As an international wedding photographer, I get to see some pretty amazing places, but Martin and Elisaveta’s Bulgarian monastery wedding was truly breathtaking. This lovely couple had their civil ceremony the previous week, and this was their church wedding. And what a church! It was nestled in the centre of the working Troyan monastery in the heart of the Balkan mountains. Call me biased, but the views over the peaks will seriously stay with me for ever.

The building was decorated with stunningly intricate, hand-painted murals, which made for some of my favourite ever shots. While the wedding was going on, the monks continued going about their daily tasks among the cobblestones of the courtyard, and I found their presence immensely calming.

The church was bustling with people, and only few of them were guests for the wedding. Members of the public were also present, sharing in the couple’s special day and sending their prayers to the many religious icons surrounding them.

Better than confetti…

Now, you know I looooove a good confetti shot, but Elisaveta and Martin chose not to go with petals or colourful paper and instead went for something that was, dare I say it, quite cool. The newlyweds released white doves, and I loved watching them fly over the rooftops and out towards the mountains. It was poignant and beautiful. (and on that note, check out those crowns!)

The party moved on to dinner, which was catered brilliantly by Martin’s brother, who owns several restaurants in Sofia.

This Bulgarian monastery wedding was intimate, personal and stunning (quick shout out to Elisaveta’s bridal look and that statement dark red lip. GORGEOUS!). I was made to feel so welcome by the couple and their families, and I loved every minute of the day.

If you’re planning your adventurous destination wedding and want a photographer with a love for travel, exploration and having a darn good giggle together, why not drop me a line and say hi?

Orthodox Bulgarian Monastery Wedding Favourites

The view out over the forested peaks of the Balkan mountains A river runs through forest near the Troyan monastery in Bulgaria A gold tiled mosaic showing the Madonna and child hanging in the entrance to the Troyan monastery Baskets of flowers hang along the wooden verandah of the monastery for Martin and Elisaveta's wedding The courtyard and church at the Troyan monastery Colourful hand-painted murals at Elisaveta and Martin's Bulgarian monastery wedding The monastery bells seen from underneath Elisaveta's dress hangs from the balcony in the courtyard Bride Elisaveta does her make-up while her hairstylist works on her updo A shot of Elisaveta's finished hairstyle with a beautiful gold floral comb The table is set for dinner, and decorated with a peach runner and jewels Large peach bows adorn the back of the dining chairs at this Bulgarian monastery wedding Bud vases with pink dahlias and ferns decorate a side table covered with hessian 'Love is in the air' is written on individual chalkboard signs and placed in fabric pockets along with small posies of flowersElisaveta applies a dark red lipstick to finish her bridal lookElisaveta's bridesmaids help her put on her wedding dress with gorgeous lace sleevesA groomsman pins on Martin's buttonhole Ornate gold crowns are placed on the couple's heads during their Orthodox wedding ceremony The couple's family gather in the gilded surroundings of the monastery The couple release white doves after their wedding ceremony. Martin and Elisaveta pose on the balcony above the monastery courtyard, and Martin looks lovingly at his new wife Martin and Elisaveta hold each other close for their first dance as husband and wife. They dance on an ornate red and gold rug Martin and Elisaveta kiss under the arches of the monastery, among the hand painted frescoes which are lit at night The newlyweds head across the darkened courtyard of the monastery after their wedding

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