Sunday, February 18, 2007

Our Wedding Ceremony

We decided to try to load the video into Youtube and post it on our blog for those who wasn’t able to make it to our wedding. Youtube rejected it because it was “too long”, but I was able to upload it to Google without any problems. Of course the quality went down, because I tried to compress it as much as possible, but it’s better then nothing. ) My favorite part is the way Alena was crying throughout the whole thing. teeth

Update: Trying to upload it to MSN made the quality much better then that of a Google. Who would’ve thought? )
Update 2: MSN is no more. Uploaded the video to Vimeo.
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Sunday, January 28, 2007

In NY Daily News

NY Daily NewsInteresting thing happened. If you saw some time ago, a journalist from New York Daily News left a comment on our blog about doing a small story on our wedding. Well, we contacted her, she set up an interview. We told her our story, and today it was published in a Sunday issue of Daily News. teeth

Down the Isle
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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Our Wedding: Daniel’s Version

Husband and WifeI saw that Alёna posted her version of our wedding day, and before reading it I decided to post mine as well. I didn’t read hers at all yet, so I’ll probably be repeating the same things, but I guess that’s the point. )

To begin I’ll just say that the day was just perfect. We’ve been waiting until we could even start planning it for years, we were planning it for over 3 months, and I was very nervous about everything. I’m really happy that it worked out great. If I could change anything it would be the fact that I was in such a hurry in the morning that I slipped in the shower and barely survived. The bruises that you see on some of the pictures are from cracking my head on the wall and the floor. o.O Other then that the day couldn’t possibly have been better.

Eldar and ILet’s start from the early morning. I woke up at around 9am and couldn’t sleep any longer. You should know that that is exceptionally early for me, as I can easily go on until at least 2pm. Alёna was already up by that time and was getting ready to go into the hair salon. We packed the dress, met up with Eldar and Vika and took a cab to MGM. Walked Alёna and Vika to the salon and dropped off a dress in the chapel. Then me and Eldar met up with Lenchik who just got to Vegas, ate some breakfast and went up to our rooms to get ready.

I was running around my room like crazy trying not to forget anything. First order of business – a shower and a shave. Jump into the shower, slip, fall, hurt myself badly – no blood – check. Shave – check. Shirt, pants – check. Tie – check. Suit jacket – check. Rings and the marriage license – check. What time is it? 12:45!! I should be there first, I’m going to be there last.

Met up with my family and Eldar’s family, grabbed 2 cabs, went to MGM. Got to the chapel on time, feeling a bit nervous. They put me, Eldar and my dad into groom’s waiting room. Our minister came in to talk to us. He turned out to be a very cool, funny guy. After a bit of waiting we were called into the main room by the minister. My dad went out the other way to walk Alёna in.

Here Comes The BrideMe and Eldar got into the room and stood up next to the minister in the front. The music started playing. The door opened. My heart was racing. First Vika walked into the room, and the door closed. Then the door opened again and I saw my dad and Alёna walking in. My heart stopped and I felt my eyes started to tear up. I was very close to totally losing it. I noticed that Alёna was totally crying at this point already and it made it even harder not to start crying myself, but I managed to control myself. )

The RingsI couldn’t believe this moment was here and she looked so beautiful and we were minutes away from becoming husband and wife. I shook my dad’s hand, took Alёna’s hand and we walked up to the minister. He said a lot of great, wise things, then gave us the rings. Soon after we were married and were giving each other our first “married” kiss. We turned around and the minister in a loud voice said the following: “Now, for the first time, let’s announce them as Mr. and Mrs. Daniel and Alёna RuЬin!” mrgreen Later on I noticed that not only Alёna was crying, but also my mom, my sister, Eldar’s mom and Eldar’s sister as well. ) Oh, the happy tears. )

All Our GuestsAfter that we had a small photo shoot done by a professional photographer. We walked out of the chapel, met up with our guests and went to the closest food court to drink some champagne to celebrate.

