It's official, they have tied the knot and we could not be more excited to feature the wedding of...
Noël Descalzi Fiorentinos
Noël and Nick Fiorentinos 7-27-13
Your rehearsal dress and wedding dress were so chic and perfect for the landscape of your wedding. Did you know all along you were going for a Grecian goddess feel?
I like to describe my personal style as simple. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry and usually I don't like a lot detail. I ordered my rehearsal dinner dress at shop bop.com by Joanna August. I was convinced this was going to be the dress I wore at the wedding and obsessed with the thought of being an easy, simple, decisive bride. No, "Say Yes to the Dress" style fitting and absolutely no crying. I told my mother this and I think her exact words were "Are you out of your mind? You are not ordering your wedding dress ONLINE!" I understood her frustration and decided to appease her, my sisters and sister-in-laws to be and took a trip to a bridal boutique called Lovely Bride in the village. Within the first 15 minutes I found a Carolyn Bessette style, silk, gorgeous, gown by Love, Yu. It was perfect and I was happy my mother talked some sense into me.
"I feel like I’m in a dream Nick. We are so lucky."
You conquered the "destination wedding." What were the biggest challenges you faced in the planning process? Biggest rewards?
To be honest, I didn't think the process was over the top challenging. I thought there were a lot of aspects of planning a destination wedding that seemed easier than planning a wedding here. Nick and I have gone to Greece every summer for the past 5 years so I knew my way around, somewhat. The summer before we basically planned the whole thing in a 2 week period and it was fun doing it all together. We found a venue, hunted down a priest, found a florist that was oddly related to Nick, we did a cake tasting, picked favors, found a wedding planner and the rest we coordinated from the states. Over the course of the year, I Skyped with the planner, florist and venue manager. The biggest challenge had to be the timing of communicating because they are 7 hours ahead. Everything else I did over here. Bridal party attire, invitations, hair and makeup appointments etc.
For me, the biggest reward of planning a destination wedding especially in Europe, was DEFINITELY seeing my family there. Nick is first generation American and I am third. For his family, traveling to Greece is business as usual but for mine it was an opportunity of a life-time. Experiencing that trip with both of my grandmothers was so incredibly special, its hard to describe. My motivation behind wanting to have the wedding in Greece was to give our guests the chance to experience a vacation, a wedding and a summer that they would always remember.
What did it mean to you that your Hudson County native, Jersey family took a trip of a lifetime to join you on your special day?
It meant a lot. I feel like we gave our friends and family a great opportunity by hosting a wedding over seas and they returned the favor by attending. We are so lucky that we have so many people in our lives that love and support us.
With that said some of my side was nervous about the traveling. During the planning process, I made sure I hand-held them while making the arrangements. Not everyone just gets up and boards planes so easily ya know.. It’s unbelievable how many people are frightened by travel. I would sit on the phone for hours with my grandmothers telling them every detail of what the trip would entail in attempts to ease their nerves and help them understand how to pack and what to expect. Then on the 16th of July, 11 days before the wedding, they arrived. Nick and I greeted them at the small island airport. They looked exhausted but lit up when they saw us. I will never forget that moment of wheeling my 80 year old grandmother out of the airport. It was really special.
How did you pick your location?
The summer before the wedding my sister Devon and mom accompanied Nick and I on our trip to assist us in planning. Nick's sister owns a touring agency and made a reservation for us at a hotel called The Mabely Grand. We usually stay with family but since my mom and sister were visiting for the first time, a hotel seemed more appropriate. The island is fairly big and this hotel was nestled up in the mountains far away from tourists and town. It was a really nice change but further away from what we were used to. Devon had actually suggested that we do the wedding there but I was not convinced. I scoured the island looking for the perfect place but nothing was as picturesque and distinctive as the Mabely Grand.
"We are so lucky that we have so many people in our lives that love and support us."
The wedding was a week long affair, what other activities did you and your guests enjoy before and after the actual wedding?
The week leading up to the wedding was incredible. Here is the run down: All guests arrived a week before the wedding.
