Wedding Photographer Norfolk – Anna Zofka Photography » Anna Zofka Photography is a husband and wife team providing wedding photography in Norfolk, Cambridge and throughout the UK.

Chinese Wedding Cambridge by Anna Zofka Photography

One thing we will never be able to say in this job, is that we have seen it all. Take a look at these photos of Ruth and Alastair’s Chinese wedding and you will undoubtedly be in as much awe as we were. Such vibrant colours and original touches, no one could ever doubt why we love our job!

This two-day September wedding took place in Cambridgeshire, borrowing some traditions from our British born groom and Hong Kong born Bride.

On the Friday, our stunning bride arrived in an exquisitely unusual dress designed by talented friend, Ankie Lam. It featured white bandage style satin from one shoulder to the knee at which point it burst out in tufts of red, yellow and orange, giving Ruth the appearance of walking through flames. She was further decorated with red eyes, lips, hair and a red hatinator. Her bridesmaids matched her flaming gown, also in multi-coloured yellow, orange and red dresses by Armour Sans Anguish. The ceremony was held at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford in a simple room that allowed the girls to dazzle in their vivacious colours. Paper roses, lanterns and Chinese umbrellas in these sun-kissed shades were also dotted around the room bringing this passionate theme together. After the ceremony, instead of confetti, the newlyweds walked under a shower of bubbles and we got some great photos of the bright fabrics against the cool grey background.

The following morning marked day two of the celebrations and our blushing bride again donned a scarlet hatinator, perched on her curled red locks by a friend doing the hair and makeup. Then things got interesting… We were privileged to witness some traditional Chinese door games at the bride and grooms house, in which the bridesmaids demanded the groom and groomsmen to pay for the bride, or perform a series of tasks. Of course, the men opted for the tasks and this is where hilarity ensued. The tasks were varied and numerous as you can see from the photos. For example, we witnessed; groomsmen removing tights from their heads without using their hands, whilst dancing to Gangnam style; difficult yoga poses; the groom gathering hair from various parts of his groomsmen; the groom eating and drinking strange things including fried bugs on a biscuit! This was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Once the men had completed their tasks, they were granted entry and the groom as able to go and collect his bride, now wearing a gorgeous traditional Chinese red silk dress.

The celebrations then moved to Charlie Chan for a traditional Chinese tea ceremony followed by a banquet. The food kept on coming with lots of little plates for the guests to sample and enjoy. The speeches were held here along with a beautiful performance by traditional Chinese musicians. After the meal, the bride, a professional musician herself, performed on a Chinese instrument called an Erhu, a long necked violin with two strings.

Our favourite shots from this day have be of Ruth and Alastair outside the restaurant in front of a monochrome striped wall. Ruth’s vibrant red dress is a blast of colour amongst the black and white lines and she and Alastair are grinning ear to ear. Sometimes you just happen upon the most amazing set-up, the background, light and colours in this little scene were just spot on!

After the meal the bride went back to her house to change back into her first wedding dress for the evening. They then made their way to The Plough in Shepreth for the evening reception. At the pub the groom’s father arranged a video presentation for the couple instead of giving a speech which had them absolutely roaring with laughter! The groom then performed a cover of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Sexual Healing’ on the trombone, together with a brass band who continued to play several tunes for the guests. The bride then performed again, this time playing the piano. They are a talented musical duo!

Another little individual touch that you may have noticed from the photos is a robot theme that keep cropping up. The bride had a robot painted on her nails, the beautiful cake made by Jill Kitchen, depicting a gift box overflowing with macaroons had two little robots seated on it, little waving robots were on the labels of the wedding favours and there was a large cardboard robot, built by the groom, which first made its appearance at Friday’s ceremony, that was moved to each location so that it could join in the revelry. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to find out the reason for this particular quirk! Perhaps a good luck token, or a hint to how they first met, a hobby they both share or an old tradition, we are not sure but it was intriguing nonetheless!

