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Vegas Showgirls, A Casino, a belly dancer and a Christmas Romance: Ahmet and Ozlem's Kensington Wedding, London

The day after Boxing Day, possibly the most dull day of the year, right?  WRONG!!  I got the call a few days before Christmas day from my good friend, stylist Jevdet Orgen, could I shoot his father's wedding day film on the 27th December.  As so often is the way, the wedding film is the last thing a couple thinks about, but we filmmakers understand that, and when you love what you do as much as I do, you're always ready to man the pumps at the last minute. 

The ceremony and the party were both to be held at London's trendy Kensington Rooftop Gardens, a little oasis of glamour, style, romance and peace in the heart of the capital.  

From the lovely Spanish Gardens, to the roof terrace, and the Ornamental Gardens, complete with flamingos, the Roof Gardens are an iconic part of the city's party culture, and a perfect space for a wedding. 

Where else in London, could you find a little piece of Spain recreated romantically faithfully as a backdrop to your party?

It's also a cozy and comfortable venue, where the staff bend over backwards to accommodate both guests and suppliers, making the preparations for your big day really easy and straightforward. 

As a Turkish Cypriot family, you could feel throughout the day, the warmth and laid-back, generous Mediterranean spirit at work. 

And while Jevdet had organised everything with military precision, there was no sense at all of fuss or worry.  That of course is the art of great wedding planning, to make it look effortless, seamless and easy. 

Although there may have been a few cases of butterflies going on...


The ceremony was a simple and beautiful formal reading, with a string quintet playing bach, and just a short reading from the registrar.  Ozlem looked radiant in white, while Ahmet was the very embodiment of sophistication in his tux. 

After the ceremony, the couple strolled through the cloisters of the roof gardens for the formal sit-down dinner and speeches, made all the more enjoyable by the cypriot band playing beautiful Turkish songs. 

The mixture of candlelight and just the right amount of subtle spot lighting, made for an atmosphere that combined romance, glamour, intimacy and style.  For an inexperienced filmmaker, this kind of intimate lighting can be problematic, but when you've been shooting for over a decade you learn how to shoot and how to light subtly to bring out this atmosphere and create something that is both affectionate and cinematic. 

And then came the part you've all been waiting for... the party!

And what a wonderful party it was!  With a fantastic melee of Turkish pop music and 70s soul remixes from Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, the scene was set for the Las Vegas-themed reception party.  The champagne flowed, the lights were lowered, and then... enter... the gorgeous showgirls!

And what a fantastic atmosphere of glamour and fun they provided!  Charming and friendly, they added the all-important spice to an already vibrant party. 

And all the while, guests were playing the roulette tables, the spirit of Las Vegas truly alive and well in London W8!

Oh, and did I mention the showgirls?

And to top it all, before the band came on, there was another treat in store for the boys, with the entrance of a beautiful and entrancing Turkish Belly Dancer.  

A fantastic night, a fantastic London wedding, and an awesome party.  Congratulations to Ahmet and Ozlem on their marriage, and a huge thanks for making my job, be one of the funnest jobs in town!