Wedding LimoThen we had a small Vegas tour in a limo and then we met up with all the guests again near The Venetian. From there were started to walk back to Luxor and kept taking pictures. We probably got at least a 100 congratulations and smiles and cheers. A lot of people kept taking pictures of us. And I’ve got to tell you, the bride was impossible to walk by without noticing! mrgreen

Wedding DinnerBy the time we got back to Luxor it was already 6pm and it was time for our dinner. The restaurant and the staff turned out to be great. I was worried that we only had 2.5 hours, but we ended up spending over 3.5 hours in there and nobody said anything to us. They made our day even greater. A lot of great toasts were said and the atmosphere was awesome. Only 17 people of whom everyone was either a close friend or a family member. The food and the cake were great as well.

Closer to the end one of the bus-boys dropped a huge pile of plates on the floor smashing all of them. At first he looked shocked. Then when all the guests realized what has happened, they started cheering, yelling and applauding. The bus-boy looked even more shocked at that point. What he didn’t know was the fact that it’s considered a good luck in Russia for something like this to happen. teeth Some staff including the manager ran in to see what happened, and were quite puzzled too. The next day, the manager told me that instead of punishing the bus-boy, everyone was making fun and teasing him now. )

Well, there is so much more to be said, but I guess nobody is going to read so much, so I’m going to stop. I’m just extremely happy and grateful to our guests to making this day as awesome as it was!
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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Our Wedding: Alena’s Version

Us and Our RingsAt last we are officially married!!I enjoyed our wedding so much! It was just a perfect one – even better then I imagined.

Vika and AlenaI woke up at 5 a.m. in the morning and was tossing and turning in the huge king size bed till 8 a.m. – time, when I planned to get up and to start getting ready. Danya and Eldar escorted me and Vicky to the beauty salon. They also dropped my dress at the wedding chapel. In the salon a nice Russian lady Svetlana arranged my hair and some other girl took care of my face. Vicky and I had a nice chat, which helped me to relax. After that we went to a bride’s room in the chapel where Vicky and Danya’s mom helped me to get dressed for the occasion. )

Papa, Mama and UsOksana was so worried and was breathing in a special nervous way. She is a very sensitive, kind, thoughtful, loving, smart person. Boris is one of the most interesting and open-minded people I’ve ever met in my life. Ha!! I have the best parents-in-law!!

MinisterDanya’s dad walked me down the chapel to soon-to-be husband. When the door opened and I heard “Here comes the bride”, I was so overwhelmed with emotions, that I could hardly hold myself from tears. The minister was great – he seemed sincere and said a lot of good words. We’ve got a DVD of the ceremony and to tell you the truth I was crying both times I watched it. )

Welcome to Las VegasAfter the ceremony a professional photographer took some pictures and we left the chapel. All of us then drank some champagne in a local food court and around 3 p.m. a black limo picked up Danya, me and 4 other guests for a 1 hour tour around the city. Eldar, Lina, Vicky and Sergey went with us. We took some pictures by the Las Vegas sign and by the oldest chapel in the city. Then we met the rest of our guests by the Venetian hotel and casino, took some more pictures and just decided to walk to the Luxor, where the reception dinner was booked for 6 p.m.

Near Caesar's PalaceI felt so beautiful! People were looking at us, smiling, some were even taking pictures. Many congratulated us and wished us good luck. ) We got very lucky with the weather. Through our stay in Vegas it was beautiful and sunny and warm.

Cutting The CakeI am very happy with the Luxor stake house. The food was delicious, the service was excellent and the private room rocked!! We overstayed our time limit by 1 hour and nobody said a single word to us. One more funny thing is that at the end of the dinner a bus boy dropped some teacups and saucers and broke a couple of them. Everybody in the room got really excited and started cheering and clapping. The bus boy got scared, as well as our waiters and a manager, who harried into the room to find out what happened. They were laughing so hard, when we explained to them that Russia is one of those countries, where broken dishes considered a good luck.

