Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life….love gives us a fairytale!
And for smiling bride Anna-Maria, the beginning of her magical happily ever after, was set against the majestic Victorian backdrop of the Ognisko restaurant in Kensington.
I always feel very privileged to be invited to share in the excitement of a bride preparing for her special day. As her attentive bridesmaids fussed, Anna Maria giggled girlishly. The moment is captured beautifully in this photograph, with her bridesmaid helping her into her shoes…perhaps something of a Cinderella moment…. and then we left for the ball…
The groom awaited for his bride at Little Brompton Oratory in South Kensington. Sharply dressed in a black dinner jacket, Witek was all smiles as his wife to-be arrived at the elegant ceremony. Escorted up the aisle by her father, the bride wowed in a delicate dress, with lace top and voluminous skirt. And whilst all eyes were appropriately fixated on the bride, she was followed by three devoted bridesmaids, dressed in eye-catching royal blue dresses.
As a seasoned wedding photographer in Surrey and London, I have been lucky enough to attend some of the most lavish and ostentatious weddings in the area. Yet the wedding of Anna-Maria and Witek was more than just another bride and groom..it was an authentic combination of their heritage and tradition, which I felt truly honoured to be a part of!
Both Anna-Maria and Witek are born in the UK to Polish parents, the ceremony at Little Brompton was most appropriate. Set up during the Second World War, the venue was once a centre for Polish soldiers who came to the UK to fight against the Nazi’s.
The newly-weds returned to the Ognisko restaurant for their reception. In keeping with Polish wedding traditions, their parents greeted them with an offering of bread and salt. This is a symbolic ritual, representing the parents desire that their children will never go hungry and suggesting that at times life may be difficult, but together they will find a way to cope.
I spend long hours with my camera and repeating a request for smiles is simply a part of the job. Yet this occasion required little intervention and as the band played for the first dance, all the guests were genuinely smiling, sharing in the couples joy and enjoying being in the presence of true love. Even a little drizzly rain did little to dampen spirits!
Anna-Maria and Witek were married on the 10th December and whilst the weather was naturally very cold, the smiling faces and the hearts full of love, ensured this was one of the warmest weddings I have ever attended.
Congratulations Anna-Maria and Witek!
Wedding venue: Polish Restaurant ‘Ognisko’
Wedding Dress: The Bridal Gallery London
Flowers: Lalage Barran
Wedding Cake: Sugary Crumbs
Music Band: Fantasy Band
Wedding Video: Urban Rec