A work holiday party and an introduction by a mutual friend sparked winter magic between Andra and Andrew! These two got to know each other slowly, but by the end of their first dinner date a month later, Andra knew there was something special about Andrew and she couldn’t wait to spend more time with him. There was one minor hiccup, though. Andrew’s career goal was to move to California to work in the aerospace industry, while Andra had never imagined herself leaving her home and family in Connecticut.
Two years later, during Andrew’s six-month rotation in Canada, they both realized they didn’t want to do the long-distance thing, nor did they want to lose one another. So, says Andra,
“We decided to both apply for jobs on the west coast. During that process, he proposed, and then we moved out there beginning of 2020. It was probably the scariest thing I ever had to do being so far from family but one of the best decisions I ever made. During this time, after seeing all the effort we put in to make long-distance work, we knew we wanted to be together.”
Together, they planned a classic wedding with a traditional ceremony at St. Dimitrie Romanian Orthodox Church, followed by an elegant reception in The Grandview’s elegant outdoor ballroom overlooking the Hudson River.
Read all about how Andra found her Estella gown, the Romanian wedding traditions they incorporated into their day, and more from our sweet bride below.
How did you guys meet?
“At a work holiday party where our mutual friend introduced us. We hit it off with many mutual interests like our MBA program and travel trips to Macchu Picchu. At the end of the night, Andrew asked for my phone number, and we started talking the next day. After a couple of months of talking, Andrew got the courage to ask me out, and after that dinner, I knew there was something different about him and couldn’t wait to see him again.”
How did you know they were “the one”?
“Within the first month of dating Andrew, he told me his career goal was to move to California to work in the aerospace industry. As a little girl, I only envisioned living and growing up in Connecticut with my family, so it wasn’t easy hearing this, but I guess I thought I could change his mind. Fast forward two years later, he got a great opportunity to do a rotation in Canada, which meant we had to do the long-distance relationship. Even though it wasn’t easy, I was able to work with my manager to take monthly trips to visit him for three-day weekends in which we went to Quebec, Montreal, Banff, Toronto, and Niagara Falls. During that time, Andrew kept telling me he was going to apply for jobs in California. We knew we didn’t want to do long-distance anymore and didn’t want to lose each other, so we made the decision to both apply for jobs on the west coast. During that process, he proposed, and then we moved out there beginning of 2020. It was probably the scariest thing I ever had to do being so far from family but one of the best decisions I ever made. It was during this time after seeing all the effort we put in to make the long-distance work that we knew we wanted to be together.”
How did you guys get engaged?
“I thought it was just an ordinary Friday evening after work visiting Andrew at his apartment. To my surprise, I walk into a room with roses and candles shaped into a heart, and behind on the wall, the words ‘Marry Me?’ written with photos of us. He proposed with a placeholder ring, and the next day he set up for us to go to a jeweler to design my ring. It was the best experience doing it together.”
Tell us about your outfits!
“Andrew knew he wanted the traditional black tux with a bow tie while I suggested suspenders because I’ve seen them on him before and thought it made him look very handsome. As for my dress, I found it at my first dress shopping trip with my mom at The Persnickety Bride. It was a private appointment with just my mom and the owner Denise. I tried on all different styles only to realize I liked the simple mikado/silk dress with lace. When I tried on Estella with the topper and veil, I knew it was the elegant and classy look I was going for. I knew the topper would be great for my church ceremony and that when I took it off at night, the dress was perfect to party in. My mom and I shed tears when I put my veil on since we envisioned me in the dress. However, I did not buy it that first day because I couldn’t believe I found my dress at my first appointment, so I went to five other stores that week to come back to Denise to tell her that was my dress and the other dresses I tried on never compared.”
Why did you decide to get married where you did?
“Since I was a little girl, I always envisioned getting married in my church because of the community in which I grew up. So, we got married in St. Dimitrie Romanian Orthodox Church in Easton, CT. We then needed to pick a reception location within an hour of the church. In the end, we selected The Grandview in Poughkeepsie, NY. We went to several different venues but knew we didn’t want the typical ballroom, so when we saw their elegant outdoor ballroom overseeing the Hudson, we knew it was the right venue.”
Tell us about your day!
“We loved everything about our day, but one of our favorite parts was the drive to the reception venue. We rented a classic car to take us from the ceremony to the reception, and it was the first (and only) time we got to be alone together that day. Weddings are hectic for the bride and groom, so to have this alone time together on our day away from all the crazy was amazing and really helped us appreciate the day and each other.”
What was your first dance song?
“Blessed by Thomas Rhett, we kept listening to love song playlists to try to figure out our first dance, and one day, we heard it on the radio, both looked at each other and said, “This is it!”
One detail you couldn’t live without?
“Incorporating some of my families’ Romanian wedding traditions into our day. Which included having godparents are part of our ceremony and having a sendoff of the bride at my parents’ house in the morning.”
What was the funniest moment of your day?
“The flower girls! They were adorable, not knowing where to throw the flowers or what direction to walk down the aisle.”
Three words that best describe your partner:
“Andrew describes Andra as: “loving, driven, and authentic.”
Andra describes Andrew as: “affectionate, clever, and respectful.”
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“Cape Cod! We rented a place in Barnstable, MA, and from there, we explored Cape Cod, including two-day trips, one to Nantucket and another to Martha’s Vineyard. It was perfect, we originally planned to go to Thailand, but the pandemic changed our plans. This was the perfect trip for us that allowed us to have a relaxing honeymoon while also staying domestic.”
Any tips for couples getting married?
“Yes, the most important advice we can give is don’t book your wedding for the year when a once in a lifetime global pandemic sweeps through. It will make planning and rescheduling more difficult. But on a more serious note, get started planning early if you get things done well ahead of time it makes the final weeks a lot easier.”
Andra + Andrew’s Classic Wedding Vendors
wedding dress: Lea-Ann Belter Estella gown, veil, and topper via The Persnickety Bride | photographer: Heather Renee Weddings | ceremony venue: St. Dimitrie Romanian Orthodox Church | reception venue: The Grandview in Poughkeepsie NY | florals: Confetti LLC | videographer: JF3 Productions