Elisa in Santorini

In Italiano

This story is as unique as the gown that resulted…

In the first of many unique facets of this wedding, I was contacted not by the bride but…by the groom.

This couple decided to get married just a month before the big day, and no one was to know. It was a most luxurious secret elopement in gorgeous Santorini…so the bride had intended to order something simple online and save the experience of “the dress” for the following year’s bigger traditional wedding.

Our groom, sweet as he is, contacted me as a surprise gift because not only did he want her to get married in the wedding gown of her dreams, he wanted it to be literally everything she had ever hoped for, which is certainly where I come in.

There was just one problem…

Or since I am me, I’ll call it instead a “detail.” By the time I met the bride, we had three, (yes, as in less than a month,) weeks until the big day in Santorini.

That gave me only three weeks to understand her every wish, spoken or intuited (several details of her dress include things she thought she didn’t want but eventually couldn’t live without). That gave me less than three weeks to design and sketch the dresses I dreamt up for her, and still in that same ever dwindling three weeks, we had to take measurements, choose fabric, pattern her dress, and actually craft a true one of a kind masterpiece.

All in a day’s work

Of course, we did it and I’d say we did it gloriously well. I’ll write another post to give you a behind the scenes tour of the process but for now, let’s just say that “Dressy” as our gown was named (by the groom) became the darling of the trip, and not just on the wedding day…guarded and coveted like the newborn babe that she was.

Let’s take a look at some of the photos and I’ll fill you in on the way…

A very select guest list

Perhaps I forgot to mention that I came along with them to Santorini to be sure that every detail was fairy-tale perfect. The guest list in total? Six the day of the wedding (including the bride and groom) and just the four of us for the rest of the trip. (Five if you count Dressy!)

The dream team

When I say the four of us, I’m referring to the bride & groom, myself, and arguably one of Italy’s very finest wedding photographers, Francesco Bognin. (It’s true that he is also my husband but, between us, I fell in love first with his work…but that’s a story that you can find in another post.)

The bride had also fallen in love with Francesco’s work and almost 10 years prior, had said that when the day came she wanted Francesco as her photographer and no one else….so of course, her groom made that dream come true too.

But I digress…let’s get back to the dress….

The Dress

I’ll go into lots more detail in the behind the scenes post about the making of this dress but I’ll quickly run through the highlights here.

The bodice is fully corseted and built to measure for a perfect fit. The dress is built to be light as air both physically and visually…so it is completely free of any kind of opaque lining.

The base of the gown is the lightest taffeta imaginable, with a bit of an iridescent thread running through it. I fell in love with this fabric because it gives shape and coverage but it’s also luminous and a bit translucent.

I topped that with a layer of tulle to get exactly the color I wanted before finishing it off with a decadent silk embroidered tulle.

The skirt is composed of several layers of tulle in a variety of shades, and just beyond a slit in the tulle, we find a gorgeous fitted column skirt made in the same taffeta and silk embroidered tulle as the bodice. All of the lace is added by hand and in fact, I added the last flower in Santorini because I there was just that one spot that I felt needed it….and then it was perfect.