The wedding of Anastasia and Maxim revolved around the themes of comfort, quality time with loved ones, and personal touches woven into every aspect of the day, including their outfits and program. We asked Anastasia* about the intricacies of their journey, ranging from their serendipitous meeting at a cozy café to the exceptional and tailor-made celebrations they crafted. Prepare to be inspired and filled with warmth.
How did you meet?
Maxim and I met in a West Village cafe nearly three years ago. On my way to a friend's party, a message in a Russian-speaking Telegram group caught my attention — an invitation for a quick lunch nearby. I decided to make a detour and check it out. Little did I know, this decision would introduce me to Maxim. He had recently rented a car in Philadelphia and was exploring New York for the weekend. As chance would have it, we ended up sitting at adjacent tables and were instantly drawn to each other. Though our first conversation was brief, there was an undeniable connection that sparked between us. Feeling the magnetic pull, we agreed to meet outside the city. And from that moment on, our story began to unfold.
Tell us about your wedding day.
Our wedding day was filled with intimate and unique moments. We started by having an official ceremony at New York City Hall in Manhattan. Afterward, we embarked on a photo walk with our photographer and coach, Dasha Dare. To celebrate, we gathered with a small group of friends at Odeon, a charming French restaurant. But our celebration didn't end there. On the same day, just the two of us, we embarked on a weekend getaway Upstate. It was on November 25th. Then, in March, we rented a beautiful 9-bedroom house in Southampton, New York, in the Hamptons region, complete with a tennis court and pool. The house was discovered on Airbnb, though we were unable to see it beforehand. We were fortunate to have our wedding in March, as prices in the Hamptons skyrocket once the season reopens in May. In fact, based on Airbnb pricing, the cost of the house would increase by 20% each subsequent weekend following our wedding!
What about your wedding outfits?
Instead of the traditional bridal salon experience, I opted for a different approach. Given the restrictions imposed by Covid and my inclination towards online shopping, I compiled a list of brands where I wanted to try on bridal dresses. I ordered dresses from websites like ssense.com and mytheresa.com, allowing me to try them on in the comfort of my own home. While most of the dresses were returned, I couldn't decide on just one, so I kept five favorites. To make the final selection, I invited five of my girlfriends for a runway show at my place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, complete with champagne and snacks. This unconventional approach turned out to be better than going to traditional bridal stores. In the end, I chose a dress from AVAVAV, a nameless brand that exuded elegance and gave me a swan-like aura. I also kept a long white T-shirt from We11done and one from Alexander Wang. These casual yet stylish dresses can be worn for other events as well. For the official ceremony, I wore the dress from AVAVAV, pairing it with my Margiela tabi boots to add a touch of edginess. To complete the look, I adorned myself with earrings from H&M. I enjoyed the high-low vibe, effortlessly blending designer and non-designer pieces.
How did you arrange services and entertainment for your guests?
We made sure to provide transport and accommodation for all our guests. Additionally, we invited a tarot reader who had her own room in our house. Throughout the evening, she offered personalized readings for individuals or couples. We also had two servers to cater to our guests' needs. A dear friend of mine, Anastasia, who had recently graduated from New York Bartending School, graciously took charge of bartending. She created four special cocktails, each named after a chapter of our love story. One of the highlights was the "Upstate Kiss Martini," a tribute to the memorable moment when our lips first met. Another friend, who had experience as an event manager, offered her assistance in coordinating everything during the wedding. Despite the relatively small guest list and simple program, having her support proved invaluable.
Where did you order the cake and bridal bouquet from?
For our wedding cake, we chose a local small business called ByPensa, based in our neighborhood. Their cake was absolutely perfect. As for the bridal bouquet, we turned to Rosehip, another local floral store known for its unique and foraged flower arrangements.
Did you have any special or unique elements at your wedding?
Given the seaside location of our celebration, we embraced a theme of pearls. I wore pearls, as did many of my girlfriends. We also wanted to provide our guests with special gifts, so we decided on real oysters. Each guest received an oyster, which they could open to reveal a hidden pearl—a precious reminder of our special day.
How did you cope with pre-wedding anxiety?
To ease our pre-wedding anxiety, we started the day by having breakfast together. I suggested a ten-minute meditation session, which we conducted while watching one of my favorite videos titled "Fuck it, let the shit go." Surprisingly, the meditation session was a tremendous success and helped alleviate some of the stress. Following the meditation, we encouraged our guests to enjoy the nearby ocean while we took some time for ourselves to pack and prepare. Although I had experienced some sleepless nights in the week leading up to the wedding, the understanding and support of our guests helped me immensely.
*The interview has been slightly modified to reflect the style of the publication.