Offbeat partner: Stefania
Offbeat partner: Conor
Date and location of wedding: An Orthodox church in Romania and a nearby boutique hotel; historic old church in east LA for the reception in the U.S. — July 3, 2018
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
In Romania, we kept the ceremony traditional, which is itself offbeat because it’s like a time capsule — orthodox traditions reminded me of this year’s Met Gala. My seamstress and I created a wedding dress 2-in-1 from a local LA store. There was a beaded base satin dress from the '60s and a tulle skirt from the '80s that I took off after the ceremony.
For the LA party, I wanted all local greens: palms to match the invites (and bridesbabes getting-ready outfits!) and succulent gold terrariums and little vases that doubled as favors. I wanted my 12 bridesmaids to pick their own dresses. The only rules were to pick a metallic or navy blue outfit they would love. Based on my beaded art deco-inspired dress and my encouragement for them to feel as fab as they wanted to, it was an all-out glam fest.
Tell us about the ceremony:
It was a totally traditional Romanian Orthodox ceremony with a choir, three priests, a crowning, communion, and kissing the bible.
Tell us about your reception:
We were both all about the party. Even if the Romanian wedding was sit down plated dinner and an older crowd, the amazing band and the youths brought the party by the end. LA was all about the champagne, specialty cocktails, buffet of favorite finger foods, and LA's best desserts from the cuban Portos Bakery bar. A friend from college was the DJ and he played everything we knew and loved and more.
What was your most important lesson learned?
Don’t let anything or anyone make you feel like you have to do something you don’t want to do just because they think it’s the norm. You have so many choices to make, so try to make the ones that matter to you the most. And if someone important to you really cares about one or a couple of elements, compromise is key.
My family in Romania dreamed of me being able to get married at a traditional church back home since I was a child. They were not able to be religiously wed during communism and couldn’t afford proper weddings. As an only child and only grandchild, I knew I had to do this. By having a smaller affair abroad, we could compromise and I could do things my way in LA.
All I wanted was a celebration with our nearest and dearest and for everyone to have the best time. I really wanted it to be like a mini vacation, and for it to not feel like labor for our bridal party. It was so amazing to see how good my girls looked when they could pick what suited them best — everyone looked and felt amazing.
Romania and LA:
- Photography: Alina Botica (Romania) and Elizabeth Victoria Photography (LA)
- Hair and makeup: Nancy Dedu and Kat Laskey, Absolutely Beautiful Brides
- Venue: Hotel Domenii Plaza and The York Manor
- Romanian band: Compania 7
- Planner/designer: Tasteful Tatters
- Floral design: Valerie Jurado
- Desserts: Portos Bakery
- Catering: Sunrise to Sunset Catering
- Bartenders: Andrew Simmons, Los Angeles Bartenders
- DJ: Dan Coleman, Spirit of 68 Promotions