Josh Steiner and the former Wallis Tosi were married April 4th at a wedding complete with a bridal gown, a tuxedo for the groom, plus cake, and food.
But there were no guests.
Josh, owner of Strano by Chef Josh restaurant, and Wallis were married by a judge in their backyard with only a videographer and a photographer present. They live streamed their wedding on Zoom.
“We were going to get married in Austin, but with the coronavirus and the restaurant closing down, no one could travel,” Josh says. “Wallis has got the most beautiful brain in the whole world. She said, ‘We aren’t going to let this Coronavirus stop us. We want to get married on this date. I love you, Josh.’”
“We came up with plan A B C D E F G,” Wallis says. “We had to run it by our family and friends ‘cause we had done marriage counseling with a rabbi in Austin who was going to marry us.”
Even their parents — Dr. Mitchell and Nancy Steiner and Dr. John and Teresa Tosi and Karen Adams and Edward O’Brien — weren’t in attendance in person.
Wallis wore a custom gown made by Maggie Louise. “I went to art school and I wanted to do something that felt a little more like me. So, I had a dress custom-made. Like a blush pink. And it had a little bit of lace and a long train, which is fun.”
Josh wore a traditional black tuxedo with a bowtie, but, Wallis says, “I secretly sewed a patch into his jacket that says, ‘You are so loved.’”
The wedding was a traditional service. “We each had our own vows we did say,” Wallis says. “I played our wedding song on our phone and we danced to it in the video,” Josh says.
The song? “Heaven” by Brandi Carlile.
Then, Wallis says, “We brought out a bottle of champagne that we popped with everybody and we brought out a cake that 17 Berkshire made for us. It was an almond cake with raspberry filling and macarons on top.”
“We had Tsunami for dinner,” Josh says. “We just got our usual. It’s a date night spot of ours in Cooper-Young. Her Mom dropped off a surprise dinner for us.”
It was not the wedding Wallis and Josh originally planned. “Everything was planned in Austin,” Wallis said. Everything “from transportation to little match boxes to everything,” Josh said.
About 140 guests were expected. “We were going to be on this small little garden farm in Austin,” Wallis said. But, she says, “We have decided we’re going to do a big after-party, probably in August. And we’re going to do it in Memphis. We’re going to invite all our guests. Plus some who are local.”
When Josh and Wallis describe the wedding to their friends, Wallis says, “They just love hearing this story right now ‘cause there’s a lot of negativity. And this brings a little bit of light.”