On Saturday I joined Katrusia + Andy for their summer wedding at the Ukrainian Community Centre in Bradford – AKA: “The Ukey Club”
I’ve photographed a few Ukrainian weddings now and they’re such fun – packed the the brim with tradition, booze and dance!
It’s so special to witness the moving ‘Blahoslovenya’ parental blessing in the morning, where parents say special words to their daughter as she embarks on her new life. Then at the Orthodox ceremony (in both Ukrainian and English) there are fascinating practices of blessing the bride under a traditional headscarf, being led round the altar and making the bride drain the communion cup! After a few pics in Lister park and plenty of reception drinks at Club, they’re formally invited into the hall by parents and aunties with offerings of salt, bread and vodka – which they promptly throw over their shoulders at unsuspecting wedding party before entering to ‘The Song of All Songs’! After the meal there’s the ‘Perepiy’ where day and evening guests do shots with the bride and groom! Generally the couple are drinking watered down booze, but guests in the know try and switch and bait to get the couple drunk! Lots of fun.
The evening is welcomed in with a first dance (nice routine from K+A too!) and a touching father daughter dance before further traditions ensue! The ‘Unveiling of the bride’ sees the bride don a headscarf and pin her veil to single ladies for a dance, accompanied by all the ladies sing traditional folk songs to the Black Sea Kozak’s Band. After this the groom mops the floor (to show willing in the house, I believe)! then the Cabaret kicks off – where 10 dancers from the Orlyk Ukey dance troupe perform gravity defying routines (with swords no less!) before dragging in the wedding party and guests! Finally, guests perform the ‘Kolomeijka’ – and I love this bit – where a circle is formed and all and sundry take turns at showing their own dance skills! Age and ability stop no-one, and with such a heritage of dance in the culture, nearly everyone gets cheered in for a spin! From high kicks and floor kicks to the worm, to 8 person interlinked spins… it’s such a blast.
Overall – not your usual wedding at all! Myself and my wingman Danny, the Ukey clan and non-plussed guests from all across the country loved every minute.
But most importantly of all… at the middle of it, a very happy couple appeared very happy in love!
It was such a pleasure to spend the day with Katrusia + Andy and their brilliant community. I hope you enjoy their wedding highlights slideshow below…
I’ll be uploading their full set of images to their client area in just a few weeks, so if you’d like to be notified when all their images go live, register to be notified at: https://barnabyaldrick.pic-time.com/-KatrusiaAndy/register
(NB: I’ll only use your email address to notify you about their gallery)
In the meantime, feel free to share this loveliness to Facebook using the buttons at the bottom (or copy and paste the web address into a status), via my Facebook page here or hover to pin to Pinterest!
Here’s wishing Katrusia + Andy a fab life together and an awesome honeymoon in Sorrento (and the Maldives later in the year!) x
Barnaby + Danny
The suppliers involved in this Bradford Ukrainian Club wedding included:
Hair – Jess – @thelookingglass_halifax | Makeup – @beckyloue_mua | Florist: Emma the Florist Baildon – @emmatheflorist | Dress designer: Allure Bridal from @hoopsadaisybridal | Cake maker: @els_bouqcakes_ | Car: Horsfields of Halifax | Music/Entertainment:Ukrainian Band – Black Sea Kozaks | Coniak Mobile DJ | Evening: @paulpizzasnack