What started as a vision for an ivory base evolved into a blush crepe and tulle tone, revitalising this bride's couture look with sheer elements elevating the modernity of Elisa’s design.
We understood our muse's desire for a princess moment, without the princess gown. With that, we created a full overskirt using over sixty metres of blush tone tulle to give Elisa the ultimate bridal moment. Featuring a bleed through effect of hand-appliqued lace motifs, the overskirt attached seamlessly to her fitted gown at the waist with a pearl button detail, ensuring our bride could add and remove her skirt as needed through the day.
The gown itself was incredibly fun and youthful, much like our muse Elisa who as you will see below, was absolutely radiant on her wedding day. We are excited to document our interview with Elisa and share some incredible memories from her special day.
STEPHANIE: What inspired you to have a couture gown made by SANT ELIA?
ELISA: I knew I wanted a couture gown made before I was engaged as it was something my mum and I spoke about. She had her wedding dress made for her years ago and she always spoke of how special the process was and I knew it was something I also wanted for myself.
I had been following SANT ELIA on Instagram for some time and I found that every gown was different but also so beautiful in it’s own way. I really liked that each brides style was shown in a different way but it was all beautifully made and unique. That is what drew me to SANT ELIA as I felt as though the team could create something just for me.
Having something made just for me was something I found really special because I would probably never have the opportunity again and just having mums support and that time with her through the process was special also.
STEPHANIE: It was really nice we had your mum in for every fitting. And being able to share this process with her and your family is something you can cherish forever.
ELISA: Absolutely, it was nice that we were able to share that time together, especially in the lead up to the wedding we would be able to get a coffee before hand and spend some time together.
STEPHANIE: What was your favourite part of the couture journey?
ELISA: I think my actual favourite moment was the first time we met. I had this vision in my head and two inspiration images but you were able to take that and sketch it for me.
When you showed me I was like ‘oh, that’s literally my thoughts on paper’ – so I think that was definitely one of my favourite moments. I knew then this is where I want my gown to be created because I felt like you could visualise what I wanted so well.
And I now have that sketch framed in my room so that is such a nice memory to have from the day and from the process also.
STEPHANIE: And for your journey as well, we didn’t have an exact idea of what the lace was going to be and you came in with an open mind and we ended up choosing something exactly like your sketch which is so crazy how it turns out.
I myself have so many different experiences with brides, but there's one that seems to be common, it’s like you come in and get this view and I get this view of who you are and what you love and it seems to naturally unfold as we evolve the design. It’s not because we have it set thing in our mind from the outset, but because we're on the same path and I felt it was easy to be on the same path as our instincts were aligned.
ELISA: Yea and I did find the process of choosing my lace easier than what I first thought, I was quite nervous for the appointment but it was so seamless in the end which is awesome.
STEPHANIE: What are the three most important things to consider when you're selecting a couture bridal service?
ELISA: I think the first thing I would say is just to find someone that they trust. I think that's an important part of the journey. You spend a lot of time with your designer and you want to be sure that you can trust them, their work and their style.
You also want someone that can make you feel comfortable talking about how you are feeling throughout the process. I felt as though I had a good understanding of the brand before my first consultation but once I arrived and saw the sketch I knew I was in good hands.
I think the second think I would say is, be true to your own style. It’s really easy to see something that is beautiful but it may not suit you and I know for me I wanted an off the shoulder look because I love to wear that style all the time and I know it suits me. Even though I love other styles and other people, I knew that for me, that was going to suit me and I would feel comfortable.
Finally I would say, be open to ideas and suggestions. As I touched on before I had an understanding of what I wanted before visiting but you had so many ideas that we explored like the blush pink through the dress and in the end it was beautiful.
So just being open to suggestions because you just never know what may end up looking better than what you thought.
STEPHANIE: I think that's really good advice. The three things I take away is you have to have a synergy with the designer and have a good open relationship where you can chat and workshop ideas and just being a bit fluid with each other.
Things can evolve and sometimes even for me evolve beyond what the original sketch is. Not to say it will go in a completely different direction but for you we introduced that blush tone for you. And I felt like that really made your dress so unique and even your overskirt having the blush through it, it just elevated your look.
