The back story of this beautiful wedding is something that came out of our favorite romantic novels. Our bride and groom, Kim and Massimo, first started out as friends and though this wedding album is an indicator that they had their happily ever after, along they way they had a few bumps that can literally be described as “lost in translation” (read about it in the post!). But everything amounted up to this beautiful beach wedding that was filled with adorable details and decors. I specially loved the bouquets our bride and her maid-of-honor held, they looked so feminine and pretty! Enjoy browsing through the photos and while you’re at it, enjoy what our bride shared with us as well. Congratulations Kim & Massimo!
What is your story as a couple, how did you meet & fall in love?
Our story starts in the ancient city of Roma, Italia. Massimo, being born in Colombia with an Italian father, moved there to experience the culture and live with his family. I on the other hand just wanted a new start, a different look at life, so I up and moved there in early 2009. We were soon introduced by two friends, Tatiana, a girl from my Italian class and Karla, Massimo’s roommate, while at a language exchange, which I called speed-dating for learning Italian. We continued this routine once a week for several weeks before Massimo and I went out together for a beer. After that we became inseparable, best friends. We travelled all around Italy together, Firenze, Siena, Napoli, Costa Amalfitana, Capri, and the list goes on. Massimo was always a gentleman when we were together, especially putting up with me while I would sit and talk to him, mainly complaining about my current love affair at the time. He never once expressed that he had feelings for me, but in September of 2011 I guess enough was enough and he told me everything on my birthday, September 28th. I didn’t know how to react, but I was that girl and told him I wasn’t ready for a new relationship after just ending one and was scared to cross that friendship line. This conversation was completely lost in translation, as we usually had to express ourselves using 3 languages; Italian, Spanish, and English to explain everything. We didn’t speak for a month afterwards. I tried to call him, chat with him on facebook, and sent him text after text, but nothing. I eventually gave up but was really sad to have lost my best friend. A month passed and Karla was leaving to move back to Mexico and was having a going away party. I prayed that he would be there so we could talk. Karla and I were headed to the park where the party was going to be when it started to downpour and we got soaked. We had a change of plans and had to head back to their apartment to change. Massimo was there getting ready for work when we walked in. We said a cordial hello and goodbye, but unfortunately that was it.
After Karla and I left I got a text message from Massimo that said, “Mi manchi” which is simply “I miss you” in English. We met for coffee the next day and we talked. Everything went back to normal after that. Phew…it felt so good to have my friend back. A week later, Massimo was asking if anyone was interested in going to Madrid to visit a friend before going back to Colombia for his sister’s wedding. I told him I was free and would love to go. Once we got on the airplane we began to talk and continued to do so until the wee hours of the morning after arriving in Madrid. We decided to give the relationship a try. We got back to Rome after a magical weekend away and we prepared ourselves for what was ahead, Massimo left for his sister’s wedding at the end of November and I was leaving to move back to the United States in December. We weathered through the sad goodbyes but promised each other we would make this work. We spent the next 3 years going back and forth from Italy to the United States to Colombia and back. We made memories that would stand the test of time and loved each other with our whole hearts. In September of 2014 after I spent two weeks in Colombia, Massimo came back with me to the states.
What makes the two of you a perfect match?
We are the perfect match for each other because we just get each other. We enjoy each other’s company and can just be ourselves. We love to travel and go on adventures. We laugh and have fun, and we both enjoy life. Our lives are finally whole now that we are finally together. It was such a struggle for those three years living without our other half. It’s like half living when we were apart.
How did he (or you) propose?
The proposal was a complete surprise. We got up the morning of my birthday with no real plans but Massimo wanted to take me out for breakfast. We left the house and I drove listening to him in the passenger seat saying left, right, go straight, as he wanted the place to be a surprise and boy was it ever. It was one of the worst dining
experiences either of us had ever had. We laughed about it as we walked away on the sunny Sunday morning. We were still hungry as we never really got to eat anything besides some Olive bread and half a Cappuccino. Massimo knows I love the farmer’s market so we walked around by the one near the restaurant, before
happening upon a small Italian deli named Rocco’s. We entered and it just so happened they were playing the Packer’s game, score number one, and there was no one there but us, score number 2. We sat down and had a cappuccino and some biscotti. At one point Massimo snuck the ring in the biscotti, and as I ate, I discovered the
ring. It was perfect! I began to cry and of course said yes! We spent the rest of the day at the beach walking in the sand and reminiscing about our story. We had a wonderful dinner at a small Italian restaurant back in town to celebrate the unforgettable day.
