Michael & Samantha’s Wedding at the Kempinski Hotel, Bansko, Bulgaria

Two years ago we photographed our first wedding abroad in Bulgaria (which was Andy & Kate’s). We were delighted to be asked to return by Michael & Sam to cover their wedding in the Kempinski Hotel in Bansko, Bulgaria.

Kempinski Hotel, Bansko, Bulgaria

Michael and the guys got ready in an apartment opposite the hotel.

Groom and usher look in mirrors

Here are the guys giving their best ‘Blue Steel’.

Blue Steel

And here they are after being told that actually it looked more like ‘Apache’. (You have to see Ben Stiller’s ‘Zoolander’ to get the reference.)


Groom and ushers walk down street in Bansko

Meanwhile, the bride Samantha was getting ready in the hotel.

reflection of wedding dress

bridesmaid helps bride with dress


Bride gets ready to leave

As the guys were also to go from the hotel to go to the ceremony, Sam had to make sure the coast was clear.

bride peeks around the corner

bride running

Michael and Sam had a handfasting ceremony up on the mountainside.

Groom waits for bride

brides walks towards ceremony

This part of Bulgaria is incredibly beautiful and it was wonderful to see the ceremony with a mountains as a backdrop. The rainclouds you see in the distance did bring the rain but it didn’t stop everybody from enjoying setting.

outdoor wedding ceremony

As all the guests were arranged in a circle, it made for some shots you can’t normally get during the ceremony.

brides mother sheds a tear


As a surprise, the couple had arranged for a horse drawn cart to take them to the reception.

horse drawn cart

Where we got the couple to practise their first dance in front of the Pirin Mountains.

first dance in front of the Pirin Mountains

first dance practice

The speeches were hilarious and suitably embarrasing for Michael.

Father's speech, bride looking on

Bride laughs during wedding speech

This is Sam’s version of ‘trash the dress’: Get everyone else’s outfit wet while they protect her beautiful Vera Wang dress!!

trash the dress

Michael and Sam’s first dance was by far the very best we’ve ever seen. Their friends sang and played guitar while the couple twirled, spun and generally wowed their guests. There was hardly a dry eye in the house, including many of the guys (Richard assures me he hid behind his camera to take a photograph, but I’m not sure I believe him!!).

singer at wedding

first dance picture

first dance lift

first dance kiss

The sunset was stunning.

bride and groom portrait in evening sunset

Followed by an amazing firework display:

fireworks at wedding