A ROMANTIC BEACH WEDDING IN THE UP-AND-COMING DESTINATION OF ALGARVE, PORTUGAL
Zoe Rowyn Bridal founder and designer Corina Culeva and Vasile Catan love to travel and have explored the world in the 10 years they've been together. So it was no surprise when, on a work trip to Portugal in 2018, they decided to come back for the most special day of their lives a year later.
Funny is that, at that time, they were already in the planning process of their wedding in Sardinia, but, as Corina put it, Portugal stole her heart from day one.
"Getting married on the beach has long been a dream of ours. Also, we very much wanted to have an intimate atmosphere and a really small number of guests (as small as possible considering our Moldovan roots), and because destination weddings imply additional costs for the guests, it was easy to narrow the list down to those who are close enough to be willing to spend the extra time and money." says the bride.
On June 12th, 2019, the couple embraced a palette of white and green and added touches of warm peach for their celebration. Keep reading to see how their timeless destination wedding came to life.
So, tell us. How did you guys meet and what was the proposal like?
- Truth is we believe our love story is the best out there (laughing). We met as kids at a summer camp and, as Vasea always says, that is when he decided that I would be his wife. Now, I am not buying it, but doesn't it sound romantic?
That was 14 years ago. After that summer, we kept bumping into each other at various moments, until we finally started dating 10 years ago (when I was finally allowed to date). We never separated ever since.
As for the proposal. It is funny, because we took the decision to get married on a rainy October evening in our apartment in Copenhagen like serious, grown-up people. There was no romance implied. But although the date was set, and the invites were already being printed out, Vasea decided that he needed to do a proper proposal.
- I just didn't want to steal this moment away from her, says the groom.
- So he proposed during a road trips, in Romania.
How did you go sticking to a budget?
- We didn't. Weddings are expensive and you should also budget for the "unbudgeted" things. Always allow for some kind of flexibility.
But then, maybe there are people who are better at this and don't need this irresponsible advice.
Advice for the couples leading up to their big day?
- Think of yourself first. Be bossy. Ask. Say what you think. It is your day, and you aim to only have one wedding day in your entire life, so do not let anyone or anything ruin it.
Tell us about your outfits.
- This is my favourite part (Corina says proudly). This wedding initiated an entire bridal wear business and I couldn't be happier. And the brand Zoe Rowyn Bridal, it all started with my own wedding dress. I wanted an easy beach appropriate outfit, yet not boho, not hippie, and not too formulaic romantic. I wanted a dress that would represent me, my style, my love for vintage fashion, for feminine dresses, and for contrasts. I ended up designing 15 such dresses, and wearing three of them at my own wedding: one at the pre-wedding shooting, and the other two at the wedding itself.
And because I took my new designer position seriously, I made Vasea's suit as well. Elegant, yet relaxed, stylish and extremely good-looking on him- this three piece have brought me many inquiries from future grooms, or brides of grooms :D.
How did the planning go? Who did what?
- The planning went really well. We started working on it more than one year in advance, which is why it was not stressful at all. When you have a longer timespan, you can spread everything throughout that time, so that you don't have moments when you feel overwhelmed.
We fully embraced the destination wedding, planning three days of events that included a welcome party at, a beachside ceremony, the wedding dinner itself, and the afterparty.
- We surely hired a local planner, connected with the venue and the vendors, who was extremely helpful. But Corina did a lot of the planning work herself also, especially the welcome party and the after party, the accommodation and catering for all three days were all on her.
The best moment of the day?
- Well, everything was perfect. Those three days were really the best days of my life and I remember being so happy that the butterflies were very likely to jump out of my stomach.
But if I am to choose one moment, that is definitely when we read the vows. What do you think? (Corina asks Vasea).
- I agree. That was a moment of pure bliss and it really was as if we were just the two of us, says Vasea. And I know that it was also our guests' favourite moment.
The worst moment?
- There really were no bad moments. At least not for us. I found myself in such a state of mind that nothing was really able to perturb it. I don't know how I managed, but I really liked everything. They say this is not necessarily common for brides.
Do you have any regrets?
- No, not really. We only regret that some really important people weren't able to make it.