Last year I was honoured to be asked to photograph my first ever Greek Orthodox Wedding at The Church of Saint Lazarus, which a late-9th century church in Larnaca, Cyprus. It belongs to the Church of Cyprus, an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church. The story begins with Yiota (the bride) looking for a wedding photographer on the internet and came across my work and fell in love with a image that i’d taken the year before, however at first it didn’t make from Yiota and Paul to fly an English wedding photographer out to Cyprus to photography their Orthodox wedding in Larnaca. Over a six month period from our initial contact, Yiota interviewed other wedding photographers but lucky for me she just couldn’t get my work out of her head, no other wedding photographers work, in her words – “gave her goose bumps”. Yiota’s main concern was that I didn’t know some important Greek Orthodox traditions, however I explained that I would photograph the wedding in a documentary style, so if it happened, I would with much eagerness be photographing it. The results are a stunning collection of images, showcasing sincere love, people, places and expressions with a logical narrative.
When I started photographing weddings I didn’t anticipate the journey it would take me on and the wonderful people, places and cultures I would encounter. Yiota and Paul’s wedding is so special to me for many reasons, however i’m very humbled and grateful that my work somehow connected with someone from a totally different country, from a different religion and language! I still find it amazing today.
Yiota and Paul’s wedding story…
1. Where did you and Paul meet? Cyprus, Larnaka – through friends and with a little help from Facebook.
2. Where was your wedding venue and why. We got married at the most amazing 9th century church St. Lazarus , in Larnaka. Our wedding reception was at a sea venue called ”naftikos Omilos”. Most people in Cyprus have their wedding at hotels. We wanted something different something more ”cosy” as soon as we visited this place we loved it .
3. What dress did you wear? A love at first sight design, by an English designer, Ian Stuart.
4. What special moments did you love most from your wedding day? The preparation at my parents house in the morning as it was so traditional and something I didn’t expect to enjoy as half as much as I did, I loved all the singing and that all the neighbours and family friends arrived from the Greek tradition of the “dressing on the bride”. The most wonderful moment of all was looking at my husband all emotional waiting for me with my flowers in front of the church as I arrived with my Mum and Dad beside me. (Greek weddings the groom waits outside the church for the arrival of the bride unlike in England).
5. Would you recommend Wes Simpson to family and friends? Defiantly. I found Wes on the internet and flew him over to Cyprus, I just had to have him. His work gives me goosebumps! My album is amazing… even our guests were commenting how professional and creative he was on the day and even weeks after. No special moment was spared, he captured things I didn’t see but somehow just how I felt.
6. Any top tips for future brides? Yes, just keep calm and enjoy your day, have more time than you need so you can slow down and enjoy the moments as they happen.