Real Wedding | Dora + Victor

Fashion and fun were the focus at this fabulous wedding in St. Petersburg, Russia. This international couple (they met while Dora was studying in Paris) invited friends and family to her hometown for a joyful celebration. Dora’s amazingly beautiful dress took center stage, setting the tone for this elegant affair. Gorgeous florals (don’t miss the rose adorned huppah) and a magical reception held in a historic palace made this truly a fairytale come true!

Dora +Victor | July 25, 2010 | Saint-Petersburg, Russia

How they met

We met in Paris, where I came to study at the Sorbonne, about ten years ago, over a piece of chocolate cake at a friend’s friend’s birthday.

The ceremony

In France, religious and civil ceremonies are separated, which is why we had two weddings – a civil wedding in Paris, and a religious wedding in Saint-Petersburg where I am from. The religious ceremony took place on a Sunday morning at the Astoria, one of the oldest hotels in St-Petersburg, under a huppah I designed myself. It was decorated with ivory tulle, pastel roses and orchids. While it was of course a very emotional and warm atmosphere, we were truly lucky to have both our rabbi and one of our friends make extremely witty, sensitive and funny speeches during the ceremony which made it feel even more personal.

The reception

The reception took place in a 19th century palace outside the city. We had a jazz band play during the cocktail hour. The dinner was scheduled as a tradition French Jewish wedding where dancing parts of different styles (modern, ashkenazy, oriental, old tunes from the 50s…) as well as speeches and songs interpreted by some of our friends were inserted between the courses.

The moment from her wedding that Dora will never forget

It is so very difficult to choose just one moment…Discovering our ceremony venue while walking down the aisle was extraordinary, as it was even more beautiful than what I had imagined. I also loved the end of the reception, when caterers started to clean the tables, but we were still dancing with our closest friends and no one wanted to leave because it was such a magical atmosphere.

How Dora knew her wedding dress was “The One”

Since the first time I saw the Vera Wang’s Dawn dress on their website, I fell in love with it. As the dress was only available at Vera Wang’s NY flagship store, I tried to find something else, and had tried on about 50 dresses, all of which were exceptional, but none of which compared to Dawn. I bought two (!) dresses: another model by Vera Wang and a gown by Monique Lhuillier, but at one point realized how badly I regretted not being able to even try on Dawn. I ended up sending my measurements to the flagship store, and Victor’s sister who lives in New-York went to Vera Wang to order the dress.

Why Dora decided to sell her wedding dress

Buying the Dawn dress (and buying two other dresses that I didn’t wear) was quite a big splurge and twice my budget, so I knew I could afford it only by selling the dress…Fortunately, I do not feel any sentimental link to the dress and never intended to keep it – Parisian apartments are rather small!! What I wanted to keep was the feeling I had wearing the dress, and this will never fade! As for Dawn, I’ll always have our guests’ compliments and our wedding pictures to remind me of it.

Dora’s dress: Vera Wang, Dawn

Photography: Konstantin Andruhin