Natasha Grano and Michael Graziano said their intimate wedding with four guests on June 5th was “elegant and powerful”. Equally special was the ceremony a day later, which was attended by thousands on the Clubhouse social media app, where their closest confidants gather.
The two probably wouldn’t even have met if Ms. Grano hadn’t fallen in love with the sound of Mr. Graziano’s voice on the audio-only platform, which has a certain resemblance to an old-fashioned party line.
Ms. Grano, 31, is a motivational speaker and author of The Plan of Action: How to Apply the Law of Attraction to Your Life in Less Than an Hour. She is perhaps better known as an Instagram influencer. In 2017, she bought the account of a fashion blogger who already had 500,000 followers; She now has more than three million followers herself.
Her enchantment with Mr. Graziano’s voice in the clubhouse began on February 15th when she joined a media and marketing room. Mr. Graziano, 32, the founder of Mindful Media, a Canadian public relations firm, was one of several speakers.
“Everyone asks me what Michael was talking about the moment I first heard him, but I really don’t remember,” said Ms. Grano, who moved to Mr. Graziano’s hometown with her 5 year old son Rio Grano . Vancouver, Canada, from her home in London in June. “It was just like that, his voice was so magical and seductive and gentle, I was blown away. I said to the universe, ‘Is that the guy?’ “
She had only started soliciting the universe two weeks earlier to help her find love. That Mr. Graziano had shown up so quickly shouldn’t have surprised her, but it did.
“I always show people through my speeches and coachings how easy it is to manifest anything you want,” she said. But while she was confident that she could help her followers manifest love, she wasn’t sure she could do it for herself.
Ms. Grano grew up as the eldest of five siblings with her parents Karen Stephens and Dr. John Efthimiou in London. “My parents divorced when I was 15 and it was very painful at the time,” she said. “I had to help raise my sisters and brother and it was a wonderful trip, but it made me a little rebellious.”
Instead of going to college, she started modeling for beauty companies and clothing lines, including Fashion Nova and AX Paris. At 26, she married a friend she’d been with for three years. Within a year she was a divorced single mother.
“I lost my entire modeling business and started walking the streets of London with a newborn baby on my chest.” Walking around led to markets where she offered the vendors trinkets from a garbage bag. “I wanted to sell my belongings,” she said, adding that she has no apartment and owes $ 30,000.
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Within a few months she had panic attacks. She and Rio moved into her mother’s basement in Oxford. “My mother was incredibly supportive,” she says. “I was able to recover completely. But if you come out of marriage and live in a dream house with dream cars and then be in your parents’ basement, that’s not ideal. “
It was ideal in one way or another. While Ms. Grano recovered, her mother helped take care of Rio, which gave her the freedom to read about Manifestations, an offshoot of the Law of Attraction, a centuries-old philosophy that influenced classic self-help books like The Power of Positive Thinking “And” The Secret “.
She had already studied the habits of Instagram influencers and scoured YouTube for content to gain followers. When she bought the established fashion blogger account in 2017, she had her own account with half a million followers.
“My journey helped me build from the inside out,” she said. “I have healed in a way that has allowed me to penetrate deeper into my thoughts. I’ve got rid of all of my self-limiting beliefs. ”Except maybe for one. After her divorce, she was with several men. But “they were more or less not great relationships.” When she joined the clubhouse in January 2021, “I had somehow given up hope.”
In addition to a podcast, Ms. Grano organizes a weekly room on the subject of the “Law of Attraction” in the clubhouse. She said it attracts more than 30,000 regular listeners weekly.
At the end of January, one of the attendees in the room pressed the button with his raised hand to ask her a question. “This person said, ‘You are helping everyone else manifest what they want. But do you have love? ‘”Said Ms. Grano. “It really hit me. I said, ‘No, I don’t. But I set a good example. Give me a year and I’ll find my soulmate and show you that you can too. ‘”
Carmelia Ray, a professional matchmaker and clubhouse host, was among the audience that day. “When I heard that Natasha was single, I immediately contacted her via DM,” she said. “The people I work with are successful, attractive singles. She is beautiful. It was right in my wheelhouse. “
Ms. Grano agreed that Ms. Ray would introduce her three men a month with the aim of finding her soul mate by month 12. Before she could meet more than a few potential matches, she heard the voice of Mr. Graziano in the media and marketing room of the clubhouse.
“I knew he was the one I had manifested,” she said. His picture confirmed it. She had made a list of her ideal husband’s 100 characteristics, and Mr. Graziano – who is 1.80 tall, has long blonde hair, and wears jewelry and black clothing – checked every box for physical characteristics. To see if he matched her less superficial ideal traits like kindness, she texted him on Instagram to ask if he would be a guest on her podcast.
