Diana & Ilya’s Romantic, Elegant Wedding

They say that first impressions are the most lasting, but when it came to Ilya, for Diana it was the second that mattered!

“We met at the airport, going to Israel for the Birthright trip. Ilya was very sweet, offering to carry my bag for me because I had over packed it and couldn’t lift it. I thought he was also the loudest most obnoxious person I had ever met, and completely not my type.”

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Diana & Ilya,  crystal bridal headpiece – Bridal Styles New York, photography – Age Images

“When I got on the plane and saw that Ilya was sitting in the seat directly behind me I knew it was going to be a long, torturous flight. I was wrong however. We ended up talking the entire flight, and I discovered that Ilya is actually a nice and very funny guy. Our third night in Israel we all got dressed up to go to a club and I couldn’t believe how good he looked! It was the first time I felt a physical attraction to him and actually surprised myself. I had looked at him as a friend before, but now found myself wanting more. We spent the rest of the trip getting to know one another and were inseparable. As soon as we got back to New York he asked me out.


 Swarovski Crystal bridal head band, real bride wearing Pronovias, Woodbury Country Club wedding, June wedding, Age Images New York

Diana,  elegant headband – Bridal Styles New York, photography – Age Images

Just like their trip to Israel, over time, Diana and Ilya realized that they had found something truly special and lasting in each other.

“I really don’t think there was any one moment, more of a slow realization. We started dating when we were 20 and were together for 5 years before we got married. It was a long journey filled with ups and downs. We broke up and got back together and then did it all over again. But over time we matured and our love matured. He’s my love, my best friend. I can be myself around him. He’s the first one I want to share good news with, and the only one I want comfort from when things are bad. Just being with him makes me feel calm and complete. He can make me happy with a hug and always knows how to make me laugh. He’s a funny guy and has such a good heart. It overwhelms me sometimes how much I love him, and knowing that he loves me just as much in return. I’m happiest when I am with him, and I know he’s the one, and will always be the only one for me.”

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Diana & Ilya,  dramatic bridal hair Jewelry – Bridal Styles New York, photography – Age Images

On a beautiful summer evening, Diana got the surprise of her life!

“We were going to his co-worker’s engagement party. We were driving down the belt parkway and he suggested that we stop at one of the rest areas in Caesars Bay to watch the sunset since we were early and had some time. I kept thinking how it was the perfect setting for him to propose but I knew he wouldn’t do it since we had to go to this other engagement party and it would’ve been rude of us to show up there newly engaged. As the sun was setting in front of us, Ilya got down on one knee, pulled out a diamond ring, and asked me to marry him. I was speechless! His co-worker’s engagement party was a setup! He planned it perfectly and it was the best surprise of my life.

Diana & Ilya,  bridal accessories - Bridal Styles New York, photography - Age Images

Diana & Ilya, photography – Age Images

The following nine months, with the help of their families and bridesmaids, Ilya and Diana worked together to plan their wedding. Everyone’s help must have had something to do with how smoothly the planning went.

“Everyone was surprised how calm I was about everything. My husband and I made all of the decisions together and moved very quickly. We got engaged August 14th, and 2 weeks later we had the venue, band, and photographer. I ordered my dress the first week of October and by the beginning of November the rest of our major vendors were booked. We did nothing until January when I booked the honeymoon (Greece and Turkey) and ordered bridesmaids dresses. In April, two months before the wedding things picked up again. I had my list of things left to do and together my husband and I tackled it. I was so well organized and had such help and support that I never felt stressed.”

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Diana & Ilya, dramatic bridal hair jewelry – Bridal Styles New York, photography – Age Images

Finding her wedding gown and accessories was a breeze for Diana, but that may have had something to do with her mother, who knew exactly what Diana wanted.

“Choosing my wedding gown was an interesting experience. I loved Pronovias wedding gowns, and that was the first place I went to. I saw myself in a sweet romantic gown, with soft flowing material and ruffles. While I was explaining my perfect dress to the salesgirl, my mother was looking through the catalog. All of a sudden she goes “you have to try this dress on!” I look at the picture she was pointing to and thought she had lost her mind. It was nothing like I wanted or described.”

