As an avid wedding lover and blogger, I’ve always found it fascinating to peer into different cultures and styles being pulled together to create beautiful wedding days.
Sibila and Mihai organised a chilled out bohemian style wedding with old Romanian traditions and a touch of good old fashioned rock’n’roll. I’ve never seen an Orthodox wedding before, and just adore the way they’ve mixed tradition with all the things they love.
Words by Sibila. Images by Rare Ion.
There is a funny story behind the choice of location for our wedding. We knew from the start what location we wanted: a laid back venue, in the middle of a park or a garden, a sort of green oasis hidden in the heart of the noisy city.
After three months of avid searches, we found the perfect location and we were ecstatic. But as faith would have it, we lost this location two weeks(!!) before the wedding date. Just when we thought we had to postpone the wedding altogether, we were incredibly lucky to find that La Gondola was miraculously available.
Located close to a lake, in a very secluded area of the park, with a generous terrace and wonderfully helpful staff, it ended up being the perfect choice.
We did not have bridesmaids or groomsmen as it is not traditional in Orthodox weddings to have them, however, you can ask one of your unmarried girlfriends to stay by your side in church and the groom asks an unmarried friend to stand by his side in church. We asked our friends to wear whatever made them feel comfortable.
Nicole Enea was the first bridal shop I went to. I had narrowed it down to two dresses when all of the sudden I discovered THE ONE. It was a sample from a previous collection, but it fit like a glove and I knew the moment I put it on that it was in fact, the one. Plus, I got it for a great price (under the estimated budget).
In Orthodox tradition, the bride and groom are the queen and the king for the day, so the priest places beautifully ornate crowns on their heads.
As our priest took the crowns off at the end of the ceremony, he told us: “You may not have the crowns on your heads anymore, but from now on, you will be the queen of his days, and he will be the king of yours”. It was beautiful!
I discovered my florist on Facebook and fell in love with the flower crowns she creates. In my imagination, we would have had lavish flower decorations. However, to meet our budget, we decided to have a more minimalistic approach.
The flower arrangements consisted of my wedding bouquet, the bouquet of my godmother (another Orthodox tradition), candles for the church, my flower crown and the table decorations.
For my bouquet, I went with seasonal flowers (blush dahlias), whereas my godmother opted for a more funky flower combination (succulents and yellow orchids). The table decorations consisted of small vases filled again with seasonal flowers.
For our wedding decor, we wanted a hippie feel (some boho and a little rock’n’roll).
Mihai DIY-ed the welcome signs and I painted them with chalkboard paint.
Although it was not a traditional wedding, we also wanted to incorporate some old Romanian traditions: the fir tree, the dowry chest and the godparents.
The guests could write messages for us and hang them up in the fir tree. All the wish cards are now added to our wedding album, and Mihai and I later planted the fir tree in the countryside.
We also had a “party station”, with confetti, sparklers, soap bubble dispensers, colouring pages, and coloured chalked (aimed mainly to entertain the children at the party, they proved to be extremely popular with all the grown-ups as well).
If you could impart any words of wisdom to future brides or grooms planning their wedding day, what would they be?
Choose vendors that you see eye to eye with and that share your vision. If you feel that it’s difficult to communicate with them, choose someone else.
And don’t be too hard on yourself! Perfection does not exist, and it is ok. There will be meltdowns, but wedding planning should be fun, and not a constant stress source.
We met at the seaside 8 and a half years ago, and it was love at first sight. Mihai proposed to me exactly seven years after we met, at the same place, and at the same time.
wedding credits / photographer: rares ion / wedding venue: la gondola, bucharest, romania / brides dress: nicolenea / grooms suit: zara / brides shoes: tamaris / hair simona chiticaru / makeup: unknown / florist: ribbon d / wedding cake: planul b / catering: la gondola, bucharest, romania