Yana and Jeff’s Modern Winter Wedding

Though the two ended up having several mutual friends and acquaintances, Yana and Jeff’s love story all started with a click!

“We actually met on JDATE! And I knew he was the one because we started out just being friends for a while. We were actually friends before anything, and because we have fun doing absolutely nothing I knew I could spend my life with him. Life’s hurdles have brought us closer than ever… he is my everything. “

Bridal Styles bride Yana and Jeff, photo by Le Muse

Yana and Jeff’s, crystal bridal hair comb – Bridal Styles Boutique, photo – Le Muse Photography

The everyday playfulness Yana cherished was in full effect when Jeff proposed on a February afternoon:

“My husband had two cats before we met. I was never an animal person nevertheless I now had to live with two cats. On a Saturday afternoon he made it a big deal for me to feed them, something I truly didn’t want to do (I dislike them and he knows this). As the cat started to eat, I noticed something clanging against the food bowl. When I bent down to see what it was, Jeff was on one knee behind me. He had gotten a collar made for the cat that said “Will you marry us” and put my ring around!”

Bridal Styles bride Yana and Jeff, photo by Le Muse

Bridal Styles bride Yana and Jeff, photo by Le Muse

Yana and Jeff’, crystal bridal hair accessory – Bridal Styles Boutique, photo – Le Muse Photography

Soon after, Yana and Jeff set the date for Valentine’s Day weekend – February 18, 2012 – almost a year to the day they got engaged. As with every bride, Yana had a lot to do, but she had a secret weapon…her experience planning big events!

“When I was younger I worked as a party entertainer, I have helped plan my brothers wedding, and my nephews celebrations. So, when it came down to planning my wedding I was pretty much ready. I also had a few experienced friends and family members for advice and most importantly my mom. She was my go to person with ideas and was ALWAYS supportive and made me feel like this truly was my special day. I was also very fortunate enough to marry a man who made all my wedding dreams come true.”

Bridal Styles bride Yana and Jeff, photo by Le Muse

Yana, crystal-encrusted bridal hair flower – Bridal Styles Boutique, photo – Le Muse Photography

Right away, the two began preparing for their wonderful, wintry wedding ceremony and reception at Temple of Israel in Lawrence, NY.

“I pretty much had a vision and just went with it. I wanted to have a winter wonderland, something really clean and crisp. I wanted to make this as personal as possible for our guests and us, so I incorporated our monogram into a lot of things and brought in family traditions (I am Russian, my husband is Moroccan and Polish). We made sure to have food and liquor on the tables when everyone walked in, and our wedding favors were monogrammed shot glasses to tie in with the idea. We also had explanation cards of different Russian/Jewish traditions so everyone would know when to scream ‘Gorka’ or say ‘Mazel Tov’! It was such an honor for everyone to attend our event, it was important to us that people to feel welcome. We had a belly dancer for the Moroccan side and a band that played every single genre of music. My husband is also very into hip hop music so we had a special after-hours where we had a DJ come in and turned our wedding into a club/ dessert lounge, it was a great idea. I personalized our hallways with pictures of us and our family and friends. I wanted to thank my bridal party so instead of doing regular programs I designed programs that featured everyone’s pictures and who they were. I just wanted to make the day about us, our families and celebrating our marriage.“

Bridal Styles bride Yana and Jeff, photo by Le Muse

Bridal Styles bride Yana and Jeff, photo by Le Muse

Yana, Jeff and their bridal party, dramatic hair jewelry – Bridal Styles Boutique, photo – Le Muse Photography

Among all the wonderful details Yana and Jeff carefully arranged, one was particularly close to both their hearts:

“My husband lost his father in November of 2010 and I wanted to remember him as much as we could on our special day. I also lost my grandfather earlier in the year and his biggest dream was to see me get married. I wanted to pay a tribute to them so I designed my chuppa to have their Tallis (Prayer Shawl) hanging on top of us. I wanted them to be standing there with us.”

