Wedding cake

American Wedding in Sicily: Eleanor & Joe

Eleanor e Joe durante il loro matrimonio a Villa La Limonaia

What’s your love story? How did you meet originally and get together? 

Joe and I met in the fall of 2011 through close friends. He was one of my friend’s roommates and we always had fun talking, singing, and laughing together. Eventually, when the timing was right, we got together in March 2012 after we had been friendly for a few months. Once we started dating we instantly fell for each other and became best friends. It didn’t take long to realize that we both found each other incredibly funny, smart, and fun. We have a love and respect for one another that is unparalleled.

How did the proposal go?

The proposal was beautiful! Joe and I love to travel and one of our favorite cities – and the first place we ever traveled to – is Paris. We were in Paris over the winter holidays with another couple we are close with. One night, we left to meet our friends at their apartment to have a drink before going to dinner at our favorite restaurant – Au Passage. Thanks to my terrible sense of direction, I did not think about the fact that we weren’t walking the right way. Joe instead took me on a walk past all of the places we had discovered together in the beautiful city lights. He brought me to a park we love and then got down on one knee. You can take it from there.

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Your wedding in a couple of sentences
I think of our wedding as classic and simple with unique touches of color and personality. Since the venue was so beautiful on its own, we wanted to pick colors and flowers that complimented it without competing with it. The vibe was very happy and full of love, as 80 people traveled from very far to be there for us. There were many happy tears and a lot of laughter.

What was important to you about your wedding?

We both thought it was very important to show our friends and family the things that we loved about Sicily. The food and wine were probably the most important to us, and we chose a caterer that blew us – and our guests – away. We also wanted to share the dinner all together, which is why we seated everyone at one long table. We made sure that the table was beautifully decorated without making it difficult to speak to or see each other across the table. No big centerpieces was a priority for me and I made sure the flowers we used were beautiful. I wanted as many peonies as possible and was vigilant about the flowers they used as “fillers.” Another priority was also the music and dancing following the dinner. We had a DJ but made a long Spotify playlist beforehand to share with our DJ so that he could get a good idea of what we liked and wanted. It was a blast.

On a separate note, I had two men in my bridal party. It was important to me to make sure that my bridesmen felt special and that they were identifiable as part of the bridal party. My bridesmaids dresses were from JCrew but they did not make the matching color bowtie, so I looked for the specific color name on etsy. I guess I wasn’t the only one that wanted those ties because we ended up with bowties that matched the dresses perfectly. My bridesmen wore the same suits as the groomsmen – it kept the look cohesive but also represented the difference between the two parties.

What made your venue “the one”?

Villa La Limonaia. It looked beautiful online, but neither of us originally thought it would be the place for the wedding. In fact, after both of us found issues with the original contenders, we simply went to the appointment out of courtesy. I think we both had let go of the Sicily wedding idea at this point because of our disappointing experiences at the other venues.
What made our venue “the one” was that as soon as we arrived on the property, we both loved it. Before we had a tour, before we met the lovely woman working there – who also ended up introducing us to our amazing wedding planners – we had a feeling. It felt right and we both knew it at the same time. It was unique, beautiful, and elegant without feeling smug or pretentious. It was perfect for us and we knew it the second we set foot there.

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The day was really special and personal for many reasons. There were little things that did it. Joe wore his grandfather’s watch that his father gave him. I wore my great grandmother’s sapphire cocktail ring from the 1920s as my something old (and something blue.) My engagement ring was created with a diamond from my grandfather’s mason badge. My hairclip was my something borrowed – from one of my best friends, Becca. She wore it at her wedding, and Joe and I love her and her husband very much both individually and as a couple.

From the bridal perspective, a really special part of the day was getting ready together. I put a lot of thought into writing letters for everyone there. At one point, while I was getting my make-up done, my bridal party went outside and read their letters individually without my knowledge. When they came inside, I knew immediately they had all just read their letters. The feelings of love, friendship, and support were palpable and I will never forget that moment.

During the dinner, as with many weddings, the most important speeches were given. All of the speeches were touching, but one of his Italian cousins chose to speak – with Joe’s father as a translator. I won’t soon forget anything from our wedding, but I will never forget this. It brought together family from across the world, and I loved it.

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