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Diana & Ilya,  heirloom bridal accessories – Bridal Styles New York, photography – Age Images

“I ignored her suggestion since I didn’t like the dress and the salesgirl told us it wasn’t even available to try on because someone had bought the sample gown recently and they hadn’t received a new one yet. After trying on all of my top dresses I still didn’t feel like I found “the dress.” My mother was still upset that I wasn’t able to try on her choice and the salesgirl offered to go check if the dress had been picked up yet. It turns out that it was still in the store and she brought it up for me to try on. As soon as I had it on I was in love with it! I went to a few other stores to try on more dresses but my mind was always on the Pronovias dress. A few weeks later I came back to try it on again just to be sure and loved it even more. We ordered it right away. I guess the saying is true…mama knows best!”

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Diana & Ilya,  unique crystal bridal headband – Bridal Styles New York, photography – Age Images

For her accessories, Diana knew exactly where to go. Twenty years earlier, Diana’s mother visited Bridal Styles Boutique and chose her own headpiece and accessories!

“For my headpiece we went to Bridal Styles. My mom had actually bought her wedding headpiece there 20 years ago. Picking a headpiece was harder than picking a wedding gown! Everything was so beautiful and it was impossible for me to pick my favorite. The salesgirl was wonderful and so helpful. She put my hair up for me so I would get an idea of how the different headpieces would look in my hair on my wedding day. After discarding several headbands, tiaras, and combs we found a winner. It was so beautiful. It was a delicate vine band with crystal flowers and complimented my dress perfectly. I took my dress to CT Couture for alterations. Originally the dress had no embellishments on it and I had wanted to have a crystal belt sown onto my dress, because I felt it needed a little sparkle. When the designer saw my headpiece she had the idea to do crystal vines on my dress instead of the belt, to mimic the headpiece. I was a little skeptical at first but absolutely thrilled when I saw the final result. I was told on my wedding day that I looked magical, and that’s exactly how I felt in my beautiful dress and accessories.

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Diana & Ilya,  bridal accessories – Bridal Styles New York, photography – Age Images

Before anyone knew it, June 4th arrived and with it Diana and Ilya’s wedding day. With an evening poolside candlelit ceremony and reception at Woodbury Country Club planned, their day started early.

“My bridesmaids came to my house in the morning to get ready. We were picked up in the limo and taken to meet my fiancé and groomsmen close by for the first look. It was great seeing Ilya’s face light up with a big smile when he saw me for the first time. He couldn’t stop kissing me and I ended up with lip gloss smeared all over my face! Then we all went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park for picture taking. We got lucky with the weather. Even though it was a little cloudy the temperature was great. After taking a lot of pictures, we got back into the limo and headed to the Woodbury Country Club for the ceremony and reception. Everything was beautiful and we had so much fun. From our wedding favors that were photo coasters printed with various funny and cute pictures of ourselves to our flowers, it was amazing.”

candlelit wedding ceremony, ethereal cathedral length veil, heirloom bridal headpiece and jewelry

Diana & Ilya,  crystal headpiece  – Bridal Styles New York, photography – Age Images

“The most memorable part for me was the ceremony. When I saw Ilya at the end of the aisle waiting for me to walk to him I felt so full of love and joy and I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. During the ceremony we kept looking at each other whispering “I love you.” One of Ilya’s cherished memories is walking into the reception hall and being introduced for the first time as husband and wife. He loved hearing the band call us Mr. and Mrs. Ilya Kats.”

wedding at Woodbury Country Club, whimsical wedding cake, quirky cake topper

Diana & Ilya,  photography – Age Images

With their wonderful, enchanted wedding (and the planning process) behind them, Ilya and Diana have this advice for other couples planning their weddings:

Diana: “Be organized and try to keep calm and not stress yourself out. I think most brides tend to get really stressed the last week over little things like favors and seating cards, but they don’t realize by that point even if they were to do nothing else the wedding can still happen. They need to remember that this day isn’t about the little things, its about marrying the person you love and want to spend the rest of your life with, and that’s all that matters.“

Ilya: “Don’t worry about every little thing, especially at the venue. The people that work there are professionals. They do weddings for a living and they know what their doing. Let them take care of everything so you can enjoy the day to the fullest. And don’t forget to eat!”

spectacular wedding hairband, Swarovski bridal jewelry and hair accessory, New York Bridal Accessory Boutique

Diana & Ilya, spectacular bridal hair jewelry  – Bridal Styles New York, photography – Age Images

Thank you so much for sharing your day with us, and best wishes!
Diana and Ilya’s wedding vendors:

Photography – Age Images
Video – Myther Ganibe
Flowers – Events by Billy Vellios
Band – Douglas and Eddie Entertainment 

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