Seem like gibberish to you? Yup, it did to me too, but the phrase above is how you say “congratulations” in Russian. It is pronounced “paz-drav-lya-yoo” and I had plenty opportunities to say it (or at least try to say it) at Tonya and Joshua’s wedding.
Years ago, Tonya and her family immigrated to the United states from Russia. She was only 15 years old at the time. Despite being a world a way from the only place she knew as home and struggling through a language barrier, Tonya excelled at her schooling. She graduated at the top of her class from Virginia Tech University and earned a degree in engineering. From there, she went on to work at NASA, where she met her prince charming, Joshua (notice the the cake topper they choice to symbolize the gneiss of their relationship?).
The two were instantly inseparable, both smitten by the other. And a few years after they began their love journey, Joshua asked Tonya to be his bride. And that brings us to this day: their beautiful wedding at the Sun Crest Manor.
Photographed by Heather Chesky for George Street.