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Terhi & Miika's Wedding

New Years Eve Wedding in Finland

Miika on his Sidemount Course Diving The Faroud

About a year ago whilst working as a diving instructor I met Miika. Miika is from Finland and was in Malta to work at the Free Port for several months. We started to dive together after he had completed his Open Water Diver Course and he was hooked. Every weekend Miika and I would go diving and became good friends. Then his contract was up and he had to return to Finland. Around September I got a call from Miika and he asked me if I would like to come to Finland to shoot his wedding, of course I said yes. I had never been to Finland and what an amazing place it is. I loved it there and had a great time. 

The wedding was booked for December 31st, New Years Eve and I flew out on the 29th. Miika came to collect me and some other guests from Helsinki Airport on the 30th, until then I had not left my hotel room. Well, it was cold with about 15cm of snow on the ground and about minus 10. But unlike England, things don’t stop due to a little snow. Miika took us to the hotel where most of his 80 guests would be staying. A lovely hotel and the heated bathroom floor was a nice touch. 

That evening I went to Miika’s home and met Terhi and we had a chat about what images they wanted me to take the next day. To my surprise they didn’t want much, none before the wedding, no posed shots and they just wanted me to enjoy myself. I explained that it would be nice for me to come and get some shots of them getting ready etc and they said it wouldn’t be necessary. Miika drove me back to the hotel and then left. Then an hour or so later I had a call, they had changed their minds and would after all like me to join them in the morning and spend the day with them both and just shoot away. Fantastic, I love the shots before the ceremony and they are now so pleased the changed their minds.

Terhi and Miika having their formal shots in the Studio

It was a different wedding to most I have done. Firstly, in Finland in the winter there is not a lot of light. It was still dark at 9am and then would be dark again by 4pm. The whole wedding was going to be at night! Lucky I had my trusty 5D2 with me as I was going to need its great high ISO capabilities especially when I discovered NO Flash in the church what so ever!
Miika and Terhi got ready together, I did try to keep them apart as I love the emotions I can capture when the groom sees the bride for the first time, but that didn’t happen. Once they were both ready they took me along for a studio photo shoot they had booked to do some formal shots. So now I realized why they didn’t want me to do any formal posed shots, they did them in a studio.

The Reception Venue

After that we went to the Reception venue which was at Terhi’s parents home, a beautiful converted vicarage just up the road from the church. I was really pleased we went there as I was able to get some great shots of everything set up before all the guests arrived and whilst it was still daylight. I also managed to persuade Miika and Terhi to let me take a few shots of them outside whilst the sun was setting. 

And then it was dark, we drove a short distance to the church where the guests were already arriving. The church was beautiful but it was very very dark and like I said no flash allowed. I did some shots from up high of the guests sitting down and then changed lenses to my 135mm F2l as I needed as much light and reach as possible. I was asked to stay in just one corner a fair distance from the bride and groom so lucky I had such a nice lens to work with. I shot everything inside the church at F2 3200 ISO!

Here are a few shots from the day and you can find some more HERE. I had a great time in Finland and it was a lovely wedding. Terhi and Miika are such a lovely couple and I would like to thank them so much for asking me to be their photographer on such a special day.

After the wedding the next day they took me and some other friends to their summer house which was in a forest on the side of a lake. We had a great day and even cut a hole in the ice and went for a little swim then straight in the sauna – Awesome. 

Joseph Hall