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An Evening in Florence

For Blake and Aaron, the three most important elements for their wedding-day celebrations were; the company, ambience and food. Although the pandemic meant they couldn’t have their wedding at a villa in Mexico, which they originally planned, their day was still every bit as special in their home town of Atlanta, Georgia. With a handful of friends and family, a relaxed garden atmosphere and an award-winning restaurant catering, Blake and Aaron fulfilled their wedding-day dreams.

In this relaxed, urban setting, Blake’s bridal look took centre stage. Wearing a bias-cut dress, with her golden hair styled in loose waves and adorning our CARMEN Juliet cap veil, Blake mastered styling a simple dress with an embellished veil for stunning results.

A change of plans

Even before they were engaged, Blake and Aaron both had similar ideas and values for their wedding day.

“We talked about our ideal wedding – we were so aligned it felt like another sign he was the one,” says Blake. “The biggest factor was size. We both imagined a wedding that was small and only had the humans there that would be by us throughout our marriage.”

As they couldn’t travel to Mexico, and they didn’t want to postpone for a year, their ceremony took place at Staplehouse restaurant in Atlanta.

“We were Staplehouse’s first wedding, which felt extra special,” says Blake. “The restaurant has won many awards including Best New Restaurant in the United States, so goes without saying, the food is memorable. The space has a beautiful garden in the back – we knew it was our perfect venue.”

Blake's crepe silk dress

When thinking about her wedding dress, the words that came to mind were ‘organic’ and ‘timeless’.

“I wanted a look that would carry me through my years and one I felt myself in,” says Blake. “Material and cut were of highest priority for me – I wanted a beautiful fabric and a slim cut that I felt beautiful in, with a sensual flow. The crepe silk fabric was perfect for my body, dress cut and style of wedding.”

To help with costs, Blake purchased a sample dress, as she preferred to spend more on a lasting accessory.

“Accessories are easier to pass down and truly help make your look complete and unique.”

A veil for the generations

Blake’s eight-year-old niece (pictured below) has already claimed her embellished CARMEN veil.

“It makes me so happy to know she will always have that piece of me and our love,” says Blake.

With its enveloping Juliet cap silhouette, lace leaves and hand beaded flowers, Blake also fell in love with the elegant CARMEN veil.

“The idea of a Juliet cap scared yet excited me – I knew I wanted something different, and it was the perfect way to bring in a look of traditional and timeless, while still feeling uniquely me,” she says. “Feel and materials are my number one consideration. My dress was crepe silk and felt like butter on my skin all night. My Tania Maras veil was so soft and made me feel so beautiful, I wore it most of the night!”

Best advice

“Know you will be stressed, but remember what the purpose of your wedding is,” says Blake. “And that purpose could differ depending on the couple. For us, it was a sacred joining of families in the presence of God; for others, it could be a celebration party of love with all their friends, and others could feel an elopement of just the bride and groom would be most genuine. And get a wedding planner, even just a day-of planner. Despite size or location, do it.”

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‘Modern, simple and classic’ was Talia’s design brief when researching her bridal look. She found the perfect off-the-shoulder gown and elevated the look with our gold HENRI crown and drop chain ISABEAU earrings. This classic aesthetic flowed through to the venue, décor and photo shoot. The result was a stunning setting for Talia and her husband Zac’s dream wedding day.

Los Angeles-based Talia and Zac married in Pittsburgh, which is where they originally started dating. The goal was to include aspects of both these cities in their wedding. With hints of LA glamour in the venue décor and the traditional Pittsburgh cookie table, they achieved just that.

Setting the Mood

Talia and Zac have lived in Los Angeles for 10 years, but for their wedding, they loved the idea of getting married closer to their family in Pittsburgh and having their LA friends come over to see their hometowns.

“I wanted the vibe to be a mix of ‘home’ but with an LA twist – but also fun and not stuffy,” says Talia.

However, finding the right venue in Pittsburgh was a challenge.

“I am into modern aesthetic and décor, simple and clean lines. This type of venue was seriously lacking in Pittsburgh. Everything there is very rustic or vintage… the opposite of me! I was so happy when I walked into my venue, J Verno Studios – an all-white modern venue with pops of unique furniture and décor and impressive lighting. The venue also happened to be in the exact part of the city that me and my husband started hanging out in together in 2004!”

Adventures in Gown Hunting

After scouring the internet and dress shopping in LA, it was trip to Pittsburgh where Talia made a surprising discovery about her idea of the ‘perfect dress’.

“When I started trying on dresses in LA, there were a few that I liked but I still didn’t feel like I found ‘the one’ – I was trying to sell myself on lace and sequins – the typical ‘bride’ look,” she says. “I flew back to Pittsburgh to do a dress shopping day with my mum, best friend and aunt, with zero intention of buying a wedding dress. When I was trying on dresses in Pittsburgh, someone suggested a plain silk crepe dress which I said no to for being too boring… but I tried it on anyway and kind of fell in love with the look. We headed to our second appointment of the day and after once again trying on lacey and sparkly dresses my stylist suggested a silk crepe off the shoulder Lian Carlo gown.”

As soon as Talia put on the dress everyone started crying… with happy tears! The uncomplicated beauty of the dress didn’t detract from Talia’s striking facial features – her gorgeous full lips, bold eyes and luscious dark hair.

“The major thing that attracted me to this dress was that I knew in fifty years when I was looking at photos from my wedding day, I would be in something timeless.”

Talia’s tip for dress and accessory shopping: “stay true to your aesthetic – don’t try to convince yourself to wear something that isn’t ‘you’. Your wedding day should reflect your overall look and vibe every other day of your life!”

Perfect Accessorising

While Talia’s dress was classic and timeless, she was after an overall look that was a little more edgy and cool. She achieved this with her accessorising. Talia was drawn to the bold silhouette of the HENRI crown, which features beaded spikes on top. She styled the crown with a hairstyle of classic waves with one side tucked back, therefore showing off a sparkly gold ISABEAU earring.

“The ISABEAU earrings were the perfect piece to go with the crown – I liked the cool drop style. They’re not your typical blinged out bridal earrings.”

Talia loved the bold silhouette of the HENRI crown and the cool drop style of the ISABEAU earrings.

Capturing the Moment

“I knew I wanted my photos to be a little gritty and cool on the streets of Pittsburgh – nothing too cutesy or airy,” says Talia. “I chose my photographer, Rachel Rowland, because her aesthetic was exactly what I was looking for. Her photos show emotion and are incredibly stunning. She was also voted Best Photographer in Pittsburgh! She suggested to do some photos on top of a building in an empty parking lot. I trusted her judgement – she knows what she’s talking about!”

The Pittsburgh Cookie Table

In addition to the wedding cake, the reception party was made even sweeter with a decadent cookie table. This Pittsburgh tradition of having a table full of cookies at the wedding reception is a concept we can definitely get behind!

“The old school way is that all the bride’s female family members help bake the cookies,” Talia explains. “Well, my mum just so happens to own her own baking business – Debbie’s Deluxe Cookies and Cakes. Being her first child to get married, you can imagine how excited she was! So excited that she went completely above and beyond and made 5000 cookies for the wedding (not exaggerating) – about 30 cookies per person. This entire display took an entire back wall of the venue for everything to fit. My LA friends have never heard of a cookie table at weddings so needless to say everyone was going nuts. She also made my wedding cake – it was stunning and gluten-free for me!”

Wedding Planning Advice

“Have fun with it and try not to stress (easier said than done, I was stressed the entire time!),” says Talia. “Remember that in the end, the little details do not matter and you will have the best day ever.”

Special thanks to…