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An Evening in Florence

Accessory: RIVIERA floral wedding veil
Dress : Laila Nakhoul
Photography: Josh Jay
Venue: Merivale Weddings
HMUA: Helen Sotis Makeup Artist

Jemma’s bridal story:

During a few daydreaming moments in a high school textiles class, Jemma sketched out her perfect wedding dress. When the time came to marry her fiancé, Alex, she referred back to this vision and entrusted it to the expertise of a talented couturist, Laila Nakhoul, who brought her ideas to life. With her dream dress, Jemma needed an equally impressive veil, and she couldn’t go past our embellished RIVIERA veil, with hand beaded flowers, lace motifs and a scattering of pearls. Jemma’s overall look was the epitome of modern luxe style.

And the whole wedding had a similar vibe. Jemma and Alex wanted their day to be unique and edgy, while still maintaining traditions and elegance. There were classic formalities, including a church ceremony, but they added their own personal twist – an urban photo photoshoot in Sydney’s CBD, burgundy colour accents and a night of non-stop dancing!

Creating the ultimate party vibe

“The whole reception was exactly what we were after… fun!” says Jemma. “It was just one big party all night – no one sat down! We had an idea of mixing the room with both sides of the family, rather than having all of my family on one side and all Alex’s on the other. We had a bit of each on both sides – that really set the whole vibe. Both sides were able to mingle and celebrate together as one family. It was such an amazing atmosphere.”

Jemma suggests trying not to not get too bogged down with the finer details of wedding planning, because on the day, it’s the interactions you have with your husband and guests that will be the most important.

“When you’re dancing the night away surrounded by everyone you love, you won’t even think about the colour of the napkins, or what your hair looks like, or if people are sitting in their allocated seats – they’ll be on the dance floor all night anyway!”

Wedding dress bliss

Jemma’s bespoke dress was designed by Laila Nakhoul, who not only created her high-school vision, but also added some extra special elements. The dress featured an on-trend high-low hemline, elegant V neckline and an embellished bodice.

“My dress designer Laila really listened to my vision and even added her special touches to finish the bodice with the 3D flowers and beading on the train,” says Jemma. “The hemline of the dress made it so easy to move and dance. I never wear full length dresses either so I knew this style suited me because it still had the traditions of a bridal dress but I was still able to add my personal style to it.”

Making a statement with accessories

The RIVIERA floral wedding veil is one of the most elaborate veils in the Tania Maras collection. It features hand-beaded 3D flowers in varying stages of bloom, lace motifs, and a scattered pearls on sheer tulle. The veil is feminine and dramatic and was the perfect accompaniment in terms of style and embellishment, for Jemma’s gown. She styled the veil with her hair flicked to one side and big curls.

“I came across the veil online and absolutely fell in love with it. The flowers and lace matched the bodice of my dress perfectly, it was like they were made together!” says Jemma.

Her advice for bridal accessorising is choose pieces that compliment your dress but don’t draw away from it.

“Simple and comfortable shoes (comfort is a must!), a nice diamond or pearl bracelet and matching earrings… you don’t need too much to make a statement,” she advises. “Being Lebanese, I knew I would be carried all night at the reception and we’d be dancing non-stop, so my main priority was definitely comfort when it came to the dress and shoes.”