- Daria Sokol and Anton Topikha got married at Top of the Rock with $40 admission tickets.
- The couple, from Ukraine, then flew to Italy for a second celebration with their families.
- Sokol wore two dresses, which Sokol’s mother took with her when she fled Ukraine in February.
A Ukrainian couple living in New York got married atop Rockefeller Center in May. Three hours later, they boarded a plane for Italy for a second wedding to a family who fled the recent invasion.
Daria Sokol, a 29-year-old travel blogger known by the social media handle @daria.newyork, told Insider she met her partner, Anton Topikha, 34, when she moved to New York City there. is three years old, after moving from the Ukraine to Washington, DC. Topikha has lived in the United States for more than 20 years, Sokol said, although he still has family in Europe.
Sokol shared a video of the ceremony with his 20,000 Instagram followers on May 3, writing in the caption that they chose the Top of the Rock because it’s the “best view in the world.” She wore a long-sleeved wrap dress by Russian designer Vesna Wedding, and the groom wore a navy blue suit.
Sokol said her parents weren’t able to get US visas when she started planning the wedding last year, so they initially wanted to have her in Italy – until they realized how much paperwork would be involved. According to the Weddings in Tuscany website, U.S. citizens getting married in Italy must have an affidavit from the U.S. consulate in Italy, as well as a sworn affidavit from the Italian consulate in the United States or an Italian court.
The couple ultimately decided to have the legal ceremony in New York, before traveling to southern Italy the same day, Sokol said. Their second wedding ceremony and reception took place in Sorrento later in the week, Sokol told Insider. They had about 34 guests.
The couple got married with a witness and a photographer
Sokol said it was important to her not to have a courthouse wedding, which she said would have been a “dark picture”.
“I wanted something really pretty and I love New York a lot,” she said. “My husband too, so getting married in front of all these beautiful buildings in the city was very special.”
Besides their wedding officiant, the couple had only one guest at the wedding, a close friend and photographer known by the Instagram name @ivanshatokhin.
The couple, their officiant and their best man each purchased a $40 general admission ticket for the observation deck. Sokol told Insider that they didn’t have to pay extra to hold the wedding there, nor did they notify the building in advance.
“I wouldn’t imagine you could bring a whole party there, but there were only two of us, plus a witness and a photographer,” she said. “We didn’t bother anyone”
Sokol says the first thing her mother packed when she fled Ukraine was her daughter’s wedding dress
On June 14, Sokol shared a video on Instagram of her father walking her down the aisle at her second wedding at Villa Zagara Sorrento, a historic villa in Sorrento, Italy.
She wrote in the caption that she was unsure whether her parents, who are in their 60s, might be present when Russia declared war on Ukraine on February 24.
She told Insider that when her parents decided to flee Ukraine on the fifth day of the invasion, they packed a bag of essentials, including Sokol’s second wedding dress, a strapless A-line dress, also from Vesna Wedding. Sokol said the dress was ordered online and delivered to her parents’ home in Kharkiv before the war started.
“The decision to leave was made very quickly because they didn’t know if they should stay or leave – people were being shot,” Sokol said, noting that his mother had told him they had no idea. Only 30 minutes to pack.
As for important items, Sokol’s mother thought of two dresses: Sokol’s wedding dress and her own wedding dress. Sokol said her mother exclaimed that “your wedding dress was the first thing we took with us.”
Sokol’s parents now live with her in the United States. She said that although they are grateful to be safe, it has been difficult to adjust as they do not speak English. They had to “start their lives over from scratch”.
“We are very happy that everything went well and that they are safe,” Sokol said. “That’s the most important thing.”