Bridal Styles bride Yana and Jeff, photo by Le Muse

Bridal Styles bride Yana and Jeff, photo by Le Muse

Yana & Jeff, unique bridal headpiece – Bridal Styles Boutique, photo – Le Muse Photography

With wedding plans on a roll, Yana began the search for just the right bridal gown and accessories!

“The way I envisioned myself on my wedding day was to not look different than I normally do. Of course I would be all dolled up, but I wanted to not do things because that’s what a bride is supposed to look like. I kept true to myself and wanted a dress that was dramatic and loud, I chose a Pronovias gown that I then custom made to be what I wanted. I added a one shoulder to match my flowers on the bottom and added a belt. I wanted something classy yet fun and vibrant. My headpiece was something that truly was one of a kind. I waited till the Bridal Styles sample sale, and since my mom was leaving on vacation the following day was lucky to have the guys at the boutique allow me to come to the store on the eve of the sale! I wanted something dramatic and unique, something that stood out and I made mine. My wish actually come true, because I combined two separate pieces and made it my own. I got SO many compliments on my headpiece on my big day. The unique part about is that I can take the two pieces apart and wear it as a comb to another event.”

Bridal Styles bride Yana and Jeff, photo by Le Muse

Yana, crystal bridal hair comb – Bridal Styles Boutique, photo – Le Muse Photography

In the blink of an eye, Yana and Jeff’s wedding arrived…with a wonderful gift from Mother Nature!

“Our wedding day was magical. No one could understand why I chose a day smack in the middle of the winter, but I did it because it was Valentine’s Day weekend and that’s when we got engaged the year before. People asked me if I was scared that it would snow, and I truly wasn’t! But I was so lucky to wake up to a perfect 60 degree day. The day before, I was running around to the absolute last minute at about 9pm I crashed and ran a huge fever. I was hysterical. Thank god my parents had a doctor staying at their home who was attending our wedding! I woke up at 6 am on our wedding day and told myself that whatever happened I was NOT getting stressed out whatsoever because I couldn’t let my fever rise up. I truly think that mentality got me through the day. I took in every single moment. I was so lucky that EVERYTHING went as planned till the after hours finished at 3am.“

Bridal Styles bride Yana and Jeff, photo by Le Muse

Yana & Jeff, elegant crystal hair jewelry – Bridal Styles Boutique, photo – Le Muse Photography

On an unforgettable day, for Yana, one of the best parts was just as she was to walk down the aisle:

“The doors were shut to the temple, my parents were on the other side, and I was standing alone before they opened up for me. I took a deep breath and was truly taken back when they opened. What felt like 1000 cameras started flashing, and everyone was standing just for me. I looked up and saw my husband and just knew this was the most gratifying moment of my life thus far. “

And, like Yana, Jeff loved it all!

“He woke up the next morning asking when can we throw another party like that? I said, never…that was once in a lifetime!”

Bridal Styles bride Yana and Jeff, photo by Le Muse

Yana & Jeff, spectacular crystal hair comb – Bridal Styles Boutique, photo – Le Muse Photography

A few months later, Yana and Jeff have this advice for other couples planning their weddings:

“Step back and think about what you want your wedding day to look like. Whatever your budget may be, as long as you make your day yours and personal, you will enjoy every single moment of it. “

Bridal Styles bride Yana and Jeff, photo by Le Muse

Yana & Jeff, crystal flower bridal headpiece – Bridal Styles Boutique, photo – Le Muse Photography

Thank you for sharing your day with us, and best wishes to you both!

Yana and Jeff’s wonderful wedding day vendors:

Photographer LeMuse from Brooklyn NY

Make up artist: Camille

Hair person: Tanya

Flowers: Metro Florist of Great Neck

Headpiece: Bridal Styles Boutique

Bridal Gown: Wedding Salon in Manhasset

Venue: Temple Israel 

Band: Empyreal Strings

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