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It’s been a while, everyone. After The New York Times publicly called me out for ruining their vows section piece by piece, it seemed as though they made a concerted effort to tone things down and fly under the radar for a bit. That is, until they dropped this column today about two people who met in the most romantic way possible – a drug-fueled European boat trip. How beautiful.
As always, original text in quotes.
They Found the Harbor for Their Hearts
The classiest possible title they could’ve come up with for what you’re about to read.
In July 2013, two nautical enthusiasts from two totally different parts of the world decided to try their luck at obtaining a lottery-like spot for a weeklong boating trip, called Yacht Week, which started and ended in Croatia.
Let’s be clear about a couple things. First and foremost, Yacht Week is not for “nautical enthusiasts.” This isn’t the fucking America’s Cup. This is an excuse for college kids and post-grads alike to relive their glory days in Europe doing molly and drinking champagne on boats. Sure, they may have been told to do a couple actual sailing tasks, but that’s in between being hungover from prosecco and having sex in single beds in between listening to Deadmau5 remixes.
Second of all, “boating trip” is the most tame you could possibly refer to the situation they met in. Yacht Week, per friends who have been on it, is the bender of all benders – not some chartered cruise from port to port.
The trip offered spots on 100 boats, with each consisting of friends or family: five women and five men. Jacqueline Spagnola, a native New Yorker, was in her final year of law school. Guido Wolff lived in Amsterdam and was finishing his degree in business hospitality.
The only thing that outshines the privileged resume of these two is the guy’s name. Guido fucking Wolff. This has straight-to-Netflix movie villain name written all over it.
Both just wanted to hone their boating skills, travel with friends and have a little fun. Neither expected to find a soul mate alongside their shipmates.
I hate Donald Trump as much as the next person, but I’d be doing a disservice to everyone if I didn’t label this as Fake News. Hone their boating skills? Have a little fun? They were there to get tan, get drunk, and get strange. That’s what Yacht Week is all about. Just watch the official trailer.
If you were too lazy to watch the video, Yacht Week achieved the one goal I have in my life: to be referred to as “mental” by a British person, where they pronounce it “mento.” That’s all you need to know about how absurd this trip actually is.
“Guido and I each got a spot, but since we didn’t know each other we were on different boats,” Ms. Spagnola said. “Even though everyone leaves together, the boats go to different islands at different times during the week.”
This is the most millennial meet-cute you could come up with. Yachting and partying through Croatia while getting appointed to different boats. About as romantic as a dance floor makeout in a casino.
Ms. Spagnola, now 28, met Mr. Wolff, who is 29, on the third day of the trip.
“At any given time, you can have 20 boats docked and tied together and everyone walks from one boat to another,” she said.
This is like when you tie up pontoon boats and people start doing body shots off one another only to pass out and get completely sunburned because your tanning oil washed off the second you jumped in the water. You know, the stuff romantic comedies are made of.
After hearing loud music that morning, Ms. Spagnola went on deck to see where it was coming from and spotted a group of handsome men two boats from hers.
Isn’t this exactly how people want to tell everyone how they met? “Yeah, so I woke up after blacking out the night before and heard Avicii blasting from a few boats over. Wanting to get back on the train, I emerged wearing nothing but a bathing suit and a tank top that read “DIRTY GIRLS LIKE DIRTY BEATS” and, well, the rest of my life changed the second I locked eyes on Guido.”
“I was mesmerized by the best-looking guy I’d ever seen,” she said. “I told my friends, ‘We have to go over there now.’ I quickly retreated to my cabin, did a beauty transformation and went with my friends to Guido’s boat.”
Wait, what happened to honing your boating skills, Jacqueline? We just throwing that idea out the window because you saw a piece of man meat fist pumping to “Levels”? Okay.
Mr. Wolff was equally charmed. “She wore a captain’s hat and a green bikini,” he said. “I knew she was the pretty girl that people wanted to talk to, so I left her a little space.”
If Jacqueline’s “beauty transformation” being “changing into a green bikini and a captain’s hat” isn’t spit-out-your-coffee hilarious, then I don’t know what is. I hope she put in her “classy” naval ring too.
Hours later, the two boats traveled together to the evening activity, which was a party at Fort George, an abandoned castle overlooking the Adriatic Sea. “Her table was next to mine,” Mr. Wolff said. “I was so attracted to her. I never lost sight of her.”
This is like the Euro Trip of New York Times wedding announcements. As noted critic of them, it’s beyond anything I’ve ever witnessed. An abandoned fucking castle, you guys.