Mr. Graziano answered immediately. “I was running my own business in Vancouver when she got up and then I click on her profile and see that she had 2.8 million followers at the time,” he said. She had also interviewed people he considered thought leaders. “She was what we call a Titan.” On March 10th, he went on the show to talk about Mindful Media, the company he founded in 2020.
Mr. Graziano’s entrepreneurial journey began shortly before he dropped out of Western University in London, Ontario during his exchange studies in Copenhagen in 2011. He couldn’t find a job in Denmark because he didn’t speak Danish. “Even Burger King wouldn’t hire me,” he said.
So he started a company promoting parties for American students. Back in Canada he was followed by a luminous T-shirt company. In 2014, on the last day of a solo backpacking trip through Thailand, he made a commitment. “I met all these people from different places who told me how beautiful their countries are,” he said. “I decided that when I was 30 I would go to any country in the world or die trying.”
The 193 he reached before returning to Vancouver, where he grew up with two older brothers, a younger sister, and his parents Carmella Osborn and Donald Hennefent, lasted six years.
The pandemic began a month later. “The entire travel industry disappeared overnight,” he said. “I was in debt. I had to pan. ”During his travels, he found that he was good at receiving news of his adventures. Mindful Media was born in June. He discussed this regularly in the clubhouse until 2021. Now he is also talking to Mrs. Grano about love.
Ms. Grano and Mr. Graziano’s association with the clubhouse went romantic shortly after it appeared on their podcast. “After that, we never really talked to each other on the phone,” he says. When Mr. Graziano flew to London on April 9th to meet her and Rio in person, they talked until dawn every night.
“We called it ‘love drinking,'” he said. “I would wake up with a hangover the next day.” When he left London on April 16, he did so with a certain determination. “I was in love with her and with Rio. I knew I wanted to marry her. ”On the day he left, she informed her London landlord that she was moving to Vancouver.
For Ms. Grano, the visit added value to the practice of what she preaches. “I’m an example of how easy it is to find your soulmate when you are in the right place in your head,” she said. They were engaged to be married on June 1st in Vancouver.
Her tiny wedding four days later at St. David’s United Church in West Vancouver was attended only by Mrs. Grano’s parents and grandparents, Grace and Ted Osborn; the Rev. Dal McCrindle officiated.
27,000 members listened at their two-hour clubhouse wedding on June 6th. It was directed by Ms. Ray, the professional facilitator.
In the first hour, more than a dozen bridesmaids and groomsmen, including rapper Ja Rule, toasted the couple. Influencer Jim Kwik said while it was his turn, “I’ve got truth bumps.” In the second hour, John Gray, a pastor who preaches under Joel Osteen at Lakewood Church in Houston and was a former senior pastor at Relentless Church in Greenville, SC, married a second time.
“It is almost a wink from God that you are connecting on a platform that has not yet reached its potential,” said Pastor Gray. “Neither of you have reached your potential yet, but you are already changing the world.” After inviting everyone in the room who had reason to object to their association to “keep the mouth of the clubhouse silent now or forever”, handed over he gave the couple the room to read handwritten vows.
“I vow to always be addicted to your love in a healthy way,” Ms. Grano said through an audible sniff. “Natasha, you are my queen, my soul mate, my being,” said Mr. Graziano. When the guests wanted to leave the room, the pastor gave a final thought: “Let it be confirmed forever that Natascha and Michael have sworn their love in a historical way. You have created your own clubhouse. “
When June 6, 2021
Where The Clubhouse social media app, which is only accessible by invitation
Graphics too In between speeches, Ms. Ray regularly reminded guests of “PTR,” which means “pull to freshen up,” so they could see changing pictures of the bride and groom, who updated their profile photos to reflect the stages of the wedding. Before Ms. Grano was shown walking down the aisle in an off-the-shoulder dress by Dany Tabet, she blew a kiss from a limo. Ms. Ray also often reminded the room that a website was being created for guests to view photos, write in a guest book, and distribute wedding favors.
blessing After the wedding on June 5, Ms. Osborn, 87, invited the bridal couple to tea. In a phone call, she said that she did not agree with how quickly Mr Graziano fell in love with Mrs Grano in the beginning. “I don’t think I’m mean, but I was afraid there would be trouble,” she said. “But then they decided to get married and Natasha came to Vancouver. I changed my opinion. She is adorable. I absolutely love her. “
Alain Delaquérière contributed to the research.