Nikola Kovalenko, 32, and Stefan Ponova, 31, were married on July 27 in a ceremony on the Brooklyn Bridge. The wedding did not include friends or family members.
“We knew that the family and friends would not be able to join us for the celebration. So we decided to make the ceremony as private as possible just for us, which we did. And we didn't invite any guests or even a photographer,” said Kovalenko.
“At first we were a bit confused because I guess we didn't think it was that special. You know, people get married all the time,” said Kovalenko.
“But then we realized what it symbolizes, and we were reading all those comments under the picture and feeling so much love and support and good energy from friends and strangers alike. And then we realized that in some way we are, I guess, extending our love to everyone else, like including everybody else in the love bubble,” she added.
The two met last June in Colombia and have since traveled the world together, climbing mountains in Patagonia, visiting Egypt and hiking the Inca Trail, said Kovalenko, who is an artist focused on environmental activism.
“We were dancing salsa and we had this amazing connection, but the next morning very early, I already had a bus to go to the next town," she said. "I had jokingly said that if he wants to continue talking, then maybe he could just meet me at the bus station and go with me. When I went to the terminal at 6 a.m., he was already there with a backpack."
On June 26, Ponova proposed and a month later the two married on an “unplanned” day with “no expectations of a wedding day,” said Kovalenko.
The only planned part of the day happened to be the location and the time. The two decided on the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset because they felt like a bridge is great symbolism for their love and life together. The couple and the minister arrived in masks, but removed them for the vows and practiced as much social-distancing from others as possible, said Kovalenko.
As for the future, the two hope to travel soon to celebrate with family in Europe, but for now, they are just enjoying each other.
“First of all, we started with a honeymoon, right? When we have a chance we would like to visit our family because they're so happy for us and they would like to embrace us. We would like to have a bigger celebration when possible and we also will never stop traveling,” said Kovalenko.