We had a total of 15 guests. I was happy to see every single one of them, and celebrating our wedding with them felt like a warm family event. A lot of kind words were said, and I really appreciate the gesture of coming to Vegas to share our happiness.

The rest of the mini-vacation was wonderful and we didn’t want it to end. Now I’m sitting in the living room and reflecting on our wedding day, my beloved husband is still sleeping, the bags are waiting to be unpacked, the pictures are almost ready to be uploaded, the day is fantastic and the life goes on.
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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

To Vegas

LuxorThe trip that we’ve been waiting for, for such a long time, has finally started! Yesterday we’ve arrived to Las Vegas and tomorrow we’re getting married!

Yesterday and most of today flew by very quickly. We got to our hotel at about 2pm Vegas time. When we were checking in I mentioned that it was our wedding and that it’d be great if they could upgrade our room and give us a highest possible floor, to the receptionist. She didn’t say a single word to me, gave us 2 sets of keys (for us and for my parents) and said that these are nice rooms. When we got up we saw that my parents were on the opposite side of the hall way from us, and our room had a really awesome view of the F*CKING roof!!! evil

I got really mad by such service, went downstairs again, and wouldn’t leave until they let me talk to a manager. I explained to the manager that I picked this hotel out of all the hotels in the world as the place where I would like to get married. I have a lot of guests staying here as well and our ceremony is going to be performed in a sister hotel owner by the same company.

Luxor SuiteTo make long story short, he changed our rooms, gave Alena and me a very nice and big suite with windows overlooking the Strip, and gave my parents a room across the hall from us, on the same, 8th floor. Nice to know that people do care about the reputation of the business after all.

After that we met up with Eldar and went directly to the Marriage License Bureau. The whole procedure of obtaining a license took at most 10 minutes. No hassles, no problems.

Later on we met up with Maruks, and hang out with everyone for the rest of the day at Fusia restaurant and at rumJungle bar/lounge.

Luxor PoolsToday we did some pool swimming in the morning, checked out the chapel, meet with our wedding coordinator, checked out the hair salon that Alena is going to go tomorrow and gambled for a short while. I lost about $40 on the craps table and Alena put $1 into a $1 slot machine and won $50 back on that same spin. teeth Also we ate our lunch at Wolfgang Puck restaurant which was pretty nice.

For the rest of the day we’re planning to go to some club and drink alcohol (what else?). We do not want to stay out for too long as tomorrow is the big day!
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Friday, November 17, 2006

Birthdays :)

Birthday FlowersYesterday was my 26th Birthday! So happy birthday to me. ) I enjoyed it! It was nice, and I felt loved and appreciated.

Last night we picked up my wedding dress from the boutique, Danya’s pants form a tailor; and bought him a wedding shirt and a wedding tie. Just in a couple of days we’re flying to Vegas, and honestly, I’m very excited about it. No, this doesn’t cover it. I CAN’T WAIT TO GET TO VEGAS!!!

I feel a little bit overwhelmed with all the school assignments at the moment. Trying to get good grades and stuff, and already registered for the Spring 2007 semester. Esims site, where actual registration takes place, was screwed up yesterday morning, but Danya did something and we were able to look though the list of the available courses and created a pretty nice schedule. I’m so lucky to have him by my side! ) My evaluation is still not completed, which limits available classes for me; and I don’t have any GPA yet, so some of the courses are closed for me because of it. My experience with advisers in school is somewhat sad, because they don’t seem to really care. I guess, it’s understandable (need to go to the advisement and orientation office again on Monday to clarify things about Tier III minor requirements).

But enough about school. We have a little change in our home environment at the moment. Artem works from our apartment on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He is a fun person – always seems happy and energetic. He loves playing guitar, and couple of days ago changed strings on ours, so he can enjoy it more. ) He plays guitar quite professionally and even composes little pieces of music sometimes.

