In honor of Russian New Year's (the week between New Year's and Orthodox Christmas), we're having an Eastern European theme week! Day 4 of Eastern European week brings us the wedding that inspired the whole theme — Xenia & Rinat's amazing wedding! -Becca
The offbeat bride: Xenia, teacher/tutor
Her offbeat partner: Rinat, Body Modification Artist
Location & date of wedding: Wedding Hall and Cafe Elf, Russia — February 19, 2010
I braided my hair a couple of days before the wedding as it takes an entire day to have it done. I normally have my hair braided in various colors.
The black and white color palette was picked specifically for the wedding.
Lira, the makeup artist, really liked the idea of smoky eyes for the bride. (It is really not that common for Russian brides to go with smokey eyes). She thought that the groom had to use some eye liner on his eyes as well. The fake eyelashes were ordered online ahead of time.
We tried to take a few photos outside in the city's historic center, but it was very cold and windy, so we sought refuge at McDonald's next to the Opera House. We ate and fooled around for the camera there, and the kids eating there kept asking their parents if we were actors from the theatre next door. Some patrons actually congratulated us on our wedding.
Tell us about the ceremony: The ceremony was held at a Wedding Hall. (Church weddings are not recognized by the Russian state as official weddings).
Everything about our ceremony was very traditional and in accordance to Russian customs. The cool thing was that the lady officiating the marriage commented that we were the sweetest couple she had met.
We arrived at the Wedding Hall with only our family and closest friends present. Then we exchanged vows and rings and got our internal passports stamped. (Russians have internal passports that get stamped when they get married).
Our biggest challenge: We started planning our wedding in January 2010. Traditionally, the entire country is off for most of the month of January observing Christmas holidays. Having just one month to plan, it was very difficult to find and buy our outfits and accessories when most of the vendors were closed for the holidays.
My favorite moment: The moment when we exchanged our wedding rings was definitely the most magical experience of the entire wedding.
My advice for offbeat brides: Do what you two want and disregard other's opinions. People are too eager to doubt your choices, so it is important to believe in your vision.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Make your wedding an experience that is fun and will last forever, even if it means extra expense.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
We had our outfits custom-made in a tailor shop, and some elements were ordered from a goth store.
- Photography: Anna Kovaleva.
- Makeup: Lira
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!
Click on the picture below or head over to the photographer's blog to see more photos!