Ukrainian refugees marry amid photos of absent relatives and friends: Parents stayed to fight

The two Ukrainian refugees who fled the war crowned their dream of love by getting married in England. Absent family members and friends who attended through photos in a room decorated with Ukraine’s symbol flower, the sunflower.

By Chiara Ammendola

Mariia and Vitalij, two young Ukrainians who fled the war last spring, leaving behind relatives and friends, have found refuge in England. Those same loved ones who on their wedding day could not attend the ceremony because they remained in Ukraine. And so the newlyweds decided to honor them and, above all, try to feel close to them through their photos.

Inside Hedsor House in Buckinghamshire, England, the two filled the room with chairs, placing a picture of an absent relative or friend on each one. To beautify whole sunflowers, a symbol of Ukrainian national identity. Accompanying them on this momentous day were their mothers who managed to join them, while the fathers who stayed to fight were absent. And so Mariia, 23, managed to marry her boyfriend Vitalij Melynik, 27, after an engagement that started when they were still very young.

The two were supposed to get married in Ukraine in June, but the Russian invasion destroyed all plans and forced them to flee, leaving their loved ones behind. And so, after crossing Poland, the young woman arrived in England, where Vitalij had already been living for some time: he was working in London and it wasn’t too complicated for him to receive his beloved.

“I didn’t think there was going to be a war, nobody believed it, on the contrary, it started. There was a lot of help from the Polish people, a very big help – says Vitalij – here Mariia started working as a cleaner at the home of Hamish Shephard, founder of Bridebook, one of the main wedding planning apps”.

And he was the one who organized everything, providing the bride and groom with an (almost) fairytale wedding. No gifts for the two, but only donations to the Red Cross in the war-torn country.

Source: Fan Page IT