"It was the happiest moment of my life," The Real Housewives of Miami star tells The Dish. "I had a big smile on my face as I walked down the aisle. I was so shocked that I was not a bridezilla! But Romain—when I was walking down the aisle, the poor guy started feeling dizzy and sick. He almost fainted!"
Joanna, who wore a Chagoury gown, and Miami nightclub owner Romain wrote their own vows in hopes of entertaining their 120 guests at the sunset ceremony, which was held at the Park Hyatt Aviara hotel.
"We didn’t want to make the wedding too serious," the model explains. "In my vows I said, 'Even though most of our friends think we're a little crazy because we can go from hot to cold in 20 seconds, the one thing they can't deny is that it's true love and we don’t pretend to be something we're not.'"
Romain, meanwhile, got so emotional when it was his turn that their officiant had to step in to help. "He had to read Romain's vows for him because he got so choked up," says Joanna.
Joanna's RHOM co-stars were there to support the couple. Lisa Hochstein served as one of Joanna's six bridesmaids, who also included Joanna's little sister Marta. Joanna even invited her on-screen nemesis Adriana Demoura. "Shockingly, she behaved," says Joanna with a laugh.
As for the bride and groom's after party, Joanna says it went on until the wee hours. And Joanna's co-star Alexia Echevarria partied later than anyone. "She lasted the longest!" Joanna says. "Usually she's the first to go, but I guess she was having so much fun dancing her butt off that night. We weren't done till 3, 3:30 a.m. Alexia is a person I definitely see myself getting closer with as a friend as time goes by."
After everything Joanna and Romain have been through over the last year—including a painful split after she suspected him of cheating—she says getting to the altar is that much more meaningful now.
"He's the only person in the world that I would even give a second chance to," says Joanna. "After everything that happened last year with the emails, kind of giving him the benefit of the doubt that nothing more happened... He's the only one. Normally I'd walk out the door."
"But at that moment in our lives we were going through a lot," Joanna adds. "I wasn't putting a lot of time into our relationship. Instead of communicating and trying to work at things, we kind of just let it go and he went into his flirting ways with the emails and I was in L.A., not spending much time with him. I think it was, 'Shame on both of us.' I'm very grateful for last year because it was a kind of a wake-up call for us both."
So does Joanna finally have her happily-ever-after? "I'm very realistic with our crazy relationship," she says. "But I have a happy ending. And hopefully in the next two to three years we'll have kids. I mean, he wants to have them sooner—so I guess that will be another challenge!"
For more from Joanna's life as a newlywed—including all the details on her dress, their upcoming honeymoon and more—check back to the Dish later this week.
The couple's wedding will be featured on the upcoming season of the Real Housewives of Miami, set to air on Bravo in August.
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