Story of a dress, whose rich symbolism took a whole page of text to explain to every wedding Guest. Motives represented on the various layers include family monograms and crests, favourite flowers, astrological charts, inscriptions from places close to the Couple’s hearts, prosperity and good fortune tokens and many other precious symbols. And not only that, after midnight the dress transformed into a comfortable mini! A dream of a dress.

We give you Gabi and James. A three-day wedding.

Gabi is a photographer. She knew exactly what she wanted: “I would like the day covered, from preparations, ceremony to the party in a documentary/reportage style (we are leaning towards all black and white). I would really like the photography not to be intrusive. I am interested in classical, black and white, high contrast documentary/reportage style images. Grainy texture for the low light situations is preferable to harsh flash, (our dinner will be lit only with candlelight which is so beautiful on the face and I would like to honor that light in the images).”

It did not freak us out at all:) We had been waiting for a wedding like this:) And we thought Leica MONOCHROM would be perfect for this wedding. No more talking. Text courtesy of Once In A Lifetime wedding planners Poland:

“How do you briefly describe a wedding, if the wedding dress alone, custom designed, with family monograms and symbols, took a whole page of text to explain?
How do you summarize a year of preparations, if a month prior to the wedding you learn everything needs reorganizing, because twice as many guests will be coming than initially planned?
How do you show in a couple of pictures three days and a variety of events for 250 Guests from all around the world?
How do you tell the story of a family who’s keeping a signed bottle bought on their daughter’s birth day to pass on to her on her wedding day, without sounding trivial?
We won’t even try, it just seems impossible. The wedding of Gabi and James was one of our biggest events, this year and ever. And these two are among the nicest people we’ve ever had the opportunity to work with. It is for such moments that we work late nights and sacrifice family weekends.

“I would like the day covered in a documentary style"

We got a description of the bride wedding gown, designed by friends, so we know what we were shooting and what to look for:

“Gabriela, Craig and I were honoured to be such a special part of yours and James’s day. It has been an absolute pleasure for us to design your wedding gown! In accordance with your request the dress is comprised of three tiers, representing your past, present and future together with James.

The production of the dress spans 4 continents. The design, concept and construction having taken place in New York, the initial pattern created in the United Arab Emirates, the embroidery in India and the fabric in Europe. Each layer of the dress was hand embroidered by a team of 8 expert craftsmen and women in Mumbai over a period of 2 weeks. The hand techniques range from satin stitch embroidery, to silk appliqué to a Bedouin knitting stitch.

The primary motifs within the design of the embroidery pay homage to your maternal lineage. Large monograms for the maiden names of your mother (Jolanta Jadwiga Klaudia Kruczkowska), your grandmothers (Gabriela Maria Czerminska and Anna Szeliga), and great grandmothers (Aniela Wadowska and Klaudia Malgorzata Brochwitz-Donimirska) encircle the skirts. There is also an ancient Polish symbol representing the Szeliga family which has been placed as a cameo on each of your wrists.

Poppies, the polish national flower and lilies, James’s favourite flower for you are to be found throughout the design of your dress. Traditional folk Polish Wycinanki flowers and leaves are found beaded and stitched throughout the design.

The Arabic saying inshallah, is found embroidered on both hips. Framing the skeleton of the design are crescent shapes and line work inspired by the walls of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. A nod to the years spent together in the Gulf.

Around the hem of each layer in Roman numerals is the date of your wedding. The central motif from which the rest of the design radiates can be found on your train. The symbol for the 9th house represents an astrological space wherein your two individual star charts cross. In accordance with this motif you will find on either side of the dress both of your astrological signs in star formation, Aries and Capricorn.
Central to the core motif across your chest is a bushel of wheat for prosperity, and hidden amongst the lilies at the neckline is a busy bumble bee, representing blessings of fertility.

May you have a long, healthy and happy life together filled with much adventure and endless love. Our hope is that the majesty of this garment and the love put into its creation anchor both of you, and all of those sharing in your marriage ceremony to the power of the present. With its references to the past and to the future, may this dress also serve as a point of reflection for you. May it allow both of you to focus on and understand all of the love that will surround you on Oct 13th. May you take that love with you and remember it always. We are so happy for you both.

With all our love, as always Ray & Craig”

Bride and Groom: Gabi and James
Location: Niepołomice, Poland
Getting ready – Niepołomice Castle
Ceremony – Church of Ten Thousands Martyrs of Ararat, Niepołomice
Wedding reception: Niepołomice Castle
Cracow wedding photography: WhiteSmoke Studio
Wedding Planner: Kasia Wachułka & Kinga Nowakowska Raz w życiu

Gabi and James, many congratulations! We wish you all the best and thank you for the fantastic atmosphere! Enjoy the photos!:)