On MAY 7th 2013, surrounded by the surreal, raw beauty of the western deserts, we spoke our vows and joined our lives in marriage. Our witnesses were the eternal faces carved into the desert rocks, our loving dog and two new friends – the photographers who captured in frames the essence of us, the desert and the moment when our universe stood still and quiet to hear our vows and accept our commitment.

We celebrated our love on that day, love tested by time, distance and uncertainty. We remembered how we found each other even though we were at the opposite ends of the world, separated by an ocean and by boarders of no meaning. We remembered our first kiss on a hazy January night, 7 years ago, under the skies of Barcelona. We remembered time spent apart and time spent together, and bitter-sweet rendezvous in cities around the world. Our perseverance rewarded us with our present and promised us our future - a partnership built on trust and kindness, driven by passion and love.

Our lives have long been bound together and so we decided it was time to take a moment and honor each other and our love with a wedding and to express our gratitude for each other in our vows of marriage.

And there, in the western desert, when our universe stood still and quiet, we looked into each other’s hearts and saw the road that lies ahead. We saw our dreams somewhere there in the haze and we saw ourselves – together, walking, holding hands.

We eloped... But it was not without thoughts of you – our family, our friends. Here, virtually, we would like to share with you moments of our wedding day. It is our gift to you. We love you.

Irina & Mahdi

34.009562, -116.167863, Joshua Tree National Park
The Mojave – the most magical wedding venue we could have ever dreamed of! The desert enticed us with its tranquil but undeniable presence, its eternal and strange beauty. The vast horizons and feeling of spaciousness they evoke, we thought, were a good place to stop for a moment and look both ways, to the past and to the future. But we found out that in the desert the past and future merge into the present - the only tense that could ever exist here. The desert commands senses to sharpen and minds to be present, our vows were said in that state of acute awareness. We are grateful to the Mojave for being our host. We know that we’ll be going back there whenever we need to pause and reflect on our journey.

Our photographers were the storytellers from The Image Is Found - Jaclyn and Nate. Having a special bond with the desert themselves they were the perfect people to photograph our wedding. Not only their work is ridiculously amazing but their personalities are wonderful too which was so important since they were the only people who shared this moment with us. We were very fortunate to have had exactly them – creative, professional and overall awesome, document our day. We could tell that they were truly moved by the event too. Thank you, friends! You SEE things. Really.

theimageisfound.com // the portfolios
theblogisfound.com // the latest
theblogisfound.com/personal // the personal stuff
theimageisfound.com/bigwhitebox // the big white box
melovewantneed.tumblr.com // the inspiration


We said our vows under the sounds of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” (the instrumental version). It happens to be “our” song. We didn’t choose it – it chose us. It haunted us everywhere with “wicked” persistence until we simply had no choice but to accept it. This song likes the desert, we thought.

Other tunes we enjoyed on our day:
"I Miss You" // Bjork
"Another Day" // Jimmie's Chicken Shack
"Black Velvet" // Alannah Myles
"Mouthful of Cavities" // Blind Melon
"What I Got" // Sublime
"Manic Depression" // Jimi Hendrix
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" // George Harrison
"Hard To Handle" // Black Crowes
"Dazed and Confused" // Led Zeppelin
"Heartbreaker" // Led Zeppelin
"Holy Water" // Soundgarden
The anthologies // The Beatles
Our favorites // A Perfect Circle
Every known song out there // Pearl Jam
And many, many more...

May we honor each other and be loyal
May our hearts be filled with consideration and respect
May our life together be a journey of exploration
May our union be blessed with laughter and music
May we be one, in love

Note: Mahdi said his vows in Bulgarian! Thank you, you know who!

When we first met that January night in Barcelona, Mahdi gave Irina two dark calla lilies. He managed to keep them alive all the way from Los Angeles. They were left in Barcelona and we never saw them die. Irina left her wedding flowers where the ceremony took place so that they could stay in our memory as they were –elegant and vibrant.

The bands are strong and dark, meant to last, just as the black stone of Irina’s engagement ring which Mahdi gave to her at the Golden Gate Bridge on yet another foggy January day. The trusty dog Luca was the proud ring-bearer. He played his role well and was rewarded with treats and belly rubs.