Rachael Ray and her husband John Cusimano have been together for over a decade, yet she doesn't wear her wedding ring and say "I love you" like the others.
Rachael Ray has built a career from her love for food, and it's what connected her to her husband, John Cusimano. The story of how they first met is a telling tale of how food can bring people together, which ultimately led to a unique and interesting engagement towards a life-long union.
Although Ray and Cusimano endured some rough patches during their marriage due to controversies revealed in tabloids, they ultimately overcame them and remained strong partners in both life and career.
Rachael Ray and John Cusimano on the "Rachael Ray Show" on January 15, 2021 (left), Rachael Ray and John Cusimano at their wedding in Tuscany on September 24, 2005 (circle). | Source: Youtube/rachaelrayshow, Getty Images
After graduating from college, Ray never imagined having a celebrity life, working as a candy manager at Macy's Marketplace in New York. She left her job to become a chef and buyer at a gourmet store before moving to Albany.
Still working at a shop in Albany, she held cooking lessons and was scouted by a local TV station. They began airing cooking segments hosted by Ray, which ultimately became "30 Minute Meals."
Since then, Ray has written over a dozen best-selling cookbooks and has hosted TV shows like "Rachael Ray," "Inside Dish with Rachael Ray," "$40 a Day," and "Worst Cooks in America."
MEET HER HUSBAND
Amidst the pandemic, Ray had been working from home, and it gave her show viewers a clearer picture of who her husband is. He's stepped up to help his wife by taking on the roles of cameraman, grillmaster, and mixologist.
However, daily, Cusimano is a lawyer and musician. He used to practice as an entertainment lawyer in New York until he met Ray, and she became his only client.
Rachael Ray and John Cusimano at the 2010 White House Correspondent's Dinner. | Source: Getty Images
Ray admits marrying an entertainment lawyer was the smartest thing she's ever done, as it saved her a lot of money. Cusimano specializes in entertainment licensing, and it's something Ray's needed through the years.
Cusimano performs with his band, The Cringe when he isn't practicing law. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, they used to tour around North America and the United Kingdom.
THEIR CUTE FIRST MEETING
Ray and Cusimano first met when they were invited to a mutual friend's birthday party. Their friend had been trying to set them up for almost a year now, but they never got to meet until that evening finally came.
Cusimano described their first meeting as being amongst a sea of tall people, given their mutual friend was tall. He said: "She invited all of her ex-boyfriends and people she knew – and they were all tall. And as you can see, we're not all that tall. So I like to say we saw each other among a sea of knees."
Admittedly, Ray shared they had talked every single day since that night. Having thought that she would never marry, it was something she embraced since it's with someone she completely loves.
The night of their friend's party, they stayed out together until four in the morning. They consider that night their very first date and the first of many.
Rachael Ray and John Cusimano attend Gevalia Iced Coffee with Almond Milk at Rachael Ray's Feedback House on March 21, 2015, in Austin, Texas. | Source: Getty Images
SHE THOUGHT THEY WOULD NEVER MARRY
By the time Cusimano proposed to Ray, they'd already been together for six years. It was nothing like your average engagement story, and it's something they continue to laugh about until today.
The couple's apartment was under construction and wouldn't be completed in time for the holiday season with their families. Cusimano's solution to Ray's non-stop crying was to throw a ring at her head.
Describing the scenario, he shared that in hopes of having Ray stop crying, he threw a ring at her head in a blue Tiffany box. Initially, Ray thought it was a keyring for the apartment until she realized it wasn't.
Ray screamed after realizing it was an engagement ring, and while Cusimano believed he said something charming, he and Ray no longer remember what exactly he said. Meanwhile, Ray had one thing to say: "Call my mother and tell her."
Throughout their relationship, Ray never asked Cusimano about marriage. She figured since they'd been together for so long without conversations about marriage, it would never happen.
However, the weirdest circumstances caused Cusimano to throw a Tiffany diamond ring at her head once they bought their apartment together. It might not have been an ideal way to propose, but it's a memory they look back at with happiness.
Ray and Cusimano got married in a dreamy castle in Tuscany back in 2005. Guests flew in to join the couple for their special day as they danced the night away.
Ray wore a white flowy dress for the ceremony and a golden ensemble for the wedding reception for the special occasion. Meanwhile, Cusimano donned a crisp black suit which he paired with a bow.
WHY SHE DOESN'T WEAR HER WEDDING RING & SAY 'I LOVE YOU'
After being married for almost two decades, Ray no longer wears her wedding or engagement rings. Being a chef, she admitted that the platinum rings would burn her, as it was such a fine metal.
In the end, she opted to buy a soft gold ring which made it easier for her to wear even while cooking. Changing up the traditional diamond for a black diamond, Ray admitted it was because she liked black more than white.
Ray also no longer has her original wedding rings, as they were stolen alongside her wallet. She wanted to have the rings with her no matter where she went, in case she died. Unfortunately, they were stolen by a thief whom she quipped had a "really big cash day."
Cusimano purchased the same diamond ring that Ray had lost the following Valentine's Day. Unfortunately, that ended up gone as well when their house burned down.
Additionally, Ray never says "I love you" to her husband, but rather, "I ert you." The reason for this is that years before they were married, Cusimano sent Ray a message that she continues to resave up until now. At the time, Cusimano was angry with Ray, and he told her:
"I’m a very independent man, and I’m not used to not feeling good when I’m not with another person. It’s just that other girls, they’re just inert. They’re just not interesting. And you’re so ert!"
OVERCOMING OBSTACLES & THEIR SECRET TO LONG MARRIAGE
Despite their endearing love story, they were also the subject of headlines accusing Cusimano of having affairs and partying at a swingers club. At the time, articles claimed that the couple was headed for divorce after rumors of his infidelity.
Another magazine claimed Cusimano frequented a swingers club without Ray and was accompanied by female companions. An insider claimed that the lawyer would make his way to the backroom and would not take showers alone.
The couple proved all the articles wrong by staying strong and remaining together through the years. Ray believes that she and Cusimano know each other through and through, having been together for decades.
The pair also did not get married until they were almost in their 40s, which meant they had already gone through a lot in life and were firm in who they were and in their relationship.
Both Ray and Cusimano give each other enough space to be themselves as much as possible. While they enjoy time together, they're also very good at staying quiet and giving each other time to pursue passions alone.
Like any other married couple, Ray and Cusimano have gone through their fair share of challenges. However, they remain grateful for their lives throughout all of their ups and downs. If there's one thing Ray had to say about it, it's this:
“At the end of the day, John and I, we always come back to grateful.”