Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Our wedding story

The days before our wedding along with the wedding day as well, are mostly a blur... Like splashes, certain memories emerge from time to time. It has been almost exactly two years, since the best day of my life to this day came and went. This is what I remember...

... I remember the evening before the wedding, we lay on the bed with a lap top, searching through our photos, trying to compose a glimpse of our life together for a slide show that we are going to put on a screen during the reception. We open folder after folder and cut-and-paste photos where we are together that we like. It is late and we have to get up early to go to church to get Jenya's first communion before our wedding ceremony. After, Jenya lays in bed and I read communion prayers, while kneeling in front of our bed (the most spiritual moment of our lives, I just wish there would be more of those)...

... I remember after morning service Jenya goes home to get ready and I get in the car with my parents to have the last breakfast together as a family of three (it's a family of four but my brother was in Europe at that point). We go to this egg breakfast place and I order an omelet with red colored fries (I think it was covered in paprika)... We waited in line for quite some time, but the breakfast is worth it! Mom and I have our coffee... I honestly don't remember the feelings vividly at that point, but there was this very special anticipation hanging in the air - we all couldn't help but smile, while chewing our food...

... I remember getting my hair and makeup done, I really liked the makeup artist and hair stylist that I had, she was a pretty red head and apparently she was good friends with our wedding photographer. My wedding dress hangs on the hanger on the wall, there is nobody else but us in the well lit room with many chairs for hair cutting (barber chairs? I don't know what they are called...) and mirrors.
Our photographer surprises us with a visit to take photos of the process - first hair then makeup... We are trying to explain to the hair stylist what we want her to assemble on my head as everybody oooohs and aaaahs over my dress. Photographer is taking photos of the dress and me.
 Then we talk my mom into getting her makeup done as well. When she is done we all are amazed at how beautiful she is with the makeup on. My mom's and my eyes really pop because of our makeup. We go into a dressing room to change into our dress, put our heals on and look in the mirror, my dad changes as well - we all look amazing (mom and dad match - I have never seen them dressed so well in my life!) everybody says we look amazing as we leave to go to church for the ceremony...

... I remember coming to church. We get to church at the same time with Jenya and I want to go to him, but my parents tell me to go to church, so that he can't see me before the ceremony. So they hide me behind themselves and make me stay in the kids room, the only place with air conditioning where I can hide. As I sit there on a tiny chair among chewed up toys and drawings on the wallpaper, all dressed up and ready, I look at the church hall through a large window, and see Jenya being led by the priest into the altar. We have to wait for the quire. The priest said that for the first time in thirty years of his practice a bride is not late, they weren't ready for it. I look at the icons on the wall, the paintings of Jesus and Virgin Marry and they smile at me it seems, I think that I should cry now, but I don't feel like it, I just feel compete and utter happiness - I just know this is going to be worth all the wait.
They let us know that my mom and dad will have to hold the crowns because the witnesses did not get assigned by the church, they gladly agree. Mom wants my dad to lead me to the door, where I meet Jenya, even though it is not part of the ceremony. The quire is here, photographer and her helpers have arrived, it is time...

