Marina + Patrick
Marina Luri was considering a move to Italy when her boyfriend, Patrick Clark, proposed. She accepted—but on one condition: "If I'm not moving to Milan, we're getting married in Italy."
Although she was born in New York, Marina is also European. Her parents are Italian, and she went to school in Switzerland. As a fashion publicist—for Donna Karan and Hermès, among others—she often traveled on the Continent. But her groom, a mutual fund executive, had never been to Italy. So she took him on a primer trip to a family party in the town of Vasto, on the Adriatic.
For their wedding, Marina chose a central location in Tuscany, since she has family spanning the length of the boot. The couple hosted 65 people at Villa Il Poggiale, a bed-and-breakfast in San Casciano Val di Pesa that is run by a friend of the bride's. Guests took over the 24 private antiques-filled rooms in the 15th-century Renaissance manor and got acquainted with one another at the open bar in the sunny living room.
After a ceremony at the town hall, it was back to the villa for a cocktail reception and a casual Tuscan feast: a cheese table with local pecorinos; individual stations serving wild boar and lamb chops, pasta with buffalo mozzarella, and risotto with zucchini flowers; and a selection of local wines. A Milanese DJ spun tunes into the night.
"It was the most incredible event I've ever done," Marina says. So incredible, in fact, that she quit the fashion biz and became a full-time wedding and events planner.
Joy + Alan
Almost a year into their relationship, Alan Sheerer took Joy Krieg on her first surfing lesson. "Riding a wave is one of the best feelings in the world," says Alan, who taught Joy to surf in tandem on a single longboard. "When you experience that together, it's amazing."
Joy agreed, and when the Silicon ValleyÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½based couple decided to get married, they chose their favorite romantic getaway and surf spot, the North Shore of Oahu. Nine months before the wedding, they took a trip to scout locations, choosing Turtle Bay Resort "because we'd be looking right at the ocean," says Alan, a software rep who attended Honolulu's Chaminade University.
Not long after the invitations went out, the RSVP's started rolling in. "Everyone was stoked to go to Hawaii," says Joy, an aspiring jewelry designer. "It was like a vacation for our friends and family." An adventure vacation, that is: preceremony activities included scuba diving, jungle hikes, and, of course, surfing.
Under a seaside gazebo, Alan, in a lei, a button-down Zegna shirt, and khakis, and Joy, in a Reem Acra strapless gown, were married by a Catholic priest, who chanted in Hawaiian. The 90 guests snacked on grilled ahi, sashimi, and organic greens with caramelized Maui onion before having dinner at tables decorated with orchids and palm fronds. Then it was time to dance to the couple's Hawaiian wedding song: a ukulele version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
"It wasn't stuffy. Everyone was casual and happy and wearing leis," Alan says. "You could feel the relaxed island vibe," adds Joy. "The groomsmen even wore flip-flops!"