Russia entered Ukraine on February 24th, 2022 and now in the following days, the country and its people have been faced with acts of violence and terror targeting military and civilian areas. And in those same following days, nearly 4000 Ukrainian couples were married, in hurriedly booked churches, bomb shelters, and even on the front lines, lovers, young and old, wasted no time tying the knot.

With veil, rings, and bouquet in hand, Lesya Ivashchenko and Valeriy Filimonov, both members of the Ukrainian Defense Forces, were married by a military chaplain at a checkpoint the outskirts of Kyiv before preparing to take on Russian Troops. The two had been together for 20 years and have an 18-year-old daughter so why the decision to make a formal commitment? “You never know what’s going to happen,” Filimonov said (Reuters). “We must take as much as we can from life,” Ivashchenko added.

Yaryna Arieva and her partner Sviatoslav Fursin had plans to be married in May with “just us and the river and beautiful light.” Instead they married three months early in St. Michael’s Monastary to the unsettling sounds of air raid sirens. After the couple made their commitment to one another, they prepared to make the commitment to the Territorial Defense Center to help defend their country. “The situation is hard. We are going to fight for our land,” said Arieva. “We maybe can die, and we just wanted to be together before all of that.”

These are just two of the countless brides and grooms experiencing the happiest day of their lives amongst some of the worst.

Two clear love stories emerge in all of this. Intertwined with these couples love for one another is their love for their country. This is poignant reminder that there is no stopping love and the light it brings even in the darkest of times.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice put it best in their statement to the public, “No matter how the enemy wants to destroy and break us, but life goes on.. And a new is born, despite the war. Despite Russia’s armed aggression, Ukrainians do not lose their spirit and strength of faith…”

Everyone at the Bridal Fantasy Group and Love Anthropology express their support for Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, his family, and all the Ukrainians facing violence and persecution in Ukraine.

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