by Tara Behan
Photos by Kelli Wilke Photography
How they met
David Plaza has attended countless fundraisers over the years. But when he attended the inaugural Delaware Burger Battle back in the summer of 2012, he thought he was in for an afternoon of tasting amazing hamburgers and supporting a worthwhile charity, Ministry of Caring. Little did Plaza know that his future wife would be in attendance, too. “A mutual friend introduced me to Mihaela,” says Plaza. The introduction, however, wasn’t intended as a set up—both Plaza and Ghetau were dating other people.
Fast forward six months when Plaza found himself single again and he heard through the grapevine that the beautiful woman he met at the fundraiser was single as well. Plaza invited Ghetau out for drinks, which led to a three-month courtship followed by two years of exclusive dating before they were engaged.
It was easy for the couple to fall in love. They share many common interests including skiing, traveling and sailing, along with a sense of adventure when it comes to trying new things. “We’ve taken dance classes and sailing lessons,” says Plaza. “Even though I’m older than her, Mihaela is one of the few women I have dated that could keep up with me.” Adds Ghetau: “It feels like whatever I enjoy doing it’s even better when David joins me and we do it together—it’s just a lot more fun.”
How he proposed
While over-the-top proposal stories are always a hit to share, Ghetau is thrilled that her proposal memory is strictly traditional. “Everyone who knows David knows that he does everything on a very grand scale,” says Ghetau. “He enjoys bigger-than-life activities. I was so very happy and thankful that he didn’t go in that direction with the proposal because I’m shy when it comes to these types of events. I prefer to be more private.” On June 15, 2015, in what Plaza describes as a “deeply romantic, heartfelt moment” he asked Ghetau to be his wife in the garden of their Delaware home.
“I had Plan A and Plan B,” says Plaza. “Plan A was more grandiose, but I never quite got there so I went to Plan B—once I got the ring it was burning a hole in my pocket.”
Although Ghetau knew a proposal would be coming at some point, at the actual moment she was completely surprised. “It was so very special,” she says.
The couple celebrated their engagement that evening with friends over drinks and dinner at Sovana Bistro in Kennett Square.
The big day
Initially the couple considered doing a destination wedding in Puerto Rico, but after a few months of planning they decided that staying closer to home would be more manageable. They opted for a quasi-destination wedding less than a half-hour from their Delaware home in Philadelphia. “I grew up in Philadelphia,” says Plaza. “Mihaela and I both love the energy and excitement of downtown. Once we saw The Union League we knew that was the right venue for us.” The couple chose to wed on June 17, almost two years to the day that Plaza proposed. With a venue selected, Dana Murray and Paula Poorani of Paula & Dana Events in Wilmington helped the couple execute the vision of their big day flawlessly.
The couple wanted to make sure that they had their beloved state of Delaware represented at the wedding so they invited a quartet from the Delaware Symphony Orchestra to play during the ceremony and cocktail hour. Months of lessons prepared the couple to wow their guests with a choreographed Bolero dance for their first dance as husband and wife. “My grandfather and grandmother were professional bolero dancers back in the 1940s,” says Plaza. “So it was a tribute to their legacy.”
Plaza gave his three daughters important roles in the day. He asked his daughters, Aubrey, Natalie and Renee, to stand for him as his “groomswomen.” His oldest daughter, Aubrey, is a television and film actress (she’s best known for her role as April Ludgate on “Parks and Recreation”), and her stylist custom-designed suits for the groomswomen to wear. The actress appeared on Conan O’Brien two days after the wedding and discussed the non-traditional wedding party with the late-night host. “It was a blast,” Plaza told O’Brien of the wedding. “My family loves to party, and that’s what we did all night long.”
Natalie, Plaza’s middle daughter, acted as his “Best Woman/Daughter” and gave a rousing speech during the reception, filled with plenty of good-natured jabs directed at her father, that had the entire wedding in hysterics. “It was an incredible speech,” says Plaza. “Essentially, it was like an eight-minute roast.” On her side, Ghetau had three girlfriends and a close guy friend stand for her.
“The day was perfect,” says Ghetau. “It turned out exactly as we had planned.” Due to work commitments the couple had to delay their honeymoon, but it was definitely worth the wait. Two months after their wedding they celebrated their nuptials with a three-week getaway to Europe.
Ceremony and reception: The Union League of Philadelphia, unionleague.org
Wedding planner: Dana Murray and Paula Poorani, Paula & Dana Events, paulaanddana.com
Dress: Liancarlo from Elizabeth Johns, elizabethjohns.com
Bridesmaids’ gowns: Bella Bridesmaids, bellabridesmaids.com
Suits (groom): Boyds Philadelphia, boydsphila.com
Suits (groomswomen): Custom designed by stylist, Jessica Paster, Hollywood, Calif.
Hair: Jennifer Holmwood Hair Studio, (302) 468-1653
Makeup: Kristina Ruggerio Cosmetics, (302) 234-9536
Florist: Flowers by Yukie, shopflowersbyyukie.com
Band: London Bridge, EBE Events & Entertainment, ebetalent.com/p/london-bridge
Ceremony/cocktail hour entertainment: Quartet from the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, delawaresymphony.org
First dance: “Casi un Bolero,” choreographed by Anna Akarman of Blue Ballroom Dance Studio, blueballroom.net
Father/daughter dance: “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder
Favors: Guest received welcome gifts themed after legends from the bride’s home country of Romania: Aqua Carpatica Transylvanian spring water; Prince Vladimir Kusmi Loose Tea and heart-shaped tea infusers; Diptyque Tuberose candle; Sugarfina Champagne gummy bears; La Marca Prosecco; and a welcome note in English/Romania and Spanish.