I always say choose a silhouette or a style that just makes you feel the most like yourself. We're here to create gowns that are going to be memories forever. So if you look and feel comfortable that is the best type of timelessness when it comes to designing.
STEPHANIE: What sparked the inspiration for your overskirt?
ELISA: I did always want an overskirt, I saw it on some other brides and thought it was so beautiful. For me I knew I wouldn’t be able have this big princess silhouette but I loved the idea of bringing a bit of that drama with the train.
I also loved the idea of having a different look as well and thought the overskirt would give me that surprise element on the day and it really is one of my favourite parts of the design. Walking down the aisle with the overskirt trailing behind was so beautiful and made my whole dress that extra special, I had the princess flair without the full princess gown.
And it was really easy on the day because we were able to take it on and off as I needed to, I just loved it so much!
STEPHANIE: I think your overskirt was still quite light, so in a way whilst it was dramatic it just suited your whole look. Which for us is so incredible, there was over 60 metres of tulle in there and we made sure it was a seamless design with the way it folded and detached so there was no puffiness.
We do transitional pieces a lot in the studio because my brides want to have those moments throughout the day instead of potentially changing the entire look. Especially with your dress it was so detailed and it would have been sad to have you change your whole look so it was good to have your skirt that detached after your ceremony and photos.
ELISA: Yes definitely and I would take it off to get in the car and it was just so easy.
STEPHANIE: That makes me very happy to hear that it was easy and it worked for you on the day. Because it's all well and good to have that amazing footage of your gown but for us, it's about how did your dress work for the entire day, how did it feel on you and how did it look at 10pm?
For your dress we chose a stretch base and it stayed perfect for the whole day and whilst it was fitted and structured to support you it was still really comfortable and we discuss that with our brides along the way because we don’t want you to just look your best but feel your best also.
ELISA: Well on that note, with my sleeves at first I didn’t think they needed to be detachable but I am so glad you recommended that they were because towards the end of the night I just took them off for party time so I could move even more freely. Not that they were constricting but it was just another piece of my look that I could change up on the night. Even my friends asked how many looks I had on the night!
STEPHANIE: And that's so cool, it’s like its party time so let your hair down and just enjoy it.
STEPHANIE: What is your most cherished memory from the wedding day itself?
ELISA: The whole day was absolutely beautiful, I was just so happy the whole day and in the morning just so excited to get to the altar. But I think my favourite moment was when I was just ready to walk into the church, I had this moment where I caught myself and saw James at the other end and everyone was just so full of love. It was just a really special moment.
I was also excited to see my gown on me on the day, and so was James. He didn’t know anything about the dress other than the fact I had been working on it for a long time
STEPHANIE: Was he surprised, what did he think?
ELISA: He was, he thought I may have gone for a fitted gown but he never expected the overskirt which was nice. He just thought I looked beautiful and said it all came together so incredibly, so he was definitely impressed by it all.
STEPHANIE: You really did look stunning, I love the photo of you at that moment that you were talking about just before the church. You can see all the lights shining through your skin, like an angel, it's gorgeous. You're just glowing. Even just seeing the photo, I could tell that was a special moment for you.
STEPHANIE: Do you have any final thoughts you wish to share with me or our team?
ELISA: I just want to say thank you. I really think that that whole process is one of my favourite parts of planning. For some brides, finding a gown can seem a little stressful but for me it was really seamless and just an exciting time.
So I guess I just want to say thank you for making it so easy and you just created my dream look. I felt so welcome each time I came to the studio and to have the opportunity to be open and honest throughout the journey was really great.
It was crazy because at times I felt like you were reading my mind, like you would say something and I was like ‘how did she know I was thinking that’. But just keep doing what you’re doing because it’s a journey I will never forget and cherish forever.
STEPHANIE: You're welcome and thank you for being a wonderful muse and sharing your story with us today – we really appreciate it.
We thank our bride Elisa for joining the SANT ELIA Muse Series. Her gown was nothing short of a labour of love and we are so happy with the result of our teams incredible craftsmanship.
To become a SANT ELIA bridal muse and enquire about our custom couture service, please click here.