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VOW S

Oksana Katsuro and Douglas Hopkin s

By LOIS SMITH BRADY

ST January, when Oksan a A Katsuro first encountered Douglas Hopkins, she wa s

living and working in Obminsk , Russia, and dreaming of an es - cape . Ms. Katsuro, who is 26 and nearly six feet tall, with butter- scotch-color hair, was earnin g the equivalent of $20 a mont h designing computer programs t o

(track nuclear materi als a tagov-

While he said her message s were funny and full of "the pro- verbial Russian soul," he imag- ined her as "in her 40's and rath- er drab-looking ." "Beautiful women generall y have an ego, and there was noth- ing like that in her letters," h e said . "Then, one day, she ver y modestly asked if I wanted t o take a look at her home page. I was shocked! It was like opening a Ford model book . So I lost n o

. I went toRussiaas

timeat all

ernment ins titute . She

occupie d

a tiny dormitory room there, an d

like most people she knew, sh e barely scraped by financially.

mostly ate potatoes fro m

my mother and my sister's gar - dens," she said . "Sometimes, m y mom went to the forest an d picked mushrooms and marinat-

quickly as I could

. Many people tried to talk hi m out of going . "My whole family thought I was nuts," he said . "M y father said, 'Mark my word , someone will do harm to you i n the Moscow airport.' " The couple spent four days to- gether in Russia in April . On the

"I

MANHATTAN, NOV . 6 Top, the bride and bridegroom at a friend's loft , where they were married . Above, young guests at the reception .

having worked as a fashion photographer i n New York and as a volcanologist for th e National Aeronautics and Space Administra- tion, climbing and measuring erupting volca- noes . Ten years ago, he started Douglas Hopkin s & Company, a perfume maker based in hi s wood-panel duplex on the Upper East Side . Many of his products are inspired by reme- dies dating back centuries and are package d like perfumes in a Parisian apothecary . (H e describes his perfume Zazou as "the Califor- nia scent with a hint of sanity ." ) By e-mail, Ms . Katsuro and Mr . Hopkin s discussed aromatherapy, computers, volca- noes and her former marriage, which ended i n divorce three years ago . "Sometimes, I got six letters from Doug a day," Ms . Katsuro said . " I spent all my weekends reading and writing ."

ed them ." Eating in a restaurant severely stretched her budget. Starting a family was out of the question . "Even my girlfriends who are married don' t have children because they can't afford it, " she said . At the institute, Ms . Katsuro spent a lot o f time exploring the Internet, sometimes con- versing with Americans on One & Only, a n international matchmaking Web site . Then she began corresponding regularly with Mr . Hopkins, who was fascinated to find highl y educated Russian women on the site, includ- ing a laser physicist and a lawyer . "Tens o f thousands of Russian women are on the Inter - net trying to leave and better their lives, " observed Mr . Hopkins, who at 53 was eager t o marry and settle down. In person, he is reed thin, beautifully spo- ken, Old World in his tastes and unorthodox . He switches careers often and gracefully,

second day he proposed mar- riage, and she accepted . On the third day, they kissed for the first time . I n June, he went back with an engagement ring . "Russians have no hope," he said . "They really don't believe in tomorrow at all . Bu t when I gave Oksana the ring, I could see in he r eyes that she believed ." In August, she moved to New York, and o n Nov . 6, they were married in a civil ceremon y in a friend's antiques-filled Manhattan loft . The bride, who wore a white dress as short as a tennis outfit, hopes to become a mothe r soon. "I'm proud of myself, that I managed to do this, that I had the energy and courage, " she said . "My father, who died a year and a half ago, taught me that we are born in order to bring up our children and give them all th e knowledge and education we can. So, for me, it's like I'm doing what I was supposed to do . I'm on the right road ."

THE NEW YORK TIMES WEDDINGS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 1999

ST

J,~ef Greeie'r "

plan and John Goodwin

retailing ex- in Framingham . Her mother is a n ed today to accounting assistant for B . J .' s music direc- Wholesale Club in Natick, Mass . oral Society . Mr . Kaplan, 46, is also the musi c mb, an inter- director of the Westchester Concert [ciate at the Singers . He graduated from Maca - k. Lester College and received a mas- k, when they ter's degree in choral conductin g

ty, the bride from the University of Iowa . He is a idegroom as doctoral candidate in music at th e r. The bride University of Illinois at Urbana -

p.

keeping her He is the son of Ann Daly Goodwi n indising vice and John A . Goodwin of Milltown , for Ann Tay- Wis . His mother, a former editoria l store chain . writer for The St . Paul Pionee r p ith College Press, is writing a hook about th e Barbara and foster children the family has take n

'ramingham, in . His father retired as an editor fo r retired, was The Minneapolis Star .

