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Belmond Grand Hotel TimeoReception Venue
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Fabrizio And Romina Photography & FilmsVideographer
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Wedding Date on Jun 24, 2019

Real Wedding Feature Just a few questions to help us write up the feature on your wedding... Where was the wedding held: • Ceremony: Chiesa di San Giuseppe in Taormina, Italy (Church of Saint Joseph) • Reception (if different): Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo in Taormina, Italy Where did you get your: • Wedding Dress: My Maggie Sottero wedding gown was the very first dress I tried on and the very first bridal boutique I went to, which was Rosalin’s Bridal Boutique in Falls Church, Virginia (USA). • Bridesmaids dresses: I only a maid of honor, my sister. I let her pick the style and color of the dress. She chose an off‐the‐shoulder gown by Adrianna Papell. • Shoes: My shoes were by Sam Edelman. • Flowers: The flowers in the church and my bouquet were created by the florist, Petali & Capricci. The flowers at the reception and dinner were by Sebastian Flowers. • Groom(smen)’s suits: Mark wore a BLACK by Vera Wang tuxedo purchased at Men’s Wearhouse • Accessories: Mark’s accessories included a cummerbund, bowtie and patent leather slip‐on loafers by Calvin Klein and cufflinks and studs by Cufflinks Inc. My simple, tulle, cathedral‐length veil was by Brides & Hairpins and the earrings I wore were belonged to my “nonna” (grandmother)—they were my “something borrowed” since my mother lent them to me for my big day. • Cake: The cake was a simple and light sponge cake filled with Chantilly cream and wild strawberries coated with whip cream. It was made in‐house at the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo. • Cars/Wedding Favours: The car that we used was a vintage FIAT 500 cabrio. It was so cute, classy and very Italian! It even said “Just Married” on the back trunk. Our bomboniere (wedding favours) were ceramic “catchall” bowls hand painted with a lemon pattern. We wanted to recall both the strong citrus presence and ceramic culture that is found in Sicily. They were made by the ceramic shop “Ceramiche Artistiche Carco’ di Irene Cabibbo” in the ceramic capital of Sicily—Caltagirone! • Stationery: Our wedding invitations were made by company “The American Wedding”....ironically, our wedding was very Italian! On the other hand, I personally designed and created the ceremony programs. • Make Up & Hair: My hair and make‐up was provided by a dear friend of mine, Luciano Chiarello. I used to work in the fashion industry in Milan, specifically for Glamour Italia, and I met Luciano through my work. He was always our make‐up artist on set and I travelled the world with him for photoshoots. So when it was time to choose a make‐up artist and hair stylist, there was no doubt that I was going to call Luciano. • Wedding Bands: Our wedding bands were custom‐made by Simone & Son in Huntington Beach, California (USA). • Ceremony/Reception Music: The ceremony music was provided by “Musica e Sposi.” We had a violinist, organist and soprano perform beautiful airy, romantic, classics, even giving a nod to the Sicilian culture...the entrance song that our parents walked down the aisle to was “Intermezzo” by Pietro Mascagni from the Opera “Cavalleria Rusticana”. I’m also very passionate for opera, so I picked out all the music, of course. The reception entertainment was provided by Chicky Mo Swing Band. Wow! They were so amazing. It was like having the Rat Pack at our dinner. They were elegant and classy with their tuxedoes and a 1930’s set complete with floor lamps and Persian rugs and they kept our guests on their feet in between courses and all night long. Absolutely loved them! • Photographer: Romina Costantino was the photographer, while her husband Fabrizio Soldano took the video footage. They hailed from Sicily as well and were quick and everywhere. They were also super easy to work with and made us feel at ease in front of the camera. • Anything else... o Given the location of our reception, right next door to the Greek Theatre, and the rich Greek influence in the Sicilian culture, we named the tables at our reception after the gods and goddesses related to love, marriage, prosperity and good fortune. o We also had an “Angolo Cubano” – a “Cuban Corner” set up for our guests to enjoy by Cigar‐Lounge Catania. They provided a variety of cigars, cigarillos, rums, whiskeys, liquors, and chocolates. They are a husband and wife team and were so amazing during the whole process. The products that they offered were top of the line and the set‐up was done with taste, class and elegance. What’s your love story? How did you meet originally and get together? (we love a good sceal...) To call the story of Gabriella and Mark "destiny" would be a little bit of an understatement. Their story is a love story that seems more like a fateful fairytale than real life. It all began oh about 15 years ago, yes, you read that correctly, roughly 15 years in the making, when Gabriella and Mark were both students at John Carroll University (Cleveland, Ohio, USA). Their paths crossed between classes and parties but after graduation in 2006, they went on their separate ways in life...Gabriella moved to Milan, Italy and Mark moved to Huntington Beach, California. Fast forward to March 2018, and thanks to social media, Mark and Gabriella reconnected, notwithstanding the distance between them. After exchanging a few messages over Instagram, they exchanged phone numbers. Texting each other then lead to hours‐long phone calls and FaceTiming. During one of their many phone conversations, they learned that they'd both be in their hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, for Easter so they planned to meet up for lunch on Friday, March 30, 2018 for their first date. It was pretty serendipitous since never in Mark's time living away from Cleveland, did he ever travel to Cleveland for Easter. Furthermore, Mark asked Gabriella to go to Cleveland's Little Italy for their date, exactly where Gabriella's parents met and where Mark's parents would hang out when they dated. For the both of them, these were all