I love this wonderful photo of such a real and opened emotion of happiness! Clinton’s mom was incredibly happy for him who is last of her seven children to finally have a spouse!
Did I mention that the ceremony of our civil marriage was proceeding in Ukrainian? :) It means that neither Clinton nor his parents understood a single word! Is not it funny? :) I was just directing Clinton in making “next steps” and it all worked out well! Everyone was super happy :)
Our Civil marriage due to the Ukrainian law.
It started at 10 am in the morning. We could not make it later because we had a drive to Kiev after the lunch. So at 10 am we arrived to our civil marriage governmental building for this formal but necessary ceremony that would officially announce us as a “husband” and “wife”!
The ceremony included us stepping on the Ukrainian traditional towel (which is not recorded at the photo), then our exchanging of rings, the signing of the documents, and us been tied by another Ukrainian traditionally decorated towel as a symbol of our relationships to be tied together as “one”. The last towel our moms firmly fixed in a solid knot (to make sure it is there forever) and we are supposed to keep it safe :)
As a part of ceremony, we also drank a glass of sparkling water (in our case instead of Champagne) and had our first short dance and our first kiss as a husband and wife :)
Our Wedding day arrived! 1st of August!
July 30-th, couple days before the wedding! Our parents got together to meet each other the first time :)
For me this also was a first time to meet Clinton’s parents whom I had not had a chance to meet before. They live in the USA and it would be a long way for them to travel to be present at our wedding, but, luckily, at that moment they were close to Ukraine, in Hungary, providing a service at LDS full time missionaries. It was not a problem for them to take a few days brake and come for their son’s wedding. We were all happy that things worked that well! My mom prepared some Ukrainian cuisine dinner for us and we all got to know each other! :)
At the airport! Clinton was leaving for home but not for too long :)
We figured out a day of getting married! We decided on August 1st!
It took us a while to make it work because of the marriage registration system in Ukraine. Basically, after collecting tons of documents (that took us a while) and deciding on getting married on 1st of August, we were told that the closest day was 13th of August (just because of some rule). But we already planned on the earlier day and Clinton’s parents already got tickets on 1st of August to come to Ukraine for few days for our event. We did not know what to do, change tickets? Luckily, we found a way “to brake the rule” ;) And our day was set on the 1st of August.
We both wanted this day to be our nice special day without extra stress and anything extra. We both desired to have a very simple, small celebration which included civil marriage registration in my native city, a celebration lunch (with our few relatives and few of my friends), a Temple ceremony and a family dinner.
Even though it was quite simple, with only 10 people invited, I needed to organize it myself. Basically, when Clinton was leaving me, there were less then couple weeks for me to figure things out… Find a restaurant for lunch and to plan a menu, find a photographer, a convenient transportation for 8 to Kiev LDS Temple, find a nice white classic dress, flowers, hair master and so on and so forth… Clinton’s responsibility was family dinner in Kiev and our honey-moon later. We had less then two weeks to make it work! :)
We chose pizza place for our home evening :) We do love eating super healthy, but we deserve enjoying pizza once in a while :)
Monday. Family evening. On a way to dinner :)
I have been amazed by Ukrainians who live in the villages and work very hard to grow their own fruits and vegetables. It has been a part of Ukrainian mentality: those people who live in the villages do not rely on a food system but grow their food for themselves and/or to sell. I wanted Clinton to see this farming side of Ukraine. And we got a chance! We were invited to the village to visit an old lady who lives by herself and spends her time growing food for the families of her two grown-up children who live in the city. Having a little tour through her garden, we heard how she works from morning till evening growing all her vegetables and fruits. It was our good experience at July 12-th. She was a sweet, happy, friendly lady and as bonus from her we were given some fruit and vegetables to take home :)
Clinton brought this mosaic to my attention. I’m so used to it that had never noticed it before. It has been preserved from the Soviet Union times and shows the traditional image of Ukrainian folklore: the cossack smoking a pipe and playing the bandura. It is well done and looks beautiful at the wall of an old apartment building.
This is a Cherkasy governmental building in the city center. We used to have a statue of Lenin in front of it and that area had a name of “Lenin Square”. Just recently (2011) the statue was torn down (it was a big deal for some people!), the whole area was redone and the name was changed to what it has at 1941 - ”Soborna Square” which means “Cathedral Square”. It is located very close to where we live so we pass this building every day :)
Home! Cherkasy and its Hill of Glory.
Compare to a gloomy weather, my native city looks so much nicer when it is green and sunny!
Ukrainian sunflower fields are amazing!
I was thinking how great it would be to have some wedding picture in one of those fields…:)
We were enjoying looking through the train window while driving. There is something so wonderful about Ukrainian sunflower fields that we saw often on the way home.
Train stop on the way from Alushta to Cherkasy.
Our old Soviet Union times trains do not have any air-conditioning systems. So people go outside to cool down. Clinton noticed that Ukrainian men have a habit to walk without shirts during the Summer. It is true! I had never paid attention because I thought it was ok. Until Clinton told that men do not do it in the States, for instance. Beside the beach, of course. Hmm…