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Wedding of the Week: Tatiana Di Maggio and Salvatore Guercio

16 Jan 2017

Bride's Wedding of the Week takes us across the pond to New York City, where Tatiana Di Maggio and Salvatore Guercio tied the knot in a stunning ceremony in Brooklyn

How did you meet?

Tatiana: We were introduced by a mutual friend six years ago. Sal called and asked me to go for dinner. He picked me up and right away I knew he was very polite and charming. As we were seated at our table I noticed he was very interested in what I had to say and very curious of my lifestyle in Italy and so was I; we didn’t even get to finish our food. He made me feel comfortable right away. As we left the restaurant he took my coat and helped me slip in to it and opened the car door for me. I was so impressed at how well-spoken he was and how he treated me - like a true gentleman. I knew he was a catch.

Sal: For my first time meeting with Tatiana, I didn’t know what to expect. Speaking with her on the phone I knew she was a shy girl and with my outgoing personality, I was unsure how our first night would go. While at the restaurant waiting for a table, I took it upon myself to head to the bar and grab a few glasses of wine to loosen her up a bit. I placed my order and glanced back at her patiently waiting for me to return. It was that quick moment that I knew I would spend the rest of my life with this woman.

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Tell us about the proposal.

Sal proposed in Sicily, Italy (his hometown). We were on vacation and I had no idea he hired a wedding planner, a videographer and a photographer to set up and capture the whole proposal. Sal told me he made reservations for dinner with the family at a beautiful and exclusive restaurant called Camemi. Little did I know it was a castle and that when I arrived, my life would change forever.

As I exited the car, Sal’s sister handed me a letter that he had written for me. I immediately started crying, I felt so overwhelmed with emotion. She then took me in front of a path of white flowers, with beautiful lanterns and candles along the walkway. As I walked down the path I saw a beautifully decorated gazebo in the distance and a table set up with champagne. I looked up and there stood Sal holding a red rose. As he promised his true love to me, he went down on one knee and I just could not hold back my tears of joy. It was the most romantic gesture anyone has ever done for me and I feel so lucky to have him by my side and in my life. All our closest family and friends were there to witness this joyous occasion. The proposal was then followed by an engagement dinner and we were escorted inside the castle’s garden where a table had been set up for us under a tree decorated with hanging crystals, lanterns and white flowers. Everything was breath-taking and magical.

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What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?

The look we wanted for our wedding was Elegance, Couture and Extravagance. Our colours were pure white for the Basilica and all shades of pinks and purples for our ballroom.

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When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress? 

I knew in my heart it was going to be a Pnina Tornai gown. Her creations are just amazing, elegant and distinct. Before going to Kleinfeld I went to other bridal stores, about three to be exact, and tried on about 21 dresses to see what shape would flatter my body and which material I would like more on me. None of those dresses had that wow factor for me. When I finally got to Kleinfeld my heart was pounding, I was so nervous. That day, Pnina Tornai was in the store and when I got to finally meet her I was so happy and thrilled. She and my bridal assistant, Antonella, asked me what was my vision, how did I want to look on my special day and when I slipped into this ivory silk, dropped waist gown my heart skipped a beat. It wasn’t the same feeling I had for the other dresses I had tried on; I looked at myself at the mirror and thought “This is it”. It had a corset-style bodice with criss-cross detail and a pick up-style skirt - on one side it opened, showing pleats. I decided to add crystal beading to it, to give it a modern and couture look so Pnina brought out one of her signature pieces called 'fleur de lis' and placed it on my shoulders as straps. It was the most beautiful dress I had even seen and I felt like a true princess.

As this store is known for the Say Yes to the Dress, my two close friends wanted to record me saying 'yes', so as soon as Antonella placed a matching cathedral satin trim with blusher veil on me I couldn’t hold back my tears. I knew it was my dress because the vision didn t stop at the actual dress anymore,  but the meaning and feelings of which it stands for and the reasons why you are choosing a dress. I said yes to my dress with happy tears and a heart full of love.

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Where did you find your suits?

The groomsmen rented their tuxedos from Phil's Tuxedo because he has the best quality suits and he knows how to tailor them to perfection. Phil's set us up with a European fitted tuxedo and a white bowtie for the groom and silk black for the guys.

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Tell us about your floral arrangements. 

We wanted over the top, luxurious floral designs in every single piece and Eva Madelina made it all happen. The bridal bouquet was entirely white orchids with delicate small brooches and single Swarovski crystals as embellishments. The bouquet was wrapped in an ivory silk stash to match the gown. For the bridesmaids, we chose blush pink peonies wrapped in silk sash as well. For the groomsmen, we choose a different type of orchid (white with a blush pink centre) wrapped in black satin stash to match the tux. The groom and my father had the same white orchid as the bridal bouquet and also wrapped in black satin sash.