signs that it was all meant to be. The lunch lasted about four hours and from there they went to the Cleveland Museum of Art. They then carried onto Marble Room, where at the bar Mark told Gabriella "I love you and I'm going to marry you one day." Gabriella, without any hesitation, told him the same thing back. Since then they've been inseparable notwithstanding the nearly 2,700 miles between them. They committed to make it work. And so that's where our story took us to Taormina, where Gabriella and Mark exchanged vows of marriage on June 24, 2019. How did the proposal go, if there was one? Mark is not much of a planner and he hates surprises. But on the evening of August 9, 2018, Mark had the plan to pick up me up from the airport, as I was flying in from Washington, D.C. to visit him for the weekend, and he had planned to purpose to me on the beach after a romantic dinner. This all sounded perfect, except as soon as we exited the LAX airport and got on the freeway, the traffic was all backed up! There had been an accident so we got stuck on the freeway for nearly three hours. I could tell Mark was very nervous in the car and getting upset. And he had even said “this ruins my whole plan.” By the time we arrived in Huntington Beach, it was 10 p.m. and all the restaurants were already closed. So I told him we didn’t need to go out eat and that I wasn’t even that hungry. So I got ready for bed and put my pyjamas on as he took the dog out for a walk. When he came back from the walk he seemed very nervous and was acting strange. And then at a certain point he just proposed. I don’t even remember what he said and neither does he. He said that he had never been so nervous. Could you sum up your wedding in a couple of sentences – how would you describe the look and feel of the day, the vibe, Our wedding day was truly a fairy tale dream wedding. It was elegant, classy and timeless and relaxing, believe it or not...everything flowed so smoothly and everyone had a wonderful time. It was certainly a day that we will never forget! What was important to you about your wedding‐ what were your priorities from the very beginning? Our priorities that there would be amazing food and great entertainment because those are really the two things that your guests will remember. Oh and the location! Since we had a destination wedding and half of our guests were traveling from the United States, we wanted to make sure it was worth the trip, so Taormina would not have been a more perfect location for that. Plus the Timeo hotel is the best place to be in Taormina, hands down! Everything else doesn’t really matter. No one is going to notice or remember if you had flowers on every pew in the church or if your linens were white or off white. What made your venue “the one”? If you’re going to fly half‐way across the world to say “I do” you either go big to stay home! The Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo is THE place to be in Taormina. Location, location location! Overlooking the sea with Mount Etna in the background and a vast, colourful garden—what more could you ask for? Plus the staff is absolutely amazing—such warm, welcoming people...just like the Sicilian people and the food is exquisite! There’s no better place in Taormina than at the Timeo. What’s ironic, is that I’ve been going to Taormina since I was a teenager, and I always remember seeing weddings filtering in the gates at the Timeo and I remember thinking “Wow! What a location for a wedding.” Little did I know some 20 plus years later, I’d be there for my special day. What made the day really special and personal to you? (things you included, unusual elements, things that people made or did for you etc) The fact that we were able to having our wedding in Taormina was so special to me because that meant my close family members, who would not have been able to make a transatlantic flight, were able to attend. In fact, that’s the whole reason why we chose Italy and not our native Cleveland, Ohio, as our wedding location. Also having my ex‐boss from Glamour Italia, Edoardo Marchiori, there with me really made my day so special. We spent so much time together working together at Glamour Italia and we always fantasized about my wedding day and so it was great that he was able to be there for my day and even helped me get dressed. He also gave me a super unique gift—he handmade a Barbie & Ken shadow box that was made to represent me and Mark. It was so thoughtful and creative. I love it so much! What advice would you give to brides and grooms planning their day? Don’t sweat the small stuff—none of it will matter on the day of your wedding. Trust me! No one will notice...only you and it’s not worth to get worked up things. Also, spend your money wisely. You really don’t need monogrammed napkins or expensive invitations. Guess what, both things end up the garbage...so spend your money wisely. Also, if you can, have the smallest wedding possible! We had exactly 50 guests, which could not have been more perfect. We got to talk to EVERY SINGLE PERSON and actually had conversations with them. It was intimate and beautiful. At the end of the night, Mark and I looked at each other and said we couldn’t have had a more perfect day and we couldn’t have fathomed having a larger wedding. Remember to enjoy the day because, yes, it flies by SO SO SO SO fast! Mark and I had a few moments to ourselves during the day and it was perfect. We got to regroup and just take a few moments to soak it all in alone. Also, if you can, have the least amount of people with you as you get ready. You really don’t need your whole wedding party with you as you get ready. The event planner at the Timeo couldn’t get over how cool, calm and collected I was. It was mainly due to the fact that there were two people in my suite with me—my hair/make‐up artist, Luciano and Edoardo, who helped me get dressed. That’s it. I met everyone else at the church and it was awesome. Where did you go/are you planning on going on honeymoon? Since we spent a few extra days in Taormina after the wedding, we decided we will take a honeymoon later on the year. We are debating between Bali and French Polynesia...both places easily accessible from our home now in Southern California.



