Gina Dardi says of her and her now husband’s meeting, “I’ll always remember the first time I met Alex. It was freshman year at The University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, and I saw him at KAMS and said, “Hi, I’m Gina. I’m a Gamma Phi.” Over four years, we became good friends. I brought Alex to many of my sorority’s date events and he brought me to many of his fraternity’s. We even studied abroad together in Rome and traveled throughout Europe. As our senior year of college was winding down, we both realized that we should be something more.”
After getting engaged, the first thing Gina did was call the Patrick Haley Mansion to set up a visit. She says, “When I was 16, I attended a wedding at The Patrick Haley Mansion and fell in love. I told myself that when I got married one day, if this place is as beautiful as it is now, I will have my wedding here. When I went to tour the mansion, it was even more beautiful then I remembered. The next day, we chose our date—January 13th—and secured the venue.”
Although Gina is a summer girl through and through, she loved that winter weddings are unique, formal, intimate and stunning. The bride-to-be also knew she wanted elegance, romance, intimacy and to incorporate her family and heritage in every way possible. Just some of those touches included her dad and four cousins singing and playing the first dance song for her and her husband and Italian-inspired details everywhere: a cannoli tower with an Italian phrase written on the top tier, guests performing the tarantella (an Italian folk-dance), and a signature drink entitled, “When in Rome.”
Gina found her dress at Bella Sposa Bridal Boutique, and it truly made her feel special. Gina says, “In regards to style, I knew I wanted a lot of lace and sparkle—a dress that I truly would never be able to wear again. I loved the high neck and the clear back with gems all over it. I felt like a princess.”
What We Love
The result of this couple’s planning was an elegant and beautifully styled wedding full of rich colors and details guest would never forget. Gina says, “So many of our guests have told us how amazing our wedding was, that they felt special and included, were blown away by the venue and had the best time on the dance floor. That’s all I could ask for!”
Advice from the Bride
This #dardiparty bride says, “Enjoy every minute! It goes by so fast. Also, you 100000% need to get a photographer and a videographer—they are worth every penny.”
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