Rena & Pan

28 August // cyprus

Rena & Pan live in the UK and found me during their wedding research online. I was truly touched they should make contact about their Cyprus Destination Wedding plans in Larnaca on the south east side of the island. Then, the pandemic hit. We had our meetings over Zoom until London pubs re-opened but we were all holding our breath as to whether things could actually go ahead. We finally met for a drink and a chat about their Cypriot Wedding plans. They were so warm and considerate, something I would find quite common on my trip to their home in Larnaca.

It was my first overseas trip after the pandemic so I was ready to travel again! On arrival, I had a drink with their local photographer Stelios, a super talented photographer from Nicosia and a great friend of Pan. He was delightful and we chatted all about how we would share our time with Rena and Pan. I had been hired to capture family reportage and candid portraits while Stelios and his team would spend their time on the more traditional shots and details, armed with their knowledge of the local customs. For me, this was a match made in heaven.

I spent some time wandering around and acclimatising to the August heat! The ancient church of St Lazarus was like stepping into another time. It was thrilling to be photographing an Orthodox wedding there. I was told how relaxed the priests were about photography, even inviting me to come in closer during the vows.

On the day itself, I was assigned a driver called John who picked fresh green figs for us to eat between the sites. We began with preparations and traditional music with Rena's parents before the ceremony at St Lazarus. After the groups and 10 minutes of couple portrait time, we moved on to the evening reception around half an hour away in Pyrga.

The venerable events organiser Artemis Aristdou turned the woods on the edge of their estate into a private wonderland of night lights and flowers. Stavros Stavrou from her team at Fresh Events told me of the fabulous wedding food in Cyprus but my jaw was on the floor when I saw the food stations of fresh seafood, steaks, salads and sweets of every conceivable kind. Rena surprised Pan with beautiful singing before their first dance and their friends took to the stage in a medley of energetic music and shots that carried us all into the wee hours of the night.

I hope you enjoy their pictures and please do let me know if you have your own destination wedding plans in Cyprus or elsewhere. I always love an adventure with my camera!

bridal wedding preparations at the family home in Larnaca Cyprus
bridal wedding preparations at the family kitchen in Larnaca Cyprus
bridal eye makeup at the family home in Larnaca Cyprus
mother of the bride at the family home in Larnaca Cyprus
brides family guests home in Larnaca Cyprus
traditional Cypriot wedding music played at the brides family home in Larnaca
traditional Cypriot wedding music played at the brides family home in Larnaca
traditional Cypriot wedding customs at the brides family home in Larnaca
traditional Cypriot wedding music played at the brides family home in Larnaca
traditional Cypriot wedding customs at the brides family home in Larnaca

From Cyprus With Love

Having lived for many years on Harringay Green Lanes in north London, I was so excited to visit Cyprus at last and it didn't disappoint. If you have family ties or you fell in love with the island on holiday, the year-round sunshine makes for a dazzling destination wedding.

The birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love, Cyprus is often called the 'Island of Love'. It's the 3rd largest island in the Mediterranean with warm turquoise waters and dramatic rocky coves along the coastline. Your guests will be treated to rich culture and plenty of options for sight-seeing. English is widely spoken and the paperwork is simple due to the close relationships between the UK and Cyprus.

If you're looking for help with your wedding event planning, I'd recommend working with a local team of experienced professionals like Fresh Events in Limassol. They'll go above and beyond to help guide you with their vast local knowledge and exclusive access to the best Cyprus has to offer. Artemis and Stavros are renowned for their impeccable taste.

You may have your mind set on an iconic church like St Lazarus or some of the spectacularly beautiful venues like the Asterias Beach Hotel in Ayia Napa or the Elysium Hotel in Paphos. Pissouri, a secluded resort that gives you private access to pebble beaches in quiet coves for a laid back vibe. Some neutral venues aren't attached to luxury hotel packages if you prefer something more bespoke. Liopetro is a rustic retreat near Paphos, infused in history and built with ancient wood and stone. Anassa in Polis is a magical place of pure opulence overlooking the Mediterranean. If you're looking for something uniquely original you could elope on the beach beside the Edro III Shipwreck or at the romantic gardens of the Peyia Municipality in Paphos.

Many weddings in Cyprus are multi-day celebrations and you'll have a lot of fun creating your wish list with all your personal touches. Your award-winning wedding planner will help you break down your budget and ensure you're getting the best price with your venues.

If you're unable to view the venues in person ahead of your wedding, some independent planners offer personal scheduled live video guided tours of your short listed favourites. No doubt you'll find all the inspiration you need.

Whatever your dream wedding plans, there's something for everyone on Cyprus.