Kings College Cambridge Wedding Photographer // Daniela & Stephen
What a wedding this was! Three different stunning venues, two ceremonies and more dancing than I’ve ever seen! Daniela & Stephen’s Jewish wedding was truly epic. It was an honour to be a King’s College Cambridge Wedding Photographer, a DoubleTree by Hilton wedding photographer, a Jewish wedding photographer and most importantly Daniela & Stephen’s wedding photographer for the day!! Daniela & Stephen are two super lovely human beings who pulled out all the stops to give their guests a wedding they won’t ever forget! I asked them to tell their story via a few questions. Without further ado, over to them!
How did you guys meet?
We met on an online dating site called “Jswipe”. Our first date was in London meeting at platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross. We didn’t know at the time that we both were huge Harry Potter fans. We walked through central London with all the Christmas lights – Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Soho, Regents Street and Carnaby Street.
Tell me a bit about yourselves
Stephen originates from Kansas City, USA and is a scientist. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins in the Chemistry department. He runs a lab of 7 people focused on protein folding. Daniela spent her childhood in rural Austria and in London, UK. She works as a major gift fundraiser and is an Associate Director for Johns Hopkins Medicine, focused on ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute.
Whilst we both thought we had met someone exotic, our grandparents and great grandparents came from the same town in Bamberg, Germany and were in business together. They also attended the same synagogue. Stephen’s cousin also lived with Daniela’s stepfather for 10 years in London when they were in their 20s. All very uncanny!
How did the proposal go down?
It was so romantic! Daniela’s aunt and uncle were visiting from London. We took them on the roof of Kings College Chapel. Stephen got down on one knee with a ring lollypop. As soon as Daniela said ‘yes’ a number of our close friends came out from hiding in the turret on the roof! We then had a celebration straight after at a friend’s flat. We still laugh that we were the first Jewish couple to get engaged on Kings College Chapel’s roof.
How did you choose your wedding venue?
Stephen was a fellow and doing his postdoc at Kings College. Stephen and Daniela lived in Kings College accommodation and therefore it felt right to have our wedding in our home. It was so special to be able to share such a stunning place, with so much history with our friends and family.
What sort of experience did you want your guests to have?
We wanted our guests to have a wonderful time and to party the night away. It was a bank holiday weekend and we wanted to ensure that they could also have a fab weekend away.
Can you describe some of the details and stylings and did your wedding have a theme?
Our colour theme was evergreen to match the beautiful scenery and gardens that Kings has to offer. We wanted spring flowers and we were extraordinarily lucky that spring was at its best on May 6, our wedding day. Daniela and Stephen opted for a simple wedding as the venue was so opulent and location did not need much.
We loved being able to incorporate Jewish symbols such as a chuppah (canopy), wedding schtick for Israeli dancing (a silk parachute, feathered arches, a sheet for throwing Stephen in the air) and grace after meals.
Travel has been integral to our relationship and so our table numbers were named after a location we had travelled to together with a picture from that time. The wedding was also our goodbye from the UK as we moved shortly after to Baltimore, USA.
Our wedding started in Kings College Fellows Garden, where Stephen and Daniela saw each other for the first time. They had not contacted each other for 7 days prior to the wedding. The ceremony was at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Cambridge outdoors before we walked all together to Kings College. Our reception was on the back lawn by the River Cam and then dinner and the party were in the Kings College Hall.
We finished the night with sparklers on the Kings College bridge over the River Cam.
What was your best decision during the wedding planning?
Having an amazing photographer and videographer. Winston and his team were amazing, we love looking back on our day and its certainly the thing we thank ourselves for 2 years later. We also used Teardrop films whom we loved. It was lovely that the pictures and video captured the atmosphere and fun we had in a discreet way.
We picked Winston as Daniela had worked with him at Murray Edwards College. She knew that if he could make a lecture look interesting in photos, he will certainly be able to capture a wedding and he didn’t disappoint!
What was the hardest decision?
Choosing the dessert option. We messed around with it multiple times. I bet no one remembers what we ate. Weddings are amazing for making tiny irrelevant decisions seem major things.
What were your favourite memories of the day?
We loved the ceremony, Israeli dancing, the sparklers, the amazing feeling of having our friends and family together, the sunset, the breathtaking scenery and ability to share Cambridge with our friends and family. The weather was also perfect. The moment where Stephen and I saw each other for the first time, when our wedding was complete with the smashing of the glass. It is hard to pick one memory. We remember how both our lips quivered and trembled as we were smiling for so long.
What advice would you have for any couples planning their wedding?
Be practical and define your finances early. Don’t be afraid to make things yourself. We designed all our own invitations, table cards and name cards. Make your ceremony and event personal to your lives, it adds meaning. Have a clear to-do list. Having sparklers at the end means you don’t get really sweaty hugs!! Also end on a high, when the wedding is at the peak, don’t let the wedding drag on for too long. Pick Winston Sanders as your photographer, I promise you won’t regret it!!!
Thank you Daniela & Stephen and a huge thank you also to Mark from Mark Nortcliffe Photography who volunteered to be a second shooter for me for the day.
I’m a Norfolk Wedding Photographer who travels all over the country and beyond capturing beautiful weddings. If you’d like a Kings College Cambridge Wedding Photographer, or a wedding photographer for anywhere in the UK or further afield, please do get in touch!
Superstar suppliers from this wedding:
Florist: Funky Flowers
Dress: David’s Bridal
Video: Tear Drop Films
DJ: Paul from Proactive 4 Parties – great for Jewish weddings!
Events Team: King’s College with Claire Timms at the helm
Makeup: Fiona Trupp