John and Anna's secret and spontaneous wedding at Edinburgh City Chambers

Monday, April 19, 2021

John + Anna 

16th December 2020 | City Chambers Registrar’s Office | Guests: 2

Instagram: @ankak11 | Photos: Marta Rocci Photography

After their Poland wedding plans were sadly delayed due to Covid, John and Anna made the spontaneous decision to wed in a secret ceremony at Edinburgh Ciy Chambers! They planned everything in just one month, with just 2 neighbours present as witnesses. The bride wore a beautiful dress that cost only £100! Scroll to read all about their special day and see their gorgeous wedding photos in Edinburgh city centre...

Tell us about the ceremony...

We had a registrar wedding in the presence of just two witnesses – our new friends who we met when we moved into the street 3 years ago. Our original witnesses could not make it to the wedding due to COVID restrictions so straight away we thought about our neighbours and poor them…we only told them about the idea a month before the wedding date and asked to keep it a secret!

Any advice for future brides…

We didn’t plan to get married in secret…we did speak about it a few times though but it was rather us joking about it! In the end you could say that COVID forced us into getting married this way. We were a bit worrying about a reaction from our family and friends, especially our parents but they were over the moon when found out and totally understood why we did it this way. 

I remember getting a bit stressed about our wedding in Poland, all the preparation it was taking, even though I had an amazing help from one of my best friends, Dorota, who suggested to be our wedding planner and it made sense as she lives in Poland and could deal with all the suppliers directly. Even when you have all that support you still start feeling a bit overwhelmed but with our unusual, small, a bit last minute wedding everything was just so easy and stress free. If you think of getting married this way…it is a good decision believe me. We also managed to save a little fortune so can’t wait to be able to travel again and spend the money on treating ourselves! 

Did you make any Wedding DIYs?

I didn’t do any myself but my friend, Ola, who is a very creative individual, made a wedding bouquet especially for me. It was so simple and so beautiful…just a few delicate green tree branches with very natural looking decoration. I loved it!

Did you have anything unusual at your wedding?  

I think getting married in Tier 3 during COVID was unusual enough. We had to wear masks (luckily not during the ceremony), restaurants were closing at 6pm and we could not even have a celebration drink when in there... though we did sneak into our hotel room after the wedding ceremony to open a bottle of champagne.

What was your favourite wedding purchase?

It was my wedding dress! I’ve already had one chosen for the wedding originally planned in Poland so with the new idea of having a small ceremony I thought that my first dress would be just a bit too much. I’ve decided to order five dresses from ASOS and prayed that one of them would turn out to be the one for me and surprisingly it worked! The first dress I put on was just perfect and it was less than £100…I could not believe it! Remember you don’t have to pay a fortune for a beautiful dress…just take your time, do your research and you might find a perfect dress which won’t cost an arm and a leg! Although John disagrees as he says his Hugo Boss suit was the best wedding purchase!

Tell us all about the dress... 

I think that the wedding dress from ASOS for less than £100 and shoes from Ebay for just over £20 says it all! John spent more time trying on suits than me finding my perfect dress and shoes!

How did you choose your venue?

Originally we were going to get married in August 2020 in Poland where I am from, then COVID forced us to change our plans and we reschedule to July 2021. We were going to have just over 40 guests. I’ve always wanted for John’s family and friends to experience a traditional Polish wedding with loads of polish food, open bar and wedding reception lasting all night and then starting again the next day so at least 2 days of partying! The situation with COVID had made us doubt if we actually manage to have our wedding in July 2021 so we started speaking about a quick, secret ceremony. 

We realised that my parents would not be able to fly from Poland to the wedding and John’s parents were in a high risk group when it came to COVID. It was just impossible to have the wedding which we planned for in the first place but we knew we did not want to wait any longer. Edinburgh has been one of my favourite places since I can remember so I simply contacted the Registrar’s office there, asked what dates they had available before Christmas and went for the one date they had free and which suited us. It was a very spontaneous decision and made us feeling very happy and excited about getting married again.

Favourite wedding supplier: 

We’ve only had 3 (Hair, Makeup and Photography) and they all did an amazing job, especially our photographer, Marta Rocci (Malu Events Photography). Marta took her time to get to know us and make sure that we would get the perfect photos in the end and the way we wanted them to be. We’ve never done any photo sessions before so were not sure what to expect but Marta made us feel very confident and relax during the session and we were more than delighted with the final effect! We could not praise her more for the work she did…beautiful photos and wedding albums! Marta also turned out to be our mini wedding planner. We weren’t sure which restaurants to choose for our lunch and dinner wedding celebrations in between the photo shoots so Marta gave us a couple of suggestions which turned out to be good choices.

Anything you wish you'd done differently?

Definitely not. I was extremely lucky when choosing our photographer and then the makeup artist and the hair stylist. I didn’t know anyone in Edinburgh providing these services so I simply put a post on Facebook on the Polish People in Edinburgh group asking for any recommendations. Marta, the photographer was the first person mentioned in comments I decided to contact and as soon as we spoke on the phone I knew I really liked her. I decided to contact a few more people but in my mind she was already the one I was convinced to be the best choice and I was so right…

Then I started looking for someone to do my makeup and hair and then again through online recommendations I found Agata, the makeup artist and Klaudia, the hair stylist. They both did an amazing job and I felt so pretty on one of the most important days in my life.

Any surprises on the day? 

We were standing outside the hotel getting ready to leave for the first part of the photo shoot in Edinburgh city center with our photographer and witnesses when John decided to pop up to the hotel room to leave some stuff. As soon as he disappeared I had decided to approach two road workers working away in their PPE to take some funny photos. John didn’t know we had taken these until later on.

Funniest moment of the day: 

It was actually during our wedding ceremony…I was repeating after the registrar “ I…do solemnly and sincerely declare that I know of legal impediment to my marrying…” Well I forgot to say NO legal impediment…so everyone burst laughing including myself! 

What was your first dance song?

For our wedding in Poland we were going to dance to “You are the reason” song by Calum Scott but obviously with our unusual wedding in Scotland we didn’t even think about the first dance. Once we had our wedding meal in a restaurant, we got back to the hotel room with our witnesses to have some celebration drinks. They actually suggested to play this song, we started dancing to it with our shoes off and our witnesses joined us … the hotel room floor turned out to be our wedding dance floor!

Tell us about your Honeymoon...

We were meant to be going to Bali which is still on our wish list and as soon as we can travel again we will be looking to have our honeymoon…at this point anywhere will be perfect as long as we can go!

Photographer: Marta Rocci Photography

Dress: ASOS

MUA: Edinburgh Make Up Artistry

Hair: Edinburgh Hairstyle by Klaudia

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