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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Self-made millionaire Maria Solodar has £3million wedding ceremony in front of Victoria Falls

Feature LifestyleSelf-made millionaire Maria Solodar has £3million wedding ceremony in front of Victoria...

With sommelier flown in from France, black caviar to every desk and an after party that included white water rafting, it’s no surprise Maria Solodar’s £3million nuptials to Joan Schnelzauer has been dubbed the wedding of the year.

With a picturesque ceremony by the banks of the Zambezi, close to Victoria Fall in Zambia, self-made millionaire bride Maria flew all the food, chefs, pop stars and most guests from her homeland , Russia, to Africa by fleet of private jets for a five day nuptials extravaganza at The Royal Livingstone Hotel.

The internet marketing specialist wed Luxembourg-based international business entrepreneur Joan, 33, and the wines and accompanying sommeliers were delivered from France.

Russian newspaper Komosmolskaya Pravda dubbed it the most expensive wedding of the year.

The web guru began her career selling backpacks on a market in Ukraine, and is now one of Russia’s most spectacular internet success stories.

The five-day event included stag and hen do’s, a dinner with African delicacies, white water rafting, a safari and a huge party with black caviar jetted in from Russia.

The stunning bride wore a Vera Wang outfit for the ceremony before changing into a Zuhair Murad number for the party.

‘Absolutely everything needed to be brought on private jets from Russia to South Africa, from decor to dishes,’ Komosmolskaya Pravd reported.

The Ukrainian-born bride who had forged her meteoric career in Russia boasted: ‘Many said it was the wedding of the century… but I would say it was the adventure of the century.

‘I never wanted a magnificent wedding. I am not about dressing up and putting makeup on, it’s just not my style.

‘I chose one of the first dresses for fitting, and I took the second one without even trying it on.’

‘Making such a holiday out of nothing in a desert is a talent. Even on national holidays in Zambia there was no such scene.’

‘The country refused to let such a big stage in, the kitchen had to wait at the border for three days and arrived only three hours prior to the banquet,’ she said. ‘We brought everything, everything.

‘Food, drinks, chefs… we organised breakfasts with black caviar from Russia, cheeses and the best wine from France, we had sommeliers, cooks, make-up artists, all the guests had their individual styles, every day had its own dress code… the amount of work was heroic.

She later posted online: ‘I knew how important it was for our family.

‘So everything was done for them, in order to unite them all, our family members and friends.

‘This is why we chose such an inaccessible place and also one of the most beautiful that I have ever seen – a safari in the wild, a hotel where zebras, giraffes and roe deer roam freely, and a wonder of the world, the Victoria Falls.’

She said the two families were ‘very down-to-earth and simple’.

The couple reportedly met in Dubai. Guests were serenaded by Russian 1990s band Ivanushki International, along with French stars Helena Segara and Damien Sargues.



  1. Livingstone has the potential to become one of the greatest tourist destinations in the world if only Politicians can listen…imagine 2021 and people don’t even know where Victoria falls is….most people think it’s in South Africa

  2. It was lovely to be invited to this gorgeous wedding. Maria and her partner have been close associates with me for many years. Thanks to them for the honor.

  3. Glad to had a great time and impressed with the beauty of our country. The pictures are indeed breathtaking. Beautiful country.

  4. Good to be given business as a country. but the pictures are so steriotypical of what Africa should look like in a European mind!!

  5. Its a good thing they stayed for 5 days and tried African cuisines ..the question is … is local economy benefiting? Is the money all going to Minors Hotels who own The Royal Livingstone given that these are £600 package per night stays. There will be more of these and Livingstone need to maximise revenue opportunities from these events and ceremonies.

  6. Kansuswa, it was not 3 million USD it was Pounds (USD $4.1 million) as you said what did Zambia get out of it? a few crumbs , the Russian press even said Vic Falls was in South Africa, can’t see why a Russian kitchen was needed as the Royal Livingstone has a state of the art kitchen and chefs , what’s wrong with our chefs from Lusaka or Livingstone contracted for a week from other hotels, even the food why fly it in , could be bought local except for caviar and the wines, however SA wines are better than French wines anyway, wonder if all these foreign workers had work permits? So how much of that 3 million pounds really stayed in Livingstone -10,000 pounds??? and the press said we had Roe deer no they are impala which are not a deer, as for PR promoting Zambia they said it was in…

  7. They said it was in South Africa. She even said her and her family were simple people, well if that was true why didn’t she make a donation to a local school or hospital to help locals, she can afford it, She is just a selfish bit%&. This Russian woman is probably one of those Russian internet scam people that hacks your pc .

  8. These people are the most embarrasing in life ever born. How totally pathetic can you ever become still? Kaizer Zulu should know, he is definitely the reference and materialistic nobody of these absolute low life’s in our world and local region..totally insignificant in the story of
    human life at large and they are totally capitalistic clowns with no sense of feeling with the country and their people they are visiting at all while indulging themselves in deplorable and lavish riches even when they come themselves from one of the poorest countries of the world. You really need to feel pity for them. Total nobodies in life since ever and surely for the very long future. Style is never out of fashion xxx Enjoy your wedding but please stay humble at all times and respect what you are…

  9. cosmos – That’s how Zambia is robbed by RSA because you are sleeping …even Chefs, food and mineral water was flown in probably from RSA

  10. You upnd f00Is in diaspora don’t be jealous. Its not my fault you are poor there abroad. You thought voting in your fellow t.0.n.g.a would make you a millionaire overnight? Hahaha .

    Remember those days you accused me of having a Russian girlfriend. What do you think I was doing? I was busy doing big business moves and making connections to people like my good friend Maria. I was at the wedding and it was the best wedding I have been to in a while


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