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Gabriella and Mark

in Taormina, Sicilia, Italy

Videographer: Fabrizio And Romina Photography & Films
Venue: Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo

Jun 24 2019

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Real Wedding Feature Just a few questions to help us write up the feature on your wedding... Where was the wedding held: • Ceremony: Chiesa di San Giuseppe in Taormina, Italy (Church of Saint Joseph) • Reception (if different): Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo in Taormina, Italy Where did you get your: • Wedding Dress: My Maggie Sottero wedding gown was the very first dress I tried on and the very first bridal boutique I went to, which was Rosalin’s Bridal Boutique in Falls Church, Virginia (USA). • Bridesmaids dresses: I only a maid of honor, my sister. I let her pick the style and color of the dress. She chose an off‐the‐shoulder gown by Adrianna Papell. • Shoes: My shoes were by Sam Edelman. • Flowers: The flowers in the church and my bouquet were created by the florist, Petali & Capricci. The flowers at the reception and dinner were by Sebastian Flowers. • Groom(smen)’s suits: Mark wore a BLACK by Vera Wang tuxedo purchased at Men’s Wearhouse • Accessories: Mark’s accessories included a cummerbund, bowtie and patent leather slip‐on loafers by Calvin Klein and cufflinks and studs by Cufflinks Inc. My simple, tulle, cathedral‐length veil was by Brides & Hairpins and the earrings I wore were belonged to my “nonna” (grandmother)—they were my “something borrowed” since my mother lent them to me for my big day. • Cake: The cake was a simple and light sponge cake filled with Chantilly cream and wild strawberries coated with whip cream. It was made in‐house at the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo. • Cars/Wedding Favours: The car that we used was a vintage FIAT 500 cabrio. It was so cute, classy and very Italian! It even said “Just Married” on the back trunk. Our bomboniere (wedding favours) were ceramic “catchall” bowls hand painted with a lemon pattern. We wanted to recall both the strong citrus presence and ceramic culture that is found in Sicily. They were made by the ceramic shop “Ceramiche Artistiche Carco’ di Irene Cabibbo” in the ceramic capital of Sicily—Caltagirone! • Stationery: Our wedding invitations were made by company “The American Wedding”....ironically, our wedding was very Italian! On the other hand, I personally designed and created the ceremony programs. • Make Up & Hair: My hair and make‐up was provided by a dear friend of mine, Luciano Chiarello. I used to work in the fashion industry in Milan, specifically for Glamour Italia, and I met Luciano through my work. He was always our make‐up artist on set and I travelled the world with him for photoshoots. So when it was time to choose a make‐up artist and hair stylist, there was no doubt that I was going to call Luciano. • Wedding Bands: Our wedding bands were custom‐made by Simone & Son in Huntington Beach, California (USA). • Ceremony/Reception Music: The ceremony music was provided by “Musica e Sposi.” We had a violinist, organist and soprano perform beautiful airy, romantic, classics, even giving a nod to the Sicilian culture...the entrance song that our parents walked down the aisle to was “Intermezzo” by Pietro Mascagni from the Opera “Cavalleria Rusticana”. I’m also very passionate for opera, so I picked out all the music, of course. The reception entertainment was provided by Chicky Mo Swing Band. Wow! They were so amazing. It was like having the Rat Pack at our dinner. They were elegant and classy with their tuxedoes and a 1930’s set complete with floor lamps and Persian rugs and they kept our guests on their feet in between courses and all night long. Absolutely loved them! • Photographer: Romina Costantino was the photographer, while her husband Fabrizio Soldano took the video footage. They hailed from Sicily as well and were quick and everywhere. They were also super easy to work with and made us feel at ease in front of the camera. • Anything else... o Given the location of our reception, right next door to the Greek Theatre, and the rich Greek influence in the Sicilian culture, we named the tables at our reception after the gods and goddesses related to