Stasha and Frank at St. Mary’s Chapel

Have you ever heard of love at first sight?

Well, Stasha and Frank didn’t have that.

They had something much, much better.

“We met in Charlotte several years ago,” Stasha said. “We went on a few dates and decided it wasn’t the right time for us.”

Time marched on, Frank moved to Colorado, and Stasha had her heart broken.

“In 2009, I was displaced from my job of 8 years,” she said. “I was devastated.”

It was time to take stock and do some soul-searching. Stasha headed for her sister’s apple farm up in New York. While Stasha was figuring out her next step, Frank was floating, too.

“He was trying to find the best career decision that suited him,” Stasha said. Frank finally found his fit — he works for the government. Stasha ended up as a a fraud analyst. But those early months were filled with uncertainty… and possibilities.

“While soul-searching, I kept thinking of Frank and he kept thinking of me,” Stasha said. They kept in touch over the months, as friends do, but…

“Both of us felt that something or someone was missing,” Stasha said. “Frank had said he wanted to show me Colorado,” she added. “So I called him up in the summer of 2009, and told him I was coming for a visit after more than four years since our first date. We have been inseparable from the moment our eyes and lips met at the airport in Denver.”

Their love spanned mountain ranges and time zones. But as their love grew stronger, long-distance dating was no longer enough. Stasha planned a move to Denver so she could live closer to Frank. Frank planned to help her move after Christmas.

But then, “mysterious” things began to happen to Frank’s travel plans.

“Frank was traveling to the East Coast to spend Christmas with family when I got the call on Christmas Eve that his flight had been cancelled. He was being rerouted through Charlotte on his way to see family,” Stasha said. Although he was still planning to see her after Christmas to “help her move,” he asked if she could just meet him at the airport outside of security for a quick hug and kiss. He told her after that, he would have to be on his way.

“Frank ended up sweet-talking the airline agent and she ended up changing his flight to Christmas morning at no charge so that he could spend the night with my family in Charlotte.”

Or at least, that’s what he told Stasha. Frank had a Christmas Eve surprise planned, and, better yet — Stasha’s dad helped Frank plan it.”

“Little did I know he was carrying an important piece of jewelry in his pocket,” Stasha said. On Christmas Eve, she was happily chatting with her family and Frank by her family’s outdoor firepit. That’s when Frank gave Stasha the surprise of a lifetime.

Frank went down on one knee and asked Stasha to be his wife.

“I freaked out!” Stasha said. “I hugged him so hard around the neck he almost fell over, while saying ‘Yes, of course!'”

Tickled by her reaction, Frank asked, “Don’t you even want to see the ring?”

“I was so excited I didn’t even see the ring in the box that he was holding open in his hand when he asked,” Stasha said. Three days after their engagement, they drove cross-country to Denver to begin their lives together.

“We made it to Colorado just before the snow on New Year’s Eve,” Stasha said.

With so much family on the East Coast, the couple decided to wed in Charlotte, in an intimate ceremony at St. Mary’s Chapel.

What was Stasha’s favorite thing about her wedding?

“The best thing was all of the love that Frank and I got to share with our family and friends. For some of us, it was our first time meeting,” Stasha said. “It was also a beautiful Carolina Blue fall day. We found out later that it snowed on our wedding day back in Colorado. I’m glad we picked Charlotte for the wedding!”

With Stasha in Colorado, much of the Carolina planning was done by her mom, sister, extended family and friends. So many brides carry “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” For Stasha her “something old” was the delicate bonnet she had worn as a baby.

“The bonnet is sewn with a few strategic stitches so that on your wedding day, it becomes a handkerchief to carry,” Stasha said.

After a lovely ceremony and reception, a lavish honeymoon in Hawaii awaited. “We had a great time snorkeling, swimming, sunbathing and eating,” Stasha said. She and Frank went on a night dive with manta rays and took a helicopter tour of the active volcano and lava fields.

But Stasha’s most special wedding memory was seeing her husband.

“Seeing Frank for the first time when they opened the church doors is a moment I will not soon forget,” she said. “The smile and warm look on his face made me light up inside.”

Photographers: Franklin Adams and Jason E. Miczek for Chuck Eaton Photographers

cake: Tizzerts

flowers: Carolyn Shepard Design Group

gown: Galina Signature – David’s Bridal

shoes: Nine West

tuxedos: Kenneth Cole Reaction – Men’s Warehouse

rings: Diamonds Direct Charlotte – Kat Smith is the best!

hair and makeup: Spa Botanica – Embassy Suites Charlotte/Concord

clergy: Rev. Dr. Patrick Maloy

ceremony location: St. Mary’s Chapel – Charlotte NC

ceremony music: Violin by Christine

DJ: Audio to Go with Rick Hyburg


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About Chuck Eaton

Chuck Eaton is an experienced luxury wedding photojournalist based out of Charlotte, NC and shooting throughout the world. We love what we do and the clients who let us do it. We provide exclusive fine art portraiture and documentary wedding photography while having fun doing it!
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