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As my extended family are Greek Cypriot I thought it would be nice to feature a couple who are planning their upincoming wedding in Cyprus. And what a couple!!! AND WHAT AN ENGAGEMENT SHOOT – Glamorous, Sexy, Beautiful and Modelly with a couple obviously head over heels in Luurvve!  Now, in wedding photography you often only hear descriptive words like “Lovely, Beautiful, Pretty” and you rarely hear words like Sizzling, Sexy and the like…..but let me say this engagement shoot is HOT!!  Whooo Hooooo!!!!!!!! So refreshing to actually see the passion in a couple coming through in their images. I have decided not to leave my personal comments this time because they are ALL going to be…….OMG I LOVE THIS! AND THIS! AND THIS! ….etc.

After three wonderful years together, Andreas and Marina are looking forward to having their dream wedding in a Greek Orthodox Church by the sea in Cyprus. It was a jaw-dropping eye-popping moment when Andreas met Marina as he explains…

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Well…. where do I start. Marina and I shared mutual friends and met in the infamous Tiger Tiger Croydon in 2006. I was literally stunned when I first saw her!! We laugh about it now as Marina sometimes pulls my facial expression I had from the first time she walked towards me. It was a pure jaw dropping and eye popping moment (like the cartoons)…lol. Wow, I thought she was stunning. Unfortunately I had a touch too much to drink that night and made a right prat of myself by talking nonsense and acting like an arrogant jack the lad!! This set a wrong first impression and weekly trend as various occasions after our first meet was a similar occurrence. 

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It was around a year after our first meet that our story unfolds. We chatted on Face Book and thats where I told Marina that I would marry her one day and described how the big day would be!! I promised a big pink diamond ring in the circa of 40k, wedding in The Four Seasons Cyprus, Cavali wedding dress and an Armani suit for me. A horse and carriage and a lovely life together with two Greek babies called Gary & Tracy . She was sold…lol. Ok some of my promises were kept the others have been restricted due to budget……

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Marina is my soul mate and I love her to bits. She is such a lovely caring person who is always trying to help others. Yes, she is very princess like and sometimes a touch demanding ( only joking babes ) maybe a touch HM (High maintenance…lol ). Seriously she has encouraged and supported me to always achieve whatever I set my mind to and I am so grateful to have such a special girl.

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We are two individuals that add different qualities to the relationship and I feel this helps us both.  I feel that our main reason for our successful relationship is that Marina tells and I do!! lol….only joking, that would be the easiest and safest option though!! No really, it is because we share the same vision and dreams and never set a level for them. We help each other to achieve things and try to encourage as opposed to holding the other back. I feel this is so important and I thank Marina for always showing me love, support and most importantly listening and encouraging me when things are up and down. I love you my darling and thank you for everything..XxXxX mwah.

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Andreas popped the question in wondorous Dubai as Marina explains…..

I was whisked away on a suprise trip to Dubai by Andreas a year ago on the 4th of Febuary.  I thought it was for my birthday the week after but I was pleasantly suprised. We stayed at the amazing Address hotel right next to the Burj  Dubai Tower (Tallest building in the world) and the largest shopping mall.  Needless to say Andreas and I lost track of time in the shopping mall and we had a few evenings of shopping till 10pm! I was truly spoilt and loved being pampered in the beauty salons. We had one of the most adventurous and amazing weekends of our lives.  We partied with Dubai’s finest and went to the latest VIP clubs, fashion shows, after parties and top restaurants.  A big thank you to my stunning friend Georgina Levy for arranging these nights for us and her amazing hospitality whilst we was in Dubai! We love you loads!! 

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On the final night Andreas arranged for us to have a meal at the famous Pier de Chic restaurant in the middle of the sea.  Whilst we was in the cab on the way I noticed that he was sweating and I asked if he was ok but I thought nothing of it.  We were then driven to the restaurant by a buggy and the view was stunning.  When we had finished our mains Andreas kept going on about the desert and how amazing it was and when everyone had left the restaurant Andreas dropped his fork and said something as the desert came out but I never heard him and thought he was joking.  I then opened this treasure trunk (the desert) to see the most amazing original ring I have ever seen in my life! It was stunning and I could not believe he had it designed it especially for me and it was perfect like him in every way.  

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The joy was over whelming and we then went back to the hotel to meet the ring designer and have some pictures taken.  But the combination of excitement, lights and exhaustion truly did get to me when I fainted in the middle of the hotel on to a glass table.  I then got up and fainted again and the next thing I knew there was medics all around me and I was being put into a wheel chair.  Angels were truly watching over me as the glass table never smashed but the glass vase did break, there were millions of pieces of glass all around me but I never had one scratch on me!

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The next day we was due to fly home and had another adventure, the ring had to be resized as it was way to big and I was determined to go home as an engaged women!  Andreas went through check in and I waited for my ring to be brought back to me but when they finally did it was still too big and we missed the flight.  I got what I wanted in the end and my ring fitted me…as they say third time lucky! We then flew into Gatwick on the next flight and both went straight to work… on what I can only say was one of the most memorable, exiting 4 days of my life!  So much can happen in 4 days and this demonstrates it’s not how long you live but what you do with your life in the time you have.

