With a southern Europe, old rural feel to it, this shoot by San Francisco Wedding photographer RADOSTINA PHOTOGRAPHY took place in the beautiful Rose Valley of Bulgaria. Radostina tells us, "Europe is rich in history and traditions, but while all eyes are usually turned towards the old Catholic countries with their beautiful Châteaux and Castles, we wanted to tell you a different story. Bulgaria is less known, also older as well as rural and simple. Oh, and also very romantic. A story, that geographically mixes together many different worlds in one place - this is the land of the warrior Spartacus, a land where the eastern Christian orthodox meets the Orient and one that has created a unique variety of culture and rituals. And to all that we add the scent of the very specific small rose - the Damascene rose. This beautiful flower is the centre of our story as fobr centuries the people here gather it and produce the popular rose oil. 

Our story starts with the invitation, handwritten by ELLIE ANGELOVA using the old Cyrillic alphabet to bring a bit of a nostalgia to the scene. Then we follow a local tradition and go to the river where our stunning bride, Iva, makes a flower crown and lets it float downstream, - the myth being that whomever catches it, will be the next bride. 

From here, Iva and Trendafil (ironically our groom’s name is the same as the local people call the roses here) will go together to the local church. However this is no ordinary church - it was built in the 19th century and was flooded many times but still stands strong in the green field. Iva wears a gorgeous dress created by SARAH HIRSH, whilst Trendafil wears a shirt with traditional Bulgarian embroidery. The church adds a bit of a mystical feel to our story; the roof is long gone and Mother Nature slowly dresses up the walls, but you can still see remnants of the paintings on the wall. Our florist, P.S. CELEBRATE created simple yet stunning arrangements with local flowers, where the starring role is the pink rose with the marvellous scent. 

After our intimate ceremony, it is time for the feast. The gathering is right amongst the roses, and on the table designed by the amazing team of P.S. CELEBRATE we added traditional Bulgarian ceramics and doused it in flowers. To top it all off we were surrounded by horses and the beautiful Balkan mountains." 

San Francisco Wedding photographer RADOSTINA PHOTOGRAPHY is a valued member of the Magnolia Rouge Vendor Guide. If you're looking for a Northern California wedding photographer be sure to check out more of her portfolio.