Alena is Belarusian and Chris is Swiss-Colombian. They met in Geneva, lived together in Minsk and had two weddings: first in Belarus and then in Switzerland. This is the wedding that happened in Minsk (Belarus). Alena and Chris welcomed 60 guests and everything looks so perfect! We can feel the passion and chemistry between the couple, the excitement of the guests and how much fun the whole day was. Not to mention the sweet and exotic Belarusian wedding traditions.
I cannot describe how happy I am to write about these two! Alena and I were classmates in Lund, when we were attending a master program in human rights law. We became close friends and she is one the people I cherish the most in the entire world.
Alena is gorgeous, smart, warm and caring. And fun! I had many guy friends throwing themselves on her. With no success. But I remember the look she had in her eyes when she told us about Chris… she was swept off her feet! That made me like Chris even before I had met him. Because man… to owe the heart of a woman like Alena, you got to be special.
Unfortunately, I could not attend their wedding in Minsk, but Alena told us everything. Make sure to read about the Belarusian sweet wedding traditions.
We fully discovered the honey and the bitterness of a long-distance relationship. Then, Chris came to live in Minsk for 10 months to study Russian. After discovering the joy of living together, continuing long-distance was unbearable.
“I was living in Switzerland while interning at the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization. I was staying at the house of a lovely lady who happened to be the mother of Christopher’s friend. It was a sunny warm Easter Sunday when everybody gathered in the house for the Easter dinned, including the son of the landlady and Chris. This was the first time me and Chris set eyes on each other.
We both had the adventurous desire to know each other more. We exchanged phone numbers and the game was on. We met the following week for a long walk and discovery of Geneva. And we met again, and again, and again… We had a romantic, sometimes clumsy, but a very cute discovery of each other. This was the beginning of our love story but we did not know that yet.
My short internship was soon over and I had to go back to Sweden to finish my studies. We decided to keep in touch without giving it much expectations. In the end of June we however met again in Minsk, and several times after, in Minsk, Switzerland and around Europe. We fully discovered the honey and the bitterness of a long-distance relationship. Then, Chris came to live in Minsk for 10 months to study Russian. After discovering the joy of living together, continuing long-distance was unbearable.”
Chris proposed to me having said the most beautiful speech of what I remember nothing since I was so overwhelmed
“We planned our next escape to Berlin in March 2013. In the end of our stay, late in the night, Chris brought me the Brandenburg Gate, or more specifically to the place where the Wall used to lie. In this symbolic place where the East and the West met, Chris proposed to me having said the most beautiful speech of what I remember nothing since I was so overwhelmed. And I said ‘Yes’ of course! We continued that night in a tiny bar telling the barman about our incredible adventure.”
The wedding planning
“Having many dear people living in different parts of the world and thus implying quite complicated logistics, we decided to make two weddings: first, in Minsk, middle of July, and second, in Geneva, beginning of September. Since Christopher and I were still living apart, I was responsible for the wedding in Minsk and Christopher – for the wedding in Geneva.”
However, Christopher had lived in Minsk and really loves it. So, he wanted to show the city to his family and friends, whom flew in some days in advance to tour around. On the wedding day they all had a lot of fun to the sound of a live band.
Alena’s romantic and delicate headpiece was designed and made of clay! It was designed and handmade by the Belarusian artist Mila Ignatik. Mila also produces pretty bridal bouquets out of clay.
They also had the cutest portrait puppet decorating both weddings, which gave quite a unique and whimsical touch.
The pretty day
“Belarusian wedding traditions are many and varied. Based on customs of ancestors and newly introduced (primarily from American culture). We had only a few traditions at our Minsk wedding. We had the first dance, stealing the bride and throwing the bouquet. Otherwise, there were a lot of incredible speeches and dancing. We were very happy to have hired a band. There were 60 guests and did not have an external planner or host. My father and my cousin coordinated the evening and it was absolutely fun and special!”
The friends, specially the best man and maid of honour, play a big role in Belarusian weddings
Venue: Porto del Mare Restaurant
Dress: Inna Kun
Flowers: Lavanda. They deliver the bouquet to the groom in the morning of the wedding.
Headpiece: designed and made from deco clay according to my picture by Mila Ignatik. She also makes bridal bouquets from deco clay!
Photography: Sergey Shalimo
Videographer: Mitra Wedding.Very young but professional. Ready to adapt his style to your format.
Band: Gentle Beat – played songs agreed in advance. Very respectful and responsible. And very fun too!
Portrait puppets: absolutely incredible artists Budaev family (Ivan and Olga) who make portrait puppets according to photos.