Andreea and Andrei Popescu were both studying economics in Bucharest when they met during their last year of college. Each day, they’d see each other and “the butterflies were there” – but it wasn’t until graduation that they first talked.
“In that last day, Andrei came to me to take a picture together,” Andreea recalls, “but first he took some pictures while I was on stage getting my diploma. The day after, he invited me to the ball where he gave me the printed pictures taken the day before. Ever since then, we were never apart.”
“We spent five incredible days by the lake; all passed by like a dream.”
The couple soon learned that they both love to cook, entertain friends, host parties, and travel. Over the course of seven years, they’ve explored countless places from Alaska to Easter Island. Whenever they were visiting a new destination, Andreea was always convinced that Andrei would propose at some point during the trip; but he never did.
As time passed and Andreea stopped speculating about when Andrei would pop the question, she was absolutely surprised to find an engagement ring in her birthday cake, surrounded by friends and family. Afterwards, she overheard Andrei telling everyone that he had bought the ring two years ago and carried it with him throughout their travels. It wasn’t until then, at home in their backyard, that he felt the moment was right.
Four years ago, Andreea and Andrei were holidaying in Lake Como. Since then, the couple knew that if they were going to have a wedding, Italy would be their destination of choice. At first, they were just going to host a small civil ceremony with a few of their closest friends. After further consideration, however, they decided to have a full-on wedding – even though they had less than six weeks to plan everything. Needless to say, guests were surprised and excited when the couple invited them to a relatively impromptu three-day destination wedding in Lake Como.
“Our civil ceremony was two days before the wedding,” Andreea describes. “The Mayor of Cernobbio made it official. Afterwards, together with our parents, brother and sister, and godparents, we took a boat ride to Bellagio, which is such a romantic place. We spent five incredible days by the lake; all passed by like a dream.”
The bride and groom’s religious ceremony was held by the lake, with perfectly sunny weather and the most picturesque landscape setting a gorgeous scene. While guests were waiting by the gazebo, the bride arrived by boat and reveled in an emotional moment when her father walked her down the aisle.
“Everything turned out to be magical,” she adds. “It was really the most beautiful moment of our lives, just like a movie scene. I really had that inner peace all day, even though everybody around me was freaking out before.”
Following the wedding ceremony, guests were served Prosecco, cocktails, and appetizers outside on the villa’s terrace. The ambiance was made even more perfect with the music of a piano and saxophone. While everyone was enjoying taking photos, mingling, and savoring some specialty coffee prepared by a talented barista, the newlyweds headed out on a boat again for an epic photo session with world-renowned photographer, Cristiano Ostinelli.
Per the bride’s request, the wedding décor consisted of colorful flowers throughout the wedding day, which complemented the colorfully painted walls of the villa’s interiors. Dinner was served in an historical room, and the party started right after. A fantastic live band had flown in from Romania, and successfully kept everyone on the dance floor all night long – even Andreea’s 80-year-old grandmothers who were thrilled to be living in that moment.
For their honeymoon, the newlyweds chose another dream destination: Bora Bora. Throughout their trip, stops were also made in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas.
“I was crying when we left Bora Bora,” says Andreea. “The people out there are the nicest and that mountain view will be in my mind forever. I think this is the most memorable part – waking up in the morning and the first thing you see is Otemanu.”
Photography: Cristiano Ostinelli, Italy