Wedding Month: The Venue

June 13, 2012

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I’ve been so busy with the joys and horrors of everyday life that I didn’t notice the arrival of the month of June. June 26 will mark the one year anniversary of our wedding and I’m thrilled to finally share some of the moments that made up our special day. I’ll be stretching out the posts of this grand event for the remainder of the month. Stay tuned!

After my now husband proposed, I didn’t really start planning the wedding for a couple of months. I was so enamored with the ring and the idea of being engaged, that it didn’t dawn on me for some time that each moment of the engagement is to be applied wisely, not wasted freely. The one thing I did do the morning after my proposal (my proposal took place at 3 a.m.) was order Bridal magazines. Somehow the idea that I finally had the right to order them and display them throughout my home was very attractive.

When I finally got around to picking a venue, I was faced with numerous (unrequested) suggestions of friends and relatives. Being that we are Russian, it seemed to the masses that having a wedding in a Russian Restaurant would be appropriate. However, that was not at all what I had in mind. The idea of people standing on balconies and smoking, while some would stand in the parking lot below, and others would dance the night away, while their significant others would be drunk and red faced staring at the ceiling, did not entice me in the least. Some actually protested saying that American venues do not provide enough food and so everyone would be hungry and unhappy. These opinions and verbal threats are what led to my mother and I constantly repeating to every vendor “Russians eat a lot”,”Russians drink a lot”,”Russians need filling appetizers”. At time it seemed that we were a secret society that knew something others didn’t, and at other times it seemed like we were freaks. I can only imagine what I would say had I had to deal with myself.

After endless discussion we decided to have the wedding at the Castaway in Burbank, California. It was one leveled, the patio faced the mountains and a beautifully landscaped golf course, and the parking lot was somewhere far away. The food was not over the top like in most Russian Restaurant. However, I learned to address people’s complaints in advance. Every time someone asked if there would be enough food, I responded by sweetly advising them to eat at home before the wedding. The questions eventually stopped.

On the day of the wedding I was a little nervous. I woke up early to do my hair. I had tried the professional version a few months earlier, and while it was beautiful, it brought forth a feeling of overdone, and very much unlike me. Soon after my hair was simply straightened, Dmitry (the groom), immediate family, bridesmaids and groomsmen, make-up artist, and the camera crew arrived. We got our make-up done, captured special moments on film and got ready for the “all eyes on me” moment of the day.

When we made our way down to the lobby, we were told that our limo didn’t fit in the front driveway therefore we had to go to the back. A bit concerned, we made our way to the back of the hotel. To our surprise, the limo company surprised us by giving us a Hummer limo at no extra charge. We immediately left everyone’s car at the hotel and jumped into our very trendy and comfortable ride, where the groomsmen found a way to incorporate guitar playing into our special day.

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