& NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
A little while back was a first for me as I got to spend the entire day with the fricking awesome Matthew & Lecia at their Ukrainian wedding in central Bradford. Now when Matthew kindly posted me the beautiful little pink pamphlet describing some of the traditions I'm likely to see over the course of the day. Little did I know the sheer warmth, colourful spectacle & Vodka infused awesomeness that lay ahead.
I think the amazing Zen Master of Ceremonies described it best when he said. "If you haven't been to a Ukrainian wedding before, you may have seen the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Well it's exactly like that... Only on speed."
I spent the morning with Lecia & her beautiful bridesmaids before seeing my first Ukrainian tradition known as Blahoslovenya. This is where Lecia's parents give there blessing to the marriage in an intimate ceremony involving just their very closest family. From here we headed off to the church where the bride & groom walked down the aisle as equals. I'm not going to lie most of the ceremony I couldn't actually look at the groom Matthew's face as I would have cracked out laughing at his reactions to the service.
After the ceremony we headed off for some quick portraits over in Lister Park & then arrived at the Ukrainian club for the rest of the days celebrations. The incredible Emma the Florist has transformed the hall into a haven of colourful tropical flowers. The perfect place for the party to really begin. After the tasty food, emotional speeches & the first dance. It was time for another Ukrainian tradition & what is now officially my favourite part of a wedding. haha. The Perepiy.
Lecia & Matthew along with the bridal party stood at the top table to receive gifts from every guest at the wedding. The most fun part is that along with the gifts both the bride, groom & each guest share a shot of Vodka. Yep that's right 100's of shots of Vodka for the bride & groom. All while the fabulous Ukrainian band play a consistent song, the groomsmen deliver the shots, the bridesmaids handed out Ukrainian bread & washed the glasses & the best man... Well he was drying the glasses. But that seemed to mostly involve him spinning a tea towel around his noggin.
After this was another tradition called Pokryvanya. Where the Bride Lecia's veil was removed & replaced for a head scarf. The veil is given to each Bridesmaid one by one & Lecia took it in turns to dance with each of them. All the while circled by singing family & friends. The groom who sits by a barrel eventually dances with his bride once her veil is replaced to signify her transition from girlhood into becoming a woman.
Finally it was time for Kolomeyka & the incredible leaps & bounds of the Ukrainian dancers electrified the crowds with some gravity defying moves. The entire day was for me an amalgamation of colour, laughter, Vodka & above all else a celebration. A celebration of the binding of two families & the love between the incredible Lecia & Matthew.
Here's to these two.
SHUTTER GO... LOST & FOUND ~ MATTHEW & LECIA
Boy oh boy Ukrainian weddings are an absolute riot of AWESOMENESS! Matthew & Lecia's wedding was all about unposed, in your face EMOTION & fun. & that is even more apparent when we travel back in time to explore this weeks lost & found from their magnificent day at the Ukrainian Club in central Bradford.
This first image was taken at Bradford's Lister park in the short time we had after the beautiful church ceremony to grab some outdoor portraits. This one is all about the colour for me. I MEAN JUST LOOK AT THEM! From those purple & pink Hydrangeas to the blue of Matthew's suit. YES IT PLEASES MY BRAIN!
Both the second & third images were taken during the amazing Vodka infused Ukrainian tradition of Perepiy. In short this is a receiving line where the happy couple receive shots of Vodka & gifts from every guest at the wedding. I'm not really sure what was going on in this image. But one of the family members decided to perform and elaborate dance with a tea towel just for the camera & I BLOODY LOVE IT! Dancing, alcohol & all inhibitions out the window.
The third & final moment is again from the Perepiy & for me is just a perfect representation of events. From the close angle on interlinked arms topped off by the child in one arm watching closely. If there was one image to sum up this Ukrainian wedding tradition I'd choose this one.
That's this weeks lost & found coming at ya! Enjoy you lovely lot!
SHUTTER GO... REVIEWS ~ MATTHEW & LECIA
Ryan is an absolute legend. One of the most important parts of our wedding prep was making sure we had a photographer that was going to capture those special moments but one that was different to the rest. We didn't know what to expect when we first met Ryan but as soon as we had our first meeting we knew that we wanted to work with him. Ryan is so talented and down to earth and his work speaks for itself. He also gave me several Mikados on the day of my wedding which was an added bonus!! Thank you so much!!
Lecia & Matthew x