While I’m used to my wedding photography at St. Raphael Limassol featuring couples from far-flung locations, it’s rare that I meet people quite as peripatetic as Christina and Niels, the hosts of this exclusive wedding at St. Raphael Limassol. Christina and Niels are both born nomads: He is from Belgium but has lived and worked in France, Russia, and China; she is a Cypriot of half-Malaysian Chinese heritage who resided in the UK and Hong Kong before finally landing in China.
Separately, they had seen it all: From the art and architecture of Paris to the wilds of Siberia and the great wall of China, their travels had taken them from one corner of the world to the other. At the same time, however, their hearts remained a mysterious, undiscovered country where few had tread… Until they both opened up their Tinder apps at the same time on November 8, 2014, while living in Shanghai.
Despite their very different backgrounds, the young couple found that they had more in common than they ever could have imagined possible… And the rest, as they say, is history. Before they knew it, they were engaged, living in the Philippines, and planning a beautiful St. Raphael Limassol wedding. There was just one catch: How could they honour both of their families and homeplaces, while having just one wedding?
The secret to a successful wedding ceremony turned out to be the same as the secret to a successful marriage: Compromise. The couple decided to have their civil wedding in Niels’ native Belgium, then have their church wedding here in Cyprus. And what a wedding it was to be, too: After enjoying a more intimate celebration in Belgium, the couple felt free to go “all out” in Cyprus, inviting more than 700 friends and relatives to come share in their joy. Everyone in Limassol knew that a party was happening during this beautiful St. Raphael international wedding, when the religious ceremony at Katholiki church ended and the whole group met up at the St. Raphael resort just minutes away from the beach.
This larger celebration was more than just a lavish party, though: Niels and Christina had spent months working with a wedding planner to create a wedding that was completely unique. Interwoven into it were aspects of both person’s interests, background, and tastes. Every little detail, from the person chosen to shoot their wedding photography at St. Raphael Limassol to the wedding favours and invitations, was customised to reflect Niels and Christina—a task made easier by the fact that Christina owns a wedding stationery business.
As you look at the beautiful St. Raphael international wedding below, you will see an embodiment of this couple’s personalities and their journeys, both individual and conjoined. You will see a tour of how love is celebrated around the world, from the traditional hymns and blessings of Christian Europe to the magical red “double happiness” cookies that are always served at Chinese weddings. And you will, of course, see dancing—that universal language of love that requires no words, only rhythm and the motions of togetherness. This wedding was a story of how two people who couldn’t have started out further apart eventually ended up coming together… And it was a testament to the beauty that flowers when multiple cultures and traditions are blended together with a loving hand.
Christina and Niels show us that love is bigger than our differences and grander than our individual ambitions. It creates a welcoming, accepting home within our hearts that does not divide or discriminate; it only magnifies our blessings… And no matter where we may go, we will always carry that home within us.