(Hit play and then read. This is the song Lavinia chose for her wedding entrance, at the ceremony)
Lavinia and Mark describe themselves as foodies and wine lovers, so their wedding was all about that: good food to reflect their different cultural backgrounds, paired with splendid wines from all over the world. But it was also about care and respect for their guests and making sure everyone, including the staff, feels most welcomed and appreciated for.
I’ve met them first online and I knew right from the start this will be my best project yet. I felt really nervous until they’ve decided I’m going to be their wedding planner. From that moment, I’ve already started into looking for the perfect venue and imagining how all would turn out. Once I’ve met Lavinia and discussed their expectations, I’ve had in mind the perfect spot: Domeniul Manasia, with it’s old but completely renovated manor and with the most wonderful garden you will find (closer to Bucharest, at least).
Crazy thing about the venue is that most of the guests didn’t know what to expect. On the wedding website, which I’ve put together for them, there was no information about it at all – we tried to keep things as a big surprise for all the guests (except the closest from Lavinia’s family, from Romania).
But the level of crazy awesomeness just goes up from here. Their wedding menu was completely written by them. A Lebanese starter, served meze style, a fish and chips course, served London style (wrapped in newspaper and all), a traditional Romanian sarmale pot, for people to serve as they wish and a roast Sunday beef as a main. And the cake, a french croquembouche, one meter high! The menu was in the hands of the most talented Chef Foa and his team from Flavours Food Design. And it was delicious, as expected!
Now, the adventure of the wines… The bottles traveled literary from all over the world (from Redwood Valley US, South Africa, Lebanon, Italy, UK) to get to Bucharest and then to Domeniul Manasia. It was a trip organised with the help of good friends of the couple and the support of our catering team. When all the wines arrived at Manasia, the manager on site said something about the huge quantity and how are they going to drink all of it. Not all was consumed, but it was well enjoyed!
Learning about Lavinia’s being a chef at a restaurant in London, I’ve had the idea of flower arrangements: cooking pots and pans hanging from above, mixed and dressed with flowers and big light bulbs surrounding everything in warm light. They both loved it and we teamed up with Floria for creating this dreamy floral concept. Because all the food was served family style, flowers on the tables were just scattered in between the plates. For their free style ceremony, we created a floral backdrop that covered the gazebo and we let the green garden do the rest.
Names of the tables were the logos with their favorite restaurants in the world.
Now, the story of the donkey. This one is really special 🙂 In pure British humor style and more so, in his own style, Mark suggested you won’t know it’s a Romanian wedding unless you have a donkey in it. His idea was to have a donkey drive him to the ceremony or at least be there for a couple of minutes, for pictures. I refused it at first and was serious about denying his most important wish from the wedding, until I figured it would be a great surprise element for everybody. With the help from Manasia’s staff, we managed to get the donkey girl, just right after the ceremony. Questions came from left and right about this candid animal. It was the most interesting photo op I’ve ever manage to pull through!
Between the speeches and right before their first dance, we had the moment of the day: the jager bombs domino. We had two tables of jager bombs set up by the bartenders, they flipped them and everyone enjoyed a drink. It wasn’t the perfect tilt for each glass, the dancing floor got really wet and sticky afterwards, but still, nothing stopped Lavinia and Mark from having the best party ever 🙂
On the topic of music, their requirement were specific and, honestly, they scared me a bit. All live moments, no DJ (but until the end of the party), no pauses. This is the moment I need to thanks a bunch to 2musicevents team, especially to Tony, for his support and efforts to arrange everything with all the artists.
We started the day with the ceremony music, performed by Teen Strings quartet, then switched to the cocktail party, with Stephen Sax and the quartet again, right until we started the party. From there, we had Irina Sarbu Band, Alex G, Trupa 2Zece, Filip and Fly Djs, all giving their best to keep the atmosphere at the maximum level.
The bride got rid of her precious shoes, some ladies used the flip-flops we put out for their comfort and everyone enjoyed every moment of the wedding.
The backstage of all that we’ve put together goes like this: over 80 staffers, including artists, technical, serving and cooking, photos and video, kids entertainment and supervising, makeup and hair stylist, the Jager bombs and all the drinks, gelato bar, coordination and management. Six buses for driving everyone safe from Bucharest to Manasia and return. An entire night of work (and most of the day) for hanging all the flowers. Countless hours of planning, two walk-through’s for all my coordinating assistants. I really don’t know how many emails and phones exchanged.
It was huge and bold. But it was also really cozy, everything made sense and had a story. No drone was hurt in the process, not even when Lavinia sabered their first bottle of champagne! And the donkey returned safe to her quiet life, even though she’s now famous!
This is, in the very short version, my story for what I’ve called #thecrazyawesomewedding.
And it’s only for the day of the wedding. I’ll never get to the end of it if I start talking about the other two days of parties, dinners, tours and so on…
I’ve loved this wedding with all my heart and I’ve put all my passion in it. I’ve dreamed every blossom hanging from the ceiling and every second from the timeline. When it was all over, I felt something’s missing, big time, and that hole can only be filled with the next wedding of this proportions (it’s called post-wedding depression, guys, and it’s a real thing, mostly experienced by the couple and, sometimes, by the overly-attached planner).
It was all hard work, sweat and tears and it was all worth it!
Somewhere in the back it’s me, right after Mark mentioned me in his welcome speech. I was overwhelmed by their kind words!
Lavinia, Mark, you already know I’m in love with you and your wedding 🙂 It was such a pleasure to work with you, to meet all your family and good friends and to see their true excitement and happiness for you.
Next year, maybe? 😛
More pics and full list of our awesome team, here!