On my first date with my now-husband Mike, I was full of nerves, stammering away while getting to know him. He was the cute bartender I’d met on Bleecker Street in Manhattan.
We shared stories of our families, our upbringings, our favorite books and the characters we’d met in the city. He was a New Yorker, an old soul who seemed to know everyone in the Village. When he kissed me on the walk home, I knew I’d stumbled upon something special.
After we’d been living together just over a year, he got down on one knee on a sidewalk in SoHo—the same patch of pavement where we’d shared our first kiss two years earlier, in front of my old dorm room at NYU.
Planning Our Dream Wedding
That same night we began to plan—what was meant to be a small affair. “Intimate,” I remember saying.
We had initially contemplated a destination wedding with a family-only guest list—something whimsical and dreamy. A year before Mike proposed, an old editor had tossed me an assignment writing about Italy’s Pontine Islands. Something about the story had stayed with me, and I’d spent countless hours imagining myself saying “I do” alongside majestic seaside cliffs somewhere on the Mediterranean. It was all so terribly romantic. But the plan quickly proved to be more difficult to get off the ground than we thought.
For starters, my sister became pregnant with her second child shortly after we were engaged, making it difficult for her to travel. And with aging grandparents and financial constraints of siblings and other close relatives, the idea of a small wedding on the Amalfi Coast quickly evaporated.