They drank and danced, and at midnight they kissed. “I remember looking out onto the crowd, being very happy, and thinking this is exactly where I want to be,” Ms. Spagnola said. “Kissing him felt very special.”
I’m pretty sure that the main side effect of doing ecstasy is “looking out onto the crowd, being very happy, and thinking this is exactly where I want to be.” Like, it’s written on the sketchy bottle the drug dealer whips up for the pills.
It was that kind of special that transcended back to the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, where Ms. Spagnola was living while finishing her law degree at Brooklyn Law School. Her mother visited the day after she returned home.
The last thing you want after a drug-fueled European vacation is your mom visiting you the day after you get back. Who in law school has time to even go to Europe for Yacht Week in the first place? Oh, wait, probably someone who got in because their dad made a large donation to the school. Can’t wait for the Jacqueline Spagnola Memorial Study Room they erect in the Brooklyn Law School library in 50 years.
“I didn’t think she would meet anyone, it was a singles trip, and she went with friends,” said Victoria Spagnola, 57. “But she couldn’t stop talking about this man she met. She was 100 percent sure she loved him. She had boyfriends before, but she had never spoken about anyone the way she was speaking about Guido. When she said he was from Amsterdam, I thought, ‘How are they going to do this? Is it just vacation thing? Who is going to move where?’”
Can’t imagine her mom ever thought she’d be uttering the words, “She had never spoken about anyone the way she was speaking about Guido.” This is something straight out of a drunken confessional on Jersey Shore right before Pauly D busts in and screams, “CABS UH HE-YUH.”
And thus, problem No. 1: location. Ms. Spagnola grew up in Todt Hill, Staten Island. Her parents also own an apartment in Murray Hill in Manhattan. Her mother is a retired accountant, and her father, Fred Spagnola, 58, is a financial adviser for UBS. She and her brother, who went to school in Manhattan, had strong ties to New York. Moving to Amsterdam for love seemed impulsive.
This is the lineage these wedding announcements are built on. Numerous places in New York City, financial advisors, Manhattan. It’s literally perfect. If only we knew Guido’s story.
Mr. Wolff grew up in Abcoude, a small town in the Netherlands, until he was 4. Then he moved to Madrid with his older brother and parents. “My mother was a homemaker and my father was the C.E.O. of a record label,” he said. They returned to his hometown six years later, and by then there were four Wolff children.
I’m praying to all things Molly that this record label has either The Chainsmokers, Martin Garrix, or Tiesto signed to it.
Still love has a way of steering the ship, so to speak, and after that first kiss, the couple’s course was set.
I can see the person who wrote this sitting at their desk, cracking their knuckles as if they’re about to play piano in an opera hall, and unleashing this line on their MacBook Air before taking a big sigh of relief and thinking, “Yep, crushed it.”
When the night was over, they departed to their separate yachts, hoping they would continue finding each other along the same route and schedule.
Read: When the sun starting coming up, they realized they needed to nap and let the drugs cool off. Too drunk to find one another, they went back to their respective boats and asked their roommates how you’re supposed to sleep so you don’t choke on your throw-up.”
“I was the captain of our boat and in charge of docking the ship,” he said. “I’d always be looking for hers and park as close to hers as possible. Somehow we end up finding each other at every party.”
Again, you aren’t “honing” your sailing skills if you’re captaining the boat. You’re essentially a 2 a.m. Uber driver shuttling drunken idiots from port to port hoping no one Jason Streets and falls off the boat.
Except for the final night, which was filled with mishaps. Each thought the other was going to a specific event and, without cellphone reception, there was no way to connect.
How these two managed to not hook up until the final night is beyond me. Actually, no, it’s not. Guaranteed they went to first base with a few people each before getting pep talks from their respective squads.
“I was so upset I couldn’t find him,” Ms. Spagnola said.
Mr. Wolff was at another party looking for her.
“Looking for her.” Yeah, okay, Guido. We know that’s just what you’re saying when, in reality, you were dancing with a Wolf of Wall Street-style open shirt while a strobe light blasted in your face.
“We didn’t have any goodbye or closure,” she said. “I didn’t have his phone number. I wasn’t sure how he spelled his first name. All I remembered was Wolff had two Fs.”
100% chance Guido, at one point or another, has said to a buddy, “You know what those two Fs stand for? Fuckin’ females.”
Upon arriving home, though, she saw that Mr. Wolff had sent her a message on Facebook.
And that message was sent at 2 a.m. saying, “heyyyyy you’re not in amsterdam rn by any chance r u?”
