virginia weddings

Real Virginia Elopement: Serafym & Agnes

Virginia Bride features weddings weekly here on the blog. Being featured in the blog does not necessarily mean they are featured in the print magazine.

BRIDE: Agnes Dubik, 29, Respiratory Therapist (RT), Senior, Radford University, Bachelor’s, Nursing (BSN), class of 2024

GROOM: Serafym Kashkalov (Sym), 32, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Physician Assistant (PA-C)

DATE: July 3, 2023

VENUE: Bald Knob & Mountain Lake Lodge, Pembroke, Virginia


Many Adventures

The couple met while surfing on Instagram. Agnes messaged Sym about a picture he posted. It was a photo of a famous fruit juice called Kompot, made in most Polish, Ukrainian, and Russian homes. Agnes did not know Sym was from Europe, so seeing him post a picture of this drink sparked her interest. Agnes recalled, “Our text dialogue felt so natural and fun – like we had known each other forever.” After a couple of days of text messaging, Sym initiated a phone call to Agnes, and they both left the discussion feeling something serious and extraordinary would happen in the future.


Sym emigrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from Ukraine when he was 14, and Agnes moved from Poland to Philadelphia at age 18. 

First Date 

On their first date in May of 2020, the couple went to Churchville Nature Center in Pennsylvania. Sym and Agnes enjoyed a picnic while walking along the natural preserve’s trail, and as they reached the water’s edge, they sat on a bench and watched the sunset over the lake. The couple recalled, “It was simple yet so magical!”


On March 9, 2022, Sym proposed to Agnes while vacationing in Las Vegas, Nevada. On the third day of their trip, Sym said to Agnes, “We are going on an adventure; put on some nice clothes and pack a spare bag of clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.” 

Agnes was stunned when they arrived at Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, 30 miles from the Las Vegas strip. She said, “It felt like we were in Spain with all the amazing views and architecture.” 

Sym escorted Agnes to the lake’s bridge, and as they reached the middle, she noticed rose petals on the bridge and heard soft music playing. Agnes stopped momentarily, and after a few deep breaths, Sym was on his knee, ready to propose. Agnes said yes. Sym had hired a photographer to capture the proposal. The couple popped a bottle of champagne and danced to a slow song while the photographer captured their photographic memories. Later, they took a four-mile hike through the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Clark County. Sym and Agnes’ proposal day concluded with a romantic dinner at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant on the Las Vegas strip.

When I asked Agnes what she loved most about Sym, she said, “I love everything about this man.” “Sym is my best friend, soulmate, and the man of my dreams.” “He is the most loving and caring person I have ever met.” “Sym is romantic, thoughtful, ambitious, hardworking, family-oriented, and driven, but also super fun and down for any adventure.” 

Sym said, “Agnes’ care, compassion, and simplicity are the breath of fresh air I have been seeking my whole life.” “Her attitude and desire to help others make me a lucky man.” “I am ecstatic to spend the rest of my life with Agnes.” “Knowing she will be by my side every step of the way makes me want to live another day.”



Agnes wore a Lulus Duchess ivory lace bell sleeve maxi dress. The V-neckline was decorated with contrasting white floral appliques. It had a low back and a princess-seamed bodice with a set-in waist top, and the maxi skirt was figure-skimming with a sexy side slit and a sheer lace train. She wore simple jewelry and ankle-strap chunky heels.


The bride recalled, “I ordered a cute mini bouquet for the occasion.” “On the way to the wedding location, I realized I had left it on the kitchen counter.” After making a quick detour to Kroger for flowers, Agnes made a “moody” bouquet with dark reds and purples, which she relished more than the original bouquet.


The groom wore a light gray suit from Macy’s.


The couple’s civil ceremony took place at the top of Bald Knob, a short hike located behind the Mountain Lake Resort, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the location where the “Dirty Dancing” movie was filmed. Kimberly Roberts was the couple’s officiant. She personalized the wedding script, and the words spoken were inspirational and created lasting memories for the couple. Sym and Agnes wrote their vows and exchanged rings during the intimate ceremony as their photographer, Kassie Reese, took pictures. After the ceremony, the couple enjoyed dinner and drinks at the Mountain Lake Lodge. They invited their photographer to share that intimate time with them because she had graciously helped make their day special.


On July 27, 2023, the couple held a formal wedding at Majestic Elegance Costa Mujeres Resort in Mexico. Their final celebration was held on August 5, 2023, at their home church, St. John’s Cantius, in Philadelphia.


The couple are planning a multi-country trip to Europe in 2024.


The couple said, “When picking vendors, research their work.” “Ensure the vendors match your vision and especially your energy.” “Talk to recently married couples, check out wedding-related Facebook groups, and read vendor reviews.” “Establish a budget and make sure you talk through any big wedding-related purchases.” “We created an email address for all wedding-related communications, and this was honestly one of the best pieces of advice we received early in the planning process!”


Sym said, “Marrying Agnes on top of a beautiful mountain, looking into her eyes, and saying “I do” was one of the best moments of my life.” “The location was stunning.” “I never imagined getting married to the woman of my dreams at a location where an iconic movie was filmed.”


VENUE: Bald Knob, Blue Ridge Mountains, Pembroke, VA

DINNER: Mountain Lake Lodge – @mtnlakelodge

ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER: Reagann Cloey – @reaganncloeyco

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER: Kassie Reese Photography – @kreese_photography

OFFICIANT: Kimberly Roberts 

GOWN: Lulus – @lulus

GROOM ATTIRE: Macy’s – @macys

HAIR: Golden Hour – @goldenhour.roanoke

MAKEUP: @kristenferrellmakeup from @adornsalonroa

FLOWERS: Kroger – @kroger

CHURCH: St. John’s Cantius Church, Philadelphia, PA and Christopher Kuraś – @wedding photography_kuras 

MEXICO VENUE: Majestic Elegance Costa Mujeres Resort – @majesticelegancecostamujeres and The Smiths –

If you are planning a wedding in Roanoke Virginia, Richmond Virginia, Fredericksburg/Northern Virginia, The Shenandoah Valley, Coastal Virginia or in Charlottesville/ Lynchburg Va. we can help with your wedding planning and ideas.

The author: Debra Shepperson

Debra is a native of Virginia, having lived in both Roanoke and Richmond. She is the co-owner of Relish – Say I Do!! Officiant & Photographer. She is an artist who aims to create ceremony scripts and capture photos that evoke positive emotional responses, inspire others, and deliver nostalgia. Debra holds a graduate degree from Virginia Commonwealth and an undergraduate degree from Saint Leo University, Florida. Before gaining more than ten years of wedding-related experience, Debra was a human resource executive. She has been happily married to the co-owner of Relish for more than 20 years.