Tayissa & Andrew
When a wedding comes along that is filled with stories, we are hooked immediately at Polka Dot Bride, but when it includes stories of traditions that we’re not familiar with – we’re even more enticed! Tayissa and Andrew’s beautiful Sydney Ukranian wedding was filled with beautiful moments that paid homage to the old traditions, but also created new ones. All captured beautifully by Tanya Voltchanskaya.
Tayissa recalls the story of the proposal- which was unexpected, but somehow the way the couple always knew it would happen. “We met on the evening of our friend’s wedding in 2011, ironically at a now-closed nightclub called Republic in Perth’s CBD. He was a prince charming dressed in a flannelette shirt and I was an Eastern European princess in a faux fur hat. Andrew always joked he would propose if my Baba became ill. I had flown to Sydney for her 88th birthday and shortly before I left she was admitted to hospital. Andrew rang while I was on the way to the airport unaware of what had happened. He informally proposed and was a bit upset when I didn’t react how he expected. When I told him what happened, it was as if it was meant to be. We bought a ring together a few weeks later and a few month later he surprised me on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.”
Tayissa chose Brides By Design for her wedding gown, changing into a different gown by DanielaStephanie for the reception. She explains,”I had ordered my dress from DanielaStephanie soon after I got engaged but about four months before the wedding I decided I wanted a more traditional gown for the ceremony. I walked down the street (literally) to Brides By Design and was taken aback by how lovely the girls were and how beautiful their dresses looked. I tried the dress on twice with two different girlfriends offering different opinions in the space of a week, and on the weekend the dress was mine. It underwent quite a transformation from the first time I saw it but I was thrilled with the elegant and romantic look I walked away with.”
Tayissa and Andrew were married at Intercession of the Holy Virgin, Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Strathfield. “We had a very traditional Ukrainian Orthodox service. Apart from a few necessary questions that we had to answer in English, the service was predominantly in Ukrainian with accompaniment from the choir. For a good chunk of the service Andrew’s groomsmen had to hold crowns above our heads, making sure they didn’t touch our heads. Our guests said it was amusing watching the groomsmen take different shifts of holding the crowns.”
“At our rehearsal the night before the priest advised Andrew of making sure he put his right foot on the embroidered towel on which the couple stand for most of the ceremony first. Andrew told me about this and said we should do it together so we would both have the upper hand in the marriage. So the best moment was the look on the priest’s face when he found out that Andrew told me all about it.”
The newlyweds celebrated with their guests at Royal Automobile Club of Australia, Tayissa remarking “We found the Royal Automobile Club of Australia on a trip to Sydney about 18 months before the wedding date. We liked the aesthetic and history inside the venue.”
The day was filled with special touches crafted by the bride and her family. “I spent hours photoshopping various pieces of stationery for the wedding, including chatterbox menus and table names and lists, but the two biggest DIY projects were my mother’s floral arrangements and my aunt’s amazing cakes. A member of my extended family made our traditional Ukrainian wedding cake, a korovai, which took hours and hours of labour and for which I’m truly grateful.”
Tayissa remembers “The best man stole a good chunk of my (the bride’s) wedding speech and delivered a version of the married couple’s “first date” with several factual inaccuracies. Thankfully my long history of public speaking and debating allowed me to recover and I still finished the speech as I intended, by giving my new husband my new business card with my new, very sweet surname.”
“Anyone who has tried to organise an interstate/overseas wedding knows all the trials and tribulations of the leadup to your wedding. There’s been many emails and phone calls at weird and wonderful times to get in contact with vendors, as well as phone calls back from people who didn’t realise we were in Perth and waking us at 5 or 6am!”
Not only did Tayissa and Andrew choose Funkified Entertainment to make sure the dance floor was always packed, they also hired Roztiazhka Ukrainian Cossack Dancers to kick start the festivities, explaining “We were thrilled when our friends from Roztiazhka Ukrainian Cossack Dancers performed for us and got the crowd on their feet with applause and cheers.”
“I bought a lot of magazines but found searching different terms on Instagram the most useful way to find wedding vendors. Few of my friends in Sydney have married so I haven’t had too many people to call on for first-hand referrals. Almost all the vendors we dealt with in Perth and Sydney were within a 2km and 5km radius of us, respectively. We hadn’t planned it that way but somehow we kept pretty much everything local. We’re glad we booked the photo booth, the accompanying guest book made for interesting reading and the take home photos gave people an incentive to get involved. We wish we’d DIYed less. Ultimately when you DIY something, it takes you time, money and effort to do it. Sometimes your time and effort are worth more than paying someone to do it once, and do it right. Every one of our vendors was amazing and went over and above to try and give us the best day possible. It was really encouraging how everyone tried to help and let us enjoy our special day.”
Congratulations on your marriage Tayissa and Andrew! Thank you for sharing your day with us and thank you for Tanya Voltchanskaya for sharing today’s beautiful wedding with us!