ONCE UPON A TIME: For the first Russian Imperial wedding in more than a century, the newly crowned Princess Victoria Romanova Romanoff (formerly known as Rebecca Bettarini), exchanged her vows in a gown designed by Reem Acra.
The bride chose a silk duchess Mikado ballgown with covered buttons on the sleeves and an embroidered cathedral-length train for her wedding to Grand Duke George Mikhailovich at Saint Isaac’s Cathedral in Saint Petersburg, Russia. She found and bought the Reem Acra gown (the model is called “Captivating”) at a store in Russia, a spokesman for the designer said.
A spokesperson for the designer said, “This dress is a classic that is made to give a nod to the purity of the symbolism of marriage. It is made and assembled in New York City with European fabrics, a combination of two worlds.”
The princess changed into a second Reem Acra dress for the reception, according to the designer’s spokesman. The embroidered gown with beads and crystals, named “Mesmerized” by the brand, requires a couple of hundred hours of work and 10 people to complete. The company declined to comment on the retail prices for the Mesmerized and Captivating gowns, since executives were uncertain in which stores they were purchased.
The couple had officially wed on Sept. 24 in Moscow. For that occasion, the bride wore a dove gray ensemble with gold-colored embroidery on the flounced ruffle designed by Chiara Boni, the designer behind La Petite Robe label. Boni, who is celebrating her career of 50 years, helped Bettarini interpret what she wanted, which was to celebrate sensibilities from Italy and Russia, a spokeswoman for the designer said.
The duke is a great grandson of Emperor Alexander II of Russia. Befitting a Russian royal celebration, the newlyweds reportedly donned Fabergé wedding rings and a Chaumet tiara. Businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as Russian President Vladmir Putin’s chef, oversaw the banquet meal. Friday’s reception was held at the St. Petersburg Ethnographic Museum and the merriment is expected to stretch into Saturday with a post-wedding brunch at Konstantinovsky Palace.
Bettarini is director of the Russian Imperial Foundation, as well as a writer who uses her given name and the pseudonym Georgina Perosch.