Martin Dabek  pictured with his wife


Martin Dabek started his wedding photography career in Mexico, which left a special place in his heart for mariachis, tequila and the Mexican wave. He recently sat down to answer our version of the Proustian questionnaire. Read on to find out how his two favourite wedding themes were combined in one wedding and to learn how deep the photography bug runs through his family tree.

What is your idea of the perfect wedding?

Guests with sense of humour, outdoor ceremony, live music (sounds like a Matara wedding!) and basically where couples put their personality and spin into the wedding.

What is your greatest fear when you are working on a wedding?

Mixing up the couples or bridal party names

What is your best trait that helps you be so great at your job?

My passion to create something new and unique for every couple. Did I mention positive attitude and smiling to the guests?

Which living person do you most admire?

My dad in fact, he is an amazing man.

What is your greatest extravagance that helps you get through the day?

Energy bars and mate (traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink)

 What is your current state of mind?

Positive, meeting with couples for 2018 and 2019 weddings, and designing albums.

What do you think is the most overrated thing that couples try to squeeze into their wedding day?

Receiving lines. It takes ages and nobody is really enjoying it. I heard so many times when couple are saying to themselves  half way through the receiving line: “Why are we doing this?”

On what occasion is lying to the happy couple a good idea?

Well perhaps lying to the couple is never a good idea, but not telling everything to the bride when things are not going according to the plan is perhaps a good idea.

What is the best theme you have seen at a wedding?

I love festival weddings and Mexican theme weddings – I spent 3 months in Mexico and it was the place where I also photographed my first wedding. A few years ago I was lucky enough to have both themes in one wedding! The bride was Mexican and she loved going to Glastonbury, so it was Festival wedding with Mexican twist (mariachi, tequila, a Mexican wave during speeches, you name it). The wedding was also featured on the Festival brides blog.

What quality in a groom do you like the most?

A sense of humour, a laid back attitude, and an adventurous spirit.

What quality in a bride do you like most?

Same as above plus self confidence.

What is the most overused word at a wedding – or in a wedding speech?

It’s amazing.

When was the last time you laughed out loud at a wedding? What happened?

To be honest I laugh at almost every wedding during speeches, when the speech is genuine and well executed and not copy from the Internet.

What makes an ideal wedding?

Two people in love who put their personality into it and are not too stressed about things beyond their control.

What is the most unusual entertainment you have ever seen at a wedding?

Bucking bronco! The couple persuaded me to go on it before I left and it was a brilliant fun.

If you could change one thing about a wedding, what would it be?

The receiving line.

What moment are you most proud of in your profession?

When the couple is seeing the slideshow with the highlights from their day for the first time at my place and are in tears at their eyes. Also when I create a shot that I have imagined in my head and it turns out better then I have imagined it! I get a goosebumps.

What is the one thing you can’t live without in your job?

My camera I guess, also I very much believe in wedding albums and as photographers its our job to offer couples something tangible which will become their family heirloom.

What is the most embarrassing thing you have seen at a wedding?

I think it was that wedding when groom and bride arrived together 30 min late for the ceremony and myself and the videographer had to help the groom to put his suit on to speed things up as the register had to leave for another wedding.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your work?

Light, travelling, and street photography.

What mistake do you see couples make over and over again on their day?

Stressing too much about the details instead of enjoyng the day.

What is your motto?

“What is done in love is done well” – Vincent van Gogh

What would people be surprised to learn about you and/or your work?

How much work and time goes to being professional full time wedding photographer. Photographing the wedding itself is a small part of all the tasks that have to be done. Also my both grandfathers made a living taking pictures during second war and my sister and my brother-in-law are photographers too! I guess it’s in our blood.

To learn more or to get in touch with Martin please visit his website: Bristol Wedding Photographer – Martin Dabek Photography


Our vision at Matara is to continually develop a relaxed, unique and joyous place that allows you to celebrate all of life’s moments your way.

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  • Kingscote Park, Nr Tetbury, Gloucestershire, UK, GL8 8YA
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