love, marriage, prosperity and good fortune. o We also had an “Angolo Cubano” – a “Cuban Corner” set up for our guests to enjoy by Cigar‐Lounge Catania. They provided a variety of cigars, cigarillos, rums, whiskeys, liquors, and chocolates. They are a husband and wife team and were so amazing during the whole process. The products that they offered were top of the line and the set‐up was done with taste, class and elegance. What’s your love story? How did you meet originally and get together? (we love a good sceal...) To call the story of Gabriella and Mark "destiny" would be a little bit of an understatement. Their story is a love story that seems more like a fateful fairytale than real life. It all began oh about 15 years ago, yes, you read that correctly, roughly 15 years in the making, when Gabriella and Mark were both students at John Carroll University (Cleveland, Ohio, USA). Their paths crossed between classes and parties but after graduation in 2006, they went on their separate ways in life...Gabriella moved to Milan, Italy and Mark moved to Huntington Beach, California. Fast forward to March 2018, and thanks to social media, Mark and Gabriella reconnected, notwithstanding the distance between them. After exchanging a few messages over Instagram, they exchanged phone numbers. Texting each other then lead to hours‐long phone calls and FaceTiming. During one of their many phone conversations, they learned that they'd both be in their hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, for Easter so they planned to meet up for lunch on Friday, March 30, 2018 for their first date. It was pretty serendipitous since never in Mark's time living away from Cleveland, did he ever travel to Cleveland for Easter. Furthermore, Mark asked Gabriella to go to Cleveland's Little Italy for their date, exactly where Gabriella's parents met and where Mark's parents would hang out when they dated. For the both of them, these were all signs that it was all meant to be. The lunch lasted about four hours and from there they went to the Cleveland Museum of Art. They then carried onto Marble Room, where at the bar Mark told Gabriella "I love you and I'm going to marry you one day." Gabriella, without any hesitation, told him the same thing back. Since then they've been inseparable notwithstanding the nearly 2,700 miles between them. They committed to make it work. And so that's where our story took us to Taormina, where Gabriella and Mark exchanged vows of marriage on June 24, 2019. How did the proposal go, if there was one? Mark is not much of a planner and he hates surprises. But on the evening of August 9, 2018, Mark had the plan to pick up me up from the airport, as I was flying in from Washington, D.C. to visit him for the weekend, and he had planned to purpose to me on the beach after a romantic dinner. This all sounded perfect, except as soon as we exited the LAX airport and got on the freeway, the traffic was all backed up! There had been an accident so we got stuck on the freeway for nearly three hours. I could tell Mark was very nervous in the car and getting upset. And he had even said “this ruins my whole plan.” By the time we arrived in Huntington Beach, it was 10 p.m. and all the restaurants were already closed. So I told him we didn’t need to go out eat and that I wasn’t even that hungry. So I got ready for bed and put my pyjamas on as he took the dog out for a walk. When he came back from the walk he seemed very nervous and was acting strange. And then at a certain point he just proposed. I don’t even remember what he said and neither does he. He said that he had never been so nervous. Could you sum up your wedding in a couple of sentences – how would you describe the look and feel of the day, the vibe, Our wedding day was truly a fairy tale dream wedding. It was elegant, classy and timeless and relaxing, believe it or not...everything flowed so smoothly and everyone had a wonderful time. It was certainly a day that we will never forget! What was important to you about your wedding‐ what were your priorities from the very beginning? Our priorities that there would be amazing food and great entertainment because those are really the two things that your guests will remember. Oh and the location! Since we had a destination wedding and half of our guests