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Andy & Ivo - An English Bulgarian Islington Town Hall Wedding

English and Bulgarian traditions meet for a gorgeous laid-back wedding at Islington Town Hall and the Old Queen's Head in London.

Andy and Ivo, a gay couple, on their wedding day

I recently attended a Gaydio Networking event at the Grand Hotel. As ever with these things, I grabbed the chance to take the microphone and talk about what it means to be Birmingham's Friendliest Photographer for thirty seconds, and why I love doing what I do. It was a few days after I travelled to London for Andy & Ivo's Islington Town Hall wedding, so their special day was fresh in my mind.


The joy of doing this, I said, was being given the chance to spend a day being surrounded by people with a smile on their face. There aren't many jobs where you spend hours with people who shine with happiness, so it's always a privilage to be asked. On reflection, I added, most of my weddings lately have been same-sex weddings. With that comes the extra joy of having a public declaration of love in a way that generations thought never possible. I left the event beaming, as I do whenever I talk about the weddings I photograph.


Andy and Ivo wanted a laid-back affair that's perfect for my style. Their wedding took place on 1st June 2024 at Islington Town Hall, followed by a reception in the glorious setting of the Old Queen's Head. As with many town halls on a busy spring Saturday, Andy and Ivo weren't the only ones celebrating that day, so the couple greeted their guests outside as the excitement began to grow.


Andy greets his dad before the wedding

A wedding guest greets Ivo before the wedding

Wedding guests arrive

A male wedding guest smiles before the ceremony

Wedding guests smile in a group before the wedding ceremony

As the registrar met the couple and the last preparations were made, I took the chance to steal a swift portrait in the marbled corridors - and made sure we got one with Mum as well.

Andy and Ivo before their wedding at Islington Town Hall

Ivo and his mum before the wedding at Islington Town Hall

As the guests were seated, the boys had one last hug with their mothers before being led down the aisle to become husbands.

Ivo hugs his mum just outside the council chamber at Islington Town Hall

Andy and Ivo hold hands in Islington Town Hall council chamber

Andy and Ivo hold hands before the registrar at Islington Town Hall council chamber

Andy and Ivo hold hands after exchanging wedding rings at Islington Town Hall council chamber

Andy and Ivo raise their hands as newlyweds in Islington Town Hall council chamber

Joyous smiles all round, as the couple left to spring sunshine, confetti and a walk to the pub, taking the opportunity to stop for a few portraits on the way. What I like about urban weddings is the chance to turn any bit of street into an unrecognisable backdrop.

Andy and Ivo hold hands as guests throw confetti on the steps of Islington Town Hall

A portrait of Andy and Ivo at Islington Town Hall

Andy kisses Ivo's head in an Islington park

Andy and Ivo wanted to capture the very best of Ivo's Bugarian heritage, so before their meal they had a bread ceremony. Ivo's Mum, Iordanka, had prepared a traditional round tear and share loaf. Pieces were dipped into salt and honey to remind the boys that life is both sweet and salty. It was a unique way of each family bringing one of the grooms into their family.

Ivo's mum and her traditional Bulgarian bread.

Andy and Ivo hold hands in the Old Queen's Head in Islington

Ivo's mum feeds Andy bread

Once the meal was finished, laughter, stories and traditional dancing made the day complete. Thank you SO MUCH for allowing me to be a part of your day, and I can't wait to share your full gallery with you soon.

Ivo and a wedding guest

A man and a young girl at the DJ deck at the Old Queen's Head Islington

Thelma holds a microphone and laughs as she compares the reception at the Old Queen's Head Islington

Ivo with his family at the Old Queen's Head Islington

Andy looks at Ivo and smiles at the Old Queen's Head Islington

Ivo and his sister at the Old Queen's Head Islington

Ivo and Thelma at the Old Queen's Head Islington

Wedding guests at the Old Queen's Head Islington

Andy's Mum at the Old Queen's Head Islington

Guest try a traditional Bulgarian dance at the Old Queen's Head Islington

Wedding guests dancing at the Old Queen's Head Islington

Wedding guests dance at the Old Queen's Head Islington

Dancing at the Old Queen's Head Islington

Dancing at the Old Queen's Head Islington

Dancing at the Old Queen's Head Islington

Although I think of myself as Birmingham's Friendliest Photographer, as this wedding shows, I travel across the country for special people. If laid-back photography, taken with a smile sounds right up your street, download my Wedding Guide and give me a call.



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