So that happened! Yep. I got married.
We all knew it was coming. It’s been coming for almost two years, but on September 15th, it happened. Josh and I finally tied the knot, as they say. I have so much to tell you, I don’t even know where to begin. So just bear with me because this post may be windy and emotional and loooong, but there’s just so much to tell!
If you’ve been following along on the crazy adventure that has been my engagement, you know that when we decided to get married in Italy it was pretty random. But after going through a few more local options, we decided on a destination wedding in hopes to a) do something beautiful b) give our friends and family the opportunity to travel when they may not have otherwise and c) keep the wedding more intimate. Josh and I have been to so many weddings and we wanted whatever we did to be more than just a party for a few hours. We wanted to spend time with everyone. We wanted our friends and families to meet and get to know each other. We wanted to feel relaxed, and present and be able to enjoy ourselves. And that was exactly how the weekend went.
We arrived in Florence a few days before the wedding to settle into being in Italy. We started to meet with family and bump into friends. We lounged around our hotel room in bathrobes and wrote our vows. I got a cold (the ONLY thing that went wrong!) and lost my voice, but I was too excited to rest. Before the wedding I had so many fears and anxieties about what we were doing. Did we make the right decision to get married in Italy? Do I even care about getting married? Are we really the right people for each other? As a classic over-thinker, I ran through every scenario 1,000 times and made myself totally crazy. But the second we got on the plane every question melted away and I just felt happy. Simple as that. There was no wedding stress, no life stress, just pure happiness. I felt that throughout our few days in Florence and then when we arrived at Borgo Stomennano on Thursday, I went from happy to a feeling of being totally blissed out.
Let me back up and share a few logistics. When we decided to get married in Italy, I called Nicole Cari to ask for her advice (she got married in Tuscany a few years ago). She connected us with our planner, Annie, who was incredible, and also recommended Borgo Stomennano, where we had our wedding. She had been there for a friend’s wedding and said it was wonderful—we booked it after just looking at a few photos online and taking her word for it. As you can see in the photos, it was magical. It’s still run by the same family who has owned the property for hundreds of years, and Luisa, who manages it along with her mother and brother, was so wonderful to work with. We were able to book it for four days and have 34 family members and friends stay on site since it’s set up as a villa and small compound of farmhouses. It was like renting a place for a summer holiday with your nearest and dearest and just throwing a big party. It was perfect.
We checked into Stomennano on Thursday and our friends and family started to arrive. Everyone was so excited to be there—there was a feeling of joy just radiating through everybody. That night we had a dinner for immediate family in the villa so we could all catch up. By this point, my “wedding diet” really disintegrated. The next day remaining friends and family showed up and we had a pool party to welcome everyone. Almost all of our 68 guests came over for pizza and a swim. Everyone was having a great time when all of a sudden the sky opened up and it started raining and hailing. Josh and I jumped in the pool, a few friends followed and we had a swim in the rain. After a few minutes—after we all ran inside—it stopped and there was a beautiful rainbow right on the property. Talk about a sign! We couldn’t have cared less that it was raining. It was hilarious and fun and made the day more special.
Then it was wedding day!!! Throughout this whole process, Josh and I have been very relaxed when it came to planning (if anything, Josh went more bridezilla than I did). We spent the morning relaxing, napping, sitting by the pool, hanging out with family before we started to get ready.
So I guess now is the time to talk about the dress!! I got my dress at Carolina Herrera. I had no idea what I wanted and I tried on more terrible dresses than I can count. I had found a dress that I liked but had time before I had to make a decision, so I waited. And then I saw this dress online. I knew the second I saw it that it was perfect. I tried it on in December and that was it. Like they say, I just knew the second I put it on. Choosing accessories was fun, but what was most special was that my friend Caroline Ventura designed a simple bracelet for me using diamonds from a ring that Josh’s dad had given to Josh’s mom, and that she had given to us. It was beautiful and I was so grateful to wear something so personal that had so much thoughtfulness and love put into it on such a special day. I used the emerald and another diamond stone from the ring to work with Caroline to make a stick pin as a gift for Josh that he wore on his tuxedo.
