'RHOM' Star Alexia Echevarria Marries Todd Nepola After Postponing Wedding Following Her Mother's Death
By Mona Khalifeh
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Alexia Echevarria and her longtime love, Todd Nepola, are married! ET can confirm that the couple tied the knot in an intimate ocean-side ceremony on Dec. 16, at the Eden Rock hotel in St Barts.
"I’m a wife!!! (A real one.) It still feels like a dream I can’t even put into words," the Real Housewives of Miami star told Us Weekly after the ceremony. "[It was] perfect for us! Truly everything we wanted. Just him and I. … We look forward to celebrating with our friends and family in 2022."
The destination wedding comes four months after Echevarria's mother died of COVID-19 on the eve of what was supposed to be her original wedding date.
While the 54-year-old reality TV star couldn't have her mother beside her on her special day, she told the magazine that her presence was felt, particularly when she threw her bouquet into the ocean.
"Our favorite moment of the ceremony was when a big sea turtle came up to above the water. I knew there was a symbolic and spiritual meaning and the universe trying to tell me something," Echevarria shared. "Sea turtles symbolize longevity, peace, perseverance, healing, steadfastness, wisdom and emotional strength. I am a sea turtle!"
She continued, "Another special moment was when I closed my eyes, kissed and tossed my flower bouquet into the ocean while thinking of my mom and dad. They both loved flowers and the ocean. I could feel both of them right by my side."
Echevarria and Nepola got engaged in December of 2019 after two years of dating and had already pushed their wedding back due to the coronavirus pandemic, when they were forced to postpone their big day once again after Echevarria's mother tragically died from the virus.
"Early this morning I lost my mom to the horrible and deadly COVID-19. The last couple of days have been a rollercoaster of emotions for me. I was on the road to marry the man of my dreams when I had to stop everything as my mother became ill. What was supposed to be the happiest day of my life today has turned out to be the saddest," She shared at the time, alongside a photo of her and her late mother. "My mom, Nancy, was a woman of strength and beauty. Over the years I watched how she lived her life, HER WAY. My best friend, my psychiatrist but above all, she was my mother. My mother was the kind of woman that was respected, admired, inspirational and so ahead of her times.
Echevarria continued, "She was a trailblazer in so many aspects of life. A political refugee from Cuba, who put herself through medical school in the 1960s. Raised three children on her own with the help of my grandmother. A feminist and liberal with her social views. She always had an educated opinion. Her thoughts and views were so particular and unique. The crazy thing was she was always right!! She showed me to live unapologetically, never look back, and don’t regret the things you’ve done but the things you haven’t. 'Que no me quiten lo bailado.'"
The Alexia and Frankie’s Beauty Bar founder went on to share her sadness for her mother's loss while appreciating the honor she said it's been to share a lifetime alongside her.
"I will always cherish your stories, your wisdom, your strength, and your zest for life. I’ll always admire your love for connecting with people and I will always share the love for your second homeland, Spain. To say I will miss you does no justice for what I feel, no amount of tears can express the pain I feel in losing you but then again thank you for the honor of sharing a lifetime with me. Rest In Peace Mami. I know you’re in a better place dancing and drinking champagne. Please watch over us, as I need all the help from up above. I now have another angel. Until we meet again. 🕊," she said, concluding the lengthy tribute.
RHOM is back and bigger than ever. ET spoke to Echevarria ahead of the show's season 4 premiere on Peacock, where she talked about her relationship with Nepola, and losing her beloved mother, both of which play out a bit on the serires.
"It was just very difficult to have to experience that while we were filming," Echevarria shared, getting choked up. "Even right after that, a month later -- a lot of people don't know -- Todd's father passed away. The cameras weren't here. We had already wrapped up the show, but unfortunately four weeks later, not even four weeks later, he had a stroke and then he never recovered and he passed away. Like I said, the show revolves around my life. So whatever's going on in my life at that moment, that's where you're capturing and the cameras weren't around, but between him and I, we're still dealing with so much loss. My mom and his father."
"But love wins at the end," she's quick to add. "So we are getting married and hopefully you can see a little bit of that, too."