[nison Manu-

ply company riage ended in divorce .

The bridegroom's previous mar -

Champaign .

Suzanne Palitz And Joel Bauman

Dr . Suzanne L . Palitz, a clinica i psychologist, and Dr . Joel S . Bau- man, a geriatrician, were marrie d last evening by Rabbi Albert Axelrad at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Bos- ton .

Dr . Palitz, 38, will continue to us e her name professionally . She has a

ryde Brown

rnke

practice in

also on the staffs of Beth Israel Dea -

Brookline, Mass ., and i s

coness Medical Center in Boston an d

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vows

Oksana Katsuro and Douglas Hopkin s

By LOIS SMITH BRAD Y

I AST January, when Oksana Katsuro first encountered

While he said her message s were funny and full of "the pro- verbial Russian soul," he imag- ined her as "in her 40's and rath -

ur riroh-lrn

inn "

9

November 21, 1999

VOWS

Oksana Katsuro and Douglas Hopkins

Related Articles

Slide Show

Vows

By LOIS SMITH BRADY

Last January, when Oksana Katsuro first encountered Douglas Hopkins, she was living and working in Obminsk, Russia, and dreaming of an escape. Ms. Katsuro, who is 26 and nearly six feet tall, with butterscotch-color hair, was earning the equivalent of $20 a month designing computer programs to track nuclear materials at a government institute.

She occupied a tiny dormitory room there, and like most people she knew, she barely scraped by financially.

"I mostly ate potatoes from my mother and my sister's gardens," she said. "Sometimes, my mom went to the forest and picked mushrooms and marinated them." Eating in a restaurant severely stretched her budget. Starting a family was out of the question. "Even my girlfriends who are married don't have children because they can't afford it," she said.

children because they can't afford it," she said. Aaron Lee Fineman for The New York Times

Aaron Lee Fineman for The New York Times

Okasana Katsuro and Douglas Hopkins meet their guests at a friend's loft, where they were married. Katsuro, who lived in Russia, met Hopkins on an international matchmaking Web site. Slide Show (6 photos)

At the institute, Ms. Katsuro spent a lot of time exploring the Internet, sometimes conversing with Americans on One & Only, an international matchmaking Web site. Then she began corresponding regularly with Hopkins, who was fascinated to find highly educated Russian women on the site, including a laser physicist and a lawyer. "Tens of thousands of Russian women are on the Internet trying to leave and better their lives," observed Hopkins, who at 53 was eager to marry and settle down.

In person, he is reed thin, beautifully spoken, Old World in his tastes and unorthodox. He switches careers often and gracefully, having worked as a fashion photographer in New York and as a volcanologist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, climbing and measuring erupting volcanoes.

Ten years ago, he started Douglas Hopkins & Company, a perfume maker based in his wood-panel duplex on the Upper East Side. Many of his products are inspired by remedies dating back centuries and are packaged like perfumes in a Parisian apothecary.

(He describes his perfume Zazou as "the California scent with a hint of sanity.")

By e-mail, Ms. Katsuro and Hopkins discussed aromatherapy, computers, volcanoes and her former marriage, which ended in divorce three years ago.

"Sometimes, I got six letters from Doug a day," Ms. Katsuro said. "I spent all my weekends reading and writing."

While he said her messages were funny and full of "the proverbial Russian soul," he imagined her as "in her 40's and rather drab-looking."

"Beautiful women generally have an ego, and there was nothing like that in her letters," he said. "Then, one day, she very modestly asked if I wanted to take a look at her home page. I was shocked! It was like opening a Ford model book. So I lost no time at all. I went to Russia as quickly as I could."

Many people tried to talk him out of going. "My whole family thought I was nuts," he said. "My father said, 'Mark my word, someone will do harm to you in the Moscow airport.' "

The couple spent four days together in Russia in April. On the second day he proposed marriage, and she accepted. On the third day, they kissed for the first time. In June, he went back with an engagement ring. "Russians have no hope," he said. "They really don't believe in tomorrow at all. But when I gave Oksana the ring, I could see in her eyes that she believed."

In August, she moved to New York, and on Nov. 6, they were married in a civil ceremony in a friend's antiques- filled Manhattan loft.

The bride, who wore a white dress as short as a tennis outfit, hopes to become a mother soon. "I'm proud of myself, that I managed to do this, that I had the energy and courage," she said. "My father, who died a year and a half ago, taught me that we are born in order to bring up our children and give them all the knowledge and education we can. So, for me, it's like I'm doing what I was supposed to do. I'm on the right road."

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