A Gorgeous & Simple European Elopement in Crimea

Photos from one Russian couple's whimsically small wedding overlooking the sea.

“We love and respect each other and we love nature,” shares the bride. “We are our wedding – without extra tinsel or an entourage. Just two people in love: nothing else.”

Photo: Alexander and Marina Santi

One usually expects business trips to yield career-centered benefits, but for Russian couple Albina Kaziaieva and Vladimir Slastikhin, the rewards were far more personal. “We had studied together, but our first conscious meeting and conversation took place on a work trip in Krasnodar, Russia,” reveals Albina. “Vladimir was so kind and optimistic – and very communicative. I was charmed by his blue eyes and his smile.” The pair was soon an item. When it came time for Vladimir to propose, he decided to do so at a rock concert in the same city where they’d first met, and “on my birthday!” smiles the bride. Immediately, the newly engaged couple knew they didn’t want traditional nuptials. “We were never looking for a big wedding with dozens of people – I realized it would be too complicated for us and our parents,” explains the bride. Instead of a grand affair, they planned a “wedding day just for two.”

During their six-month engagement, they elected to host their special day entirely outdoors. “We focused on the landscapes,” tells Albina. “We wanted to get beautiful photos – just us, the sea, the rocks, and freedom.” On July 29, 2016, the bride donned a flowing light blue gown with off-the-shoulder sleeves, striking crystal earrings, bold cobalt heels, and a colorful headpiece in the style of a twisting vine in preparation for her “I dos.” Vladimir opted for a trendy grey suit with periwinkle accents to match the ensemble of his beloved. Additionally, he carried a bouquet to present to his wife-to-be during their sweet, clifftop “first look” made up of blush, blue, and ivory blooms as well as scattered foliage – complementing his chic boutonniere. 

After snapping many awe-inspiring photos around the mountain, the couple and their photographer headed down toward the sea for the vow exchange. “We stood on the sea cape without an arch – instead, we had the Black Sea and the sky – on the Southwest point of Crimea: nothing else but us and our feelings,” gushes the bride. Following their simple and heartfelt ceremony, the newlyweds treated themselves to a delicious one-tier, chocolate-and-cream-cheese naked cake topped with fresh blueberries and rosemary. Albina advises other brides to “trust the professionals and wear comfortable shoes.” For the new Mr. and Mrs., the day was an idyllic representation of them as a couple. “We love and respect each other and we love nature,” she remarks. “We are our wedding – without extra tinsel or an entourage. Just two people in love: nothing else.” 

See photos from Albina and Vladimir’s elopement below:

Bride in light blue off the shoulder dress standing on cliff in Europe with groom elopement View of Crimea in Europe Russian couple elopementWood ring box and love note in light blue envelope for elopementlight blue boutonniere with greenery for elopementsolitaire diamond engagement ring on calligraphy book elopementCobalt blue suede wedding shoes bridal heels elopementbouquet with peach and light blue flowers with greenery leaves tied with blue lace ribbon elopementLight blue powder blue off the shoulder dress hanging wedding elopementBride with light blue wedding dress baby blue manicure holding card with her name in calligraphy elopementBride in pretty light blue off the shoulder romantic wedding dress elopementLight blue and pink crystal headpiece hairpiece braided updo for elopementGroom in blue hue suit for elopement outdoorsRomantic cliff top elopement in Crimea bride in light blue off shoulder wedding dress groom holding bouquetCrimea cliff top elopement light blue wedding dress bouquet kiss husband and wife elopementBride and groom touch foreheads light blue manicure nails baby blue wedding dress hair updo earringsView of Crimea from wedding ceremony location for elopementBride and groom read letters to each other overlooking the ocean sea on rocks Crimea light blue wedding dressOne layer naked cake with fresh blueberry and rosemary topping elopementBride and groom couple portrait elopement Crimea light blue wedding dress
Photos by Alexander and Marina Santi

Bridal Gown by Dream & Dress; Bridal Stylist: Yulia Pashchenko; Bridal Accessories by White Pearl; Floral & Event Design by Two Bees; Invitations & Calligraphy by Manya Gamaniuk; Cake by Iavka Zusmana

For more wedding inspiration, view real wedding events here. Discover elegant blush bridal gowns, non-white wedding shoes, and see a beautiful soirée for one couple's 30th anniversary and vow renewal