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Bride Of The Week: Sofia

Bride Of The Week: Sofia
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Meet Sofia, our stunning GL Bride of The Week, who graced her wedding day in the glamorous Almaz gown from the Shine Collection. The magical venue of the Hummingbird Nest in Santa Susana, CA, provided the perfect backdrop for her dreamy, romantic wedding. In the following interview, Sofia shares how she made her wedding day special and the journey to finding her dream dress with us! As told by Sofia:

A moment of your wedding day you will never forget?

 There are so many beautiful and special moments to choose from. One that I’ll never forget is our first dance. When Grigor and I did our first lift, and all of our friends and family started cheering! It gave us such a rush and a chance to enjoy every moment of the dance we worked so hard to practice and remember. At that point, it was all about being in the moment together and forgetting about perfection because it was already perfect for us. One of our favorite songs is “Freeze” by Kygo, but the original version is eight minutes long, so I brought out my music producer hat and created a whole new version just for our first dance. Being able to incorporate that creative touch made it all the more special for us.

Any special surprises for your Groom on your wedding day?

I’m a music artist, songwriter, and producer, and I was debating whether or not I would perform a song. I was also contemplating if I would have enough time to write a new one amongst all the planning for such a special occasion. I can’t even count the number of times I had friends and family asking if I would be performing at the wedding, but I wanted to follow my own intuition and gut about it. I dropped my wedding dress off at my mom’s house a week before the wedding and found my way in front of our grand piano. I had the urge to write something new for my future husband in that moment, and the song poured right out of me.

Crunched on time and not sure how I was going to make it happen, I knew I had to produce and create a backing track for the big day. I stayed up from 12:00 to 3:00 am working on the production a few nights before the wedding, and while Grigor was at the gym in the morning, I quickly recorded some backing vocals for the song. It ended up coming together and was so worthwhile! Grigor was so surprised when I led him out to the dance floor to sit on a chair facing me, against the audience, not knowing what to expect. He had no idea I was going to perform and dedicate a song to him. It was such a special moment and one I will always cherish. The song I wrote is called, “I Do”. I definitely look forward to polishing and releasing it in the near future under my artist name, SOZI.

One thing you wish you knew as a new bride? What advice would you give to future brides?

One thing I wish I knew as a new bride is how the wedding day is over in the blink of an eye. I thought I knew what that meant when people would say that, but truly it flies by. With all the preparation and planning involved beforehand, it all passes you by so quickly that by the time you’re ready to get into your second dress and comfortable shoes, it’s already over. A piece of advice I would give to future brides would be to be very intentional with the photographer’s shot list because time is so precious and fleeting on that day, and you want to make sure only the most essential portraits and shots are captured before it starts feeling like a to-do list. I would also highly recommend always wearing comfortable shoes on your big day, especially if your dress covers your feet; no one will even see your shoes!

A detail that made your wedding special/unique?

There was a lot of thought put into the whole wedding from start to finish with details that made it unique to us. One being the wedding favors and personalized place cards. We decided to create little dollar lotto scratcher favors with a thank you coin in each paper packet to make it a fun activity and game to play. This is also a homage to family members who passed away that loved scratchers and casinos. The personalized place cards were these lovely leather coasters that were patterned like natural wood and laser engraved by my father with each guest’s first name. I really wanted the favors to be something that guests could use at home and remember the celebration we all shared.

Speaking of homage, I was looking for ways to represent the loved ones we recently lost in memoriam in a private yet meaningful way. I recently lost my uncle and grandfather, and my husband lost his grandmother and father. Some really tough and painful losses. I found this precious locket with a pearl pin on Etsy and ordered one for each of us and presented his to him right before our ceremony. I pinned it to the inside of his tuxedo jacket; my hands were shaking so hard, and I pinned mine to my wedding bouquet. It was a really special and gentle way to have our loved ones that passed close to our hearts while we walked down the aisle.

How did you know your dress was 'the one'?

It was an instinct and an immediate pull to the design and look of the dress when I saw it on the hanger in the fitting room. I had an idea of the kind of dress I wanted, but I didn’t really know until I put it on. We pulled a few dresses to try on after I described the type of gown I was looking for. There were about five of them surrounding me in the dressing room, and I was asked which one of them I was most excited to try on, out of all of them. I looked around and pointed to my dress right away! Something about it excited me, and it was everything I envisioned. This was the first dress I tried on at Galia Lahav, and I was absolutely in LOVE! I felt so magical looking in the mirror while standing on the podium at the flagship store, and it was undeniably “the one”!   

How did it feel when you put on your dress the day of the wedding? What was everyone's reaction to the dress?

