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Love will win. Stories of three couples who got married during the war

Ukrainian couples during the war began to marry more often. Illustrative photo
Читати українською

After the full-scale invasion of Russia, Ukrainian couples began to marry more often.

This is evidenced by the data of Opendatabot. So, from February 24 to May 1, almost 40 thousand couples officially got married. This is about 5-10 thousand more than in previous years.

Socportal asked the three newlyweds to tell why they decided on such a fateful decision right now and how their wedding took place under wartime conditions.

Darina and Sergey

Love will win. Stories of three couples who got married during the war

A couple from Kyiv. They had anarchist views. Some ideas remained close to them. Darina has worked in journalism, advertising, and now IT. Sergey was engaged in the maintenance and repair of electronics and electrical networks. He is originally from Crimea but moved to the capital before Russia annexed the peninsula. After the start of a full-scale invasion, he joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

How long have you been together, and have you thought about marriage before?

Sergey: We have been together for the 13th year. Yes, we sometimes thought about marriage, but it seemed like something expensive and complicated. Especially after 2014, because my relatives are in Crimea. There was no legal need for marriage, so we did not make such plans, except that we dreamed of something interesting.

Darina: I didn’t think much about marriage because they perceived it as a formality. In peacetime, you rarely think about any legal preferences that an official signature gives you.

Why did you decide to get married right now?

Sergey: A long and dangerous separation made me think about the necessity and importance of the procedure itself. And indeed, with the advent of a wedding ring on the finger, something in life has changed. It brings you closer.

Darina: When Sergei left for the east, they decided they needed to get married officially. It's hard to talk about it, but anything can happen there—injury, captivity, death. If there is no official piece of paper, then you are nobody for the state. You will not be able to petition for the return from captivity, bury, get access to intensive care, or take care. These are terrible moments that you never think about in peacetime. And something that LGBT couples are still deprived of.

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So far, Sergei's parents are in the annexed Crimea, so this decision was not even discussed. Of course, there was also an emotional moment. During maximum stress, even with atheistic views, you try to grab onto anything to make it easier to accept the absence of a person and the risks of losing him.

So for me, the engagement ring has become some symbol of protection, that we are next to each other despite everything.

I have him; he has me. Whenever I touch the ring or accidentally notice it on my hand, I remember some pleasant situation from our life together.

How was your marriage? Was there a ceremony? What did the family say?

Sergei: Unfortunately, none of the officers bothered to celebrate for us. Therefore, everything was limited to submitting documents to the legal department and waiting for an official record. Relatives congratulated us on the phone. They were pleased. Next - an exciting walk through the front-line city and the exchange of rings. We didn’t plan this, but you can’t plan anything in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Darina: We did not think and did not sign before the draft board. We advise couples in a similar situation to do this before the military registration and enlistment office. Otherwise, it can be challenging and lengthy. In our case, from the idea: "let's ask someone to do a photo shoot for us and drink champagne at the registry office," everything slipped to submitting documents online through the military command.

But I did not want everything to happen so bureaucratically without our participation. Therefore, I went to Sergei to the east in a front-line city, many kilometers from Kyiv. The command released him in a day. We walked around the empty town. Because of the shelling, many people and all state institutions left.

Our official ceremony was as follows: we exchanged rings on empty, abandoned streets and took pictures in front of the local registry office.

Since the city had a completely different curfew and was dry, the festive table was also the same: pizza with ketchup (mayonnaise + ketchup) and strange sugar cakes, like from the 2000s. But even then we hardly found it, because everything was closed and the locals advised us to go to the bakery. She no longer worked for sales, but the cooks baked the next day. Thank you for this, because the last option was "Mivina" from the stall. But, no matter what, it was a happy day in my life.

Our families congratulated us and even sent gifts on the card, which was nice. But what to take from mothers - they have long dreamed of our marriage.

How do you keep in touch now?

Sergey: By phone, video call. As needed. Here, in the Donbas, communication is abysmal. Dasha makes me happy with postcards in every package. It is enjoyable and touching.

Darina: When there is an Internet connection and Sergey has free time, we correspond, call, and see each other by video. Helmet SMS if the other does not work. We often exchange photos and selfies. It turned out to be very pleasant and vital. I also put a postcard with some words on my soul at that time in every parcel with ammunition.

Everyone hopes to win. Many challenges are ahead, but do you have rough plans for later?

