At Gunay’s Garden, Izela Restaurant with Katy and Daniel
The city Perth in Australia is almost the far end of the world for us. Katy and Daniel sent me an e-mail two years before their wedding, told me that they wish to get married in Fethiye Ölüdeniz and asked me to shoot their photos. So we booked their shooting day. Then they decided to change the venue for their wedding and chosen a village away from sea instead of Olüdeniz: Kayaköy.
Kayaköy was a Greek village named Levissi with a population of 15,000 during the late Ottoman era. Greeks left the village in 1923 because of the population exchange and moved to Greece. Turks living in the vicinity of Thessaloniki also moved here. But they couldn’t attune here, left the village and settled close by Manisa, so the village became totally empty. Most of the houses were damaged due to the earthquake in 1957. Today Kayaköy is like a desolate outdoor museum with 3500 old houses, churches and chapels.
The village and its story have always influenced me deeply. When I heard that Kathy’s wedding will take place in Gunay’s Garden Hotel here I was excited and on the wedding day I realized that my excitement was not for nothing. I was at a wedding the atmosphere of which was one of the most beautiful ones I have ever seen. The willow trees at the pool side where the wedding ceremony will take place and the ruins of Kayaköy leaning on the ridge of the hill in the back were composing an extraordinary background. I really couldn’t get enough of shooting that day. Our video shooter also did a fantastic job. Wedding dinner and party in Izela Restaurant at night were magnificent.
I used both Canon 5d series and Fujifilm XPro-2 with off camera flash that I couldn’t give up this season. Kathy and Daniel didn’t turn me down during the photo session and accepted my suggestion to climb the ruins. I was really so lucky because they put up with climbing these hills by wearing wedding gown and groom’s suit under the adverse weather conditions and they got a kick out of doing it. Kayaköy view from the hill was magnificent. We used the evening sun rather efficiently and relieved our tiredness by drinking ice-cold beers after the shooting.
Fethiye Kayaköy is really an out-of-the-box place for shooting wedding photos. It is one of the destinations not known enough in Turkey and one that makes you say “Thank God nobody knows here so it was well preserved.”
Many thanks to dear Katy and Daniel!
Fethiye Kayaköy Wedding Photos & Video by Ufuk Sarisen