"I am beautiful!"
Effortlessly flowing down the aisle in her organza Pnina Tornai gown, this is how Samantha "Sammie" Nunziata felt on September 20, 2014 as she prepared to marry Thomas Nunziata Jr., at the breathtaking Cline Cellars winery in Sonoma, California.
Sammie is not your typical bride however. She didn't fantasize about her dream wedding growing up, she didn't have a dream dress designer in mind, and she had never watched Say Yes To The Dress *GASP*. However, in the end, she was the embodiment of the perfect Pnina bride: someone who wanted to feel beautiful in her own skin.
When it was time to look for the most important dress she would ever wear, Sammie took on the challenge of finding her perfect wedding dress with three criteria in mind.
Criteria#1: She would not be stuck wearing spanx on her wedding day just to fit into her dress. Comfort was key for this practical bride and she knew that on her wedding day she wanted to have fun.
The tiered layers on her Pnina gown offered her the perfect whimsical skirt while still providing some structure with the fitted sweetheart neckline and corset construction.
Criteria#2: She wanted to see her shoes. "If I'm going to spend my money on awesome shoes then I wanted to see them", Sammie explains . Her layered ball gown was ideal for the bride who wanted to show off her stunning shoes, which so perfectly complimented her dress.
Criteria#3: She really wanted to use the bathroom by herself! While most brides overlook this practical request, Sammie's previous experience undressing brides had helped her to realize that her ability to go to the bathroom alone was a must have. Interesting fact: to make sure this goal was actually achievable in her gown, Sammie squatted in every gown she tried on.
"If I can squat, then I can pee" she exclaimed!
I think it's safe to say Sammie could move freely in her flowing Pnina gown.
Though she tried on many dresses, Sammie only had to try on one Pnina Tornai gown to find her perfect wedding dress. Stuck between two dresses, it was advice from her consultant, Lisa Fuhrman, that helped her pick THE dress.
Sammie recalls, "She took my father aside and told him to stop commenting on the dresses and just see my reaction when I tried them both on. I guess I had such a big smile on my face in the Pnina dress that my dad was just like, 'ok where's the bill?'."
To complete the look, Sammie added ribbons to her flower bouquet to mimic the free-flowing nature of her dress. She also styled her hair in a partial updo, with cascading curls that softly complimented her sweetheart neckline.
Having found her perfect dress, and feeling the happiness that comes with it, Sammie's advice for future brides: Make sure you love your dress and buy something that you feel great in! From the look on her face, I'd say she did just that.
Writer: Jazmine Keels