Cristina Vericella & Justin Greenberg
August 18, 2018. Beverly Hills, California
Floral Design: Eddie Zaratsian Lifestyle and Design
Had it not been for their dogs, Cristina Vericella and Justin Greenberg may never have crossed paths. The two met on February 24, 2013 at the Rancho Dog Park in Los Angeles, and soon discovered they had both gone to Beverly Hills High School, although they had never seen each other before. Over the next few years, Cristina and Justin’s love story included multiple adventures around the world, romantic hideaways, and the best cuisine they could find.
Four years after their serendipitous run-in at the dog park, the couple found themselves on the island of Capri in Italy. During a private boat tour around the island, Justin proposed in a grotto with a family heirloom ring in hand – a ring that dated back to the Holocaust, which his grandparents acquired through a trade of chocolates and cigarettes while fleeing to the United States. After Cristina replied with an enthusiastic “Yes!” they held hands and jumped off the boat into the clear blue waters of the Amalfi Coast.
After returning from Italy, the wedding date was set for a year later. “My family has been in the hospitality industry for over thirty years, owning and operating Il Cielo Restaurant in Beverly Hills,” Cristina shares. “We have been incredibly fortunate enough to have coordinated and catered over 4,000 weddings since opening in 1986. Doing so has given us a tremendous amount of experience; however, nothing truly prepares you for planning your own big day. We did have a remarkable team behind us along the way, helping, preparing, and supporting us for the events to come.”
When the wedding day arrived, the bride and groom had nothing left to do but take it all in and relish every moment. “Once the cameras started rolling and guests had begun to arrive, a euphoric feeling had taken over and we were both overcome with joy,” recalls the bride. “From our first look, to reciting our vows, to our first dance, everything had gone by just the way we had envisioned. It was utter bliss.”
The outdoor reception took place in the garden, with a view of the city as the backdrop. One of the evening’s highlights was the cake cutting; unlike traditional American wedding cakes, Cristina and Justin chose a Torta di Nuziale Millefoglie – a “wedding cake of one thousand layers” – which was prepared by a chef in front of their guests. The cake is a Tuscan tradition, and the couple couldn’t wait to bring it to life back in the States.
For their honeymoon, the newlyweds jetted off on a blissful trip to Bora Bora. “Ever since we had met, Justin and I had dreamed of visiting Bora Bora, a destination at the top of both our travel bucket lists,” says Cristina. “The island of Bora Bora is absolute heaven and a must for any honeymooners in seek of total relaxation and pampering – not to mention, we swam with sharks! The highlight of the trip was a romantic dinner that was set in the water by an island native who served up the best fresh-caught cuisine imaginable.”
>Written By: Lauren Malamala