The Second Time Around

When Steven (JD 82) and Natalia (JD 86) Kalishman got married the first time, the ceremony took place in a barebones government office in Natalia’s hometown of Novorossiisk, Russia. Only two other people looked on.

When they wanted to renew their wedding vows 25 year later, they decided to return to Novorossiik for the special wedding of Natalia’s dreams. They were surprised when they came out of the “matrimonial palace” to find dancing children, a choir’s serenade and fireworks. They were even more astonished to learn the local television station’s footage of their wedding festivities was being broadcast throughout Russia and had become a national news event.

Steven was introduced to local customs such as laying a wreath of flowers at a memorial to Russian war dead and “teaming” with Natalia, in which the two ceremonially cut through a log with a cross-cut saw to “learn to pull together as a team.”

Natalia demonstrated the American custom of pulling off her garter and tossing it to the bachelors in the crowd, which caused “their eyes to start popping because they don’t have that custom.”

Both attorneys practice together in their Gainesville law firm, Steven Kalishman, P.A. (, and were instrumental in establishing Novorossiisk as Gainesville’s sister city ( in