She has a passenger for life!
Former Overhaulin’ host Courtney Hansen tied the knot with longtime love Jay Hartington in Taormina, Italy, on Friday, July 20.
The ceremony and reception took place at the Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo, outdoors along the Ionian Sea with views of Mt. Etna. The event was the highlight of a four-day celebration that included a Wednesday night welcome dinner, Thursday night rehearsal in the countryside and Saturday beachside brunch.
“We knew we wanted to do a destination wedding, and were considering different places in Italy — I’ve been all over there and my husband used to live there,” Hansen tells PEOPLE. “After discussing a few places, he suggested Taormina. When we went to look at it, I literally cried happy tears when I arrived. I said ‘Absolutely, this is where we need to do it.’ It was the perfect location.”
Nearly 150 guests — including comedian Sebastian Maniscalco (at whose 2013 wedding Hansen and Hartington met), jewelry designer Irene Neuwirth and former NFL great Edgerrin James — came out to celebrate the couple, who share 4-year-old daughter Holland, the flower girl.
“She didn’t initially want to wear the flowers on her head — she’s a tomboy,” Hansen explains. “I said, ‘Holland, if you wear these flowers and this dress I’ll get you any toy you want. Just please take these photos and get through the ceremony!’ She agreed … then right in the middle of our vows she said, ‘I know what I want! Captain America!’ Everybody heard, but everybody was laughing.”
The bride walked down the aisle in a Marchesa gown, changing into a beaded Naeem Khan jumpsuit (“My favorite piece I’ve ever worn in my life!” she says) for the reception. The groom wore a Brunello Cucinelli tuxedo and Dolce & Gabbana shoes.
Following the ceremony, the couple drove the streets of town in a vintage FIAT, a nod to Hansen’s automotive work. “The whole bridal party followed us, tourists and locals were stopping to congratulate us,” Hansen says. “It was so surreal, the most magical moment of my life.”
And after the party was the afterparty: the group went dancing at Morgana lounge following the reception, shutting the place down at 5:30 a.m. and grabbing pizza afterward. “We had the time of our lives,” says Hansen.
In addition to her TLC and Spike hosting duties, Hansen wrote The Garage Girl’s Guide to Everything You Need to Know About Your Car. Next up, she’s executive producing and hosting a new auto-themed TV show, The Ride That Got Away, which costars car designer Troy Ladd and premieres on History in November.