Tania Karboff & Roberto Balcker
September 1, 2018 in Tuscany, Italy
Tania Karboff and Roberto Balcker’s love story began when Mark Cuban offered $30 million to purchase a dating app on an episode of Shark Tank. When the entrepreneurs declined his offer without hesitation, both Tania and Roberto figured the app was worth a try. Within 12 days of the episode airing, the two were matched.
“The first embrace that Roberto and I shared was magical,” Tania recalls. “There was electricity, great warmth, and familiarity.” Despite their differing backgrounds and personalities, they were incredibly compatible and inseparable.
Two years later, after a day of whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and a homecooked meal from Roberto in his childhood summer lakeside cabin in Patagonia, he proposed. Roberto also orchestrated a compilation video of Tania’s family and closest friends expressing their congratulations.
For their wedding, the couple wanted an outdoor celebration in the hills or mountains of a culturally rich area so they could spend quality time with their friends and family. One day was not enough. In the Val d’Orcia valley in Tuscany, they found a group of villas on an olive oil farm and equestrian resort, which would be the perfect location for an unforgettable week of events.
Once everyone was together in Italy, their wedding week itinerary included sommelier-led visits to Brunello wineries, day trips to the hill towns and summer festivals of Montepulciano, Montalcino and Siena, historian-led tours of the Uffizi and Accademia in Florence, hot air balloon rides, Vespa rides in the countryside, cheesemaking, watercolor painting classes, picnics, natural thermals, and cooking classes. There was never a lack of truffles, cheese, pasta, and wine.
“Family and friends joined us from 16 countries,” says the couple. “Such an amazing group of interesting, kind, accomplished people gelled so well together. The most unexpected friendships formed, making the celebration that much more fun!”
An intimate wedding ceremony was held at sunset on an amphitheater overlooking the rolling landscape. “Not only was this a celebration of our love,” says the bride, “but also of the love we received from our parents, families, friends throughout the phases of our lives that have shaped us to become who we are.”
The wedding day was full of surprises, beginning with the groom arriving on a horse and a New Orleans-style parade to the reception led by local folk musicians. The reception dinner under the stars was lit by hundreds of candles and had a surprise opera performance. As a surprise for their guests, the bride and groom performed a Tango – complete with jumps and flips – which they spent a year learning. Roberto surprised Tania with a hilariously elaborate groomsmen dance as well.
As a late-night snack, a renowned gelato maker was hired, with whom Tania and Roberto collaborated to create their own flavors: salted caramel with dulce de leche swirls, and sette veli – a combination of different kinds of chocolate.
The party lasted until the early hours of the morning, with guests jumping into the villas' jacuzzis. “Everyone’s already asking when and where the wedding anniversary reunion will be,” the newlyweds remark.
After an epic destination wedding, Tania and Roberto honeymooned in the Amalfi Coast and Swiss Alps.