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I am starting off our 2012 blog posting with the amazing wedding we got to shoot in Krakow, Poland last year.  We had such a great time on our trip and we can’t thank Aga & Mati’s families and friends enough for their hospitality.

Having never shot a wedding in Eastern Europe before, we had a few things to learn but all it all, we think everything went pretty smoothly.  Some of the differences from American weddings are obvious such as couples usually see each other before the ceremony.  Other differences are not so obvious by the pictures – it is very typical for a wedding to go until 5AM.  Yes, you read that right – 5AM!  We didn’t quite make it to 5AM, but I thought we did pretty good by lasting until 2AM.

Our day started off at 9AM where I joined Aga at the hair salon, and Bill went with Mati to pick up the cupcakes and then to his parent’s place to get ready.  Mati’s parents live in an amazing apartment right in the Old Town, you can actually see the top of the Wawel Castle from their kitchen!  They live just a couple of blocks from the church, so the guys walked over when they were ready.  After Aga’s hair was done, we headed back to Aga’s place where her bridesmaids and makeup artist started to arrive, then off to Holy Trinity Church!  Aga and Mati met with the priest before the ceremony (along with their maid of honor and best man) to sign the marriage license, and they walked up the aisle together.

The ceremony was a full mass and was completely in Polish (obviously!).  We had photographed Thanh & Uyen’s Vietnamese wedding the previous weekend, so we found it a little ironic that we had two Catholic ceremonies in a row and neither were in English!  The Holy Trinity Church of Krakow is an absolutely stunning church and it was an amazing experience for us to shoot a wedding in such an old church.  The original part of the church was built in the 1200’s and was added on to several centuries later, but a fire in the 1800’s damaged the church and destroyed most of the interior furnishings.  Immediately after the ceremony, it is Polish tradition to have a receiving line where guests can congratulate the newlyweds and give them flowers, cards or presents.

As their guests made their way to the Hotel Poleski for the reception, we walked with Aga & Mati.  We went through the park that circles most of Krakow’s old town center, then past the Wawel castle and, finally, across the river to join everyone else.  This is when we discovered another Polish tradition.  Part of their introduction into the reception included a loaf of bread that was presented by the parents along with a champagne toast.  After that is was straight to dinner and a lot of time for guests to relax and visit and drink.  Have we mentioned yet how much vodka there was?  There was a lot.  Once dinner was finished, Aga & Mati had their first dance and the guests headed up to the rooftop of the hotel to visit and drink some more.

Once the reception got rolling, there was no stopping it.  The DJ got things started off with a traditional game of drinking a shot of vodka off of a sword – I have not idea what it is called, but it was sure fun to watch!

And of course, the traditional Bouquet Toss and Tie Toss (instead of a garter toss)

Dress:  custom-made
Jewerly & veil:  Pola Popielska
Hair:  Oskar Porysowany Bachoń
Makeup:  Magdalena Moniczewska
Ceremony:  Holy Trinity Church of Krakow (also known as the Dominican Church)
Reception:  Hotel Poleski
Cupcakes:  Cupcake Corner Bakery

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