Anya and Todd Tallon didn’t let Covid cancel their September wedding ceremony, where their blended families came together to celebrate the couple. Anya, a Ukrainian neurologist, USA- certified First Surgical Assistant, and Todd, founder and CEO of Vac2go,
were married at Duncan Memorial Chapel in Crestwood, followed by a nautical reception aboard the
CQ Princess Yacht at Captain’s Quarters.
The couple met through Match.com.Todd, a 25-year Louisvillian, offered to shovel the snow from Anya’s driveway, and she declined since she didn’t know him well enough at the time. Instead, the couple met two weeks later for lunch, Anya, who moved to Louisville in 2006, says.
The couple’s wedding was a little unusual compared to normal wedding standards. It was on a Sunday morning, the date and the time were the same (9/20 at 9:20 a.m.), because the bride says, “The sixth (9+2+0+2+0+2+0=15=1+5=6) is considered a symbol of love.” Anya was looking for churches to have their wedding in when she found the perfect chapel online; she saw it, smiled, and said to her husband, “This is the one!”
Even though there was no budget for the wedding, much of the decor was DIY, says the bride. For example, the wedding cake had roses from the couple’s yard that their toddlers trimmed throughout the summer. Anya’s favorite moment from the ceremony was Todd’s intimate vows and his garter dance from the reception. “I don’t think anyone expected Todd to say the most personal, romantic and sweet vows,” Anya says. “And the Chippendales dance he performed to remove the garter from my leg was hysterical.”
Anya’s 92-year-old Ukranian grandmother, Lyudmila wasn’t able to be present for the ceremony, but she did send the couple a small exact replica of a Byzantine icon to have at the chapel. Anya’s aunt Svetlana made garters for the bride to wear, and Anya’s mother gave her a lace nightgown to wear on the wedding night. There was a wine ceremony at the church to include both of the couple’s parents into the wedding, while Anya’s 13-year-old son Nikolai lit up candles for the unity candle ceremony.
A funny moment during the ceremony which everyone loved was when their little boys walked hand-in-hand down the aisle. Two-year-old Roman was dragging four-year-old Alexander, but Alexander was obeying by the rules to walk as slow as possible. It was a power struggle so difficult that Roman’s pants almost fell down on the ground, Anya laughs.
There were many things the couple would’ve done differently if not for a global pandemic. Looking back, the bride, who didn’t want to have large wedding in the first place, would’ve liked to have candles down the aisle and around the chapel. The fashionista would’ve also preferred to have more wedding outfits for her to change into at different parts of the day. The CQ Princess Yacht was a luxurious touch to the day, but the bride would have liked to have rented it for a longer period of time and invited more family and friends to dance on the river.
Anya has much advice for future brides, including:
No matter what, find a wedding planner. “Planning a wedding is exhausting,” she says. “I had NO Idea what I was getting myself into and how expensive everything is. I knew nothing, I called four wedding planners, only one called me back and said they were not available. I should have kept looking, but instead I ended up going to Hobby Lobby by myself."
Find a florist that delivers your arrangements outside of the 9-3 work day. “Todd, my mom and I delivered our own flowers the night before the wedding, minutes before the chapel was closed down,” she says.
Do not be afraid to bargain at a wedding boutique.
Do not use the dry cleaners as a seamstress for your wedding dress. “When I dropped off the dress for alterations, I received one price; upon picking it up, they doubled the cost of it,” she says. After your dress is tailored be certain it fits you properly.
Don’t use a private jeweler for your wedding rings. “You can’t exchange a ring if you don’t like it,” she says. “The rings are considered to be custom made for you.”
If you want something unusual for your wedding, start searching months prior to your date. "I wanted to have my naturally curly hair, but it was a struggle to find a hairdresser that could work with curls," she says.
Rent a limousine. “My girlfriend kept pushing me towards it, and I thought I didn't need it; I can live without it,” she says. “I agreed four days prior to it, and it was the best thing ever.”
If you are not able to go for a honeymoon right after the wedding, go somewhere for your wedding night. "We chose the Omni," she says.
Try to have support, people you can rely on. "I am very lucky that by September, the USA wasn’t on lockdown and my parents were able to be present at the wedding," she says. "Also, my bridesmaids offered a lot of help. I do wish the rest of my family could attend though."
Don’t take “no” for an answer. “Do what your heart and intuition tell you,” she says.
All in all, Anya and Todd had a beautiful day. “Todd was the one wanting the wedding to be special," she says. "For years, he talked about the importance of having a formal wedding, and somehow I didn’t believe it. In the end, he made the wedding day very special for me, and I hope it was just as special for him.”
Jolea Brown at Creative Photography, LLC
Kay Rountree at Kay Rountree Videography, LLC
Duncan Memorial Chapel at Crestwood, KY
The CQ Princess Yacht at Captain’s Quarters
Bride, her mother and her maids of honor
Bride’s garden and Country Squire Florist
Rebecca’s Wedding Boutique
Jill Milby at Sola Salon
Kathy Moberly at Faces by Kathy
Classical Choice at the chapel: Harp, violin and cello played; DJ Xavi at the yacht