Another fantastic wedding took place in New York State, and I was very honored to be a guest to enjoy it with family and friends.
The Wedding Ceremony took place at Holy Cross Ukrainian Catholic Church in Astoria, New York.
The Iconostas at the church was richly decorated with Ukrainian embroidery and flowers.
Each church pew was adorned by a neatly tied embroidered Ukrainian runner (rushnyk).
The three little Flower Girls did a super job preparing the church aisle, with carefully strewn rose petals, for the Bride to walk on toward the altar.
During the ceremony these little Flower Girls kept themselves occupied by playing with their remaining flower petal, or rearranging the church books at the back of the pews…:-).
At the same time, I was able to take a photo of one of the girl’s hairdos, which was absolutely gorgeous and fancy for a 2-year-old. They wore matching dresses and sparkly shoes….so adorable.
To burn off all the bundled-up energy, they danced their little hearts out once the Ukrainian band “HRIM” (meaning Thunder) started to play. While the band was taking a break and during dinner time, we were entertained by Italian music and songs.
The Mother of the Groom graciously provided them with comfortable play clothes to change into and to have fun in. These consisted of flowery leggings and hand-decorated T-shirts with their First name on the back and Flower Girl insignia on the front. All done with fancy sparkly lettering of course.
The Bride Maids wore long sparkly gowns as well, but the Maid of Honor and the Matron of Honor selected their individual styles for their gowns. They all looked stunning!
The Grandfather of the Groom designed and crafted airings for the Bride Maids, Maids of Honor, and necklaces for the Flower Girls.
The Bride and Groom looked gorgeous as well. The Bride had a stunning dress with lots of lacy details and a delicate long veil.
Here you can see more of the delicate details of the Bride’s back bodice of her wedding gown, while they are wearing the Traditional Ukrainian Periwinkle Wreaths, as part of the wedding ceremony.
This Quartet was playing softly as the Bride was escorted by her father down the aisle to the Altar to join her future husband.
While the Bride was guided by the officiating Reverend to pray at the Virgin Mary side Altar, another Ukrainian tradition, the female singer beautifully sang the Ave Maria song, giving us goosebumps with her amazing voice.
The wedding reception took place at a beautiful venue of Stonebridge Country Club in Smithtown, NY. Here is the table setting and a beautiful centerpiece on each table.
The Bide and Groom had their special Sweetheart table to sit at, facing their guests. At the left side of their table was a special table set up with burning votive candles and pictures of departed significant loved ones from both sides of the family. Very thoughtful and commemorative gesture, in my opinion.
To the right of the Sweetheart table was another table set up with the Korovai, Greeting Bread, and wine.
In Ukrainian tradition, the Greeting Bread and wine are used to greet the newlyweds as husband and wife, and to welcome the two families into one family circle.
The Mother of the Bride baked the lovely Ukrainian Wedding Bread, Korovai, as well as the Greeting Bread.
The decorations for the Korovai were created by the mothers of the Bride and Groom as well as the Bride Maids, and the Bride.
These Holy Icons of the Virgin Mary and Jesus were painted by the Father of the Bride. They were brought into the church by the Starosty (elders) before the ceremony, then also into the reception venue during the introductions of the wedding party, parents, and the newlyweds.
Yes, Ukrainian weddings include a Wedding Cake in addition to the Traditional Ukrainian Wedding Bread, Korovai. This was an elegant-looking Wedding Cake, and as delicious once cut up and shared with the guests.
During the Venetian Hour, we enjoyed many delicious tortes, as well and myriad Italian desserts, and great assortments of liqueurs and cordials.
All the guests were greeted at their hotel rooms with a “Goodie Bag”, complimentary by the Bride and Groom, containing a collection of creatively labeled goodies, such as this bottled water. It also was very helpful to find a copy of the Itinerary attached to this bag.
Each table setting included the above jar of honey with a cute dispenser, as a Thank You gift from the Bride and Groom for all their guests to take home.
M & M are the initials of the First names of the Bride and Groom, plus the date of their Wedding Day. Very cute and useful, as Ukrainians love honey in their tea, vodka, on bread, and in their baking.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you were lucky enough to be at that wedding, I hope I helped you to relive the beautiful event.