Exclusive: Lana discusses her magical wedding to Rusev
Lana and Rusev are a true WWE love story. The Ravishing Russian and The Bulgarian Brute tied the knot after a year-long engagement on Friday in Malibu, Calif., and WWE.com caught up with Lana the next night to discuss the ceremony, the circus’ involvement in it (no, seriously) and what the newlyweds plan to do next … hint: It involves another ceremony!
WWE.COM: Lana, congratulations to you both! It’s been about 24 hours, how are you feeling?
LANA: I’m just so grateful to have had such an amazing, unforgettable wedding. I always wanted to get married on the beach. I grew up on the Baltic Sea in the former Soviet Union, so it was my dream to have my ceremony on the sand. And Malibu worked out perfect. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, it wasn’t humid, it was just the perfect weather for a wedding. I literally couldn’t have asked for a better situation.
WWE.COM: How would you describe the feel and vibe of the ceremony?
LANA: I didn’t want something too traditional. Most people just have a bunch of perfect roses. I wanted an eclectic, unique [ceremony] with bright flowers, wild sunflowers in there and wonderful, beautiful roses, because I feel like my life is this big, unique, eclectic thing. I’m not a traditional person and it’s hard to describe me in one word, so that’s what I wanted my wedding to reflect — just this huge melting pot.
WWE.COM: Did any Superstars play wedding planner and have a hand in helping you put ideas together for the ceremony?
LANA: Yes, Nattie actually helped me with a lot of different ideas. This might come as a surprise, but NattIe is very traditional [laughs] and while helping me plan the wedding she wanted all these traditional things and I’m like, “No!” She would say, “This is what people do, this is how people plan their weddings,” and I’d say, “I don’t care what people do, I don’t wanna do everything that already has been done.” So, we would hit heads quite a bit during those discussions and I’m sure people will see that on E!'s “Total Divas.”
WWE.COM: What was it like having both of your WWE families present at the ceremony?
LANA: It was wonderful. Having Nattie, Renee [Young] and The Bellas there was amazing. The Bellas are such veterans that have helped me and really mentored me in the locker room, teaching me so many ways of being kind and inspiring. Since day one those girls have been so kind and have been great examples, so to have them be a part of this was really cool. And Rusev was happy to have a lot of his [WWE family] there as well.
WWE.COM: Can you tell us a little bit about the reception? Did it follow the theme of uniqueness?
LANA: Following the ceremony, we [went] on to a circus/carnival cocktail reception! It was phenomenal. People thought I was crazy for wanting to do the circus theme! I would tell Nattie and Maryse these ideas and they would be like,“You’re out of control,” and “You’re an artist,” but I would always be like, “Don’t worry, they’re all gonna come together, I promise you,” and that’s what happened!
WWE.COM: Why the circus theme?
LANA: WWE is the modern-day circus. We’re on the road 300 days of the year; we put on the greatest shows. I mean, the only thing we lack are animals! As a little girl I always wanted to be a part of a circus and travel the world, entertaining people and telling stories. So, I was like, “This embodies our life [together].” We’re in a different place every day, we travel, we have so many different types of acts, so this embodies us.
WWE.COM: It’s also very cool that you didn’t have to choose between your career and love, because the two literally merged together on your wedding day.
LANA: Yes! It’s so cool and I’m so thankful. And I would always be like, “Career first, career first, career first …” and then I met my best friend! He’s so patient with me. We’re both very stubborn! According to Rusev and how he said his vows, I am the “bad stubborn” and he is the “good stubborn!”
WWE.COM: Any specific stand-out attractions from the reception?
LANA: We had a ferris wheel there! Also, our dance floor was the circus dance floor from “Batman.”
LANA: Yes! I believe in either going the biggest or going home. So, we went from Malibu Sunset Beach to the Calamigos Ranch where we put on the most spectacular circus and carnival.
WWE.COM: Were the “Total Divas” cameras there to capture all of this?
LANA: Yes, and I’m actually really excited to have it be on “Total Divas” and have people see how entertaining and how fun our wedding was, but also how inspiring it was.
WWE.COM: What’s next for you two?
LANA: Well, we are actually having a second wedding in Bulgaria on Sept. 2. That is going to be very Bulgarian, very traditional, but just spectacular because I am the most ravishing bride of all-time!