Tanya and Igor met at a mutual friend's dinner party in Cavan when Tanya impressed Igor with a delicious dish (as Igor says, 'the way to a man's heart is through his stomach'!)
Although the couple - originally from Moldova - lived only three miles away from each other in their home country, it took coming to Ireland to bring them both together.
When they met for the second time, they took a romantic walk together on the beach in Bettystown and sparks flew.
"We were walking barefoot through the water," Igor recalls, "that was moment when we really connected, it felt like we had so much in common that we had to talk about.
"It’s amazing that in Moldova we were the same age and lived three miles away from each other and never met, but here, thousands of miles away on an island, we fell in love just in few moments."
The couple got engaged on Christmas day 2016, exchanging vows in the Orthodox Church in Ballsbridge, Dublin, later that summer. They held their reception in the Cliff at Lyons in Kildare, joined by their closest friends and family from home and abroad.
Their photos are by Anna G Photography.
As Tanya and Igor work long shifts, the Christmas holidays meant they could spend quality time together. After Igor had waited and waited for the right occasion, he couldn't wait any more.
"I was always thinking how to make the occasion and pop the question," says Igor "[but] I just couldn’t wait more and decided to do it at Christmas which was just one day of that year when were both off. I took her by surprise and she couldn’t say no, it was an amazing moment."
After seven years and two children together, the couple set a date just five months after their official engagement.
It was a toss up between going home to their native Maldova for their nuptials, or to have a Moldavian style event in Ireland. In the end Igor and Tanya, wanting something different to their friends, opted for a traditional Irish wedding.
"It was a challenge from the beginning," says Tanya, "95% of the attendees would be from Moldova. Before that we attended many weddings and christening parties in Ireland of our co-nationals. They were the same theme and traditions as back home. [In Ireland] there are even venues, music bands and chefs catering for the Moldavian style events.
"[But] we really enjoyed one Irish wedding - we loved the atmosphere and especially the band, so, we decided to take the risk and do what none of our co-nationals has tried before; to have a wedding in the local, Irish style.
"It was risky because we were not sure if everyone will enjoy it."
Wedding dress shopping wasn't easy for Tanya, and she admits that she felt down after not being able to find something she loved for so long.
"I remember changing my mind every week," says Tanya. "I was even depressed that I couldn’t find something that I would love."
However she knew she loved the bridal collection from Barcelona-based bridal designer Pronovias, so after talking to a friend who lived near the boutique, Tanya decided to fly over to take a look herself.
With her gown sorted, the focus turned to the bridesmaids' dresses, which Tanya sourced through Amazon.
While it wasn't easy to get everyone to agree on a style, Tanya says her maids loved the dresses that made the final cut.
Groom Igor spent a few weeks looking for his suit, and in the end found the one in Hugo Boss on Dublin's Grafton Street. He opted for a business style suit, says Tanya, as he's quite practical and could wear it again for meetings.
The couple found their venue - The Cliff at Lyons in Kildare - with the help of their photographer Anna Edera (aka Anna G Photography), whom Tanya credits with helping to plan the entire day.
"When we saw it, we knew that we don’t want anything else," said the bride, adding that the venue "completely exceeded" their expectations.
To add a bit of Moldavian tradition to events the couple hired a traditional band to play the first three hours of their wedding reception.
For the afters, they hired the Dundalk wedding band Vertigo, who they had seen preform at a wedding years before. The band became the focal point of the night, the couple said, and made it an enjoyable, memorable evening.
Being stuck in traffic doesn't usually make for the most romantic moments in a couple's relationship, but for Igor and Tanya those few extra minutes sipping Champagne in their 1930s Beauford Convertible after the ceremony were very special.
"Beside the moment in the limo," Tanya adds, "our greatest moment was seeing our children dancing at our wedding. My son funnily thought it was my birthday for some reason - he kept saying “happy birthday mum!”
The couple's advice for couples planning their big day is to follow their heart and on the day, to not forget to switch "from the organizer to the enjoyer mode".
"Whatever way it will be, you’ll love it because it’s your own creation."
Igor and Tanya honeymooned in Grand Canaria with their kids, "perhaps not so romantic as it sounds, but was great, [we go] everywhere together now!"
Photographer: Anna G Photography | Videographer: Ciprian Petrasca | Celebrant: Fr. Consantin | Ceremony location: Orthodox Church, Ballsbridge | Ceremony music: Vertigo Wedding Band | Wedding dress: La Sposa Rosalia, Pronovies | Shoes: Britt, Rainbow Club | Engagement ring: Fields | Wedding ring: Fields | Bridesmaids’ dresses: Ever Pretty | Grooms/groomsmen’s suits: Hugo Boss | Flowers: Provence Wedding Decor | Decor: Provence Wedding Decor | Reception venue: Village at Lyons, now Cliff at Lyons | Hair: Persona Hair and Beauty salon (Zinaida Marandici) | Makeup: Cristina Strat | Reception entertainment: Anisoara Bobeica and Roman Sapteboi
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