Weddings in Romania: How I could have missed my perfect wedding
It took us 13 years to get to this point. And everything that happened had to happen as it did, no matter if I perceived it as good or bad.
It was the fall of 2004, and I was a fresh high school guy at an Art High School away from home. I was about to begin to study painting as the main discipline. And as new beginnings call for new love stories, I found myself madly in love with E. I "met" her at the admission exam two months earlier. I was away from D., my other crush at that time, as she studied back home.
I put the link to the first two parts of the story at the end of this post.
This is the first photo I took in high school, in 2004. I'm the big-head in the left.
Believe me or not, even if I can go on stage and rock your sock's off, I'm sometimes a timid person. And for me, going on stage was a moment of letting go of my shyness and surrendering to whatever could happen. It's like leveling up. The point is, back then I was a little shy with the ladies. Ahem...a bit more.
It seems I was smart enough to hang around and fall in love, but not that good at making myself noticed. (to be read as talking to them about my feelings). So at first, I got E's phone number from a colleague. Back then, mobile phones were just becoming a thing in Romania, so calling was pretty expensive. Everybody rang once, and the other would call, or just texted.
I rang once.
SMS: E: "?"
Me: "Hey, it's odd, but your phone number was written on a bill. Boy or girl? :P " (bullshit)
E: "Girl. How old are you?" (she knew who I was)
Playing it forward, we switched from phone text conversations to the next-big-thing back then, the internet. I found an internet cafe deep into the city (and far away from the dorm), and I went to chat with her on IRC. (remember IRC?!).
My nickname was ~~ Luciferrr ~~ (I was 15, don't ask) and she was n0v3mber_rain. Then we switched to yahoo messenger and she played the game to the point where I had to "reveal" myself. I did it online. Told her that I was her colleague, and she acted surprised but told me that she knew that already. It was on a Sunday.
This is the first pic that E. ever sent me, when we switched to yahoo messenger from mIRC. Internet was just becoming a thing in Romania then, and for a short while you could see an Internet Cafe at almost every corner. Some people were chatting in IRC rooms playing the "asl pls" game while others we're playing online. I spent a few hours a day in an internet cafe talking to E.
Monday morning, my heart raced as I was heading for school, as I knew she'll be there. That's when I threw in my firs half-voiced "hello" and tried to act cool. So cool, that I didn't do anything, it was like I was frozen. I told you I was shy, right?
And then there were those awkward moments when we were alone on the hallway, and we both didn't say anything (E. told me that she had already lost interest in me at that point, but just played along because she thought it was funny). Once at every 3-4 minutes I asked a question that was so ordinary and dull, that even what was ordinary felt more original.
I refused to go to the freshmen's ball (where I was allegedly her date) because I was too shy, and that night it was my first time getting drunk with some colleagues from the dorm. Since that night, I haven't been able to drink vodka and tomato juice shots again.
And then we "broke up." A break-up of the most plathetic (it's a combination of platonic and pathetic) relationship ever.
My father was a fresh Design student at the University of Arts in Iasi. He was 40 at that time, and his colleagues called him Grandpa'. So, I visited him one weekend. I was very impressed with the drawing techniques I saw and felt drawn to it weirdly. Up until then, I thought that Design only referred to Fashion Design.
I felt so heartbroken at the moment, and I didn't know, but I chose my career back then. In a true drama-queen manner, I asked my father to transfer me to the Art High School in Iasi where I wanted to study product design as main discipline. He was more than happy to arrange it as that meant that we were going to live together in Iasi, and I handled the E problem by disappearing. It's funny because in a way I ran away from her and ran into Design (this is what I do for a living now). That's where I discovered my passion for guitars and started a band as well.
For the next six years, we kept "friends" which meant that we were in each other's messenger list and talked once or twice a year. I forgot about E. and life went on for me at the new High School with new friends and new crushes.
When I was 17, I finally hooked up with my other crush, D. It was short but intense. Her mother was crazy and didn't like me because I didn't fit her standards (and wasn't very rich), so she plotted and eventually broke us up. To me, at that point, I thought she was the one. So, for the next four years, I looked for her in all my other relationships and always held a backup plan to get-out-of-any-relationship if she returned. E. cured me of D. I moved on from D. to E.
Me and E got into the same Art College, so we started running into each other randomly in the halls so during the next three years we became acquaintances and had friends in common, but you couldn't fill a page with our conversations. (even if you tried using a larger font size) You know, that moment when you can't really say that somebody is even a friend.