This colourful day finished with the brass band belting out into the pub, happy guests all clapping along. Ruth and Alastair, thank you for choosing us to photograph your Anglo-Chinese wedding. It was an absolute pleasure and we hope you enjoy the photos.

 

Chinese Wedding Cambridge by Anna Zofka Photography

Chinese Wedding Cambridge by Anna Zofka PhotographyChinese Wedding Cambridge by Anna Zofka Photography

Chinese Wedding Cambridge by Anna Zofka PhotographyChinese Wedding Cambridge by Anna Zofka Photography

Chinese Wedding Cambridge by Anna Zofka PhotographyChinese Wedding Cambridge by Anna Zofka PhotographyChinese Wedding Cambridge by Anna Zofka PhotographyChinese Wedding Cambridge by Anna Zofka PhotographyChinese Wedding Cambridge by Anna Zofka PhotographyChinese Wedding Cambridge by Anna Zofka PhotographyChinese Wedding Cambridge by Anna Zofka PhotographyChinese Wedding Cambridge by Anna Zofka PhotographyChinese Wedding Cambridge by Anna Zofka Photography

Chinese Wedding Cambridge by Anna Zofka PhotographyChinese Wedding Cambridge by Anna Zofka PhotographyChinese Wedding Cambridge by Anna Zofka Photography

After their blustery beach engagement shoot we were excited to capture Sophie and Simon at their Southwood Hall wedding. They posed like such naturals when we first met them, we couldn’t wait to see those same faces of bliss in a new setting surrounded by friends and family on the big day.

Sophie and the girls got ready at her parents house in Norwich and from the start it was a hive of activity. Hair artist Jasmine Appleton and Makeup artist Emily from The cottage were busy beautifying the girls with even the youngest girls getting the five star treatment. The bucks fizz was flowing and it was such a beautiful day, the morning party spilled out into the garden to sip their bubbles in the beautiful summer sun. We could already tell that this gorgeous light was going to make for some fantastic photos.
A box of beautiful flowers arrived from Lucie Lou florist and the air was filled with the scent of roses hydrangeas and spritzes of hairspray. The infamous smell of a wedding morning!
Then came the time for the dress, a stunning white lacy strapless gown from Prima Donna. Sophie was helped into it by her beautiful team of bridesmaids and she absolutely shone making easy work of our sneaky candid photography.
After the final preparations, we headed over to Southwood Hall, for both the ceremony and the reception. As you can see from the photographs, Southwood Hall was a stunning venue. The barn had tonnes of rustic charm and the most scenic lush green backdrop with a crunchy gravel courtyard, red brick outbuildings and beds of lavender thrumming with bees. It was an absolute joy to photograph and it was such a beautiful day we were able to capture plenty of the guests milling about outside. In fact the only thing that enhanced the scenery was the arrival of the bride in a vintage dusty spearmint green VW campervan, white ribbons billowing from the bonnet.
For the ceremony the guests sat outside on the lawns and the procession came from inside the barn down the grass aisle to a little open outdoor barn adorned with pastel bunting, paper blooms and little rustic vases. It is always such a risk planning an outdoor event in the UK but when it works it reminds you how stunning British summertime can be!
After all the group photos out in the sunshine, the party filtered into the barn which was a glorious mix of rustic charm and modern quirks. The tables were set with homemade jars of jam as wedding favours, ceramic jugs of fresh flowers stacked upon old books and sawn logs, whilst next to these a small vase of selfie props firmly bonded the old and the new.
The seamless catering was all organised by the Southwood Hall wedding team, and after the meal we had some time to capture the couple out in the gardens, posing amongst the leaves like a forbidden secret. The venue really was a treasure trove of photographic backdrops. We happened upon this beautiful wooden pagoda and a small clearing where the afternoon sun peeped between the perfectly draping leaves. It was a little like stepping into Narnia!
Whilst we were off on our photographic jaunt, the guests enjoyed some wooden garden games on the lawns and the team at Southwood Hall prepared the venue for the evening. Sumptuous looking cakes by Café 33 were laid out on vintage glass cake stands and the gorgeous wooden floor was cleared. As ever the night finished with some fantastic dance moves, to the lively beats of DJ Tim Perriman and Singer and guitarist Lee Vann.

