It’s not often that a pair of sisters gets to share their wedding days with one another, but for Marta and Sasha Varashkevich, it was the obvious choice. Both of the girls were born and raised in the Eastern European country of Belarus, moving to America in young adulthood.
While attending college in Minsk in 2005, Marta first met and fell in love with Yauhen Biazushka. “We were dating and breaking up off and on… really just trying to be friends for more than 7 years,” Marta tells. “After we graduated, I moved to Italy to get my Master’s degree and Yauhen moved to California. After almost a year of emailing, mailing, texting, and calling each other, we were able to reunite in Los Angeles – [it was clear] we wanted to be together.” When it came time for his proposal, Yauhen rented a boat for a day at sea to set the stage for his surprise. Marta was curious when her boyfriend installed a small camera on the boat, as it wasn’t whale-watching season, but “I was too happy and too busy enjoying the moment, so I didn’t ask him anything.” It wasn’t until her beloved was on bended knee that she realized the camera was to record the special moment. She adds, “I said, ‘YES!’”
Meanwhile, Marta’s younger sister Sasha was working at one of the Walt Disney World resorts when she first laid eyes on William “Dylan” Hamlett, a fellow employee. Instead of phone numbers, the two exchanged email addresses and began corresponding online, though there was no denying the spark between them – they struck up a romantic relationship soon after. Some time later, Sasha and Dylan took a weekend trip to Miami for a quick couple’s getaway. “The first evening, we went out to a restaurant and he proposed right in the middle of dinner,” beams Sasha. “It was very romantic… lots and lots of flowers!” They returned to Orlando blissful as can be: officially an engaged duo.
After making the decision to combine their nuptials, the sisters set out to create the perfect wedding that would fit the style and taste of four different people. “I wanted to have a private wedding that nobody had access to,” Sasha remarks. Adds Marta, “When my sister found our venue, we realized that it was the perfect place for her and her fiancé, as well and for my fiancé and me.” With help from their planner, the ladies designed an elegant, intimate summer wedding space for themselves, their grooms, and their 50 guests.
Marta and Sasha’s father walked both women down the petal-lined aisle separately, connecting them with their respective sweethearts on either side of a wooden arch adorned with verdant vines and soft orange and ivory roses. As Dylan is American-born and the brides’ parents don’t speak any English, the entire ceremony was in two languages. After kissing their new spouse, the four newlyweds and their nearest and dearest traveled only a few steps to the sweet reception space. Round tables were bedecked with clean, white linens topped with opulent, patterned china, as well as simple, low floral arrangements made up of alabaster, purple, pink, and orange blooms so as not to distract from the breathtaking view of the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
The “sweethearts” table featured the same pastel perennials as their ceremony arch, and rested underneath a towering frame – complete with winding greenery throughout – that suspended three crystal chandeliers of varying sizes over the four smiling newlyweds. Guests were treated to an incredible meal that included crab sliders, grilled shrimp salad, and homemade cheese ravioli, followed up by a lively party that lasted well into the night. When addressing what they might have done differently, both sisters agree that starting the event earlier to leave more room for dancing would have been their only change – otherwise, their nuptials were everything they hoped they’d be.