-Tuesday we had a Welcome Party at a very cool beach lounge called Casa Playa. We had a great lunch and relaxed on the beach.
-Wednesday we took a boat ride to the world famous Shipwreck Beach.
-Thursday was the rehearsal dinner and party which was perfect. We exchanged gifts with our parents and bridal party and ended the evening with wish lanterns that we let go over the ocean.
-Friday, Nick and I split up. We didn’t want to see each other for the whole day before the wedding. He enjoyed bonding with his friends and family while I had a spa day with my bridesmaids and female guests.
Saturday the 27th of July was the wedding and Sunday we hosted a farewell dinner at a local Taverna looking over the ocean.
How did it feel to walk down the aisle?
I was oddly calm on the morning of our wedding. It was a strange feeling, almost like I was numb to emotion. Everyone around me was SOO emotional, so I think I felt like I had to keep it together for their sake. My father was a complete wreck- sobbing when he came to pick me up from my room. He drove me up to the chapel in a little convertible and I was just trying to calm him down and keep myself from crying too. When we finally approached the long, gravel aisle- I took a deep breathe and smiled. It was surreal.
Do you have a favorite moment?
I have a few but I will tell you my favorite from the wedding night.. The setting was literally like a dream. Let me paint this picture for you.. . Nick and I sat a sweet heart table over looking 150 of our closest friends and family, into the Mediterranean Sea. Everything was so picture perfect from the flowers to the backdrop. I kept saying to him “I feel like I’m in a dream Nick. We are so lucky.”
How does it feel to be Mrs. Fiorentinos? Do you feel different now that you are married?
When we first got home from the trip I was definitely on a natural high. I felt beautiful, refreshed and excited to be back. But now only six short weeks later, it feels exactly the same. Nick and I have been together for six years and have been living together for about four. I knew I wanted to marry him from the day I met him. He’s my best friend and I’m eager to start a family with him. Actually, we already have! We have a 3 year old and one on the way.. Their names are Willow and River. Ha!
What role did your sisters play in the wedding?
Devon was my Maid of Honor and Tara was a bridesmaid. They looked absolutely gorgeous and helped me very much. Anything I needed they were at my beck and call. I’m the oldest and have done most things before them. They look up to me and when making decisions in my life, I have them in the back of my mind. I love them and I feel it’s my duty to set good examples for them. They are amazing young women and that is so clear when you meet them.
Best lesson you learned when planning for a destination wedding?
Don’t leave anything until the last minute! There were a few things that we had to sort out over there just a few weeks before the wedding. Final song selections for the DJ, table arrangements etc. No offense to Greeks but they live a different lifestyle over there. Advanced planning doesn’t really go on. Deals and agreements are made on a handshake and good faith, which is pretty cool in certain aspects of planning but concerning in others.
Anything you would change?
I would have tried a little harder to finish the little details in NY before heading over there. I thought I had enough time and I did because it all got done but it was very overwhelming to have 100 guests from NY & NJ arriving when I still had a few loose ends to tie up.
How did you deal with stress and anxiety when planning the wedding?
I imagine the same way as most brides... erratic and unreasonable at times but focused and organized for the most part. I tried my best to avoid the bridezilla deep down in every woman!!
Advice you have for other WiO Brides and or WiO Brides planning a destination wedding.
Plan ahead and do what makes you happy. Nick and I were big on that. He is Greek Orthodox and I’m Catholic. A Greek priest wouldn’t marry us in a chapel and a Catholic priest wouldn’t marry us outside the Catholic Church. In the end we met a Baptist priest that we fell in love with. He talked about marriage in such way that Nick and I were both really connected to. We never let any obstacle stand in the way of how, when and where we wanted to get married. In the end it was the best attitude we could have had because we lived our fairy tale wedding.
My advice for any bride-to-be is to be decisive in your choices, compromise with your partner when necessary and relish in every minute of the process because it really does go by so quickly.
If you could describe your wedding in one word what would it be?
That’s easy, EPIC.