“About 30 minutes before our ceremony, Charlie and I stood back to back, hand in hand.
We could feel and hear each other, but we never saw each other. We exchanged ‘love letters’ with
each other at that time and just soaked in our last few minutes before our walk down the aisle.
Born and raised in Wellington, Kayli Payne and Charlie Plaia are living happily ever after, and they owe it all to Charlie’s friend Matt. Kayli met Matt at a polo match in 2014. He later invited Kayli to a barbecue at Charlie’s house. As it turned out, the invite was a fortuitous move — not for Matt, but for Charlie.
“Charlie cooked di–nner that night for the group of people who were over,” Kayli recalled. “He grilled steaks just the way he liked them — medium rare. I definitely prefer my steaks well done, but I toughed it up and ate it to be polite.”
Charlie and Kayli began to date casually until they went on a trip together about six months later. “We went on a vacation to St. Thomas. I think I realized he was ‘the one’ on that trip. Everything was just so right — we snorkeled with sea turtles, drove a golf cart around the island, went to local hangouts, ate delicious food — it couldn’t have been better. It was perfect, every part of it. You couldn’t separate our hands or knock the smiles off our faces for the whole week we were there.”
Kayli was beginning to know Charlie better, and she liked what she was seeing. A trip to Kauai, Hawaii, sealed the deal. “It was July 23, 2017 — his birthday!” Kayli said. “We woke up that morning to watch the sun rise. I was taking pictures of the sunrise on Charlie’s phone, and when I turned around to give his phone back to him, he pulled me in close and then got down on one knee. It was picture-perfect and completely unexpected.”
The couple tied the knot on May 12, 2018 on the balcony of the Wanderers Club in front of 180 guests. Kayli wore a Morilee gown by Madeline Gardner and carried a bouquet with a piece of lace from her mother’s wedding dress wrapped around the floral stems. Kayli had two maids of honor in Brittney Ladwig and Cindy Orsenigo. The best man was Derek Hart. The newlyweds’ first dance was to Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight,” and it was recorded in photographs by Olga Padron from Scribbled Moments Photography and on video by 5 Star Productions.
Kayli’s favorite memory of the day, however, was of things to come. “About 30 minutes before our ceremony, Charlie and I stood back to back, hand in hand. We could feel and hear each other, but we never saw each other,” he said. “We exchanged ‘love letters’ and just soaked in our last few minutes before our walk down the aisle. Then, still back to back, Charlie passed me a folder that revealed all the details of our honeymoon that he planned. I had no idea where we were going until right then. It was really special, and I was so excited to see what he had been planning!”
It turned out to be quite a trip.
“We went on a European cruise with stops in Italy, France and Spain,” Kayli said. “After the cruise, we stayed in Sicily, where Charlie’s family is from, for a week. We were gone for three weeks total, and it was all so beautiful!”