International Students House
Julia Marie and Andrei with their daughter Ella
Alumni Blog London Life

Finding love in London: Andrei and Julia Marie’s story

Our love story started when we Julia Marie Wendl (from Germany) and Andrei Mihailescu (from Romania) met at an ISH Arts Society Event on Monday evening, 24th September 2012 – which was coincidentally (and very cliché) also Julia’s first day of her bachelor’s degree in Art History at Christie’s Education. Andrei was already two years into his undergraduate degree in Double Bass at the Royal Academy of Music and was giving a speech that evening to promote the monthly concerts at ISH that he was organising. We started talking, then hanging out more and more in the common kitchen of Mary Trevelyan Hall (R.I.P), and after a few concerts down the road, we were a couple. Although constantly discovering quite strong but exciting clashes in culture and back-story in the early days, we instantly clicked – in fact, there was never an invitation to our first date – we just both knew that was what we were going to do that Friday evening. 

We both lived at ISH for another two years and became Resident Advisors (RAs). Quite early on it became clear to us that we will spend the rest of their lives together, especially after Andrei surprised even Julia when asking a kids-related question in the middle of an RA meeting. We spontaneously talked about marrying in a Pret-a-Manger in South Kensington, announcing it to the parents on the bus ride home – all very spontaneous London style. An official proposal song on Christmas Eve and half a year later, we had our small civil wedding in Germany but in traditional Romanian clothes, 4 years after our first date. The big party happened a year later in the garden of the house where Julia grew up and that we are currently renovating to host our own growing family. The ceremony was an incredible celebration in three languages, masterminded by the bride. It could not have better represented who we are and how we met: our guests shared 13 different nationalities from 3 different continents between them.  

Whilst we loved our time in multicultural, dynamic London and while both of us have been working there with leading professionals in their respective fields (Julia worked as a freelance for the ATG Media Group during her studies and has since also been a guest lecturer at her Masters alma mater, Sotheby’s Institute of Art; Andrei has worked extensively with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and London Sinfonietta, a.o.), we still decided to build family life in Julia’s home town of Rudolstadt, Germany.  

Julia took over her parents’ arts and antiques auction house at the start of 2021 after having already worked there for several years. She is also a member of two important German heritage committees. Upon completing his Masters in Munich, Andrei became the Section Leader of Germany’s oldest orchestra, the Staatskapelle Weimar. He also tours and teaches regularly in Europe and overseas.  

In October 2019, we became the proud parents of a baby girl. We do long for as many returns to London as possible because we miss it so much, but we appreciate that our daughter can enjoy the rich cultural heritage and natural landscape here, such as the Thuringian Woods. Ella is growing fast and as our family language is still English, she is now speaking words mixed between all three languages. 

Sending lots of love and good wishes to all the goats around the world, 

Julia, Andrei & Ella 

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