Karelea and Paul came together from two different worlds, through a chance meeting at a Nice, France airport.
They were not seeking a relationship when they met, but their similar personalities helped to instantly forge a friendship between them, one that would grow into true love.
The two were born and raised in separate countries, yet they grew to have similar values. Both have strong morals and personalities, love challenges, are extremely passionate about design and art, and they craved an intellectual bond. Their first date was at a restaurant in St. Tropez. The whole thing felt very natural, as they were not stressed about making a good first impression, they just enjoyed their time together instead.
“...I KNOW WE JUST NEEDED A TRUE FRIEND—A LOVING YET, STRONG COMPANION. THAT’S WHAT WE ARE TO ONE ANOTHER.”
It is not surprising that this natural friendship would smoothly transform into a fairy tale love story. “...I know we just needed a true friend—a loving, yet strong companion. That’s what we are to one another.” The proposal took place in the eternally romantic city of Venice. They shared a meal at the Cipriani Hotel looking out across the water as the sun set, a perfect evening on any other day, but Paul had a surprise waiting.
“I thought the evening was over when awaiting us at the dock was a Gondola. We boarded the Gondola and embarked on a romantic trip through the venetian canals at night. As we drifted under the stars, he told me how much he loved me and just as the Gondola passed under the famous Rialto Bridge he got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him. I shed a tear of joy and said yes.”
The ring was a tear shaped diamond that Paul had designed himself. The picturesque proposal was followed by a grand wedding. It took place in the 1481 Renaissance church, Santa Maria dei Miracoli, with friends and family attending from all over the world. Paul and Karalea were practically giddy, they “could not stop smiling and laughing at each other throughout the ceremony.”
The reception was in the style of an 18th century Royal Masquerade Ball, with opulent frocks, the room filled with thousands of candles, and violin music drifting through the air. Two master chefs, Philippe Berthoud and Enrica Rocca put together a six course meal including local seafood and pasta, wagyu beef, chorizo, and black truffles. The wedding was planned down to the last detail; “an unforgettable day and night concluded the once in a lifetime unforgettable date, 12-12-12.”
The newlyweds honeymooned in Florence and Rome for art, skied in the mountains, and ended on a beach at the Maldives. Karalea was, understandably, a little upset when it was all over. “It felt like a Cinderella story. Back to reality after the ball...but my Prince was still there.” And while the proposal, ceremony, and reception were all dreams come true, Karalea believes that, in the end, “what really mattered was the love that united two souls.”
Ceremony Location: Santa Maria die Miracoli, Venice, Italy; Reception Location: Palazzo Pisani Moretta, Venice, Italy; Event Planner and Coordinator: Enrica Rocca, Venice, Italy; Floral Design: Munaretto Flowers, Venice, Italy; Masquerade Ball Event & Costume Design: Antonia Sautter Creations & Events, Venice, Italy
Wedding Dress: Madeline Gardner; Groom's Tuxedo: Dolce & Gabbana; Cinematography: Vivida London, England, United Kingdom