All of our centerpieces had orchids as the main flower. Our sweetheart table centerpiece was a table floral runner starting from one end of the floor, across the whole table and ending on the other end of the floor. We also had clusters of assorted blossoms on our sating draping. For the bridal party we had decided to do two king’s tables, one on each side of us. The centerpieces were two tier floral runners going across from one end to the other with hanging crystals and candles in the middle of it. As for our guests we decided to have two different assorted centerpiece looks; half of the tables had tall gold candelabras decorated with two immense round shape floral clusters and Hawaiian orchids cascading to create this waterfall look. The other half also had gold candelabras but with a round floral top and spiral flowers reaching the bottom; in the middle were candle holders so it gave it a more romantic look.

For our ceremony we had a 600 ft (300 ft per side) pure white floral aisle runner going along the pews, accompanied with cascading orchid pews and ending with two big alter floral fan shapes.  

In our cocktail room we had our seating arrangement board in an oval gold frame with a white silk bow on the top centre and crystal brooch. Inside, along with our guests names, was scattered Swarovski crystals.

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Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail - tell us about the details of the day. 

  • Our wedding invitations were custom made. It was a silk material folio box, wrapped with an ivory silk ribbon finished with a crystal brooch that would open and close from the middle.
  • Our ceremony programmes were in light gold pearlescent hard stock paper. The pages were held together with a gold silk ribbon on the side and closed in a bow. Everything was printed in gold raised ink and it was decorated with gold glitter paper trim.
  • Our menus where on a mirror gold paper trim and on top a ivory hard stock ivory pearl paper with gold ink raised print cut in to a DIE shape.
  • Our wedding favours were a glass pitcher wrapped in a ivory white shiny paper with a damask print in white and wrapped in ivory silk ribbon, decorated with a small gold brooch.
  • We hired a company to park in front of our venue as guests left our wedding to treat them with snacks and candies to take home in personalised candy bags with our names and date printed in soft pink and 'Love is sweet'. The candy truck was from Jaynee’s Party.

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What was your most memorable moment? 

Tatiana: The moment they opened the doors at the church and seeing Sal standing there at the altar waiting for me as I walked down the aisle was a feeling I will forever cherish; my heart was just full of love for him and joy. I felt so overwhelmed and just so excited to become his wife.

Sal:  My favorite memory which I will remember forever is when we had our first dance.  There were 250 people in the room and yet in that moment it was as if it were just her and I.

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What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?

Tatiana: Our biggest challenge for me was the seating arrangements. We would get phone calls from people telling us where they wanted (or didn't want) to be seated. It was stressful and definitely challenging.

Sal: The biggest challenge was trying to stay within budget.  Luckily, we had a great team of vendors who made it all possible.

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What was the most important investment for you?

Tatiana: Our wedding rings. We will keep and wear them forever with love and pass them down to generations.

Sal: Our honeymoon. It was an experience of a lifetime and it will forever be in our hearts.

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What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?

Our first dance as Mr and Mrs was I Belong to You from Eros Ramazzotti and Anastacia. It is a duet love song, half in Italian half in English, and the words give us chills each time we listen to them. We wanted to dance in the middle of the clouds so we had dry ice to cover the floor and give this effect; it was so romantic.

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Tell us about your wedding cake. 

It was a seven tier pearlized cake. Featured a quilt design with crystal studs in each quilt, the cake featured a Damask pattern scattered with crystals, delicate peony sugar flowers embellished with brooches and Swarovski crystal tiers. The cake had two different flavours: chocolate coconut and lemon crème.

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If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?

It might be a corny answer but we both agree that our day was perfect and everything, thankfully, went well.

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Where did you go on honeymoon?

We had a three-week honeymoon and we started off one week in Puerto Vallarta Mexico. We relaxed with massages and romantic dinners with sunset views; it was so wonderful. As for the remaining time, we always wanted to experience the hut on the water and Bora Bora was the ultimate honeymoon spot. We stayed at two different hotels: one was the famous hut on the water and the other was a beautiful private beach villa with our own private pool. Both resorts were beautiful. During our relaxing stay we visited a pearl factory. We also went for a tour of the island on jet skis and finish our stay with a deep water excursion, swimming with sharks and sting rays along with beautiful tropical fish.

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Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?

Tatiana: Enjoy every second of it because it goes by so quickly. Every part of planning a wedding could be stressful but enjoy it because after it becomes a sweet memory. And on your wedding day, at the end of the night, take a step back and watch all the people you love and care for having a good time for your big day and seal that vision in your heart.

Sal: Don’t let other people influence your decision. This is your big day and however you want to celebrate, whether traditional or not, you do what you feel is best. Also, remember a wedding is one day but a marriage is forever.

Steal their style:

Photography: Michael Romeo Creations, www.michaelromeocreations.com
Videography: Adriano Profeta Films
Band: Gio Venuto Entertainment, www.facebook.com/GIO-Venuto-Entertainment
Floristry: Eva Madelina Haute Floral Design, www.tofny.com
Limousine: Double Diamond Limousines, www.romantiquelimos.com
Cake: Palermo’s Custom Cakes & Bakery, https://palermobakery.com/
Dress: Kleinfeld, dress and veil by Pnina Tornai, www.kleinfeldbridal.com
Stationery: Cutinvites, www.cutinvite.com
Candy truck: Jaynee’s Party, http://jayneesparty.com/