Marta dn Darcey posing in front of a pond at their wedding venue

Marta and Benjamin had their first date in April 2019, when Benjamin was in London on a work trip from Chicago. “Before our first date we had been talking online,” says Marta.

"Our love story began during Benjamin’s work trips from the United States. We shared our childhood memories, bonded over our passion for learning and our aspirations for the future. Our first date was at Mercato Metropolitano in London. What started off as a dinner date progressed into an evening bike ride around Elephant and Castle and ended with our first kiss on Tower Bridge!”

Marta's off the should wedding dress hanging on a tree branch in the woods

A pandemic love story

“Our love for each other was challenged during the pandemic, with Benjamin living in the US, while I was in London,” says Marta. “We had to work within the restrictions to see each other. In June 2021 we booked a trip to Malaga, Spain. On a drive back to our hotel, we stopped to take a few pictures overlooking the Alboran Sea. When I turned around from a picture, Benjamin was on one knee (shaking from nerves) and asked me to marry him! He had asked my parents for my hand in marriage and had a custom-made ring for me. So many emotions were flowing, with memories of the previous two years.”

Marta wearing a flower crown and posing on a wooden bridge in her wedding dress

Shopping for the dress

Marta visited WED2B’s Bromley store. “I went with my maid of honour and two bridesmaids,” she says. “It was my first and only wedding dress store. I loved it so much that there was no need to go anyplace else! It was fantastic that we didn't have to make a reservation and could show up whenever it was convenient for us all.”

Black and white image of Marta posing outside their wedding venue in her wed2b wedding dress

“There was a short wait when we arrived, so we went to a neighboring pub and had a glass of bubbly to commemorate the occasion,” says Marta. “The support during the fitting was outstanding. Everyone was friendly and helpful, offering advice on what would look best on me and being patient while I tried on several gowns for the second time. They also made certain that I had all of the necessary accessories, such as an underskirt, veil, hanger, bag and storage bag, to transport it safely.”

Marta's bridesmaid helping to put Marta's garter onto her leg

Finding the dream dress

“I tried on a few dresses and I fell in love with two,” says Marta. “This was one of the most difficult decisions I had to make when it came to wedding planning. I left the store with Violette, however a week later I returned to get the second one that truly stole my heart.”

Marta and Benjamin kneeling during their wedding ceremony in Poland

“It was a sparkling off-the-shoulder ballgown called Beata. I loved the elaborate lace embroidery, inspired by butterflies and tiny bees in an English garden, combined with the contemporary details. It was ideal for the style of wedding I had envisioned. I simply knew it would be a showstopper.” For similar styles tae a closer look at Amabel, Jasmina and Elowen.

Marta and Benjamin having a photo taken by their preist at their wedding ceremony

A destination wedding Poland

“I live in London but I grew up in Poland, where my entire family and many friends live,” says Marta. “Benjamin is from Arizona, and his family live in the United States. We decided to have a destination wedding Poland, since I have a large family and Benjamin’s loved ones would have an incredible opportunity to visit and explore where I’m from. Because many of our relatives and friends came from different countries (England, USA, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Hong Kong, Columbia and Mexico), I also wanted them to experience a typical Polish wedding.”

Marta and Benjamin holding hands and looking at one another during their wedding ceremony
Marta and Benjamin standing and repeating their vows during their wedding ceremony

A gorgeous forest setting

“We needed to accommodate over 120 guests and make sure they had a wonderful time throughout our two-day celebrations,” says Marta. “Many stayed on for longer. We chose a resort in Zawady, Poland, in the centre of a forest near the Liswarta River. We got married on 18 June 2022, at the start of summer. The setting, surrounded by trees, a lake and a river, was gorgeous. Our venue, The Great Hall, had a hardwood interior with a starry night sky ceiling.”

Marta and Benjamin walking back up the aisle during their wedding ceremony

A two-day celebration

“In Poland it’s customary to have a two-day wedding celebration,” says Marta. “We arrived at our resort the day before, on Friday afternoon, when many of our guests from abroad also arrived. On Saturday I woke up early and got ready with my maid of honour and bridesmaids. Once we were ready I had a quick photoshoot with all my girls. Benjamin got ready in another bungalow with his son and brothers.”