... I remember my dad leading me to the door of the church hall, where my very-soon-to-be-husband is standing. The church is so well lit by the August sun! Because leading me to the door is not part of the ceremony, my dad is not sure when to leave and join my mom, so I kind of show him that it is time to go, but now, looking back, I wish I would give him a hug or something, after all in a very short time I would be given to my husband and it was an important moment for both my dad and I.
 The first thing I see is my Jenya's face - he looks a bit startled, but oh so hot all dressed up, and I really want to grab his hand, so I do, not sure if we are suppose to, but it feels right.
The priest is wearing his special occasion robe, my dad is tearing a bit and smiling and even giggling quietly, my mom is smiling too and lifting her poor feet from time to time to let the blood flow back to her toes, because I made her wear high heals that she is not use to, but she was stunning that day! I myself can't help but smile, I don't think I stopped smiling that day at all. The corners of my mouth were like Vegas heat - either really high or really-really high. We are still holding hands as the priest walks us through the ceremony. He tells us to repeat after him. I say "I do" and then Jenya says "I do" or maybe it was the other way around, and I finally get to wear my ring! I keep playing with it and looking at it - this is it, the sign that I am a wife to my husband, finally I don't have to prove anything to anybody anymore...
Then we hold the candles, and mom and dad hold the crowns. The wax from the candle spills all over my fingers so the candle melts onto my fingers. The ceremony proceeds - so beautiful and full of meaning. I look at the light of the candle and listen to the words of the bible "husband is to love his wife like Jesus loves His church..." That means love more than your own life!
We drink wine from a golden goblet and all I can think of is how sweet it tastes! And I don't even like wine, yet this is good! The priest says that this wine represents our life together - biter at times, yet a celebration nonetheless. I smile because our wine wasn't bitter at all!
I can't feel my toes anymore from standing on high heals for 40 min. We walk to the altar and the priest gives us last words if wisdom. "These rings you are wearing now, represent the eternity that your souls will be connected now, not even death will part you now!" My heart skips a beat - I wouldn't want it any other way! "The crowns we held above your heads represent you as human beings, being the crown of God's creation. But they also represent martyrs' crown, because as they were witnesses of God through all the hardships and even death, so should you and your marriage be a witness to all of the greatness of God" My heart skips another beat (oh, please God, let it be that way!) "These crowns will be awaiting for you in heaven, for from  now on, there is no more Evgeny and no more Anastasia, but you are one!" Another beat skipped, how amazing that this can be true! "And lastly, remember Paul,  who said that the wives should be subject to their husbands as to the Lord. Husbands should love their wives just as Lord loved His church and gave Himself up for her. You may kiss the bride!" I promise myself never to forget this first kiss with my husband.
Everybody congratulates us with many hugs and kisses. 
We go outside to take photos, we just move from one pretty location to another, we don't have to pose or fake smiles, we can't help it but look happy. I ask the photographer to take a picture of me being crazy about my ring, yes, I finally got everything I wanted!
I don't like taking photos overall, even though I use to model, but this was easy and natural to me, I was just so happy.
Then we get in the car, now I am driving with my husband and my parents are behind us - we are going to the lovely French restaurant on a lake for our reception. My mom is on the phone with my brother, he is still flying back from Europe, we are unsure if he will make it, so I pray he does.

...I remember we walk into the restaurant and the hostess and waitresses say that they love my dress, I like it, this is the day I am suppose to feel on top of the world and not be ashamed of it - so I do! The photographers come and we continue taking photos, the sun begins to set and most of the guests are late, but we don't even notice it.
Our waiter comes up to us and it turns out he is Russian! What are the odds! Some of our guests speak better Russian than English so they find it handy. I honestly don't think it's a coincidence, the whole day I felt like God was winking at me through these little "coincidences". By the time everybody gathers my brother arrives! He made it just in time! So we begin - people eat exquisite French dishes, drink champagne and wine (the restaurant is also a wine cellar and store) and say good words to the newlyweds. My dad has an opening word for us, so he is the one to begin it all. There are lights and water, and swans - everything is perfect: the weather, the people, the mood, and more than anything, my husband - he was absolutely perfect that day!

 ...I remember cutting the cake, we have no idea what to do with it, so we ask the waiter, what are the customs for cutting the cake, they tell us and we improvise. Jenya, ofcourse, makes it extra difficult for me to eat my piece.

 ... I remember everything is over before we know it, we say good bye to everyone and get in the car with all the gifts. Jenya starts driving and as we get home, he tells me to grab the bathing suit, I wonder what is going on, are we going to the to spend the night or something? As we drive, he refuses to tell me what's going on, but I keep asking anyways, excited that his day is not over yet. We get off the freeway on the strip and pull in by the Belagio - the most beautiful hotel and casino is Vegas. My husband parks the car at the valet, grabs all of our presents, gets a key and takes me to our room. Turns out our parents surprised us with a room for the night. When the door to the room opens, I am breathless because of the view that opens through the window - the lights of the strip, the Paris Eiffel tower the Belagio fountains - it is amazing!

Jenya setts up our lap top and calls his parents on Skype. Another surprise! Everyone who couldn't attend from his side of the family gathered in his parents house to celebrate with the wedding cake and everything! And we were able to attend (we love you Skype!) As I look at all the people that I've never seen before, I marvel at the fact that they are all my family now!

Later we lay on the bed and read all the cards that our guests gave us. I look at my handsome husband, thinking how lucky I am to have such a hot guy!
Suddenly someone knocks on the door, the hotel personel brings us a bottle of champagne and a huge bouquet of roses. Our parents thought of that as well! We have some champagne and I am going to stop there, as the rest is inappropriate but nevertheless unforgettable! The whole day was amazing - the people who participated, the atmosphere, the weather, the feeling that we are doing the right thing, and every cell of my husbands body and every part of his soul!

The END!


  1. Congratulations with 2-years anniversary! I’m so glad you still have the warm and happy fillings from your wedding. I’m too. God bless your family! Love you.

  2. I can't believe it was two years already! The wedding was very precious, a lot of fun! The pictures are great!!