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Patrick Meehan Jr. and Berna Uyanoglu - Istanbul Fairy Tale Wedding

 

Last updated 6/10/2015 at 10:07am

Patrick Meehan Jr. and Berna Uyanoglu at their wedding ceremony.

With a city 9000 years and three empires old as the backdrop, a city renowned for its twinkling palaces and glimmering mosques, the lush greens of its gardens and shimmering blues of its imposing river, it is no small feat to orchestrate a wedding worthy of Istanbul. Especially so when the union in question happens to involve two of society's most beloved darlings and a guest list made up of supermodels, film stars, aristocrats, fashion designers, media moguls and a veritable who's who of the leading names in Industry.

Back in September, it was announced that Berna Uyanoglu, a young beautiful property magnate with a flair for interior design would be marrying Patrick J R Meehan, film producer and budding entrepreneur. Moreover, the marriage would be taking place in her home town of Istanbul.

Flash forward to May 29th and the eve of the happy occasion. We find ourselves coiffing champagne in the opulent gardens of the impossibly refined Les Ottomans Hotel, surrounded by a crowd so aesthetically breathtaking that even Fellini might find himself at a loss for words. As dusk draws ever closer, stars appear to dance in the silver ripples of the Bosphorus, its tides lapping at the shoreline below. Behind us at the bar, champagne corks pop and glasses clink, ornate platters swan in and out of sight, all filled with local delicacies as diverse and vivid in hue as the dresses on parade, their exotic owners, hailing from countless destinations, sashaying, skipping, dancing towards the bride, ravishing in her scarlet evening gown. As her eyes search the crowd for Patrick, he appears by her side, debonair in blue velvet, and tenderly kisses his wife to be.

An evening so very enchanting many guests would fail to recollect when it ended and the day of the wedding began.

As a child, we often dream of a fairy tale wedding; the stories we read and the films we watch are filled with such euphoria, such magic, such love that reality never quite lives up to expectation. Not normally anyway.

At seven forty five on May 30th, as the lights dim and guests are shown to their seats, the only discernible sounds echoing around the majestic banquet hall are coos, sighs and swoons, and for good reason. One and all marvel as we drink in the regal silk of the Versailles wallpaper enveloping us, breathe in the myriad of heavenly white roses engulfing us, and bathe in the warmth of the elaborate candelabra adorning each table. Part Renaissance, part Disney, the scene is quite simply mesmerizing.

As the guests, resplendent in black tie and ball gown, take their seats, the aisle is flooded in a lush golden light, the iconic drum roll from The Last Of The Mohicans' 'The Kiss' blares from the speakers overhead and the procession begins.

Once the six beautiful bridesmaids and six handsome ushers come to a standstill at the lectern, there are gasps of delight as the stunning couple appear; Berna, ethereally beautiful in an exquisite Vera Wang gown, and Patrick, statuesque as ever ina Gieves & Hawkes tuxedo from Saville Row, the two drifting down the aisle arm and arm, all smiles, accompanied by the dulcet tones of Enya's 'Only Time'.

They alight to hearty salutations from family, friends and the two Turkish Ministers there to witness the ceremony. Camera bulbs flash and roars of delight fill the room as the radiant couple read their vows and exchange rings, their parents looking on, beaming with pride.

Finally, a hushed silence as the newlyweds share their first kiss as husband and wife.

The sumptuous feast that follows, a fourcourse affair, fusing Turkish, Italian and French cuisine, all impeccably presented, would delight even the most discerning of gourmets, and the sudden drop in volume proves as much. Better yet, no glass remains empty. The waiting staff, always a delight, slip in and out of the shadows as if ninjas armed only with bottles of Brut champagne.

I'm afraid the rest of the evening all blends into one. There's a rock band playing hits from the seventies and eighties, there is dancing, some break dancing, even a few attempts at the splits, there is cake cutting, clothes shedding and kissing, lots of kissing. There's an after-party at a palatial mansion on the Bosphorus, complete with barman, DJ and decks. More costume changes, more dancing, more kissing; old acquaintances, new acquaintances, romance everywhere.

Finally the stars bid their adieus, the river glints golden and birdsong accompanies us to our twilit carriages.

On the way home, I sit musing on how many couples could draw such a crowd? Over four hundred people, of all nationalities, all religions, all walks of life, many hailing from distant lands, stopped what they were doing, put their lives on hold, and made the journey to Istanbul. That's a lot of love right there. I try to put my finger on why. What makes this couple so especially lovely. Many words are banded about when describing the two of them; beauty, grace, kindness, class, joie de vivre . . . . . And, yes, all those qualities are definitely there and in abundance, but it's more than that. It's something innate in both of them. An ineffable quality beyond the physical. A quality consistent with unity, humanity, magnanimity. We see it in their eyes, in their smiles, feel it in our hearts. An all encompassing love for their fellow man almost extinct in this day and age. In all my life, I have never heard a bad word uttered about either of them, only tales of gratitude and heartfelt appreciation.

As my car weaves its way around the historical phenomenon that is Istanbul, a city uniting three different empires, countless faiths and, of course, the continents of Europe and Asia, I wonder whether it knows it can now pride itself on another sublime union, that of Berna and Patrick.

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