It was the summer between the second and the third year of college, and I had just ended my milestone-one-year relationship with L. I was visiting a friend in the mountainside. During the last days, I started talking to D. again, and did one last try and told her what I feel, but the door was closed. So that night, as I struggled to fall asleep, and my heart was beating my chest with anger I thought to the universe "Can I PLEASE find somebody?" (I was always looking for the one in any relationship, all I wanted was to love and be loved back). Ema told me that she was at a similar moment in her life and that was her lowest point ever.
This is a family of traditional romanian gypsies also enjoying the view.
Next day as I finished packing I had dinner and logged in to an old e-mail address that I hadn't logged on in ages. Yahoo messenger. E was online and had a weird status message. She'd been through a bad break-up as well. We chit-chatted for 10 minutes, and she asked me if I noticed that she was hitting on me, and I told her that of course I did.
She later told me that she was also logged on her old e-mail that specific night, that she hadn't used in a long time. It's funny when I think that if any of us hadn't logged on that night, we wouldn't have ended up together. It's that moment that had to happen for everything else to make sense.
When I met her, I opened up with a bad sex joke. (Who's shy now huh?) She thought it was cute. We went to a nice terrace and talked for seven straight hours. I was good at talking, and I talked to overcome my shyness and stalling until I made courage to kiss her. That happened in front of her home, and to me it felt like the most awkward kiss ever. 5 minutes later, I texted:
Me: I think I failed at kissing you, right?
E: No way! That was the cutest fail ever! You'll have plenty of time to make up.
I had 7 years to make up. On 17th of September this year, exactly 7 years later we officially got married at the City Hall in E's hometown, Piatra Neamt.
Last Saturday, on 7th of October we had our wedding party. It was a pain in the ass to organize, but at the end it was awesome. Great friends and great memories.
Oh..yeah, I almost forgot. My phone rang in church, during the ceremony. While the pastor was officiating, I realized that I forgot to put the phone on silent, and panicked a little bit. I calmed myself down by telling myself that everybody knows I'm getting married at this time and nobody will call. Still, something didn't feel right. The phone rings. I instantly remembered that I forgot to pay the wedding cake while blabbering around like Mr. Bean to turn off the phone. Of course, it's on camera, going to get the wedding movie in a few months.
But at that moment I realized, that it wouldn't have been my story if something like this didn't happen. As you might know already, I can be a bit clumsy at times. At that moment I realized that nothing could change what's happening, and all my wedding-stress was off. Later, we even screwed the first dance (we only practiced in sportswear), and still, it was the best wedding ever. Everybody had a great time, and everything felt warm and friendly, even though it was cold outside. My good friend @adrianv told me: "Dude you sucked at the opening dance, but it was the cutest opening dance ever. Because it was so you guys."
A picture makes up for a thousand words, but I'm gonna fill you up here and there, to get a feel of a semi-traditional Romanian Wedding.
Highlights from the great day
When I first saw E. in the wedding dress, I cried. I hadn't seen the dress before, and we slept apart one night before. I entered the room, and everything was vivid, she was facing the window, and I entered behind. She was so beautiful that I started crying in front of everybody when she turned around. Judge me if you want, maybe I'm a sissy, but that's how I felt. E was going to be my beautiful wife!!
As part of the tradition, the bride and the groom have to get a special decoration for the bride maids and best men. We opted for origami flowers.
This is how most of the Romanian Orthodox churches look on the inside.
After the church ceremony we went for our wedding photoshoot.
When we returned, everything looked amazing. And because we're designers, our wedding had it's own logo :D
I think on that on the right is the exact moment I screwed up the dance. Moments later, E's leg almost got caught up in the dress and almost fell. We didn't go for a classic waltz. (Why?!)
At any respectful Romanian wedding, the guests dance to a traditional music called "Hora". It's very hard to find a band that plays a mix between traditional music and modern tunes. (Usually, the parents, and the relatives expect to listen and dance mostly to traditional music at a wedding, while the younger guests want to dance to modern music. To be a good Romanian, obviously you have to know how to dance to traditional music.) Luckily, the band we found was awesome, and everybody appreciated the music.
Halfway through the wedding, my friends stole the bride, and I had to sing to get her back. It turned into a beautiful memory full of friends and love.
We got back home around 2 pm the second day, and almost a week later, I'm starting to feel my toes again. Dance dance, baby!
Many thanks to @nature.art for adding the last detail to my attire, these wonderful cufflinks that she made herself. It was the perfect wedding gift ^_^
[BONUS Here's the opening song to our wedding. It's a vintage rock song about wedding that combines elements of tradidional Romanian music. You don't need to know the words to understand the spirit of a Romanian wedding.]