My name is Yana, I’m 27 years old. I was born in Kiev but then our family left the city and was only able to come back here after entering a college. After finishing it I entered the third course of university where I met my future husband Maxim. First we had been in different groups but then our two groups became one and we were really annoyed by it. I particularly was very annoyed with Maxim – first three months we didn’t communicate at all. He was a real nerd and kind of smarty-pants who always had to say something during the lectures, make jokes and show off which really made my blood boil!
At that time Vkontakte social network was becoming quite popular and we left some comments under each other’s photos. Later we started to chat in ICQ. And then in December on St. Nicolas Day we had our first date – this date we consider as a start of our relationships. As Maxim remembers it was Friday, the start of our exam session and we had to prepare for our exam. Of course, we didn’t see each other that weekend but we sent like 50 messages a day. A month later we confessed our love to each other and understood that this is forever.
During these nine years we’ve been through many things and we’ve changed a lot. We graduated from university together, worked in the same company, we were fired on the same day and we opened a wedding event agency Zefir, which we develop together. We had different periods in our relationships, passions ran high, we broke the plates and slammed the doors. Even now you can see the marks on the floors where the plates were broken.
Despite the fact that were always sure that we would get married, my husband proposed me three times. First, he made a proposal with a golden ring, then with the silver one. Later there was a beautiful signet ring and finally an engagement ring, which I’m still wearing. We delayed our wedding for quite a long time because we wanted to be independent and pay for our celebration by ourselves so, we saved up from our salaries. Wedding in our understanding is a holiday first of all for us, not for our parents, friends or just because it’s supposed to be like that.
We celebrated in a small Kyiv restaurant, which doesn’t even exist any more. It wasn’t the perfect place for our wedding but we had a limited budget, so we tried to maximally transform the restaurant according to our expectations. We created different zones inside in the American rock-n-roll and pin-up style, added a lot of red and white carnations, which look great in décor. We danced to Elvis’s and the Beatles songs, rock-n-roll and music that our parents loved when they were young.
I remember that my dress by Vera Wang was very heavy and puffy. Chelsea Clinton wore this dress at her wedding and I liked it madly. It took me a long time to find this dress. Eventually, the dress appeared to be terribly heavy and the corset was too tight. Only after changing my dress at the end of the celebration I could finally eat some cake, drink champagne and relax.
Unfortunately, my mother didn’t keep her wedding dress. It was 1988 and many just rented wedding dresses. But she still had her bridal veil. It was very fancy at that time, big and white hat with a veil. When I was a child I liked to try it on while my mother wasn’t watching. I like that hat a lot! I felt like a musketeer.
It was very cold on our wedding day. It was freezing during the photoshoot. On our way to the restaurant we remembered that we had red and blue smoke pellets. We jumped out of our cars and took a lot of crazy photos with those smoke pellets under the rain.
Maxim and I love spontaneity and sudden decisions. And this is what happened with our wedding ceremony in church. We came to visit our friends (also wedding planners) in Uzhgorod and went to have a cup of coffee at Shtefanyo confectionary located just opposite a huge cathedral. We mentioned that we hadn’t had a wedding ceremony yet. Religious traditions in Kyiv are not so common in comparison with the west of Ukraine. Just for a joke we promised our friends that we would come back here and have a ceremony in this cathedral. We thought this idea through for a while and decided to bring it to life.
Preparation started with a dress which, as well as the first one, we chose together with Maxim – no, we aren’t superstitious. Cathy Telle took part in a wedding exhibition. We came there and saw the dress that was at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Days and we understood that this was the perfect dress. I decided I would go to a wedding ceremony only in this dress. After some time as a part of our job we came to Cathy Telle with a bride to try on a dress. As I was there I decided to try on the dress I liked. We ordered the dress asking only to change back decoration for other decoration from the same collection. The dress was perfect for both – the ceremony and the photoshoot in Uzhgorod castle. The dress was super comfortable and as unique as the wedding ceremony itself.
In May we went to Uzhgorod to celebrate our friend’s birthday. We also came to the cathedral to book a date for our wedding ceremony and then we forgot about it. It was two weeks before the ceremony but neither our wedding cake, nor menu or wedding flowers were approved. In our professional environment we often complain that some couples are irresponsible but we turned out to be the same. Nevertheless, somehow we managed to prepare everything just in time. It was a great day in the company of our ten close friends who, despite the distance of 850 km, managed to came to our wedding ceremony from Kyiv.
Love is a totally different world with its own rules, which you either follow, or not. But it’s not enough to just love – you have to work on your relationships and yourself. I know for sure that I became a better person thanking to our family. I learnt to be wiser, more reasonable and feminine. Maxim also has changed. He’s become more mature, he lost more than 30 kg, got rid of his glasses and he likes to dress smart now. I know I can’t take a credit for that change but I’m very proud of my husband and I know I’m very lucky to be his wife.