Information about the party

When and where

When: Our engagement party will take place on Friday, October 6th, 2023, from 6PM to 10PM.

Where: Surety Hotel, 206 6th Ave. Des Moines, IA.

Parking will be available across the street from the hotel as well as the city public ramp, located nearby at 8th and Mulberry.

Food and drinks

In celebration of our engagement and plans to elope in New Zealand, we will be hosting an evening cocktail party with lots of hors d'oeuvre, snacks, and other refreshments. We will have limited open bar, so if you would like to revel late into the evening with us, you may want to bring extra cash.

Attire and atmosphere

We would like our celebration to be upscale and semiformal. Cocktail attire is strongly suggested. And because we want all of our guests who are parents to enjoy the evening without worry, we kindly request that only adults attend. Plus ones are welcome!

Patio space

Surety hotel has a wonderful outdoor patio that we will be using. Please pay attention to the weather forecast on the 6th, but remember, when it comes to predictions of the weather in Iowa, never give them the benefit of the drought!


We will not have any professional photographers at our event, so you are encouraged to take as many pictures as you would like, and please tag us on social media!


Discounted rooms for October 6th-8th have been blocked at the Surety until September 5th. If you’re coming from out of town, or you don’t want to make someone a designated driver, please visit this link and make a reservation.

Our story

Dasha and Jake met in Ames, Iowa in 2017 through mutual friends at Iowa State University. They fell deeply in love very quickly. Dasha was infatuated with Jake’s long blond hair and expertise with cooking on the grill, and Jake was greatly impressed by Dasha’s independence and fearlessness to try new things. They traveled throughout the Midwest together and beyond, taking every opportunity for a short adventure to a new place. And, when it came time to graduate and leave Ames, they endeavored to stay together throughout the next step of their journey. Dasha applied, and was accepted, to the PhD program at the University of Iowa, and, as fate would have it, Jake was accepted into the law program the following year at the same university.

The couple traveled home to Ukraine in the summer of 2018 and took a long vacation with Dasha’s parents, Nick and Inna. They visited family and friends, spent warm evenings at a resort by the Black Sea, tasted wine, explored medieval castles, and took a scenic flight on a hot air balloon. The following summer, Nick and Inna made the trip to Iowa and got to see all that the Midwest has to offer! They traveled to South Dakota and the Black Hills, attended the Sturgis motorcycle rally (a favorite of Nick’s!), camped under the shadow of Mount Rushmore, rode horses through the hills, hiked through the Badlands and then drove across Iowa to spend their last few days in Chicago, exploring the city and admiring the impressive architecture.

Jake and Dasha have been on countless adventures together from Los Angeles, California and Golden, Colorado, to St. Louis, Missouri and St. Petersburg, Florida, from Barcelona, Spain, to Kramatorsk, Ukraine. Now, they are preparing for their next adventure in Christchurch, New Zealand, where Dasha has accepted a lecturer position at the University of Canterbury! Jake has just graduated from law school and will transfer his law license to New Zealand, and Dasha is putting the finishing touches on her PhD dissertation before graduating in December. They will be making the big move in January of 2024. They are excited for this new adventure and hopeful for many more adventures in the future!

We’re Eloping!

Although many of you have expressed your excitement about joining us in New Zealand for our wedding, we have decided to elope! We are extremely grateful that many of you would be willing to undertake the hassle and expense of traveling so far to witness our wedding. However, many of our friends and family simply will not be able to make it, including our loved ones in Ukraine. The engagement party in Des Moines will be our opportunity to celebrate the engagement and wedding with you before we leave! And, of course, if you are firm in your desire to visit us in New Zealand, despite not being able to attend the wedding, we would love for you to pay us a visit after we get settled.

If you're curious about the elopement in New Zealand, here is a sample of what we're imagining our wedding to look like next year.

Honeymoon fund

Please do not bring any gifts! We are extremely blessed and your attendance at our party is the greatest gift we could want! But if you are firm in your desire to give a gift in celebration of our engagement, you could contribute to our honeymoon fund. In that case, you could Venmo us @agoodsoup or bring cash or a check.

Photo gallery


Please RSVP by August 31st, 2023, by filling in the form below (+1s welcome!). We look forward to celebrating with you!