Sophie and Simon, we wish you both the best of luck for the future and thank you for allowing us to be a part of your special day.

  • 24/03/2017 - 3:39 pm

    Elisabeth Waller - They’re such a beautiful and fun looking couple. Looks like it was a really fun day! Great work!ReplyCancel

Cyprus Wedding by Cyprus Wedding Photographer Anna Zofka Photography

Earlier on this year we had the pleasure of being Maria and Nicks Cyprus wedding photographer. This was an absolutely gorgeous traditional Cypriot Greek wedding, and it was certainly one that we will never forget. The day was so colourful, filled with music food, merriment and age old traditions. We thoroughly exhausted our cameras trying to capture all of the special moments in this fanciful and fun packed day!

It began with Maria and Nick getting ready separately at their parent’s homes, and each home held a traditional ceremony. At the groom’s house the ceremony began with the shaving of the groom. Traditional Cypriot music rang from the musician’s merry fingertips and serenaded a large gathering of dancing people enjoying the food, music and warm wedding buzz. After getting shaved and dressed, the ceremony ended with the groom getting wrapped in a red scarf.

For our beautiful bride, the ceremony was similarly jubilant. She too was wrapped in a red scarf by her close friends and family and later the friends inscribed all of their names on the soles of her shoes. What a sweet touch!

The couple had given us a little background information on some of the time-honoured traditions we could expect to see, so it was even more fascinating for us when we were able to capture them when spotted throughout the ceremony.

Traditionally, the ceremony at the church goes something like this:

The priest gives the couple ceremonial bread (prosfora) to eat and red Cypriot wine (koumandaria) to drink, symbolizing the wedding at Cana in Galilee, where Christ blessed the marriage and converted water into wine. 

The bride’s chief attendant places on the bride’s head a ceremonial headband (stefana), traditionally made of materials ranging from lemon leaves, olive branches and vines to gold and jewels – symbolizing God’s blessings. (In this case our couple had silver crowns with Swarovski crystals, and we were on strict instructions to take several photographs of this!) The best man places a similar headband on the groom. In an Orthodox service, the priest will say a prayer over the newlyweds and their stefana, wishing them all of God’s blessings in their new life together and hoping for the family to be ruled wisely. 

The marriage crowns are extremely important to the couple, who will often save them and place them on display in their new home. The ribbon that binds the two crowns, representing the lasting union between bride and groom, is to be kept intact for a lifetime. 

Wearing the stefana, the couple exchange wedding rings three times before placing them on the fourth finger of each other’s right hand, to recognize that God’s right hand is the hand that blesses. 

The couple then perform the Dance of Isaiah, the priest leading them three times around the table that holds the Gospel and the Cross. The best man and chief bridesmaid walk behind the couple, holding the stefana in place.

The priest blesses the couple, removes the stefana and asks God to grant them a long, happy life together.

Finally, the priest separates the couples joined hands, showing them that only God can separate them from one another. As they leave the church, the bridal couple offer the guests sugared almonds (koufetta), their egg shape representing fertility and the new life that begins with marriage, their firm texture symbolizing the endurance of an everlasting marriage, and the white sugar-coating representing purity and the sweetness of future life. The almonds are offered in an indivisible, odd number, to symbolize the indivisibility of the new union. The wedding guests toss rice at the couple as they leave the church, wishing them a life of happiness, prosperity and many children.

After this wonderful ceremony the newlyweds ate and danced outside under the stars, music flowing on the warm Mediterranean breeze, a perfect end to their traditional day.

It was an absolute honour to be the Cyprus wedding photographer for Maria and Nick and to experience the very heart of their traditions. We hope they enjoy treasuring these photos as much as we did taking them!

If you are looking for a destination Cyprus wedding photographer – get in touch! :)

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