I spent the afternoon getting ready with my mom. Josh and I didn’t have a wedding party, so for me it meant a lot to be with my mom, my grandmother and my friend Lindsey. Garance came too and helped me with all of the final details. Spending the last moments before seeing Josh with my mom, Lindsey and Garance — 3 of the most important women in my life — was special. It was emotional. I had already started crying at this point.
My mom’s advice to me before we left to go see my dad, “Always be happy.”
I get my emotion from my dad, who is a big ball of laughter and tears. Seeing him before he walked me down the aisle started the water works again. When we turned the corner and I saw Josh standing there, I totally lost it (thank you waterproof mascara!). I don’t remember seeing anyone else, but when I look at our photos, I love seeing the faces of our friends who are looking at Josh as I’m walking down the aisle. One thing that a few people told me is they couldn’t get over what a puddle of love Josh was all weekend and it’s true. He’s always shown me so much love but to see the unbridled joy on his face when he saw me for the first time in my wedding dress is a memory that’s sunken into my bones and warms me every time I think of it.
We had a quick ceremony performed by Josh’s cousin, Francesca, who I’ve also become very close to over the years. She shared so many wonderful stories, read a beautiful poem by Dante in Italian, and shared advice for our new life together. We read our vows to each other, both so honest and emotional. So full of love. We exchanged rings, which were made by Francesca as our wedding gift, and broke a glass (the one Jewish tradition we kept). Our friends tossed olive leaves and flower petals as we walked back down the aisle to our string duo playing “Island in the Sun” by Weezer. It was magical. Throughout the whole planning process we kept tabling the ceremony conversations until the end, both feeling conflicted about its importance and place in the weekend being that we’re not very religious and it was more symbolic than anything. But now I look back on it as my favorite part of the evening because it was so honest, and we were able to share that with so many people that we love.
The night went on for hours with food, six courses of delicious dinner, speeches by our parents, and our dear friends (Garance only roasted me a little!). We went from dinner into hours of dancing the night away. We had the BEST vinyl DJ! Josh and I danced to “I Only Have Eyes for You” by The Flamingos and the disco balls lit up the night and from there it was a messy party of funk and soul and wine and laughter and gelato. I even put on pajamas so I could keep up with everyone. We didn’t stop dancing until 3:30 in the morning and party went on until the sun went up…
I always knew I wanted to have a wedding, but I don’t think I really understood why until after it happened. To be able to celebrate the person you love with all of the people that you love and who have grown up with you through all of your life stages—the funny times and the messy times and the terrible ex-boyfriends and the discovery of new love and the evolution from being a kid into being an adult—it’s taking a moment in time to do that that makes a wedding important. Sharing all of that love so purely and openly, having fun and not worrying about anything at all. No work. No money. No complicated relationships. No health problems. Just forgetting all of the things that make life hard and celebrating one of the things that makes life good, we don’t get to do that enough.
And as they say…the credits:
Photography: Yann Audic, Lifestories Wedding ; Invitations: Venamour; Venue: Borgo Stomennao; Planner: Annie Adair for Tuscan Tour; Catering:Dolceria del Corso; Gelato: Gelatofrullalà; Strings: Perigozzo String Duo; DJs: Collettivo Distillerie; Transport: FrancoBus; Dress: Carolina Herrera; Shoes: Tabitha Simmons; Earrings: Aurelie Bidermann; Bracelet: Caroline Ventura; Make Up: Jennifer Bradburn; Hair: Lisa del Colombo; PJs: Oliva von Halle; Earrings: Rebecca de Ravenel; Slides:Miu Miu; Tuxedo: Thom Sweeney; Shirt, Bowtie and Slippers: Brooks Brothers; Barber: Mildred New York