Alina & Mike

Intimate wedding with Belarusian traditional touches

Alina & Mike have a beautiful love story that began at a university in North Carolina.  After getting engaged, both of them were extremely busy – Alina was finishing up graduate school and working while Mike was working overseas.

They knew they wanted to plan a summer wedding and celebrate with as many friends and family as possible, but as they are both not from North Carolina and had to get a bit more creative. On their own, Mike and Alina organized a trip with friends to Las Vegas to celebrate a joint bachelor and bachelorette party.

Looking for more help to plan a destination wedding, Mike and Alina looked to us for some help in finding their venue and vendors.  They really were looking for something low key and intimate to commemorate the day.  Luckily their wedding timeline coincided with Mike’s family’s annual beach vacation which happened to be on the Connecticut shoreline. While Mike’s family was able to attend in person, much of Alina’s family resides in Belarus and Italy and were unable to join in person.  With that, we were able to Skype in Alina’s mother from Belarus (check out the photo capturing Alina’s reaction when she sees her Mom watching her from the phone)!

The day was so beautiful so the ceremony was able to take place on the beach in front of the house. Tables from Mike’s family home were used pedestals to frame the ceremony along with some driftwood that just happened to be set-up nicely! Floral arrangements were set on the pedestals (and ultimately used on the reception tables). All the flowers were created by Mar Floral & Botanicals in Old Saybrook.

The wedding ceremony featured the three most perfect girls in the wedding party: Mike’s daughter and two nieces! They were all eager co-ring bearer / flower girls! The ceremony was led by Mike’s Father who’s done other family member’s wedding ceremonies!

Ahead of the wedding ceremony, but after first look photos, Mike & Alina hosted a ‘thank you’ champagne toast and ‘bread breaking’. In Belarus, a bread called karavai, with a small bowl of salt is served on a rushnik. Luckily a local specialty grocery store was able to source the karavai!

Instead of going to a traditional reception venue or having catering at the house, Mike & Alina decided on Aspen Restaurant and Bar.  They were able to allow guests to chose their entrees day of without having to utilize traditional RSVPs. We were able to help them create menus to ensure that guests didn’t need to hear the waitstaff over their awesome playlist! Instead of a traditional wedding cake, Mike & Alina were very excited when the realized there was a nearby specialty cupcake shop – Sugar Bakery.

Mike and Alina realized they really needed to ensure that the day was captured digitally to share with friends and family far and wide so they hired the talented Tim Costello filmed this intimate wedding and the brilliant natural light photographer Kayla Turker (formerly Sanzo) River & Iris Photography captured still photos.

We couldn’t be happier for the McCabe Family and wish them all our best!

Be sure to see the video link with drone views of the ceremony!

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