Marta and Benjamin posing outside embracing with Marta wearing a flower crown Marta and Benjamin posing in the woodlands of their wedding venue with the beautiful scenic view of Poland

“Then we made our way to the church for our beautiful ceremony,” says Marta. “However, it couldn’t all be so easy. I forgot my veil and we had to rush back to get it. As the groom was in a car right behind with his brothers, they thought for a moment that I changed my mind as we turned our car around! I had to quickly explain what happened.”

Marta and Benjamin's hands grasped on a tree trunks with their wedding rings visible

A magical ceremony

The ceremony took place place in the Divine Mercy Sanctuary in the Valley of Mercy in Częstochowa, which has an incredible mosaic interior. “My dad walked me down the aisle,” says Marta. “This is the only moment of the whole celebrations that I have no memory of. I was so nervous and deeply focused, I was just thinking about the steps and looking at Benjamin, who was waiting for me with tears in his eyes.”

Marta and Benjamin posing on a wooden bridge with Marta climbed on top of the bridge

“My favourite moment was the marriage vows. In Poland, vows are set and every world must be spoken our load correctly otherwise the marriage isn’t legitimate. You can just imagine my American groom trying to repeat all those weird sentences in Polish! The priest got Benjamin to repeat word by word rather than sentences and it was just so sweet and funny at the same time. We all cried and laughed out loud!”

Image of the back of Marta embracing Benjamin in their wedding reception venue

A traditional Polish celebration

“The ceremony was 4pm and when we arrived at our venue we were greeted with bread and salt, as is customary in Poland,” says Marta. “Following that, we raised a glass of champagne with all of our guests and, according to tradition, the bride and groom must sip and then hurl the empty glass behind them, causing it to break. Following that, we all sat down to eat.”

Marta posing with her 10 bridesmaids and throwing her bouquet for someone to catch

“Throughout the night, eight meals were served, with plenty of cold and hot platters, as well as desserts,” says Marta. “After dinner, it was time for our first dance, to Richard Marx’s ‘Right Here Waiting’, which wonderfully represents our long-distance love and constant yearning to see one other. We did, however, make a tiny remix of the song that ended in a faster, more celebratory pace, and asked our guests to dance with us.”

Back and white image of Marta and Benjamin kissing outside their wedding venue

“Then the band played music and we all danced till 5am. There were also many games, cake cutting, toasts and singing! The next day, Sunday, we all met at the venue at 2pm for dinner and continued the celebrations until 4am!”

Marta and Benjamin posing infront of their wedding cake with a band playing behind them

A natural theme inspired by the dress

“The concept for our destination wedding Poland was traditional with an emphasis on wood and forests,” says Marta. “White, green and gold were the dominant colours. I chose the colours to match my dress because I wanted everything to match the dress’s classic style with modern touches. Our band played a lot of Polish music, but also a lot of well-known and timeless tunes, so everyone could have a good time. The wedding cake was similarly inspired by the dress, being all white with white roses and edible gold.”

Marta on the dance floor with some of her female friends and family

The best bits…

“Most of the day was unforgettable,” says Marta. “From the morning preparations with my best friends through to the entire ceremony with all of the lovely music played by the organist and violinist.”

"Then there was our first dance, to a song we both love, and the celebration with all of the fun activities and loads of music. I took Benjamin out of the venue for five minutes to be on our own and process all that had happened. We had a moment to contemplate our new life as husband and wife. It was a really important and intimate moment of the day that I will never forget.”

Marta dancing on her own on the dance floor with all the wedding guests watching on

My top tips…

“Make sure you spend your wonderful day with the people you care about, and everything will go perfectly!”

Benjamin twirling Marta around on the dance floor for their first dance

Marta and Benjamin’s Dream Team

Photography and videography: Dawid Nalewajka

Destination wedding Poland: Zawady

Wedding dresses: WED2B

Decorator/florist: Bella Rosa

Cake: Pogodna 19

Band: Biale Kruki

If you would like us to feature your big day, like this destination wedding Poland, then please click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch. Your nearest WED2B is closer than you think, click here for your nearest store and here for what to expect when you visit.