“I was really sad about not saying goodbye,” Mr. Wolff said. “On the last day, every boat goes back to their original harbor. Ours weren’t together. When I arrived back in Amsterdam, I looked at Yacht Week’s app, which was connected to Facebook. I went through 500 photos looking for her, none of which had names on them, but I found her.”
Wolff was most definitely going through the 500 photos trying to make sure there weren’t any of him sucking face with any coeds before he shot out the flyer Facebook message. I get it, Guido. We all get it.
His message, according to Ms. Spagnola, read: “If we didn’t say a proper goodbye, then it wasn’t a goodbye.”
*vomits all over keyboard*
She replied, and phone numbers were exchanged. The next several days turned into a texting frenzy. Then came the phone calls and Skyping. Two months later, Mr. Wolff was visiting her in New York.
Again, no idea how she’s having time to go all in like this when she’s in law school. You can’t just have dudes named Guido visiting from overseas and sleeping in your Upper East Side apartment when you’re supposed to be grinding through law books.
“You always have to be cautious with your heart, but I didn’t want any regrets not following it,” he said. “I might as well go and see if she felt the same.”
This quote was cut off just before he said, “And, like, if she sucked IRL then I figured I’d just hop on Bumble and get bottle service somewhere.”
Ms. Spagnola did. “When I saw him again, I knew I was looking at the man I would marry,” she said. “It was one of the happiest weeks of my life.”
It’s almost as though the molly never wore off from Croatia.
Mr. Wolff stayed with Ms. Spagnola for 10 days, during which time they each said “I love you.” The two also went to see a lawyer who informed them about visas, immigration laws and working internationally.
Can you imagine what her roommate was thinking the entire time this went down? She’s probably sitting in her bedroom texting her friends being like, “I don’t know wtf Jackie is doing but this Guido dude hasn’t left our apartment in, like, a week. Yesterday he was shirtless eating my cottage cheese in our kitchen directly out of the tub. I’m pretty sure he asked if I wanted to make out before backtracking and claiming he said ‘You heading out?'”
Their desire to be with each other superseded the obvious roadblocks.
Huge missed opportunity for a sailing pun here.
In November 2013, she visited him in the Netherlands, and again for the New Year’s holiday. In March 2014, Mr. Wolff stayed with her for three months. That October, Ms. Spagnola passed the bar and Mr. Wolff visited to celebrate.
Huh, okay. Guido, a renowned world traveler whose dad owns a record label, is seeing this girl once every couple months while living in Amsterdam? Yeah, I’m sure his heart never wandered while she slaved away in the library.
“They were so committed to each other from the start,” the bride’s mother said. “It was true love. You could see it. They looked at each other like no one else was in the room.”
“Unless Jacqueline’s roommate was in the room. He definitely stared at her creepily whenever he had a few too many old fashioneds.”
But the couple understood they would not often actually be in the same room, let alone live together full time.
Well, yeah, why would someone want to throw away captaining boats on Yacht Week to date someone who spent most of their days preparing for the bar? That’s like going to the Antique Roadshow instead of going to Coachella.
“I lived in constant fear we wouldn’t be together,” Mr. Wolff said. “There’s also the fear of not knowing when you’ll see the other person or that you’ll lose them because they’re not in the same city or even the same country with you.”
Or, you know, when that other person is shirtless in front of a bunch of girls from Auburn who are also primping themselves with green bikinis and captain’s hats.
Ms. Spagnola felt similarly. “I never knew you could miss someone so much that it caused physical pain,” she said. “Guido had unwavering confidence in us and the value of our love.”
That was your liver failing from all the Limoncello you drank in Croatia, Jacqueline.
In December 2013, Mr. Wolff obtained a sales job with a denim company that would sponsor him to work in the United States.
Oh my God, this is like a douchier version of How To Make It In America which I didn’t know was possible.
The couple found an apartment in Williamsburg.
On a cold, foggy day in February 2015, while walking on the Brooklyn Promenade, Mr. Wolff dropped to one knee and proposed with a diamond ring he had designed.
In this situation, “designed” means that he told the ringmaker that his dad gave him a $30,000 budget so he needed to “make it dope as hell.”
“Even though we spent so much time being separated, I wanted her to know this was forever,” he said.
I want to mash the eye-rolling emoji button but, unfortunately, I don’t have one of those on my keyboard.
Things seemed to be going well until that September, when Mr. Wolff, who planned to study for an M.B.A., received a scholarship to Hotelschool The Hague, one of the best hospitality schools in the world, in Amsterdam.
How do you go from captaining Yacht Week boats to working for a denim company to going to a premier hospitality M.B.A. program in Amsterdam? Oh, wait, nevermind – you just have to be rich. I always forget that money literally does buy happiness despite what every teacher in middle school told us.
