Real Bride Spotlight: Stefani
Updated: Mar 13
Stefani and Nathan married in an elegant December wedding in Tampa, Florida. Continue reading for more on their nuptials and how she came to find her Wedding Angels dress!
Nathan and I met when I was a first year graduate student in Counseling Psychology and he was in his senior year in Mechanical Engineering at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. I say we met at the first Shabbat dinner at Hillel and he says we met when we actually got to talking at High Holiday services at Hillel, agree to disagree. We dated all through Nathan's senior year and Nathan looked for jobs nearby so we could stay together. We made it through 2 more years long-distance-ish (about an hour away) and Nathan proposed in December 2016. He was hoping to propose on a Wednesday at the end of the semester after I presented my master's thesis at Lehigh. However, UPS was not his friend and he did not get the ring in time. I could tell something was up when his plan for driving separately to the presentation didn't work out but didn't think too much of it. That Saturday (which happened to be the first night of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve), Nathan and I were on the way home from synagogue and he asked if I wanted to go for a drive that afternoon. At that point, I figured it out and tried to look my best. We drove to Bethlehem and Nathan had me close my eyes as we drove around Bethlehem to the various places that we spent time together. Finally, he stopped at the lookout on Lehigh's campus and proposed at sunset.
I joked with my mom and sisters that the wedding theme was "Simple Elegance" but in actuality, it really was! Since the wedding was in December, I wanted it to be a little winter-y but more like warm winter since the wedding was in my hometown of Tampa, Florida. To make that happen, I used some of my favorite colors; slate, silver, grey, and ivory. It just so happened that the wedding venue and hotel where the guests stayed used the same colors - great minds think alike! My wedding planner (aka my wonderful mother) made sure that the colors were very tastefully done with blue hydrangeas in the flowers, a silver cake topper, white roses piped on the cake, slate napkins with white chair covers, blue and silver candies at the candy bar, my ivory wedding dress, and the perfect match of slate shoes! Everything was coordinated perfectly and was very classic but understated, like me!
My favorite memory of my wedding day was hearing from so many guests that the atmosphere that we wanted to create of having everyone feel welcomed and included was achieved. Having so many out-of-town guests, I really wanted to make sure everyone felt that the trip they made was worth it and that they could fully enjoy their weekend. Looking around the room at the ceremony and reception, I was so happy to have everyone there and it looked like they were just as happy to be there. It was really important to me that Nathan and I started our married lives surrounded by happy friends and family and I left that evening feeling like we accomplished that.
My favorite part of my dress was the lower-cut back and buttons down the train. I usually don't wear things with low backs but this dress was the perfect cut and made my back look amazing - my sisters and mom agreed! The buttons also made sure that the dress looked classic and very much like me. I was looking for a dress with cap sleeves to get the coverage I was looking for and I knew I loved lace with the mermaid/trumpet style dress that would show off my curves and this dress had it all and then some! Everyone commented on the unique lace pattern and how it made the dress stand out, which I loved.
I had planned to visit my sister-in-law and her family in Atlanta over spring break with my twin sister from Chicago already and then when I got engaged, we decided to turn it into a wedding dress shopping extravaganza by having my mom and sister from Tampa join us. My sister-in-law found Wedding Angels and heard great things so she added it to the agenda. We arrived at Wedding Angels after a long day of bridal gown shopping. Once I walked into Wedding Angels, it felt different and I knew it was going to be a very positive experience. The entire staff was so friendly and helpful and my consultant Ellen was so sweet! She understood what I was looking for and was very attentive to how I felt in the dresses she pulled. She also saw how funny my entourage was and treated them like the queens that they truly are. Once I tried on the Madison James dress, it was a done deal! Ellen also helped me see what the final look could be like by adding a veil and jewelry and I could see myself getting married in that dress. The excellent Wedding Angels experience I had didn't stop there though! Since I live in Philly, my dress had to be shipped and Wedding Angels did a great job of keeping me up to date on the status of the dress and making sure it got to me safe and sound. I was so happy when I received it and so pleased with the overall experience!
Photographer - Lifelong Photography Studio Venue - Centre Club Tampa
Florist - Chris at Flora Fine Flowers
Cake - Publix
DJ - Ian at Fast Breaks Entertainment
Hair and Makeup - Michele Renee The Studio