A few months ago, Stephanie Gardella posted a little note on the Shopbop Facebook
wall, saying she wore a BCBGMAXAZRIA
dress for her recent nuptials, purchased a mere two days before the event. Naturally, we immediately got in touch and asked for photos. A gorgeous bride with a pretty dashing husband, we recently chatted with Stephanie about her dress and the big day.
Photo at left: Stephanie Gardella with her husband Peter on their wedding day.
Shopbop: How did you go about selecting your dress?
Stephanie Gardella: Pete and I have been together for almost seven years. He proposed in late December, and we didn’t really want to wait to get married. (I had already waited long enough!) So at the end of March of this year, we set a date. I planned our wedding in about seven weeks. We didn’t want the big, traditional wedding. We were looking to do something small and intimate, and most importantly, we wanted our guests to have a great time.
I was realistic enough to know that I was crunched for time as far as finding a dress. We live in a super cute little town, but it’s not exactly a shopping Mecca. I knew that my dress was probably going to be purchased online. I bought six dresses. One was even black. When I mentioned to my future husband that I may not be wearing white, I could see the look of disappointment on his face, so I went back to the internet in hopes of finding something that I liked in white. Two days before my wedding, I went to the Shopbop Wedding Boutique, and there it was: a BCBG dress that I could tell was PERFECT. I don’t know if I overlooked it before or if it was just added to the site, but I HAD to have it! I had it overnighted and it arrived at 2pm THE DAY BEFORE our wedding. I had been pretty relaxed about the whole wedding until waiting for that particular dress because I wanted it to fit perfectly. No time for alterations, it had to work. And when it arrived, it fit like a dream. Pete had no idea that I was in the process of waiting for yet another dress. He just assumed I was coming down the aisle in black, and when it was time to walk down the aisle, he was shocked (in a good way).
Pete is a man of very few words but for the two weeks following our nuptials, he complimented that dress almost every day! And everyone else said that I looked like a Greek goddess!
SB: Describe your wedding day. If you had to pinpoint one moment, what would you say was the best part of the day?
SG: The whole day was fabulous, but the best part about it (besides marrying my best friend) was the guest list. We had about 45 people. We got to spend time with each and every one of them that night. The district magistrate that married us was a very close family friend of my husband, which made it even more emotional for everyone. Just a very sweet night.
SB: Let’s talk about the planning process. How did you select the venue? The menu?
SG: Hahaha! The “planning process” was fast! Since we only had a few weeks to plan, we picked several venues and just prayed that one of them was available. Low and behold, our number one choice was. And as for the menu, I did not want a sit down dinner. I wanted the guests to be greeted with a drink as they walked into the venue (the wedding ceremony was there too), and right after the ceremony we had heavy appetizers.
SB: Did you have a color palette or theme?
SG: We had a heck of a theme! We had set up a hookah lounge on the back patio of the venue, and it was a hit! The guests loved it, and it was a great ice breaker for people to quickly get to know one another. The highlight of the evening was the belly dancer. Even our fathers got out there and belly danced! Quite the sight! My sister and my mother helped me out big time with keeping true to our theme. My aunt brought hookahs and fabrics from the Middle East to decorate the tables, and my father made limoncello to hand out as favors. Definitely a family affair.
SB: What is the best advice you can offer a bride planning her wedding?
SG: The same advice I was given: It’s YOUR day. Incorporate your groom’s opinions, but don’t let everyone else get under your skin with comments and opinions. Have a good time! Everyone who saw our pictures after the wedding assumed that it was a destination wedding because everyone in the photos looked so relaxed (including me) and like they were having a ball!
Get on the list! Join our wedding boutique email list.