If you’re thinking about having an inner Sydney wedding, then you have to take a look at Dockside in Darling Harbour. Not only are you able to style it to suit your own theme but it has the most magical outlook during the evening with the lights, fireworks, boats and people.
Eustratius (Strats) and Anastasia’s wedding was like no other that I have had the pleasure of photographing. Their Sydney wedding was filled with Russian traditions and was non-stop from the get-go. So much happening and I loved every single second.
When I arrived at the house, Strats was getting ready in one area with his groomsmen and Anastasia was in another with her bridesmaids. They successfully managed to avoid seeing each other prior to the ceremony (at times it was a pretty close call!). Strats and the guys started off by chanting a prayer before tucking in to a hearty breakfast (complete with champagne of course!) before finishing off their prep. Anastasia soon arrived from the hairdresser and it was straight into getting ready. When she had her dress on, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room – especially not from her brothers. It was a seriously touching moment.
The ceremony was held at Protection of the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Church. When Anastasia arrived, the eight (yes, 8!) groomsmen lined the aisle inside the church where as the eight bridesmaids lined the stairs outside which lead to where Strats was waiting for the love of his life. The emotion was clear for all to see. There was cheering, tears, laughter all around me!
Anastasia and Strats walked in to the church’s foyer together where they lit candles and exchanged rings. They then made their way down the aisle together, following the priest, before reaching the middle where crowns were placed on their heads and the priest’s stole was wrapped around their hands. It was then that they made their way around the central gospel book which symbolises their walk through married life together.
If you haven’t had the privilege of sitting through an Orthodox Wedding ceremony, I hope that one day you do. It is so beautiful. I had no idea what was being sung (the whole ceremony is sung or chanted) but the atmosphere and customs were incredible to witness. I was actually married in a Serbian Orthodox Ceremony (my husband is Serbian). I didn’t know what was being sung then either hahah!
After the ceremony, Strats, Anastasia and their wedding party – the biggest one I have ever seen with 20 people plus flower girls – jumped into the limo and stopped at Hyde Park for some photographs. We had a lot of fun letting loose in the park and when the time was right, we jumped back in to the limo with Dockside in our sights.
The beginning of the reception was a little different from most in that the newly weds entered first, before their guests. Inside, their parents were waiting with a freshly baked loaf of bread and some salt. They blessed the bread, salted it and took a bite, which symbolises that they will look after each other, and never be without the necessities of life. After that, everyone is welcomed to take their seats.
Throughout the reception there was loads of shouting… “GORKO” guests would say and take a shot of vodka…. made for a VERY fun evening on the dance floor.
Venue | Dockside, Darling Harbour
Church | Protection of the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Church
Dress | Nina Paramonov
MUA | Vianna’s Hair and Beauty Bar
Bridesmaids | JJs House
Suits | Formal Image Parramatta
Flowergirls | Tulle and Chantilly
Cake | Doy’s cakes