were traveling from the United States, we wanted to make sure it was worth the trip, so Taormina would not have been a more perfect location for that. Plus the Timeo hotel is the best place to be in Taormina, hands down! Everything else doesn’t really matter. No one is going to notice or remember if you had flowers on every pew in the church or if your linens were white or off white. What made your venue “the one”? If you’re going to fly half‐way across the world to say “I do” you either go big to stay home! The Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo is THE place to be in Taormina. Location, location location! Overlooking the sea with Mount Etna in the background and a vast, colourful garden—what more could you ask for? Plus the staff is absolutely amazing—such warm, welcoming people...just like the Sicilian people and the food is exquisite! There’s no better place in Taormina than at the Timeo. What’s ironic, is that I’ve been going to Taormina since I was a teenager, and I always remember seeing weddings filtering in the gates at the Timeo and I remember thinking “Wow! What a location for a wedding.” Little did I know some 20 plus years later, I’d be there for my special day. What made the day really special and personal to you? (things you included, unusual elements, things that people made or did for you etc) The fact that we were able to having our wedding in Taormina was so special to me because that meant my close family members, who would not have been able to make a transatlantic flight, were able to attend. In fact, that’s the whole reason why we chose Italy and not our native Cleveland, Ohio, as our wedding location. Also having my ex‐boss from Glamour Italia, Edoardo Marchiori, there with me really made my day so special. We spent so much time together working together at Glamour Italia and we always fantasized about my wedding day and so it was great that he was able to be there for my day and even helped me get dressed. He also gave me a super unique gift—he handmade a Barbie & Ken shadow box that was made to represent me and Mark. It was so thoughtful and creative. I love it so much! What advice would you give to brides and grooms planning their day? Don’t sweat the small stuff—none of it will matter on the day of your wedding. Trust me! No one will notice...only you and it’s not worth to get worked up things. Also, spend your money wisely. You really don’t need monogrammed napkins or expensive invitations. Guess what, both things end up the garbage...so spend your money wisely. Also, if you can, have the smallest wedding possible! We had exactly 50 guests, which could not have been more perfect. We got to talk to EVERY SINGLE PERSON and actually had conversations with them. It was intimate and beautiful. At the end of the night, Mark and I looked at each other and said we couldn’t have had a more perfect day and we couldn’t have fathomed having a larger wedding. Remember to enjoy the day because, yes, it flies by SO SO SO SO fast! Mark and I had a few moments to ourselves during the day and it was perfect. We got to regroup and just take a few moments to soak it all in alone. Also, if you can, have the least amount of people with you as you get ready. You really don’t need your whole wedding party with you as you get ready. The event planner at the Timeo couldn’t get over how cool, calm and collected I was. It was mainly due to the fact that there were two people in my suite with me—my hair/make‐up artist, Luciano and Edoardo, who helped me get dressed. That’s it. I met everyone else at the church and it was awesome. Where did you go/are you planning on going on honeymoon? Since we spent a few extra days in Taormina after the wedding, we decided we will take a honeymoon later on the year. We are debating between Bali and French Polynesia...both places easily accessible from our home now in Southern California.


Wedding Team

B

Belmond Grand Hotel TimeoReception Venue
Learn More

F

Fabrizio And Romina Photography & FilmsVideographer
Learn More

F

Fabrizio And Romina Photography & FilmsPhotographer
Learn More

F

Fabrizio And Romina Photography & FilmPhotographer
Learn More

S

Sebastian FlowersFlorist
Learn More

R

Rosalina's Bridal BoutiqueDress Designer
Learn More

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