally from Bulgaria they hired me for their destination wedding photography in Bulgaria. The bride was gorgeous with an amazing exquisite wedding dress from Pronovias and the wedding veil was like in a fairy tale. It was a hot summer day of 35C in Sofia and we did the wedding photography of the couple before the wedding ceremony. I always recommend the couple that if the bride is relaxed about the tradition of the groom not seeing her before the church then it's much better to do the wedding photos before the ceremony as in that way they can spend all their time afterwards enjoying the party and mingling with the guest. In Bulgaria as well as in many other Eastern European weddings the tradition is for the groom to wait for the bride outside the church and they enter the church for the wedding ceremony together. Therefore the bride was more than happy to do the wedding photography before the church ceremony. The wedding was taking place in Hilton Hotel Sofia which unfortunately didn't have any garden or scenic backdrop but luckily there was a lovely park just behind the hotel where we took the wedding photos. Sometimes all you need for creative wedding photography is a bit of greenery to create a nice blurred background and a beautiful smile from the bride. The only challenge that day was certainly the heat and it was a pure joy to reach the orthodox church Sveta Nedelia in the centre of Sofia which was nice and cool inside.
I've done destination wedding photography in orthodox churches in Greece, Russia and Cyprus but the orthodox church in Sofia was really spectacular. As most orthodox churches the light inside was really limited but the light from the many candles gave a really romantic surreal feeling. I love the wide angle photo showing the full wedding party and wedding ceremony. It reminds me of a Russian painting I've seen once.
Following the wedding ceremony the couple have received a gift of two white pigeons which they released. The pigeons were very eager to fly away but luckily I managed to get the shot I want with their wings just spreading.
The wedding reception took place in  Hilton Hotel which has beautiful spacious entrance hall where we took the group wedding photography. While we were waiting for the guests to sit down in their places I had a few minutes to create one of my favourite wedding photos from this destination wedding in Bulgaria - the photo of Eli and Niki at the piano which I shot from above.
The wedding continued with a crazy party which started with some typical Bulgarian rituals like the breaking of the glasses after the first toast, followed by a kick of the copper bowl by the bride which contained red and yellow flowers and whichever flower went further symbolised either a son or a daughter. Following that the groom's mother gave the newlyweds a sweet honeyed pitka, which means bread and wished them a long and sweet life together. She then gave the couple a loaf of freshly-baked bread which they held over their heads and the couple turned with their backs to each other had to break the bread - whichever one gets the bigger piece will have the biggest role in the new family.
Like in most Eastern European weddings the party went into the early hours of the morning and was kept very much alive by the performance of one of the most famous pop singers in Bulgaria - Ivana.
Unsurprisingly the wedding went smoothly and was a great success as the wedding agency in Bulgaria did a great job. During the wedding I worked with Vili who is the wedding planner in Bulgaria from Royal Style Weddings ( who work with a lot of couples who live abroad but organise their destination wedding in Bulgaria. 

For further information on destination wedding photography in Bulgaria and to view our portfolio of wedding photography in Central London, Europe, France, Monaco, Italy, Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, Zurich and Russia please visit or contact Neli on 

No comments:

Post a Comment