Tomorrow is Danya’s dad birthday. T.Oksana helped us to pick a little present for him and we’re planning to go out to have a family dinner on Saturday. I love November, because, as d. Borya puts it “it is very fruitful” and it is indeed!!
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Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Luxor Steakhouse for Wedding Dinner

LuxorIt looks like I made the previous post about the wedding dinner a bit prematurely. We had to change our plans because of the way everything was handled by Rio’s personnel. I wanted to leave a couple of lines about the experience with them here.

First of all they were very unresponsive to any questions, be it by email, or phone. I would have to call and ask for menus, wine list and other information 5 or so times before I would get an email. Every time they would promise an email within minutes, or until the end of the day, but it would never be true.

After about a week of frustration I finally got a contract from them for dinner reservation. To my disappointment I found out from the contract that we have a 2 hour limit on the time that we can spend there. It seems they are trying to screw you any way possible for the fact that you’re bringing them a lot of business. That just doesn’t make any sense to me. evil

I called several other places and the shortest time limit that I found was at least 2.5 hours. So I called back and asked them to extend it to at least 2.5 hours. After 3 day of waiting I received a response saying that it can be easily done, but it will cost me an additional $500. This response is a spit in the face of the customer who wanted to bring them a lot of business and is just plain insulting. I wished them luck in their future endeavors, but said that I’ll have my dinner elsewhere. After all, it’s not like they are the only restaurant in the desert. It’s Las Vegas, for god’s sake!! evil

We contacted a person in charge or Luxor’s group reservations for Luxor Steakhouse dinner. Every time I talked to her I got a response in the email within minutes after I put the phone down. We selected a pretty good menu with a choice of steak, fish and chicken as entries. We will have a nice wedding cake and a private room in a restaurant of a much higher class then our first choice was, for a bit higher price.

All in all we’re happy with the end result, all contracts are signed, and everything should be final at this point.
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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Wedding Dinner

Rio Hotel & CasinoThe last thing of big planning is done. Today we requested a contract for reservation at Antonio’s Italian Ristorante located at Rio Hotel.

After looking some more into this part we saw that all restaurants want you to order from a special menu, once you have 10 or more people. Since we have 16 people, we fall into this category. Most of those menus have a very high price and a very limited selection. In addition to that, since our wedding party is not big enough, they just connect 2 tables together in the main room, and that’s that.

We picked Antonio’s because the group menu has a pretty good selection of entries for a moderate price, the food reviews are good, and we get a private room, which is pretty good. In addition to that, we can substitute the desert for the wedding cake without any extra fees. But I guess that depends on the cake we choose. Or I probably should say Alena chooses. I made it her responsibility, since I really know nothing about cakes.

Here’s a list of the main entries from the menu that we selected:
  • Penne Rigate with Fingerling Italian Sausage
    Roasted Garlic & Peppers, Tomato & Oregano Ragout
  • Spaghetti Con Polpette
    Bolognaise Ragout, Meatballs, & Fresh Mozzarella
  • Pan Seared Ahi Tuna
    Braised Rice Beans, marinated Tomatoes, Soft Herbs & Roasted Pepper Putansca
  • Filet of Angus Beef with Spinach & Fontina Crust
    Herb Pasta Wrapper, Lemon Scented Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables Selection
  • Veal Marsala
    Ragout of Porcini Mushrooms, Garlic, Parsley, Essence of Dry Marsala
  • Oven Roasted Spring Chicken
    Layered with Marinated Eggplant, Mozzarella, Fresh Herbs & Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Now we just need to sit and wait for our wedding to come! teeth
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Saturday, September 30, 2006

My Wedding Dress

CorsetToday me and t. Oksana went wedding dress hunting again. Last Sunday we went to different boutiques to check out regular evening dresses as well as visited one wedding dresses store, but weren’t able to find anything interesting enough.

