Intimate Island Wedding
ON SUOMENLINNA SEA FORTRESS

It was just about the most beautiful day imaginable in Helsinki that day. Sunny and warm, with a bit of a soft wind running through the grass and seagulls lazily floating in the breeze over the fortress island of Suomenlinna a small ferry ride to the sea from the city. It was a perfect day for Vivi and Mark to say yes, perfect day to celebrate their love with the closest friends and family, perfect day to start the rest of the life together. Even though it was Friday the thirteenth.

I knew the day was going to be a blast the very first moment I skyped with Vivi and Mark. They were all smiles and open excitement.  They had wed already earlier that year in Canada but they still wanted to celebrate on her land as well. She being Swiss-Finnish and he Italian-Canadian and the guests arriving from all  over the world you know it’s going to be something special. Oh, and it was.

The lighthouse church of Suomenlinna was the perfect wedding church for the couple with simple and elegant yet laid-back atmosphere. And as the priest took his acoustic guitar and sang the final prayer we were all smiling with tears in our eyes. (I’m just really happy that I can hide behind my camera when that happens, which is like every wedding ever)

As the guest continued tho the venue we took another route through the dry docks of Suomenlinna that gave us a spectacular setting for some portraits and a small stop to sip an extraordinarily good champagne. Yummie! And thanks again, that really made me feel much more than a photographer, like a friend and an invitee. Winking here to the future couples.

The evening was warm and people around me beautiful, nice and friendly. Exquisite food, delicious wine, cheese and cookies, serve yourself drink bar on the upper floor former military storage. It was a good mixture of European-Canadian easiness with Finnish wedding traditions. It’s always comical to see the faces of non-Finnish guests as disguised robbers (best men) barge in and take the bride as a hostage. Kudos to Mark for writing an actual poet-level poem in order to redeem his bride.

As the evening fell we all took out to celebrate the lovers’ first dance under the birches after which we made a little escape with Vivi and Mark to go and see the sunset and sneak a few portraits. The place and the light made it seem like out of a movie and Vivi and Mark starred it beautifully. Back at the venue the party was about ready to start. After a few spins on the dance floor I said farewell to the group that felt like family by then and left then dancing the night away. Waiting for the ferry to arrive by the dock and wathing over the bay and the skyline of Helsinki I felt just absolute happiness for Vivi’s and Mark’s love and union, for the beauty of the city I get to call home and for the joy of being able to witness such days.