How long was the planning process? Did you think it was enough time?
The planning process started about the first week of October and ended the day of the wedding. Since Massimois from another country we decided to do things at a much faster pace than normal, which only allowed for about a month for planning. It wasn’t a lot of time, but it had to be enough time under the circumstances.
What was the best advice you received when you were planning your wedding?
I really went into everything blind, but if I had to give someone the best advice I could I would say hire a wedding planner if you can. In my case I couldn’t afford that so I went with plan B. My best advice would be to start with a print out an itemized list from a wedding website. Go through the list and figure out what things you will need. Once you do that, go on a picture hunt for all the items that you want; colors, cakes, dresses, flowers, etc. This will help tremendously when trying to get an overall picture of your wedding.
What tips & tricks (can we use “hacks”?) can you share future brides that you yourself have learned during and after your wedding?
A tip that I found really helpful was to ask the locals. We had our wedding in Malibu and I wasn’t really familiar with that area so I asked people that were to give me advice on local bakeries, rental stores, caterers and more. Locals know best. Also a trick, don’t settle for the first thing you find. Shop around if you can. Use online sources to find the items that are less expensive than you find in stores.
What were some challenges you faced while planning your wedding & what did you do to address them?
I had to overcome two challenges. The first one being losing our ceremony venue. A little back story, we rented an Italian villa in Malibu for both our families to stay in for the entire weekend. The groom’s family was coming from Medellin, Colombia and my family from Milwaukee, Wisconsin both had not met each other yet and we
wanted everyone to be together. The villa was perfect as it had a private beach, so we could have our ceremony on it as we had dreamed. About a week before, the owners of the villa told me that I could not have it there as it was not just their beach but also belonged to about 15 other people as well. This was not disclosed to us in
multiple conversations. We ended up finding a free beach to have the wedding that was down the road and everyone had to be shuttled there. The second was losing my photographer a week before the wedding as well. I had asked a friend of mine to be the photographer. He agreed but then ten days before he texted me saying he was not sure he could make that day work. We tried to work things out but he told me he would let me know the Friday before and I just couldn’t risk that. I remembered that I had met a photographer on the airplane on the way to visit Massimo in Italy. I went to her website and asked if she knew anyone in Los Angeles that could do the wedding. She called me within a few hours, maybe even just one and said it was her only Saturday free the whole year and she would fly out from Dallas to do my photos. I was one lucky girl and I am so glad she did!
What inspired your wedding décor? Why did you choose the things that you did?
My inspiration was what was available to me. I was in a time crunch so I took my picture book of ideas to local stores like Homegoods and Marshalls, to buy things. I was having a beach wedding so I wanted to keep things light and cheery. I also went on Amazon and Etsy and did a lot of DIY things, and was able to use colors and things that I wanted. I found a cake baker via Facebook that would bake the cake the way I wanted and didn’t settle for someone that was just going to use the picture as an inspiration.
What was the wedding budget?
I never really had time to sit down and make a budget, which wasn’t a good thing. Towards the end I did end up spending a little more than I wanted to on certain things, but with time closing in I had to make executive decisions.
Where did you save the most money?
We saved a lot of money on the ceremony venue as it was free. We had the ceremony on a free beach in Malibu. We also did a lot of DIY things and sent out electronic save the dates and invitations, so we were able to save money that way too.
What was the biggest expense?
Our biggest expense was renting the Italian Villa. We chose to pay for this so that the two families were both in the same place for the entire weekend. It was a bit more expensive than renting hotel rooms for everyone but well worth it!
How many guests were invited in your wedding and what was the final guest count?
30 guests were invited, 30 guests came, plus we had a few extras like the chef, photographer, etc.
How did you narrow down your list?
The villa where we were staying was very limited so we were only able to have the 15 people that were staying at the villa plus we had to pay for each additional person with a maximum of 15. Of the 30 people we chose only family and local friends from the Los Angeles area. It was hard to do that as there were many people we wanted to invite but couldn’t.
