fairytale wedding in finland

From Dreamwood “Simon & Eugenia knew each other since they were kids, however they disliked each other so much so that after their school days they were out of touch with each other for 14 years. Unbelievably they became reacquainted with each other in Calcutta, India where they were both volunteering by chance, tirelessly giving all their energy to Mother Teresa’s mission and it was there in Calcutta that they fell in love.”

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THE PROPOSAL

From Simon – “On March 8 I met Eugenia early in the morning, carrying an enormous bouquet of roses and different sweets. That day I confessed my love to her, but she didn’t give me any answer. I told her that I would fight for her love as long as it would take. And I knew that as soon as Eugenia would confess to me, I would have proposed to her.”

From Eugenia – “Simon didn’t even know that I loved him dearly. I had never felt anything like this, I fell in love for the first time, but I needed time to put emotions away and really figure out if I wanted to share my entire life with this man. And a moment came when I realized – yes, this person is perfect for me, I love and respect him, for me he is the best man in the world and I want to start a family with him and experience incredible feelings to him for our entire life as a couple! Some moments it seemed to me that my heart would jump out of my chest, I wanted so much to tell about my feelings, but at the same time I was as much afraid to do it.”

Simon – “We were talking about something unimportant when Eugenia suddenly shot out her first words of love…I will never forget them!  It was incredible and unexpected and God only knows how much joy and happiness was in my soul. As soon as she finished, I proposed to her…yes, it was in a car, by transformer vault and football stadium, everything around us was grey and dirty, without any preparations or an engagement ring but I knew that all of this would come later. What was happening at that moment was more significant than the details, it was important to be sincere, not to waste this chance, not to lose her!”

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THE VENUE

Eugenia – “One day we found an article about Rantalinna Castle in Finland where the Prince and Princess of Oldenburg, who were part of Romanovs family, lived. This estate is situated in an unspoiled forest on a shore of Saimaa Lake. Almost entire interior, frescos on walls and ceilings remained uncorrupted. The most interesting thing was that within the estates’ compound there was a small chapel where we were allowed to hold the nuptials ceremony with the priest we invited.

This place touched our hearts, we realized that we are about to spend one of the best days of our lives there. The atmosphere in this place is incredible, it seems that everything radiates with kindness, coziness and peace, even smell of pines is indescribable – it’s so fragrant and charming. Also we wanted the bride to appear in a boat which would land to the quay from where the father would walk the bride down the aisle. All our dreams about tenderness, intellectuality, comfort, beauty of nature and architecture, privacy and a lake came to life in the Rantalinna estate.”

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THE WEDDING  

Eugenia – “The style of our wedding was chosen quickly and naturally: a cozy family wedding in a manorial estate at the beginning of the 20th century. So, this fairytale took place in Finland, in Prince of Oldenburgs’ estate. It began in the afternoon with nuptials ceremony. The first and the final parts of the ceremony were held al fresco under an arch, the most important part – the blessed ordinance and benediction – took place in a small chapel where we entered just with the priest. This part was the most sacred.

After we were pronounced husband and wife, everyone sat under the tents to dine, listen to a great musician play, and to enjoy the atmosphere of this beautiful day.

After that we gave some time to all the guests to change suits and dresses, because another exciting part was about to begin – a 19th century style ball with waltzes, polkas and marches! Late in the evening when it was already dark we came down to a lake with the guests to float off little lanterns and enjoy the view of pink and purple sunset. By the quay a barbecue was organized where everybody spent at least half an hour.

The final part of this marvelous day was yet to come – the delicious cake by Finnish pastry chefs. The tea-party took place in the biggest hall of the estate lit by candles with gentle music playing. Suddenly guests performed improvised recital for us where we cried, laughed and danced. They sang for us, played guitar and recited poems. It was truly amazing to feel love and kindness of everyone who was with us that day. The celebration ended after midnight when everyone, happy, content and tired went to their rooms.”

