In an earlier post, I explained that Lars and I really wanted to have an outdoors wedding in summer. And that we preferred Romania for this important occasion, thus avoiding the possibility of crappy summer weather in Belgium and Denmark (our two countries of origin). But there are – of course – other reasons for our choice.
I mean, if it was for the weather, we could have chosen a lot of other countries. The south of Europe for example is blessed with beautiful summer weather. But… our wedding venue had to be in a country or in a region where both of us had already been. This ruled out for example Spain, Portugal and the south of France. I have visited them, but Lars hasn’t.
Another important criterium was the heat. We didn’t see ourselves getting married in temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius or more. The idea of sweating ourselves to death in beautiful clothes or of fainting guests really put us off. So, we had to say goodbye to Albania, although we have already been there two times and have had a good time. But the summers there are simply too hot.
Lars and I also wanted to stay true to our travel philosophy: avoiding touristic destinations. A Tuscan wedding sounds very romantic, but also very … commercial. Not original. And while we had traveled to Croatia in 2010, it has since that date become very touristic as well. And getting married on a crowded beach really doesn’t have a romantic feel.
Moreover, our wedding location had to be a place that Lars and I both knew very well. Or, in other words, where we had traveled more than once. So, an enchanting country like Moldova didn’t make the cut either. We have only been there once, hardly enough to get acquainted with its culture, history or nature. This was actually the most important criterium; we want to get married in a place that feels like home.
When we considered all these criteria, there was only one country that met all of them: Romania. It had everything Lars and I desired: warm summer weather, not touristic at all, and we have traveled there extensively. We knew the country, we loved it and we had been to our wedding venue more than once. But to be honest: we had fallen in love with Romania in very different ways.
It was curiosity that drove Lars to travel there for the first time in 2006. He was intrigued by this country that was virtually unknown, by its history, culture and nature. He was also fascinated by its language, which he had taught himself. He followed the Romanian news via newspapers on the Internet. Talking about the Romanian language: did you know that this is the only Romanic language in the whole of Eastern Europe? All the surrounding countries speak Slavic languages. Anyway, you could easily say that for Lars and Romania, it was love at first sight.
I needed a lot more persuasion… To be honest, the first time I traveled to Romania I was actually very nervous. The media have given this country a bad name; the Ceausescus, the street dogs, the horrible orphanages, … And when Lars told me not to fall ill in Romania, because as soon as you arrive in a hospital, they give you an injection, … I was really not at ease. Especially since I am frightened to death, even when I hear the word “injection”.
In 2011, when we returned from a beautiful and exciting to Ukraine and Moldova, I set foot for the first time in Romania. And I simply could not ignore its beauty: the picturesque rural villages, the awesome landscapes and especially the magnificent mountains, the friendly people, the food, the drinks, …
But I really lost my heart to Romania last year, when we traveled there extensively for a month! Lars and I followed the footsteps of Vlad the Impaler, discovered majestic cities like Cluj, got stuck on top of a mountain (!), tasted more new dishes, visited Roman ruins and so on. I will publish all these adventures and more shortly on our travel website.
Let’s face it, folks… Lars and I are going to get married in an awesome country!