My name is Lena, I’m 28, my husband’s name is Anthony and he’s 32. I was born in a small town in Russia, graduated from university in Moscow and after working and living there for a couple of years I decided to try studying abroad.
I had never thought about studying in Germany before I found out that education there is free for everybody, including foreigners, and this was the main factor for me to go there.
I came here in 2013 and met Anthony in 2015. He had lived in Germany for 3 years, so German lifestyle wasn’t a new experience for him. We had been dating for a couple of months when it turned out that I have to find a new place for living. Anthony was going on business trip for a month and a half, so he suggested staying in his place while he was away. He came back after a month and a half but I didn’t have to move out, we lived there together.
Unlike me, Anthony doesn’t like big cities, he wants to live at a ranch, do animal breeding, be kind of a cowboy. I vividly remember us at our first date, sipping coffee at Starbucks. Anthony was telling me about his family and his plans to settle down somewhere in a backcountry. I thought back then that all his plans were so different from mine because I wanted to live in a city, the bigger, the better. Stuttgart with population of 600 000 was like a village to me. We became very close because of not accepting Germany as our home. I was going to work there for a few years and then come back to Moscow, and he was going to come back to the USA in three years.
We both are rather emotionally reserved and romantic isn’t about us. Anthony made me a proposal in the bathroom, honestly. We were going to the USA for Christmas to meet his parents. He was planning to put an engagement ring under the Christmas tree as a Christmas present. But out trip failed all the time for a number of reasons, like my visa or his job, so we stayed in Stuttgart.
Once, we had a walk in the city and he asked if I wanted to get my Christmas present beforehand. I was guessing about the ring because he knew suspiciously a lot about jewelry and he liked to stop in front of the jewelry shops and stare at the windows. I said that I surely wanted my present.
The present was at home. We returned from our walk and I went to the bathroom to wash my hands and here comes Anthony and gives me the ring.
We agreed that we didn’t want a big wedding, we actually didn’t want any wedding. What I really wanted was to have beautiful photos and to have a church wedding some time in the future.
When I was a kid I liked to watch my parents wedding photos and I would like our children to have a chance to see ours. We are still on our way to the church ceremony. I would like to have a ceremony in an orthodox church but Anthony doesn’t speak any Russian and I wouldn’t like him to get through the ceremony that is strange to him.
I had been looking at Cathy Telle’s dresses long before I got a proposal. It was kind of a dream dress. I was a bit worried about the Internet order in spite of the great reviews. Later we met our photographer Zhenia and I mentioned Cathy Telle to her. She gave her best recommendations about Katia and her team and introduced us to each other.
Initially we were planning to use a motorbike ride for our photoshoot. Anthony is a member of a biker’s club (our leather jackets are from there). This is a big part of our lives, it’s a subculture with its own history and rules, a new world for me where my husband brought me to. By the time of our photoshoot we found out that I was pregnant, so we had to refuse from the motorbike rides.
I fell in love with all the dresses I saw on the website! I don’t like sparkles, feathers and this kind of stuff. Every dress was pure elegance. Anthony didn’t participate in the process of choosing the dress. His position was “I don’t care what you wear, even if you wear a pirate’s costume!” But when the dress arrived and I put it on, I saw that Anthony was impressed. Again, I’m not a romantic person, I’m not attached to things, it’s Anthony who is a collector.
I was sorry that the dress would have to be buried in the wardrobe and become food for a moth. But Anthony was very serious about keeping the dress for our daughter who would definitely want to wear it on her wedding day.
If you are wondering how it feels to be married a military man, it’s the same as to be married a fireman or a policeman. It’s not the best job for a family man but there is no way around it. You either live with it or leave it.
Initially I refused from a rather famous photographer because she was against a groom in military gear in the wedding photos. She insisted that military gear would outmatch that couple and the dress. She also considered the dress should be more pretentious. But I knew my dress was the perfect one for me.
Our main difference is that we are from different countries and no matter how good my English was (could have been better by the way, but not even all Americans speak good English) we had a lot of conflicts because of language barrier and misunderstanding. It’s much better now, of course. For example, one of his friends called me a “keeper” and I thought it would describe someone who keeps her husband on a short leash. I had no idea it meant “marriage material”! We had a lot similar examples.
I call him “honey” and he calls me “mishka” (bear) because he thinks it’s cute and also when I’m hungry, I get angry, like a hungry insomniac bear.
Love for me means following your beloved one and find a compromise, which isn’t easy for at all! It’s a shame but I have to admit I’m quite an egoist.
If I had to describe Anthony in one word, I would say he’s the best. I admire him and I really hope this admiration will last for many years!
And my next purchase will definitely be a bridal veil.