Nika & Michael, Northbrook Park, Surrey
9th August 2017
Before I tell you about my day as Nika & Michael’s Northbrook Park wedding photographer, someone should buy the rights to their story and turn into a film! Michael, a talented ballroom dancer, was without a dance partner and try as they might, he and his tutor couldn’t find anyone with the passion, talent and, most importantly, the chemistry they were looking for. That was until their search took them to the Ukraine… and lovely Nika.
After a few Skype chats, face to face visits and, of course some all important dances together both Michael and Nika felt the stage presence they had on the dance floor and knew they were meant to dance together. Anxious about leaving her friends, family and home country, Nika took the huge step of moving to the UK to dance with Michael. This decision paid off in so many ways. The pair are now ballroom champions… of the world, no less. Plus, more significantly, it wasn’t long before they realised their chemistry as a couple didn’t only happen on the dance floor.
When Nika & Michael asked me to be their photographer for their day at Northbrook Park, I jumped at the chance. With plans to incorporate a mixture of English and Ukrainian traditions incorporated into their day, I knew their wedding would be one to remember. Fast forward to August 2017 and I was not wrong.
Despite a day of torrential rain, it felt as though the sun shone on Nika & Michael all day. The tall French windows of the Vine Room are a dream for a Northbrook Park wedding photographer. Holding their ceremony in this beautiful room meant they were bathed in natural light, while they exchanged heartfelt vows and rings in front of their adoring friends and families. With the rain dashing hopes of outdoor fun, we brought the confetti indoors, showering them in delicate white rose petals as they walked hand-in-hand down the aisle, as husband and wife.
Retiring to the Northbrook Parks’ rustic, fairy light-lit Orangery, we settled in for a delicious wedding breakfast interspersed with some lovely piano music and fourteen – yes, fourteen- speeches. It’s hard enough to do a good speech when there are only two or three planned – if I was speaking, I’d have been feeling the pressure. If they were, they didn’t let it show; each one of Nika and Michael’s chosen speakers shared unique, touching, sentimental, warm and funny words and memories. These speeches were filled with so much for love and affection for the new Mr & Mrs.
It’s hard to choose a favourite moment from this Northbrook Park wedding, but a highlight has to be a team speech from Nika’s mum, dad and brother, finished off with a performance at the piano… played simultaneously by the three of them, receiving a huge, well-deserved round of applause. The most tender moment came from Nika’s dad with a rendition of ‘I Loved Her First’, evoking happy tears from the bride. Have I mentioned that I almost always cry at these moments in weddings? All of that love just tugs at my heartstrings.
After so many kind words for the happy couple and best wishes for their future, it was time for dance floor fun in Northbrook Park’s Orangery. Now, what do you do for your first dance as husband and wife when you are ballroom champions? Cue a perfectly choreographed, effortless routine with all the grace, poise and elegance you would expect from such a dancing duo. When I get married, I’m coming to these two for dance classes!
Nika & Michael, thank you for asking me to be your Northbrook Park wedding photographer. It was a joy from start to finish and I wish you many, many years of love and happiness… and of course, dancing.
The bride and groom’s back-up dancers
Venue: Northbrook Park
Caterers: White Truffle Events
Cake: The Cobham Cake Company
Stationery: Wonderland Invites
Florist: White Lilac Flowers
Violin: Rachel Somerset
Piano: Carl Lewis
Evening entertainment: Farnham Sound & Light
Videography: Artistic Motion