meet FINALISTS: magdalena + jan

even before we heard from jan + magdalena, we received this from joe, jan's graduate school friend:

Dear Silverbox Photographers:

It is with the anticipation of a wonderful, regal wedding experience that I nominate my wonderful friends Jan and Magdalena for the "Win Our Hearts, Win Your Wedding" contest. They are planning to be married in Warsaw Poland at a gorgeous old Church in downtown Warsaw, the very same church where Jan's grandparents were wed....

Not only is the setting ideal, but Jan is one of the most generous friends that I have.... We met on the first day of grad school as we were moving into the dorm, almost 15 years ago now, and our friendship has been a real blessing.....
magdalena + jan | poland

we then received an application directly from jan and magda. we were struck by how their story began, not with the two of them meeting, but years . . . actually DECADES . . . earlier with their parents. jan, in the 3rd person, writes this:

From a History in the Homeland of Poland
Jan’s parents were both born in Poland and finally ended up in Canada, where Jan was born and raised. It was a long journey. During WWII, Jan’s Father fought the Nazis for a free Warsaw, was wounded and taken prisoner. Later liberated by American forces, he fought with the British to the end of the war and started a new life in Canada. At the start of WWII, Jan’s Mother’s home in Poland was annexed by the Soviets: she was deported to Siberia, escaped to India and finally made her way to Canada. During the Cold War, returning to Poland, or even re-establishing strong ties was unthinkable. Nonetheless, the family kept strong Polish traditions. Magda was born and grew up in Poland in the industrial town of Bydgoszcz. Always very proud of Poland, Magda developed a strong international appreciation.

then comes their histories as individuals. . .

"With the end of the Cold war and Poland’s’ new found freedom, Magda completed her graduate studies in Sweden. Upon returning to Poland she moved to the capital of Warsaw, from where she was transferred to Geneva, Switzerland, by her work. Jan was already there at this time, having settled there after periods in Boston, Australia and New York City..."

many years and several countries later, magda + jan finally meet. under the subheadings "love finds its way ..." and "passion for life and each other ..." jan writes how the couple's

first encounter was at a “musical chairs” dinner in Geneva, and the music of our hearts has not stopped since. For both of us it has been a magical time, to be so close to someone and feel just right with them at every moment on every level.

their round-the-world adventures have continued and include a new year's eve engagement in greece. talk about style + timing!

there's an EPIC quality to jan + magdalena's story that touched us deeply. it's interesting (and sad) that we can feel so removed from the events of World War II here in the states. . . that it seems like such distant history . . . reading how the war affected jan + magda's parents and childhoods, their family's immediate history, places so much into perspective.

their essay ends like this:
Unity...Next June in Warsaw . . . is only natural our wedding will be in Warsaw, Poland. The Church is where Jan’s grandparents were wed, on the main street that leads to the King’s Palace. To make sure Magda feels like a princess and to give our guests a “Royal time”, the reception will be in the main park Lazienki, which were the Royal Gardens.

...with a touch of SilverBox , how else could we make our Special Day be captured forever than with You, who appreciate such moments so much and know how to make them all that more unique!

jan + magda . . . one of our 5 finalist couples . . . thanks for inspiring us with your love of family, of place and of one another.

~ amy enderle & kim wade