Today we started with some Italian wedding cloth store… and that was the end of out shopping trip as well. We found a beautiful wedding dress!!! It is expensive though. ( Supposedly it’s decorated with Swarovski crystals and it’s elegant and it just feels so right…

I’m very excited and can’t wait to try it on again (it should undergo some minor alterations). Funny thing that in this store all the dresses were my size. )

I just need to find proper shoes now – nothing fancy, nothing expensive. Dress is long and they are not going to show up.

P.S. Since we have to keep the dress top secret as per Daniel’s post, the picture attached is that of a corset that was needed for the dress.
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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wedding Bands

Wedding BandsWe spent last weekend going through jewelry stores, looking for our wedding bands. Saw a bunch of them on Saturday in Brooklyn and majority of them are mighty ugly. On Sunday we went to Manhattan to check out the stores in the jewelry district on 47th. That’s where we ended up ordering them.

I wanted something pretty simple, but not a plain one. Alena I think wanted the same thing, but for her the ring had to work with her engagement ring. In the end I got myself a fairly simple ring made out of platinum, and after looking through the multitude of the designs Alena picked out one made out of white gold with a small set of diamonds on the top.

EngravingWe just picked them up and they look good. We had both of them engraved with the following: “11-23-06 D+A FTW”. FTW is something we picked up while playing World of Warcraft for almost 2 years non-stop. It means “For The Win”. Going to be fun looking back at that at the age of 50. Or so I think. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. teeth
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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wedding: The Mini Crisis

MGM GrandToday, after I heard that almost everybody got their tickets I figured I’ll get more information about the wedding ceremony. I remember checking a while back on the official city of Las Vegas website that their official wedding offices are open 7 days a week, including all holidays. My assumption was that even if the city offices are open, the business will be open for sure.

I call Luxor to actually make a reservation: we’re planning to have our wedding on November 23rd, which falls on Thanksgiving. Oh, ok, but we’re closed on that day. 8O YOU WHAT?? o.O By now I’m in a state of shock. Everyone has tickets and we can’t have a wedding! I call city offices, they are indeed open. I figure, worst case we’ll do the wedding in the city hall, but they don’t let the guests in. I start calling all hotels: Mandalay Bay – closed, New York New York – closed, Paris – closed, MGM Grand – yeah, sure, we’re open. teeth

To make a long story short, we have a wedding ceremony scheduled on November 23rd, 1:30pm at MGM Grand Chapel. The package that we picked is called “Forever Yours”. The difference between this one and their top package is it has less photos included and doesn’t have pedicure/manicure part. We upgraded photography to the level of the top one and saved $200 as a result. Total of the package comes out to $1399. It includes lots of photography now, hair style and make up for the bride, flowers and a bunch of other stuff.
Eternity begins in style with the “Forever Yours” package. Our exceptional service assures you a wedding of extravagance through an array of personalized services. A classic photography package, beautifully designed bouquets, and a day of beauty at the world-renowned salon, Cristophe, are merely a few of the services we offer. Through the collection of lavish amenities, the first day of forever will be the beginning of unforgettable memories.
One more step closer to the wedding! Next big thing to tackle: the after-wedding dinner.
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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Wedding: Incoming!

Luxor EntranceAfter months of deliberation, research, head spinning and confusion we finally have made some major decisions. We know when and where it’s going to happen. teeth

About an hour ago we made hotel reservations and bought plane tickets. We’re flying out on November 21st to Las Vegas. The hotel that we picked is Luxor.

We are not exactly sure where the wedding itself is going to happen, but our plan at the moment is The Chapel at Luxor on November 23rd. We’re going to have a civil ceremony, since Alena is Catholic, I am Jewish and when it comes down it to we’re not religious.

There is still a lot to decide and to do, but I think this was the major issue that needed resolution. Either way, we’re finally going to be married in less then 3 months! mrgreen
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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Best Woman

Diamond RingToday I asked Vicky to be my “best woman” aka “maid of honour”. To my joy, she agreed!! I’m so glad. I didn’t know whom to ask- my old time friends are far away from here and I don’t really have a close girl friend. I think Danya’s mom is the closest one to that definition. But Vicky is great for the role. I will be really happy to have her by my side at such an important and exciting moment in my life.

