This story has been in the making for a while- as the crazy editing season dies down, and the weddings start in a short couple of weeks- now is a good time to share a personal story and wedding video of a dear family member. This blog post features some of my Instagram photos and a wedding highlight video at the end.
In the summer of 2013, I travelled to my homeland(s), Poland and Lithuania. The main reason for going was to attend my cousin Agnieszka’s wedding to her longtime love, Marcin. However, travelling to my homelands meant so much more- the country of my first language, the country my grandparents were born and grown- I honestly never thought I would make it there, that it was just too far away to imagine. So I thank my cousin Agnieszka for getting married last summer.
My cousin Eddy arrived in the Vilnius airport- fatigued, not having showered in days after galavanting through Paris and Amsterdam- to our moms filming us on handicams as we walked through the sliding doors.
We arrived the night before the wedding and arrived at my aunt’s house to find everyone scrambling around, stuffing Polish pastries and candies into little boxes.
I don’t actually speak Polish (my first language was Lithuanian) and my family members are an assortment- some only English, some only Polish, some Lithuanian and English, some Polish and English, and some all three- as you can imagine, family get-togethers are interesting and this usually results in a story being told 3 times in different languages. You see, Sejny– the town my grandmother grew up in and the town this story revolves around- lies a few hours south of the Lithuanian border. Given the history of Eastern Europe, the border changed about a million times during my grandparent’s time so I’m not entirely sure what I really am.
Back to the wedding- Arriving on the even of the wedding, I soon found out that what British Columbians wear to weddings is NOT what you wear to Polish weddings. My flowy, flowery, hippy dress and sandals was not going to cut it, as my cousins shook their heads at my style.
At 11am, my cousin Ania dragged me to a few stores in Sejny, population six thousand, and I bought an entire outfit for about $40 Canadian dollars. I was also blasted with makeup and had the standard Polish curly-side hair thing going on. See below:
I got to spend some time with Agnieszka taking photos and video of her getting ready before Marcin came and whisked her away to the church. Photos will eventually be posted on the blog, with more of a story on Agniezska’s wedding.
As a wedding videographer, I couldn’t help but capture some snippets of Agnieszka’s day and put it together in my signature style. I had no stabilization or audio to work with and shot everything handheld.
As I will post a photo story soon enough, I will save the details for then. Let’s just say that the wedding parties in Poland blow ours out of the water. Vodka and hot food ran all night, and I was berated for leaving the wedding “early” at 3am. I’m pretty sure all of the vendors, including the band, were there until 8am. We’ve got it easy here in Victoria, BC.
Check out my video featuring Agniezska and Marcin here:
Filmed in Sejny, Poland
Filmed and edited by Cassie O’Neil Cinematography
Music licensed by The Music Bed