Photos by Shane Wynn
“I Dos”: Oct. 11, 2014. The wedding ceremony was at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, and the reception was at Portage Country Club.
Highlight of the day: When we were finally married, we just looked at each other and were so happy — and ready for all the fun to begin!
Hardest part in planning the wedding: During the year leading up to our wedding, I was teaching third grade full time at Hayes Elementary in Lakewood and finishing my master’s in education at The University of Akron. Fortunately my mother was a wonderful help to me. We were in-sync with wedding ideas, and she took the lead on much of the work that needed to be done to keep me as stress-free as possible. I was very lucky.
Our guests are still talking about … Our ceremony. We were married in the Russian Orthodox Church, and many of our guests had never attended an Orthodox wedding before. They’re still talking about how beautifully the choir sang during the wedding. My godfather, Basil Kochan, is the director of the choir, and that made the music and liturgy all the more special for me.
The dress: My dress was designed by Modern Trousseau and purchased at All Brides Beautiful in Hudson. It featured an Alençon lace short dress and a long tulle overskirt, worn with a Jenny Yoo belt. Later in the evening, I could take the skirt off and dance away in my short dress. It was so much fun.
If the shoe fits: For the ceremony and the first part of the reception, I wore ivory silk heels but when I removed my tulle skirt, I switched to ivory glitter TOMS shoes — flat, comfortable and perfect for dancing.
Kids at the wedding (cute or chaos?): There were children at our wedding and reception. At one point, our priest Father Nicholas Wyslutsky asked the children to stand with me and David while he read the Gospel, which was a beautiful and surprising moment. We had a babysitter at the reception so if the children became tired or the parents needed a break, they could take the children upstairs. We had toys and DVDs to keep them entertained.
The cake: We had a beautiful five-layer cake from West Side Bakery covered in fresh flowers. Our cake featured many flavors, but our favorite was the banana cake and salted caramel filling.
Treats for travelers: We had specially designed gift boxes for every out-of-town guest who was staying in a hotel or at someone’s home. Kathleen Hrovatich, my best friend since kindergarten and one of my bridesmaids, is a very talented graphic designer who created all the graphics for the wedding as her gift to me. She did a beautiful job designing the gift boxes and their contents, the wedding program, menu cards and signage.
Words of advice: David and I love to dance so we hired the Paradise Island Band and kept the wedding day moving smoothly so we could begin dancing as soon as possible. Our wonderful wedding planner, Eileen Benson, kept us on track.
It’s also a very good idea to let other people help you wherever they can. I never would’ve made it through the process without the love and support of my parents and my sister, Amy, who was my maid of honor.