After talking to her today I think I’m drifting into the “wedding rush” phenomenon. Was looking though some wedding dress sites today. Don’t want the traditional ivory white one. Not sure what I do want exactly, but one thing I realized- Vicky will help me to make a selection. Going to be a perfect wedding dress, I have a full confidence in us!! )

Danya invited Moisha today, he said that he will come. Would be great, if Eldar’s family could come. Oooo, my head is spinning in perfect unison with Danya’s.

On the other note. I’ve registered for classes for the fall semester. Don’t have a perfect schedule, but at least I was able to get into all the desired ones. Had a hard time registering for communications, but -tfu-tfu- grabbed the available seat after it appeared (was checking availability couple of times a day until this one showed up). So I’ve registered for Writing (English), Communications (English) , Music, Psychology, Political Science. Have to take them all, which is very sad, but inevitable. Even though some of the credits were transferred, there is no way around Music or Psychology. ( Oh well, I’m happy that I’m going back to college, this is really important for me. And I’m scared. And eager to study. )
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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Happily Ever After

I’ve been thinking about making a post for quite some time now, about Palms, Treos and other PDA stuff, but currently there more important things on my mind that I want to write about.

It’s a bit early for congratulations, but it looks like there is nothing more in the way of us getting married! There is still a small formality that needs to happen, but it is only a formality, and nothing else. Needless to say, all this makes me quite happy. We’ve been waiting for this for a long time now!

We’ve been engaged since October 15th, 2004. We decided long ago that we would want to get married during the summer. It’s actually quite fun to be able to pick a date which you will celebrate through the rest of your life. So we had several dates in mind:

  • June 6th, 2006. June 6th is exactly half an anniversary of our first date, which we had on December 6th. June 6th, 2006 is 6/6/6, which is a fun number, but Alena says that it is way to evil looking for a marriage date. Either way, we missed the date. Actually we thought that there is no way anything can happen in time for this summer.

  • July 7th, 2007. Nothing special about this date except for the fact that it is 7/7/7. 7 is considered to be a lucky number, and 3 of them is even better.

  • August 20th, 2006. Now there is chance that we might be able to actually get married this summer. August 20th is the date of my parents’ marriage. They got married on that date back in 1977, which makes it 29 years this year, and 30 years next year.

So if everything goes well, we’ll try to do it on August 20th, this year, 2006. Now that’s where my head starts spinning. There is so much to think about. Where do want to do it, how do we want to do it, who do we want to invite, will they be able to come and so on and so on.

August 20th falls on Sunday this year, and from what I understand, civil marriage offices are closed on Saturdays and Sundays in NYC.

Also before you can get married you need to get a marriage license. In NY it is valid for 60 days. We would like to try to invite Alena’s sister to come join us for this celebration, and it would be a good idea to include the copy of the license. I figure there are more chances that she’ll be able to get a visa this way, but there is not much time left, and we know how bureaucratic things are.

We were thinking of renting out some restaurant maybe (a very small one at that), but we don’t know of any good places that we would like to rent out.

So I got to thinking, maybe Las Vegas isn’t such a bad place to get married after all, even though we were joking about it before. Flamingo has some really nice places for those ceremonies. They actually have 6! And we could have our little honey moon there too, since I will not be able to take a full week off in August.

Then the question is will other people be able to fly out and take a day or two off as well? We would certainly want to invite Eldar’s family from Colorado.

I have chosen Eldar to by my best man for the wedding. He’s been a great friend for many years to both myself, and Alena, so I’m really glad to have him to help me out with all this.

Anyhow, I guess that gives you a good picture of why my head is spinning. But I think collectively we can stop the spinning process and resolve all this.

“And they lived happily ever after!”
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