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Andreas and Marina are marrying in Ayia Thekla Church in Cyprus. The church of Ayia Thekla is a local landmark. It sits in a peaceful setting, fronted by the beautiful turquoise Mediterranean Sea and surrounded by natural flora. A small sandy beach also lies here with a tiny island just off the shore that keeps the waves away. Legend has it that the church over the centuries has suffered severe damage caused by the many armies that conquered the island through time. The church in its present condition dates back to the beginning of the last century.

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Beneath the church in a rock- hewn chamber is the famous Shrine of Ayia Thekla, which is dedicated to the 1st century saint. It is often also referred to as the tomb of St Thekla, many locals believe the saint’s influence to be beneficial to their love-life, and so the tomb/shrine keeps being chipped away at, as young Cypriot couples come here to pray to Thekla, and leave with little pieces of rock for use in love potions.

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The wedding service will be in the Greek Orthodox faith and is an ancient ceremony which has been celebrated in its current form for many centuries.  The wedding ceremony is full of symbolism.  The service is also unique because the bride and groom do not make vows to each other- their presence together in the church is taken to mean that they are serious about getting married.

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The exchanging of rings is the focus of this service. The priest blesses the rings by holding them in his right hand and making the sign of the cross over the heads of the bride and groom.  The rings are placed on the ring finger of the right hand, as it was the right hand of God , via Moses that parted the Red Sea to allow the passage of the jews.  The priest then asks the “koumbaro” ( Best Man) to swap the rings over between the bride and groom’s fingers three times.  This confirms the presence of the Best Man and Maid of Honor as witnesses of the union and also signifies the fact that the weaknesses of the union and also signifies the fact that the weaknesses of one partner are completed by the strengths of the other.  

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The rings for the Christian faith is the symbol of power and honor.   The husband gives the rings to his wife as a symbol that he gives her the authority to govern his household.  The couple will then share their love and dependence on each other.  It is a commitment to everyone that they will stay faithful to each other.

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The ceremony consists of several key parts.  First three prayers are said.  The first talks about the creation of Adam and Eve and their blessing to multiply and become rulers of the earth.  Then a list of people from the Old Testament that have accepted the word of God follows.  The prayer then finishes with a reference to the wedding of Cana and asks God to unite the couple and give them the joy of fertility.  During this prayer the priest joins the couple’s right hand to signify union of bodies and souls.  This is followed by the crowning, prayers and lastly the ceremonial walk.  When the ceremony ends the crowns are removed.

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Their wedding will be full of symbolism such as Lambades (Candles) preceding the couple in the church.  They arrive in the church unlit and leave lit so that they can light the path of the newlyweds in their new lives.  They symbolise the light of Christ and the flames of Pentecost and they remind the couple of their christening when the lambades were lit for the first time.

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The bride dressed like a princess enters the church.  The white colour symbolises the purity of the soul and body.  It also symbolises the union of the bride-princess and the groom-prince who in years to come will have their own kingdom with their descendants.  They therefore need to rule their descendants with love, justice and devotion.

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The bride and groom are crowned with crowns (stefanas) which are joined by white ribbon and which have been blessed by the priest.  The crowns symbolise the glory and honour that is being bestowed on the couple by God.  The ribbon symbolises their unity.  The Koumbaros exchange the crowns between the heads of the couple three times.  The crowning is followed by a reading from the Gospel which tells of the marriage of Cana.  It was at this wedding that Jesus performed his first miracle, changing water into wine, which was then given to the married couple.  Wine is given to the married couple from the Common Cup and they drink from it three times.  With this action the newlyweds seal their promise of love and their commitment to share whatever life throws at them-happiness and sadness, sickness and health.

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The priest leads the couple (who are still wearing stefanas) three times around the alter on their first steps as married couple.  The Koumbaro follows close behind the couple holding stefanas in place.  When the ceremonial walk has ended, the priest blesses the couple, the crown are removed and he then separates their previously joined hands with the bible, reminding them that only God can break the union which they have just entered into.  And then they leave the church, enter their horse and carriage as Man & Wife! Then they continue to celebrate at Alati by the Sea………an elegant all white venue by crystal clear turquoise seas…………Whoo Hoo!!

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All the best Marina and Andreas for your upincoming union. May you have an awesome time in Cyprus…….May your wedding day be absolutely blissful and all that you dreamed. :-)

Many Thanks: Coastas Kyriakides  www.costaskyriakides.com

6 Responses so far.

  1. Samantha says:

    Nice to see your blog back up! I have been lurking from afar waiting for more cool images………and WOW!! This is awesome!! I don’t think I have seen an engagement shoot like this one before! Very cool.

  2. Alexandra White says:

    What a wonderful piece, amazing pictures, an amazing couple, and I am blessed enough to have them as my friends. A modern day fairy tale with pictures to convey it.x

  3. Hi Alexandra, I love how you expressed that! A modern day fairytale – and I do love happy endings. :-)

  4. Julie says:

    WOW my eyes popped out of my head looking at this!! Totally AWESOME!!!!

  5. sarah says:

    bloody hell! SEXY SEXY SEXY!

  6. Great to see isn’t it – a Bride to Be in all her glory! Wait till Marina and Andreas show their grandchildren!! :-)