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THE DRESS

Eugenia – “A wedding dress is a special and the longest chapter of wedding preparations. My idea of a perfect dress dramatically changed all the time throughout the year: from A-line dresses by Spanish brands to simple slim-waisted dresses by American companies. For six months I looked through magazines and sites with wedding dresses collections. Having examined all of them thoroughly from start to finish I realized that all dresses were similar and many of them were too fanciful.

I wanted MY wedding dress to fit the place chosen for our ceremony and unspoiled nature of Finland. Once my friend suggested a great designer from St. Petersburg, Tatyana Kochnova. I found her site and was mesmerized – it was exactly what I looked for: airy, light and embroidered dresses, individual approach and materials of exceptionally high quality.

All dresses by Tatyana Kochnova’s studio are sewed in two steps: base dress and outer dress. For base dress we chose natural powder colored silk from Great Britain and the outer dress is made entirely of light dainty French lace. The design of the dress included an, original hem and long, beaded sleeves. I’d like to mention that Tatyana created unbelievable art on the dress having embroidered front and back of the dress with pearls and mother-of-pearl. I loved everything that happened in Tatyana’s workshop. The dress turned out tender and light, harmonizing with the look of Finnish forests and combining nobility and simplicity.”

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HER MEMORIES FROM THE DAY

Eugenia –Waking up in the morning and seeing my wedding dress. Hearing birds sing in the morning and realizing that there won’t be rain. Hearing noises coming from guests, their conversations and laughter while staying in my room drinking milk from a faceted glass. Finding out that my darling arrived, cutting my salmon sandwich in half, writing a pleasant note and sending it with kind carriers. Seeing my reflection in a mirror, in a veil and wedding dress…

Laughing with my friends in bride’s room and peeking at guests who made their way to the place of the wedding ceremony through my window. Going down squeaky stairs that were built more than hundred years ago to the arch near chapel. Coming on board the power boat and approaching guests by water. Walking down the aisle to my loved one to the notes of a saxophone…

Entering the chapel, kneeling and realizing profundity of the moment. Hearing the priest say “before God and men I pronounce you husband and wife”. Being embraced passionately by my beloved husband. Rejoicing with guests. Dancing the first waltz during the ball and not making a single mistake. Walking down on the pier, just two of us, while the sunset turned pink. Crying, touched by songs and poems by our friends…

Suddenly dancing when my husband invited me with a twinkle in his eyes. Hugging everyone who was with us that day. Feeling the night freshness, closing the car door and setting off on our first trip together…”

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HIS MEMORIES FROM THE DAY 

Simon – “Changing a train to one heading to Helsinki early in the morning in chilly St. Petersburg, hoping to be on time for my own wedding. Getting off in a small village Vainikkala and meeting a childhood friend. Worrying before meeting my loved one. Noticing that my new shirt is dirty, grabbing a toothbrush and trying to clean it…

Cleaning the ring. Asking friends to iron my suit. Forgetting cuff links and realizing that I have true friends who were ready to take their cuff links off and give them to me. Standing on the shore and seeing my bride on the boat, floating like a swan, realizing again how pure and beautiful she is. Listening to incredibly beautiful songs by our friends in the evening and taking my beloved wife to dance salsa. Tasting delicious wedding cake. Realizing that from now on we well be together forever…”

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Photography: Liudmila Nilava of Dreamwood // Videography: Mikhail Nilau of Dreamwood // Planner: Celebrity // Dress: Tatyana Kochnova via Salon Kuraje // MUAH: Tatyana Tomashevskaya // Décor: Eugenia Dragun // Location: Rantalinna Castle Hotel, Prince of Oldenburgs’ Estate in Finland.

 

About Sara Burnett

Editor of Burnett's Boards, which she founded to showcase global creativity in the wedding industry. Sara currently lives out of a suitcase while island hopping the Caribbean and beyond. Learn More // Follow on Instagram.

Comments

  1. Simon and Eugenia make a stunning a couple and Eugenia’s dress is absolutely breathe taking! Congrats to the happy and beautiful couple!