Q&A: Kristina Kutsitaru and Sergei Vasilenka on hosting their beautifully rustic wedding at The Doctor’s House

Q&A: Kristina Kutsitaru and Sergei Vasilenka on hosting their beautifully rustic wedding at The Doctor’s House

Photography by Sergei Fedorov

SEO specialist Kristina Kutsitaru met her husband, Sergei Vasilenka, a manager at a BMW dealership, in the summer of 2018. But it took a couple of pushes from the universe for them to connect: Kristina, who had emigrated from Russia less than two years prior, was working part time as a medical consultant, and had a client—the wife of one of Sergei’s good friends—come in for a few meetings. They got to chatting about their personal lives, and when the client realized Kristina was single, she tried to set her up with Sergei, showing her pictures on Facebook. At the time, Kristina was too busy for a relationship, and declined the offer. But a few months later, she downloaded a dating app on a whim and Sergei’s face was one of the first profiles to pop up. She thought it must be fate, and after matching, agreed to go out with him. They ended up going on five dates in one week, and were engaged seven months later. Here, they share their nuptial story.

Tell us about expectation versus reality on that first date.

Kristina: I was only slightly curious, so I chose a restaurant near my house so I could sneak out and walk home after. But there was an instant attraction. We ended spending over three hours together, laughing, talking and sharing stories about our families and childhoods. He’s originally from Belarus, so we had a lot in common. After, he offered to walk me home. He was a total gentleman and his manners really impressed me.

Sergei: I had no idea my friend had already tried to set us up, and was pleasantly surprised when I first saw her. She was exactly the type of person I imagined being with: funny, humble and smart.

How did you become engaged?

Sergei: I knew I wanted to marry her after our first month together, and proposed after seven months. I wanted to create a romantic, memorable surprise.

Kristina: He picked me up from my house and wouldn’t tell me where we were going. We ended up at Billy Bishop airport and took a helicopter ride over downtown Toronto. After, he took me to the CN Tower’s restaurant. That’s when I kind of started to suspect something. For the final part of the night, we drove to a lighthouse on the lakeshore, climbed over the barrier and sat on the rocks. Somehow, Sergei was able to smuggle a bottle of champagne with him, and that’s when he got on one knee and asked me to marry him.

How did you decide on The Doctor’s House?

Kristina: I was never one of those girls who had been planning their wedding their whole lives. We both agreed that we didn’t want to have a typical banquet hall wedding in the city, and started looking at wineries and barns outside of Toronto. But there was always something missing. After spending a few weekends driving around Ontario, we finally remembered The Doctor’s House in Kleinburg, a town we love. It was the perfect blend of rustic and elegant. There was a country feel, but with stylish details. When I saw the chapel, I thought, Oh my god, I have to get married here. We also loved the gorgeous outdoor gardens with a gazebo, which were perfect for cocktail hour and photographs. A bonus was that it’s close to Toronto and an easy drive for guests.

Sergei: We wanted something rustic and classic but not too obnoxiously posh. We didn’t realize we could have everything we wanted so close to Toronto, which is why we were originally looking farther away.

Tell us about your vision for the day.

Kristina: We definitely wanted to have one location for all wedding-related activities. We were able to book the chapel, a suite to stay in overnight and rooms for the groomsmen and bridesmaids to get ready. We loved having access to the garden, too. We wanted our guests to be entertained throughout, so we hired a trio of musicians and caricaturists for cocktail hour. In terms of aesthetics, we wanted something elegant and not too over-the-top. Ultimately, we created a cozy, classy atmosphere, and since we only had 95 guests, the Garden Room, with its private patio, was the perfect intimate setting. All our guests told us it was one of the most beautiful weddings they’d ever been to.

Standout moments?

Sergei: Our parents prepared a special Slavic bread and salt ceremony for us. It’s an old tradition where parents welcome newlyweds into their families by getting the couple to split a piece of bread, dip it in salt and feed it to each other. The idea behind it is that it’s meant to be your last salty or bitter experience as a couple.

Kristina: I loved when the traditional wedding ceremony was finished and we got to ring the chapel’s bell. That was a really special experience.

To learn more about hosting a wedding at The Doctor’s House, visit thedoctorshouse.ca.