He was hesitant to leave. “When you only get to be with someone for a week or two at a time, there’s the fear you won’t get a chance to really know them because you’re only seeing them for such short periods,” he said. “We never got to have a normal rhythm of life. I wasn’t sure leaving would be the best thing for our relationship.”
Oh, really, dude? You were hesitant to leave your fiancee? Moving across the world again wasn’t the best thing for your relationship? What a novel concept.
Ms. Spagnola refused to let him miss the opportunity. “It was an 18-month program,” she said. “I knew he couldn’t pass it up, so I really encouraged him to take it. ”
An iMessage Guido sent to his buddies back in Amsterdam after she let him go: “Yoooooo, guess who’s comin’ back to Amsterdam!! Let’s get fucked uppppppp!”
For the next four months the couple fell back into a long-distance relationship, each visiting the other monthly. In January 2016, Ms. Spagnola, unable to live without him, found work by persuading a law firm that it needed an international person in its Amsterdam location. Another visa, this time for her, was obtained.
Aren’t lawyers supposed to be working, like, 70-hour weeks? Aren’t people who are in top M.B.A. programs supposed to be busy enough that they can’t just jetset across the Atlantic Ocean? And how dumb is her firm to let her move across pond clearly for her fiancee rather than for the good of the company? Moreover, how pissed were Guido and his boys when he broke the news that she was moving in with him?
“Everyone told me not to go, but I would have regretted not meeting the people who made him the person that I love,” she said.
Yeah, and I’m sure they were equally psyched to meet you, Jacqueline.
After a year, Ms. Spagnola was unfulfilled with her job. Knowing that Mr. Wolff would return to New York after graduating from school in September, she came home in May 2017. Mr. Wolff was able to secure a job in New York as an account executive at Harver, a Dutch technology company.
“Being unfulfilled with your job” is rich people speak for “I want to be funemployed and live off my father for a bit before he finally makes me get another job.”
“Everyone says how great we’ve managed doing a long-distance relationship, but it’s been extremely hard and painful,” Ms. Spagnola said.
Again, that’s just the lingering effect of the drugs and alcohol from Yacht Week.
Eduard Sabbagh, who was part of the groom’s boat and a guest at the wedding, saw the couple’s determination from the beginning. “Within a week the relationship escalated very quickly,” he said. “It was difficult, but they did it. If Guido sets his mind to something, he’ll figure it out. They’re very similar in that respect.”
Can’t even imagine the type of shit Eddy was getting into in Croatia. Dude was probably throwing cakes in people’s faces like Steve Aoki.
The couple were married Oct. 7 before 190 guests at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. The Rev. Andrew King, a Roman Catholic priest, performed the ceremony.
Later in the evening, guest were greeted by two trumpeters in medieval attire at the Metropolitan Club on 60th Street. The couple’s 15 bridesmaids and groomsmen descended the grand stairwell of the club, and then waited as the newly Mr. and Mrs. Wolff entered the reception.
If you have FIFTEEN BRIDESMAIDS AND GROOMSMEN, I can’t even imagine how massive this wedding was. I bet half the groomsmen were holding back laughter trying not to think of the gross shit Guido was doing during Yacht Week when they “couldn’t find each other” while the two exchanged their vows.
“They were instantly drawn to each other,” said Morgan Manousos, who was on the bride’s boat when the couple first met. “It didn’t matter there was an ocean between them and different continents, they both love fiercely.”
I feel like Morgan was trying to make a metaphor out of the ocean thing only to realize that what she was saying could actually be taken literally.
Indeed, in the last four years, between the two of them, they have taken the eight-hour flight between New York and Amsterdam more than 35 times.
Wait… do these two have a long-term marriage? Guido, you dog.
“We’re both big dreamers,” said the bride, who clutched her husband’s hand before they walked into the dining room for their first dance. “But he’s here, and we’re here. Today has been better than my wildest dreams. Everybody we love is here. It was the fairy tale wedding I always wanted.”
And by “everybody we love,” she means every socialite from sea to shining sea. But the insufferableness didn’t stop there.
The couple created their own family crest. They used it for invitations, menus, wax seals, programs, napkins and even on the wedding cake. A pineapple representing hospitality and the scales of justice highlighted their vocations, and there were two animals. “I’m the unicorn because I love them, and he’s the wolf because that’s his last name,” the bride said. “There’s also a sailboat to symbolize how we met.”
I hope Eddy threw it in their face. .
[via The New York Times]
Image via YouTube