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.
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
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!
Could you sum up your wedding in a couple of sentences…
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!
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!
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!
Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo one of the most exclusive venue in Sicily
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Photographer: WPJA Romina Costantino
Videographer: Fabrizio Soldano