Holiday Romance to Happily Ever After

Our Russian Princess, Yana, becomes an English Queen, as she marries her Charming Prince Gary.

It is the most romantic of dreams.  A holiday romance that blossoms into true love.  A finding of soul mates on a tropical island, ending in a fairy tale wedding… 

A Koh Phangan Love Story

Yana met Gary in Thailand, on the party island of Koh Phangan.  Their love story blossomed over the season, and continued as they took off around Europe to the party hotspots of Milan and Ibiza.  Separated for a few months that autumn, they met again in Thailand last winter.

Their affair of the heart was soon confirmed, as Gary and Yana decided to spend their life together.

Seven weeks before the wedding, Yana called to say she’d arrived in England – and it was time to organise the wedding!  A week later, she was in the Brides by Solo boutique, as we crossed our fingers that we’d find a dress to fulfill her bridal dreams.

We were in luck.  Yana found not one, but two, dresses with which she fell instantly in love.  The first was a slim-fitting brocade wedding dress, which made Yana feel “like the Swan Princess out of the Russian fairytale…”

The second dress, laced bodice, illusion neckline and full skirts with satin underlay, was fit for a queen.  Yana went home to sleep on it, which wedding dress would it be?

In the morning we had her answer: “Queen it will be!”

Russian Queen marries her Prince Charming

In his dapper suit, groom Gary was the ultimate Prince Charming to match his beautiful bride.  His loveable nature shone as he greeted his gathering guests: his family and friends, Yana’s Russian friends, and an intimate group from the close-knit community of Koh Phangan.

Saying their vows, Gary and Yana forsaked all others for each other.  Raw emotion touched the bride and groom in gentle waves, spreading out to reach over all of us. On the back row, us Koh Phangan girls dabbed away tears of joy at the blissful union.

Yana looked resplendent in her wedding dress.  The dress not only fitted her – she fitted the dress.  She took our breath away all day long.  The perfectly fitting bodice, the intricate illusion back, the delicate buttoning detail – the voluminous skirts, fit for a queen!

She could have walked down the aisle in Westminster Abbey in that dress, I swear.

The Wedding Reception

The dovetailing of two different cultures continued into the evening.  The happy couple entered the reception to the congregation’s applause.  Then, on the threshold, bride and groom fed each other bread and salt:  an old Slavic tradition – ‘the bitterest thing to feed each other from now on!’

We greeted the bride and groom to offer our congratulations, and the party and merriments began in earnest.  In another Russian tradition, Gary and Yana each lit a candle.

Then together they lit a larger candle, signifying the union of the flame of their love.

Dancing Into The Night

The first dance was a classic from the Thai islands.  We were soon up dancing with Gary and Yana in celebration. Even the waiters joined in!  Serenaded by a stunning Russian MC over a sumptuous dinner, our Koh Phangan DJ took to the decks – to continue the party well into the night.

The evening ended with Yana the bride dancing on the tables, as groom and wedding party danced around her!

A love-filled wedding from start to finish, amazing company – and a divine dress.  “The best day of my life!”, says an excited Yana.

Congratulations to the happiest of couples, Gary and Yana, as they begin their fairytale life together.


Originally published on our Brides by Solo wedding blog for HELLO! Magazine in Nov 2014.

Wedding Photography by Vadim Nester