Photography: David Bastianoni
London-born, Los Angeles-based Ariana Mateen is the co-founder of Paloma Blue, a luxury resort-wear brand that’s a favourite of White Dossier’s for honeymoon looks. She and her now-husband Justin got married over a long weekend in their favourite city, Florence, Italy. This gave Ariana who loves to experiment with fashion the chance to have fun and create quite a few different looks for her bridal wardrobe! From a Galia Lahav be-jewelled jumpsuit with a removable train for her pre-party to a Giambatista Valli white floaty dress for her pre-brunch to a Vera Wang wedding dress and a Mira Zwillinger after-party look, Ariana talks us through how she created a bridal wardrobe (she tried on 50 plus dresses!) that allowed her to play with different styles that all felt just like her.
Ariana’s Bridal Looks
You had a destination wedding in Florence, Italy. Why was this a special place for you guys?
We attended a wedding in Florence (at the same venue) a few years ago and it was beyond magical! We kept it in the back of our minds and when it came to wedding planning, we knew we wanted Italy and as we had a lot of guests, when it came to venues, it was a process of elimination. We had 3 amazing events which really let me experiment with different styles. We had a Friday night party, a Saturday brunch and then the actual wedding on Sunday.
Let’s start at the beginning. Living in Los Angeles and getting married in Florence, what did you do / wear for your civil wedding?
So talk us through your Friday night look…
For our Friday night party, I wore a Galia Lahav long sleeve jewelled jumpsuit which had an open back and a removable train. It caught my eye in an image before I had even a set wedding date and I knew I had to have it!
And your Saturday brunch look…
On Saturday (our wedding was on the Sunday), we had a brunch party in the gardens at the Four Seasons Hotel. I bought my dress a week before when I stopped in London on the way to Italy. I went to my mother’s fitting at Giambatista Valli and this unbelievable white dress stood out like a sore thumb! I wore it with Chanel gold simple flats sandals and two gorgeous Simone Rocha hair pieces.
So, what about your civil ceremony look?
So, it’s kind of a funny story. Our Civil Wedding was in Las Vegas, yes Las Vegas! I wore a white Alaia
mini dress with Aquazurra silver jewelled flats. It was also 120 degrees that day and I am melting thinking
Shop Ariana’s Pre Wedding Wardrobe
Did you find it easy, or difficult to decide what to wear for your actual wedding?
I must have tried on 50 plus dresses and I loved most of them! They were all different looks and styles but I just couldn’t choose I mostly went to trunk shows and individual boutiques and overall, the experience was super special and memorable! In the back of my mind however, I always knew that on my actual wedding day, I wanted to be a classic bride.
Why do you think you were drawn to a more classic wedding look?
When you look back, some bridal looks can quickly look dated, or be too closely attached to a certain trend of the time. I felt that I wanted to look back at photos in 50 years and not like my wedding dress. I feel I can experiment with style every day and night of the week but when it came to my wedding, I wanted to keep it classic.
Did your wedding location influence what you wanted to wear?
I bought my dress without knowing the location! Looking back, this was probably not the best idea!
Tell us about how you found your bridal designer…
My first dress was Vera Wang and my second was Mira Zwillinger (both White Dossier approved bridal brands.) Originally, I had wanted a particular Mira dress but decided against it once I saw a few other brides wearing the same dress! After that, I was visiting SAKS bridal with my mother and sister and my mum pulled out this Vera Wang dress and hinted at me to try it on. I did and the rest was history. Immediately we drove round to the Vera Wang store and within an hour, the dress was ordered and we were on the way!
Was what you ended up wearing similar to what you initially saw yourself in?
Not at all. I imagined two styles. Either lots of tulle, or a long sleeve low back dress. I think what you imagine is never what actually works for you when it comes to bridal.
Where did you get your shoes? Did they stay on all night?
What accessories did you wear on your wedding day?
On my wedding itself, I wore diamond droplet earrings! I also wore three Baby’s Breath pearl hair pins from 14 Quatorze. They were so delicate and beautiful!
Shop Ariana’s Bridal Accessories
Talk us through your bridal bouquet…
My bouquet was white Sweetpeas. I wanted it to be all white and very soft and summery. It worked perfectly with the surroundings!
Describe your wedding make-up and hair to us? Who did these for you.
My hairdresser was Beau from Meche in LA. He is a dream! He knew exactly how I wanted it.
Did you do any skin prep/ hair prep in the lead up to your wedding?
Shop Ariana’s Beauty Picks
Did you have any bridesmaids?
Did you help your husband decide on what he would wear? What was he suited and booted in?
He wore a Tom Ford tux – I went to a fitting but he chose it himself!
With hindsight, if you were to give yourself a piece of advice when creating your wedding look, what would it be?
Be comfortable and be you. Don’t try to take an approach that isn’t something that you would usually do otherwise you will feel uncomfortable. Take your time and don’t let anyone tell you what to do!
Stylistically, you got to play with a lot of different vibes (from your stand-out jumpsuit to romantic brunch dress) – what was it about all your wedding looks that felt you?
I had always wanted a jumpsuit for one of our wedding events: had bought it before I knew where and when we were getting married. It felt right and it just felt like me. Had I known it was going to be 100 degrees then perhaps that would have been another story. I was so lucky to find the Giambattista Valli dress I wore to our brunch week before the wedding. I tried it on at my mother’s fitting pretty much just for fun and didn’t want to take it off! I had a back up plan which was a Zimmerman dress I ended up wearing the night after the wedding. And the Vera Wang wedding dress was something I knew I’d love forever.
June 30th, 2019
Number of Guests
Natalie Spencer – beyond talented. I highly recommend working with her.
Wedding Planner & Decor
Lanza & Baucina who I can’t recommend enough! Everything from beginning to end was seamless and the wedding day itself was better than I had ever imagined. They are not only so organized but their creativity is like no other.
David Bastianoni who I found on Instagram as he shoots in Florence a lot.
Vision band from Tel-Aviv, DJ Gil Fux. And we had the Gypsy Queens play at our brunch.
Mini-moon / Honeymoon plans
After the wedding we travelled for 3 weeks. We went from Florence to Tuscany and then spent one night in Rome. We then went to Amanzoe in Greece which was out of this world. After that we had a fun 3-day stint in Mykonos… unplanned! From there we flew to Montenegro to Sveti Stefan which was truly magical – we felt like we were living in Medieval times or in a James Bond movie! Before returning to the US, we stopped for 2 nights in Paris which was a super romantic end to the trip!
One thing you wish you’d known before planning your wedding
Don’t stress about the small things! People obviously told me this before the wedding but of course I ignored it!
The most memorable moment from your wedding
Sitting at dinner with my husband, holding hands and looking around soaking up all the love.