Marinela & Vlad: A Royal Romance at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
- Author: Natali Grace Levine
- Wedding date: 08/03/2022
- City: Nice
As a love story that blossomed over 11 years, Marinela and Vlad's journey to matrimony is truly special. For Marinela, it all started with fleeting glances in the schoolyard, where the first seeds of affection were sown. Vlad, on the other hand, had been smitten since watching Marinela on a children's TV show. “One day, I see a message in my inbox. It was him. He simply said, "Hey, you look cute" That's how it all began,” recalls Marinela.
Their love story, characterized by patient courtship and a blooming romance, reached a pivotal moment with a meticulously planned engagement. In a beautifully orchestrated surprise involving a love story campaign video shoot in Moldova, Vlad proposed to Marinela.
“Vlad prepared a beautiful and emotional speech, followed by the big question: "Do you want to be my wife?". I was shaking, I couldn't stand up, but never in my life I was more sure about a YES I said! Everything that happened after, I could only see through blurred eyes!” This moment, filled with emotion and surprise, perfectly encapsulated their unique bond.
Marinela and Vlad's nuptials on August 3, 2022, in the picturesque Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, France, were a culmination of two years of meticulous planning. With a guest list of 70, their wedding was an intimate yet grand affair, reflecting their unique tastes and personalities.
“My biggest dream was getting married by the sea,” states Marinela. “The style and concept of our wedding were inspired by the idea of "old money" or a royal wedding. We selected the exquisite Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild as our venue, aiming for a timeless and enduring elegance that we could cherish and be proud of even half a century from now.”
Recalling that lovely day, the couple recalls, “After we danced till we couldn't feel our feet, we all laid on the grass and were star gazing.” Isn’t it magical?
The day began with an air of anticipation. The couple chose elegant glass invitations with golden engraving, a creative vision brought to life by their wedding planners. “The glass invitations were designed with the intention of serving as lasting souvenirs for our guests,” they share.
Their wedding rings, chosen from Harry Winston, mirrored the timeless elegance they sought, “The decision was almost instinctive, we didn't think about it too much, but knew right away we wanted to go for the classic.”
Marinela's jewelry added a touch of familial love and sentimentality. “I wore my Tiffany Victoria earrings that my parents have gifted me for my 20th birthday and I also wore the Cartier Juste un Clou Bracelet which was a wedding gift from my little sister. All the jewellery I wore on my wedding day had deep sentimental value for me. I also wore some jewellery from NikiBee, my sister's brand,” she says.
Marinela's preparation was a journey in itself. She and her mother designed ten breathtaking Malliny wedding dresses, each sourced from the finest lace fabrics in Europe.
The Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat set the scene for a stunning photoshoot, capturing every detail. “I had a unique pair of shoes for nearly every dress. My love for shoes knows no bounds! The veil was of course the most important accessory. I opted for an extremely long veil for my main dress,” Marinela remarks.
The bridal bouquet was spectacular as well. The bride declares, “My wedding bouquet was made of pink David Austin roses, perfectly matching the wedding ceremony decor.”
“My sister was my only bridesmaid and her dress was Malliny as well. Most of my friends and wedding guests chose to wear a Malliny dress for our wedding as well which made me so happy. It felt like a fashion show or a red carpet event,” happily adds Marinela.
Vlad, exuding style and sophistication, chose a classic Tom Ford tuxedo. His getting-ready moments, filled with anticipation and excitement, were an integral part of the day's narrative.
The couple cherished the traditional first look at the aisle, a moment charged with emotions and unspoken promises, perfectly capturing the essence of their bond. “We wanted to keep the tradition of preserving the groom's anticipation until the moment I walked the aisle,” the couple mentions. “We were both so emotional!”
The pre-ceremony photoshoot at the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat and along the French Riviera coast with a vintage car added a touch of old-world charm to their modern love story.
Set against the backdrop of the Spanish Garden at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, with the sea and sunset as witnesses, their ceremony was a blend of romance and elegance. Umberto Tozzi's "Te Amo" set the tone as Marinela walked down the aisle, creating a heartfelt surprise for Vlad. “It's one of my husband's favourite songs,” she explains.
One of the cutest moments occurred when Marinela’s little cousin, whom they chose as a flower girl, walked down the aisle. “She wore a mini version of my wedding dress,” shares the bride.
The post-ceremony photoshoot, held within the venue's grounds, captured the couple's joy and the venue's stunning beauty, creating memories to last a lifetime.
“I think we didn't choose the venue but it chose us,” says Marinela. “The moment I stepped onto the balcony of the Villa Ephrussi and saw the fountains were dancing to this beautiful classical music, I immediately knew this is where we will celebrate our wedding.”
The venue's grandeur and the couple's desire for a sea-view wedding melded perfectly. The decor, with its vibrant mix of pink, orange, and golden hues, reflected their taste for royal elegance and drama. “I was very particular about the flower decor on the dinner table, opting for vibrant colors over the typical white,” Marinela states.
What’s more, instead of the basic card names, the couple opted for something more personalized. “Our wedding planner came up with this genius idea of printing the name of each guest on the napkin. The guests also took the personalized napkin home, as a souvenir,” they explain.
Their reception was a reflection of their personalities and passions. Dancing to "Caruso" by Lara Fabian, the couple celebrated with a French-style dinner. “We had a chef preparing appetizers in front of our guests while we, the bride and the groom were taking pictures and getting changed into the next dress.”
“We didn't choose the traditional multi-tiered wedding cake. Instead, we opted for a large, delicious mille-feuille & fragolini cake. My husband loves mille-feuille, and I love wild strawberries, put them together and it turns into our dream cake. One that was finished off by the guests directly from the platter, until its last crumble,” they recall.
Marinela and Vlad's wedding was not just a union of two souls but a celebration of love, elegance, and meticulous planning, set against the breathtaking backdrop of the French Riviera.