In November of 2011, Alessandra Perna and Mario Carullo were set up on a blind date by their two Italian mothers. They went on a hike and instantly felt a spark. “We couldn’t stop talking the entire first date,” Alessandra says. “When Mario dropped me off, my parents asked how it went. I replied, ‘That is the man I am going to marry.’”
Alessandra’s instinct proved to be right, as Mario popped the question on February 16, 2013. He had planned a special getaway to Chicago–a city his then-girlfriend had never been to–and proposed after dinner on the top floor of the John Hancock building.
“WE COULDN’T STOP TALKING THE ENTIRE FIRST DATE” ALESSANDRA PERNA
Since Alessandra was in her first year of law school during the time of their engagement, the couple waited until August 2015 to get married. By then, Alessandra had graduated and passed her bar exam, and the longer engagement period allowed them plenty of time to plan their wedding without the stress of tight time crunches.
The wedding industry was nothing new for Alessandra, as she comes from the family of Mariella Creations. She was, however, the first granddaughter to be married–so it was a big deal within the family. Her favorite part of the wedding planning process was traveling to NYC and meeting with Lazaro Perez, who designed two gowns for the special occasion.
The first gown was designed around a Chanel necklace that Alessandra’s grandparents bought her as an early wedding gift. For the second dress, Lazaro went with a glitzy style, high-low hem, and a fully beaded bodice. “Ever since I was a little girl, there has only been one designer that I’ve envisioned making my gowns, and that is Lazaro,” says Alessandra. “After the second dress was made, he surprised me with a custom statement necklace to match.”
The wedding was filled with personal touches, starting with the bridal party. Rather than choosing traditional bridal party roles, the bride and groom had both of their sisters stand up for them as the maid-of-honor and sister of the groom. “We are so lucky to have sisters who even consider themselves sisters to one another (and who share the same birthday!)” the bride says. Both girls wore ivory silk mikado gowns by Victor Harper, with different necklaces to make each ensemble unique.
The ambiance at the wedding could only be described as the bride’s own fairytale wonderland. Gorgeous floral arrangements were designed with bright coral shades, pinks, and a hint of cool mint green. The lighting was warm and inviting, pairing with the color palette to create a young, chic, and unique design. Even the live band performed in front of a large candle wall, which contained over one hundred lit candles, casting a glow and twinkling effect behind the musicians. “I knew I wanted my reception to be a breath of fresh air, something people have never seen before; and Mark Rose made my vision come to life,” says the bride.
Ceremony Location: St. Ignatius Loyola, New York, NY; Reception Location: Cipriani 42nd Street, New York, NY; Cake: Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, New York, NY; Floral and Event Designer: Mark Rose Flowers & Events, New York, NY; Linen: Nuage Designs New York, NY; Lighting: Star Group Productions, New York, NY
Wedding Dresses: Lazaro; Bridal Salon: Mariella Creations, Rocky Hill, CT; Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin; Groom’s Tuxedo: Zegna; Bride’s Necklace: Chanel; Bride’s Bracelet & Groom's Watch: Cartier
Cinematography: Pennylane Productions, Commack, NY