I need to be honest, getting into the corset part of this dress is a squeeze! I’ve never worn corsets before, so I’m definitely not used to tightness like that, but to wear it for this one glorious day, it was well worth it, and I would do it again! I love the support of the bodysuit, and that the skirt of the dress has sheer dimensions that show the silhouette of my legs in certain lighting. The lace and embellishments on the dress are so intricate, delicate, and perfectly shape the body. I felt like a queen in my dress, and when I finally got the chance to glance at myself in the mirror after I put it on, I was in absolute awe. Needless to say, it was one of the greatest talking points of the whole day. Everyone kept coming up to me and talking about how breathtaking the dress is! It was without a doubt my dream dress. 

Would you have done anything differently?

If there’s anything I would do differently, it would probably be to keep the party going for maybe another hour or so. That way we could enjoy some more fun and dancing at the end. We had music end at 11:30 pm, and I would’ve loved for it to have ended a bit later because we had that option, but it was a decision we made earlier knowing we would be exhausted by the end of the night, and of course we were. Better to have the feeling of wanting more than feeling like you can’t handle another minute, though!

What was your favorite part of the wedding to plan/you were most looking forward to?

I was really looking forward to seeing how the reception area was going to come together with all of the floral arrangement choices, the chandeliers, hanging lights, and table settings. It was everything I could hope for and more! Working with my wedding planner, Nam, was such a pleasure, and I’m so happy all of our hard work turned out the way we envisioned it to be. I also really enjoyed building the wedding website with Bliss and Bone and sending out the digital and physical invitations.

How did you meet your husband? How did he propose?

It all started under the stars, in a parking lot no less, at a Jack in the Box on Sunset Blvd back in 2013. Fate was up to some magical things that night because Grigor and I crossed paths, thanks to our mutual friend, Sergey. I felt this inexplicable familiarity, as though we had shared lifetimes together. Fast forward through shared dreams and endless talks, we found ourselves crushing on each other while going to the same college. The rest is history!

The proposal was so intimate and perfect! After months of planning and postponements since Valentine’s Day of 2021, Grigor and I finally decided on a day for our long-awaited beach outing, which surprisingly fell on Cinco De Mayo, May 5th. Feeling a bit under the weather and unsure of what to expect, I sensed hints that this might be the day he’d propose. My heart raced as we drove to Balboa Beach, his attire and behavior fueling my anticipation. He reversed into the parking spot when we arrived at the beach, and my heart was racing. He took out a black bandana and told me to put it over my eyes.

At this point, it was very clear to me that it was THE moment. I bursted “I’m nervous,” and he responded, “me too,” as our hearts were pounding! Blindfolded, he led me up a sandy hill and told me to take off the blindfold. As he knelt before me with a ring box, my gaze locked onto him; only minutes later did I notice the massive “MARRY ME” sign and a beautiful picnic setup to our left. He asked “Sof, Will you marry me?” My heart overflowed with joy, and I let out a resounding “Of course!”. With his heartfelt words, we celebrated with champagne, the culmination of a meticulously planned surprise. We spent some time sharing the news with family on FaceTime, turning our postponed beach day into an enchanting Cinco De Mayo proposal to forever cherish.

How did you find working with the team at Galia Lahav?

 The team at Galia Lahav was so welcoming and professional! Anthony assisted me at the beautiful Beverly Hills location. He was such a sweetheart and so easy to work with. Anthony effortlessly helped me try on all of the dresses I wanted to and happily answered any questions that me or my family had.

How many dresses did you try on before you found it?

I went to one other dress shop and tried on four or five dresses before scheduling my appointment at Galia Lahav. I was trying to stay within a certain budget, but I knew the minute I stepped into Galia Lahav that I would fall in love with my dream dress and be in trouble! There was no going back once I tried that beauty on! I knew it had to be mine forever! There are absolutely no regrets when it comes to feeling the way I did in my stunning Galia Lahav dress.

Bride | @sozimusic
Florist | Events & Floral by Sammy (@eventsbysammyla)
Hair | Mike Manukyan (@mike_hairstylist)
Makeup | Shay Zeinali (@shay_zeinali)
Officiant | Shahrzad Ardalan
Photographer | Vova Chi Photography (@vovachiphotography)
Videography | Lux Films (@luxfilmswedding)
Planner | Modern LA Weddings (@modernlaweddings)
Rentals | A Rental Connection (@arentalconnection)
Catering | Anoush Catering (@anoushcatering)
DJ | DJ Jay (@djjay)
Venue | Hummingbird Nest (@hummingbirdnestevents)
Suit | Giorgio Armani

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Kaileah Christine | September 22, 2023

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