Sergei: We need a vacation. We thought about the Carpathians. It's time, nevertheless, to overcome the rapids of the mountain rivers of the Carpathians. And then I don't know. Maybe it's time to think about the kids and a house where no one is around.

Darina: There will be victory. Otherwise, it is impossible. I want to go back to the life we had. The only thing is that now there will be some corrections to the global plans. Before, there were no particular plans for the future. Now that the war has erased all fears and warnings, you better understand what you want in this life with your loved one.

Victoria and Vladimir

Love will win. Stories of three couples who got married during the war

Since the beginning of a full-scale war, both from Kyiv remained in the capital. The wife is a designer and neurologist; the husband is an engineer. Victoria answered questions.

How long have you been together, and have you thought about marriage before?

We have known each other for nine years and lived together for a year. Yes, they planned marriage, but not this year. We considered cohabitation only as a "test" of marriage from the beginning because I did not prepare for an open relationship anyway. And if we have been together for so long, why not formalize the relationship?

Why did you decide to get married right now?

Firstly, I didn’t know if we would live to see peacetime, but we planned the marriage anyway, so we decided to sign now and celebrate later.

I wanted to have time to do it because no one knew what would happen tomorrow.

Well, and another opportune moment, we are both in Kyiv, and there are military operations nearby; if something happens, then we are not strangers who still have to prove that we lived together, but as a family. And this is very important if the issue of resuscitation, inheritance, funeral payments, etc., arises. Unfortunately, this also needs to be taken into account.

How was your marriage? Was there a ceremony? What did the family say?

There was nothing. It was March 8, and even the closest relatives could not come to us because there was almost no transport. We arrived, submitted the documents, were issued, congratulated, and went home to celebrate.

I didn’t have a dress, but I put on an embroidered shirt, a wreath, a light skirt, a Ukrainian white scarf, and red beads.

I wanted closer to my roots, land, and culture that day. On the way, we bought a cake and sweets and celebrated at home. Unfortunately, there were no rings either, because it was impossible to buy them. The family was a little shocked. They wanted everything to be human, I also wanted it that way, but if we have already decided, that's it.

Has your life changed since getting married?

No, we still lived together, already knew each other well, and I did not notice any changes. I just started joking that I took and took the man to the right place before he ran away. Of course, we both wanted it, but it's just that when I'm under stress, I tend to be more active, so I was the first to talk about it.

Everyone hopes to win. Many challenges are ahead, but do you have a rough plan for later?

Not yet, because of such an extreme experience as a war, I can't imagine what "then" could be like. First of all, it is challenging because of the economic situation. The only thing I plan for later is to buy rings and celebrate the wedding. And I don't even know what will happen in a month.

Darina and Mykyta

Love will win. Stories of three couples who got married during the war

Darina from Kyiv, Mykyta - from the Kirovograd region. Daria is still a student. The couple works together in one of the capital's restaurants. After the start of the war, the girl, along with her mother and younger sister, left Ukraine for three months. Nikita, meanwhile, was engaged in volunteering - the restaurant prepared food for the civilian population and the military. The couple got married immediately after Daria returned to Kyiv. Her relatives are still abroad, so she told her mother about her marriage by sending a photo of the certificate.

Daria answered the questions.

How long have you been together, and have you thought about marriage before?

We've been together for two and a half years. We thought about marriage, and Mykyta proposed to me for the New Year.

Why did you decide to get married right now?

We were planning a wedding this summer. But because of the war, we couldn't have a ceremony. Therefore, we decided now to sign, and next year to get married - with relatives, with friends. There are practical benefits to getting matched now. No need to wait; paint immediately on the spot. This takes a maximum of half an hour.

How was your marriage? Was there a ceremony? What did the family say?

We just went to apply for marriage and did not think it would be so fast. We were sure that we would have to wait a month. And we were asked to paint ourselves right away. So there was no ceremony.

There will be a ceremony next year, on the same date as the painting was this year.

What did the family say? Mom said that it was extraordinary - such a painting. But as it is. Considering the situation in the country, it's normal; let it be.

Has your life changed since getting married?

Nothing has changed in the relationship after marriage because we lived together right from the beginning. In general, nothing has changed—only a stamp. But in general, during the war, relations became warmer because there was a long separation - they did not see each other for three months.

Everyone hopes to win. Many challenges are ahead, but do you have a rough plan for later?

We are already planning a holiday next year, with family and friends. We want great holidays. We are already looking at where this can be organized because I want a good wedding - with a dress, bridesmaids, and many guests.

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