hen Talissa met Andreas at the beginning of high school in 2005, she knew he was special. “I instantly had a crush on him and we became good friends over the years,” says Talissa. “We started dating our junior year of high school and went our separate ways during college, but we always found our way back to each other.”
On December 24, 2018, Andreas took Talissa to one of their favorite high school spots—a scenic overlook in their neighborhood—and asked her to marry him. She said yes, and the couple surprised their families with the news during Christmas Eve dinner. The pair began planning a local wedding at Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego, California. “After looking at tons of venues, we couldn’t find anything that compared,” says Talissa. “We were drawn to the Tuscan private feel and all of the beautiful rose bushes.”
Talissa, an event planner, took over the design and organization of the celebration—with day-of help from her team—to put together an event that honored the couple’s cultural backgrounds: “I am Italian, with my extended family living in Rome and South Africa, and he is Greek, with extended family in Athens,” she says. “Being that we are both from those countries, our lives are filled with lots of love, passion, food, travel, and family time.” They incorporated olive branches into the floral design, chose an Italian-themed menu, and included some of the region’s most iconic wedding traditions in their November 23, 2019, wedding for 140 friends and family.
“I wanted all of our guests to take a piece of what we get to experience in Italy and Greece all the time,” she says. “After the wedding, we got so many comments from guests saying not only was the wedding beautiful, but you could feel the love in the space. If you’ve been to Italy or Greece, that is how you feel when you leave.”