Petia and Richard are a wicked couple who have been guests at two of my previous weddings. When Petia enquired and said they were getting married in Bulgaria in a private airport where her pilot father was going to fly her into the wedding... I could hardly say no!! I landed in Sofia and caught a ride to Dolna Banya, where Petia's father's friend owns Bulgaria's first private airport. The day before the wedding we did a dress rehearsal of the ceremony, flash mob and a little test flight! That evening they held a pre wedding dinner with a hilarious "Petia and Richard quiz" organised by the groomsmen.
The next morning I started with Richard and his groomsmen getting ready in a nearby guest house. Richard wore a blue suit with a peacock coloured paisley tie. Richard loves Paisley (see above).
I then rolled over to the girls' place who were staying at Petia's parents' place. Petia wore a stunning Anna Campbell wedding dress and Irregular Choice lace up ankle boots.
The guests started slowly arriving by coach and car, little did they know that both Petia and Richard were arriving in style in tiny two seater planes!!
The ceremony was next to the air strip in front of a fantastic gorgeous floral arch with the mountains as a backdrop. The had a ring warming where the rings are passed through all the guests to give their well wishes. The ceremony was conducted by their friend Terri and they sang both Bulgarian and English songs. Richard surprised everyone by reading his vows in Bulgarian which moved Petia to tears!
After the ceremony they left in style... going for their first flight together as a couple.
This gave the guests time to get to the open clearing by the lake where they enjoyed drinks, canapes and the first set of speeches.
After the speeches they all went to the marquee which was stunning decorated by Adi Tsanova, Bulgarian's leading wedding planner. Richard and Petia are both actors and they named the tables after plays they'd been in. They initiated the dinner with some Bulgarian traditions. Firstly, with the Kum and Kumar (i.e. best people) they must down a glass a champagne, the remaining drops in the glass symbolise the tears they'll experience as a couple so the pressure is on their best friends! After that they are fed bread dipped in salt and honey by their mums and the couple kick a pot of water together. Adi organised traditional Bulgarian dancing to entertain the guests. Usually in Bulgarian weddings there's plenty of dancing between courses, so all of Petia and Richard's English friends and family got to experience the wedding in a truly Bulgarian way!
The second round of speeches were delivered by the Kum and Kumars
And then there was more dancing...
After another few dinner courses they then partook in another Bulgarian tradition- they must hold a Bulgarian pitka bread over their heads and break it to show who is going to have the upper hand in the relationship. Petia had knowledge on her side and managed to strategise a clear win!
Richard and Petia then gave their thanks before reopening the dancefloor! Petia's family surprised them with a gift of a famous singer who sung for their first first dance.
A bit later they had their second first dance followed by the flash mob they'd practised before breaking the banitzer.
Petia then had a truly rock n roll father daughter dance with some overzealous jacket throwing!
The rest of the night carried on with lots of dancing, and then extra dancing, until the guests had to board the last coach back to their guest houses.
The morning after was... mildly tragic.