What songs did you use during the ceremony?
Processional-Brides Entrance- A Thousand Years–Vitamin String Quartet–Christina Perri
Recessional- Shaggy Fly High
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Unfortunately we haven’t been able to go on one. Massimo spent the week in San Francisco with his family and I went to work. We aren’t able to go anywhere outside of the United States until Massimo gets his green card. We would love to go back to Italy at some point as neither of us has been able to get back there since we left in
What are you most excited about for the future?
Traveling together and experiencing life. It is a passion that we both have and we want to see the world. We also are going to wait a few years but we can’t wait to have little ones running around.
Do you have advice for couples still in the planning process?
Patience. You have to have patience and understanding. The planning process is very stressful and trying for both individuals. Try to involve both people in the decisions when possible, but don’t force things.
What is the overall story for this album?
Roman Holiday to Malibu Beach Wedding
What inspired the wedding day outfits?
I found my dress at a local store that sold one offs or designer’s runway samples. I put it on and it was perfect. It was the one that brought tears to my eyes. The architecture of the dress was amazing. I was sending pics to my mom back in Wisconsin as I was shopping alone. She loved it too! I didn’t even need alterations and on top of all of that it was an Italian designer. I only had one maid of honor so we just went with a coral color and she picked a dress that fit her in a style she liked. For the guys I wanted to keep things casually elegant so we went with khaki colored suits.
What was your favorite part of the day?
Our favorite moment was after the wedding while we were walking on the beach together, holding hands, and soaking in each and every last ray of light from the day. The breeze was blowing, the waves crashing on the shore and it was just us two.
Was there any Do it Yourself (DIY) projects? If so, can you describe them in detail?
There were many DIY projects that we did
Wedding Favors: We included three things from each of our cultures and one from the place where we met. Colombian coffee candies, Wisconsin cheese curds, and a Italian Baci chocolate. Just a simple thank you to every one for joining us on the beginning of our life long journey. We wrapped up everything in a small muslin bag with coral string and a thank you tag.
Guest Book: I bought small little bottles with corks and decorated them with a simple string. We had everyone write a message on them and place the message in the bottle. We will keep them all and open them on our firstanniversary to remind us of our special day. I also used old crates to put up a little display for the guest book and present table.
Menus: We bought chalkboard easels to write down the specialty cocktail we were serving. And put the custom menus in picture frames for the appetizers and pasta bar.
Flowers: I went to the local flower market with a friend of mine who put together my flowers the Thursday before the wedding. We put in an order for the flowers I wanted for my bouquets and for the tables. We saved quite a bit of money this way.
Most everything we had at the wedding had a touch of DIY
What were the highlights from the ceremony & reception?
Everything was a highlight. Our wedding was timed perfectly with the setting sun thanks to being a little bit behind schedule. As I came down the aisle with my father there was tears in his eyes as he gave me away. Massimo was so touched; as he took me by the hand he was wiping away tears of his own. The waves were pounding on the shore and the breeze was blowing. As for the reception, there is a long list the specialty cocktails, aperol spritz, the appetizers, the Italian pasta bar, the salted carmel chocolate wedding cake. But the best moments were the dances with our parents and the lighting of the unity candle. We were unable to light it on the beach because it was a little windy. The after party in the hot tub was quite fun too! It was a special day just to have both our families together from different parts of the world. Everything could be on this list because the entire day was a dream come true.
Was there a theme for the ceremony and reception?
Italian inspired beach wedding Roman Holiday to Malibu Beach Wedding
What part of the ceremonies do you think was the most memorable for you? (& your guests?)
The sunset ceremony. hands down.
Anything else you would like to add ?
The whole weekend was incredibly meaningful to Massimo and me. We had both our families together for the first time, and probably one of the last. Massimo’s family lives in Colombia and mine in Wisconsin. The first meeting between the two families was the most heartwarming thing for me. Despite the fact that it was incredibly difficult for them to communicate with one another because they didn’t speak each others’ languages we all communicated in one way or another. You could just feel the love in the room. It brought tears to my eyes numerous times
Photographer: Fairy Tale Photography
Wedding Cake: Alexandra McDougall
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