Just before we entered the administration building, Jim and Jeanne took a moment to get one more father/daughter picture. We were going to go INTO the building with Jeanne Peipon and walk OUT of the building with Jeanne Kotiash.
We were instructed to wait in the official wedding hall while the administrator checked all of the paperwork…one more time. Yes, they had all the proper translations, stamps, passports, etc.
It was time to begin the ceremony itself. I will attempt to put a few short clips onto YouTube (it will be a first for me, so don’t be holding your breath waiting to see them), but, in the meanwhile, I’ll post these still shots.
The cloth on the floor was hand-embroidered by Kolya’s mother for her daughter’s wedding this past August. Galya graciously offered it to her brother and Jeanne so that there might be some Ukrainian tradition. It was actually quite amusing to see Galya take charge, knowing what the traditions were. We had seen a DVD of her village church wedding and realized that the couples are talked through the entire event. Galya helped us through the steps.
Tradition says that whichever person actually is the first to step onto this cloth will be the head of the family. (Galya quickly stepped on it at her own wedding!) Kolya took the first steps on this day.
Following the ceremony we borrowed Galya’s two champagne goblets so that we could all drink a toast to the happy couple.
(I really liked all the stripes in the picture…)
We only had those 2 glasses, though, so after Jeanne and Kolya drank…we refilled the glasses and Jim and I drank a toast.
This was followed by Galya enjoying a glass as well. We were thankful that Galya had remembered glasses! She was very sweet to share her special belongings.
She DIDN’T have to share the rings, though. Jeanne and Kolya chose these rings and exchanged them there in the hall. They wore them for the entire weekend, but safely tucked them away on Monday morning to exchange them once again in January.
Per this document they are husband and wife. But, as we’ve said before, they are waiting to live as a married couple until January.
We all left together in Dan’s van to make the 6 km trip to Kolya’s village. This would be the first time that Jim and I would meet his mother. (We had met Galya and her husband Vitaliy in Kyiv, and also cousin Lena who had brought her daughter Vita into Kyiv for medical treatment and had stayed a night in our flat.)
We were excited, yet nervous…as I’m sure Kolya’s family was as well. Nothing like meeting the in-laws AFTER the fact!