Stunning Nelson Wedding…
Our first thoughts upon meeting Andy and Yana were that these two special people have such a beautiful energy and connection between them; in fact I couldn’t think of a more perfect match. You’re going to love their Storybook so grab a drink, sit down and relax, as their wedding day unfolds.
Andy and the boys got ready in his family home. It’s always so nice to have your parents around on this special day.
Groomsmen Dave, Fred and Simon traveled from around New Zealand to be here. They’ve all been there throughout different parts of Andy’s life so having his best mates all together was pretty awesome.
Andy and Yana met a few years ago while working at Hanoi International School in Vietnam where they both teach. Andy teaches PE and has always had an urge to travel and teach overseas. After five years working in Wellington and London, his pathway led him to his current job in Hanoi.
Yana was born in Astana, Kazakhstan. She developed a love for learning English after hearing a Whitney Houston song on TV. This lead onto her becoming an English teacher who also has a passion for music and singing. After teaching for four years, she wanted to see the world outside of Kazakhstan so followed her dream which also led her to a teaching job in Hanoi. I tell you the universal energy was working in force to bring these two soulmates together.
He noticed her beautiful soul through their first few days at school. She noticed a man with a gorgeous smile, who kept looking and looking at her until she looked back. Then came Friday during staff welcome drinks and Andy saw Yana about to leave. Thinking fast he threw out a ‘whole staff’ invitation which she accepted, 45 minutes before the others. The conversation was nervous, exciting and fulfilling; it developed into dinner and they haven’t looked back since…
A year later Andy and Yana traveled to South Africa for a friend’s wedding and this seemed the right place to buy an engagement ring. Andy wanted to do the right think so Yana took her ring off after returning to Hanoi. The right thing included Andy asking Yana’s mother (Raissa) for permission to marry her daughter. As a result there was a very emotional skype call where Yana translated a letter that Andy had written which had everyone in tears. Needless to say Raissa was very happy and gave them her blessing.
Honour, respect, kindness and values – these are things we really admire about Andy and Yana.
As you can see family is really important so meeting each others families for the first time was very special. Andy’s parents Anne and Michael visited them in Hanoi which meant a lot, especially when Anne told Yana she was a very special girl.
Three months later they traveled to Kazakhstan where Yana’s mum again showed her approval and happiness.
Planning a wedding from overseas has it’s challenges so The Grand Mercure Monaco was the perfect place for their wedding venue. It’s such a beautiful place and having accommodation on site made it easy for the many guests traveling from afar.
Such a stunning and colourful bouquet from Earthbloom Florist.
Yana’s mother, sister, niece and nephew traveled from Kazakhstan for the wedding. This is Yana’s neice ‘Sofiya’ looking very cute and excited to be part of the day.
I think this wedding season has been the prettiest ever with our brides choosing such beautiful colour themes – week after week we’re delighted.
And here’s the beautiful bride ‘Yana’, treasuring each special moment of the day.
This is Yana’s nephew David. Putting on a bowtie is a very important job.
Meet the beautiful bridesmaids: Vanessa (teaches at an international school in Tanzania), Olga (Yana’s sister) from Kazakhstan, and Nikki (Andy’s sister), who traveled over from London.
Yana’s family speak little or no English but they sure knew when to smile.
No wonder Andy couldn’t take his eyes off Yana when he first saw her, this girl is gorgeous.
The guys all ready for the big moment…
There were feelings of pure joy and excitement as Andy watched Yana walk towards him.
An emotional Raissa walked her daughter up the isle. Apart from briefly skyping the previous Christmas, this would be the first time their parents would meet each other.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast. It is not proud, it does not dishonor others. It is not self seeking, it is not easily angered. Love keeps no record of wrong, love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails, love never ends.
“Bread and Salt” – this is an old Russian wedding tradition. The bride and groom break off pieces of bread, dip them in salt and feed each other. These actions symbolize that they’ll never be without the necessities of life and they will always take care of each other.
Andy spoke his vows to Yana in English as well as Russian. It was a big surprise for Yana and her family and there were many teary eyes.
Yana loves how caring, kind and strong Andy is and that she always feels safe and loved unconditionally by him. She loves how he always surprises her and makes her feel like the most important person in the world to him.
Andy just adores spending his time with Yana. He loves that she is so caring and intelligent, learning and growing through life and education.
A very very happy Mr and Mrs Smith…
We met so many awesome people today who came from far and wide.
So much prettiness at Gardens of the World…
I just love putting our Storybooks together; every time Daron walks past my office apparently I’m grinning from ear to ear. I admit, I’m just a big romantic at heart.
A love that shines so brightly!
Andy and Yana love living in Hanoi. It’s a crazy, noisy, busy wonderful place, always full of different sights, smells, challenges and surprises. They love having the opportunity to travel and experience the beauty, traditions and cultures of South East Asia. Definitely on Daron and my bucket list, that’s for sure.
It’s such a gorgeous place here at Gardens of the World. Peaceful, tranquil, the perfect place for wedding pictures.
Andy is a big rugby fan and still plays in Hanoi. The whole bridal party decided to get in on the action here. Such fun times with an awesome bunch of people.
The reception at the Monaco Resort looked pretty stunning and the atmosphere was awesome as the newlyweds were greeted in.
Andy and Yana’s speeches were probably the most emotional I’ve ever heard, first to their parents then to each other. A Russian translator was there to interpret for Yana’s family as well which was just the coolest. And just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, Andy sung to her in Russian.
As dusk fell, the four of us headed out to the front of the Monaco Resort. The light was stunning but disappearing rather quickly.
The dancing started and I must say there was some quite spectacular moves by Andy – those are private.
With happy hearts, Daron and I said our goodbyes and headed home.
Andy and Yana, it’s been such a pleasure getting to know you both and we’re so grateful to have been part of your day. It’s weddings like yours which make us love our job so much. We wish you all the very best with your new adventures in Angola later this year – the world is your oyster.
Chrissy and Daron x
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