MOSCOW: "We met when I was 14 and he was 19 at a party with friends," said Maria (left). That was back in 2007. Maria was in school while he was in college. Maria will marry him today. Last weekend, she celebrated her bridal shower with three friends along the Moscow River. That is where I ran into her. Her and her soon-to-be husband are headed to the Greek island of Zakynthos to celebrate their honeymoon.
MOSCOW: Another sunny summer weekend in Moscow, another series of weddings. Many newly wed couples visit Moscow parks - such as Gorky Park and Tsaritsino - to have their pictures taken.
ST. PETERSBURG: When an unknown girl ‘liked’ one of Evgeny’s photos on his VK page, he wrote her to inquire. They soon went on a date, but there was no spark. However, a few days later, not wanting to go to the movies by himself, Evgeny invited her out again. Something clicked. As their one year anniversary approached in March, Evgeny looked for a ring, but couldn’t find the one he wanted. So, one their anniversary day, he proposed, using a ‘ring’ made of foil from a bubble gum wrap. She accepted (and sent her mom a photo of the ‘ring’). Having just taken a big step in his life with the opening of the franchise barbershop Top Gun in St. Petersburg at the end of May with his university buddy, Evgeny - who just turned 30 in June - has just taken another big step, having married his girlfriend last week.
St. Petersburg: Elizaveta, 22, and her mom Vera were walking along Nevsky Propect when their colorful clothing caught my eye. Elizaveta, who grew up in the Far East province of Kamchatka across from Alaska and moved to St. Petersburg to study, said she has had a pretty exciting summer so far. In addition to finishing her law degree, she got married a few weeks ago. She will be moving to Estonia with her husband.
DAGESTAN: Shuana’s father passed away when she was just a few months old, so her older sister had to step in and help her mom raise her. Both mom & sister were always there for her, she said, adding that growing up with one parent nonetheless ’strongly impacts’ a child. Shuana, who works part-time with children as an animator while finishing two university degrees, wants to travel for personal and professional development. However, the 20 year-old feels she can’t leave her mom and sister, who have done so much for her. Her mother would like her to get married and have children. Shuana describes her predicament as being in an open cage that she can’t fly out of.
Victor, 26 was hanging out with his friends and wife at Moscow's Sokolniki Park, where St. Patrick's Day was celebrated. He said he was a physics PhD student, which he joked was a ''family business'' as his father is a physicist and his mother an electrical engineer. Victor, who likes to home brew beer, said he first celebrated St. Patrick's Day in Moscow three years ago at a bar with a friend. Victor said he saw a girl there that he liked and got up to dance with here. A year later, Victor married that girl - an English teacher - on St. Patrick's Day. They celebrated their honeymoon in Scotland, where Victor bought his current St. Patrick's Day outfit.