The Bride Wore Her Mother’s ’80s Wedding Dress for a Backyard Rose Garden Ceremony – Vogue

Actors Daniella Garcia and Stephen Borrello had been dating for nine years when they went to Stephen’s hometown of New Orleans to celebrate his 30th birthday. “Being theater school grads, we always dreamed of staying at the Pontchartrain Hotel, where Tennessee Williams wrote his classic play A Streetcar Named Desire,” says Daniella, who most recently worked on Gus Van Sant’s feature Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot and lent her voice to Pixar’s Coco. They spent the day walking around the French Quarter while, unbeknownst to Daniella, her family had also secretly flown in. They were walking around the French Quarter too, so Stephen had to keep them posted on the couple’s location to prevent them from crossing paths. They had perfect New Orleans day complete with brunch at Brennan’s, picking up Pimm’s Cups to-go from Napoleon House, and wandering into Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo.

Later that evening, they went up to the rooftop of the Pontchartrain for cocktails, then on to dinner at Broussard’s, a restaurant that came into existence in 1920 when local chef Joseph Broussard married Rosalie Borrello—an ancestor of Stephen’s—and the couple moved into the Borrello family home (built in 1834) on Conti Street, where the restaurant now stands. “We went out to the courtyard, and Stephen incorporated their story into his proposal because it’s a perfect example of how two people’s love and support for each other flourished into a life, business, and eventually a legacy that still exists today,” Daniella says. When they went back into the main dining room for dinner, both of their families were there to celebrate the proposal.

After toasting their engagement New Orleans style, Daniella and Stephen starting planning their wedding for May 16, 2020, at her family’s home in Toluca Lake, Los Angeles. But due to the spread of COVID-19 and the travel that would have been necessary for their family members in New Orleans and Miami, it has been postponed until 2021.

As luck would have it, the two were already officially married in a secret civil ceremony. Last December, the two had tickets to see Lady Gaga in Las Vegas, where they were legally married on a whim by Elvis at A Little White Wedding Chapel. “It was a ceremony with just the two of us, which in hindsight is even more special considering our wedding is delayed another whole year,” Daniella says.

When May finally arrived, the couple decided they wanted to proceed with a tiny gathering in their Toluca Lake backyard to commemorate the day with the family members they’d been quarantining with. They’re working with wedding planner Stefanie Cove on their larger postponed event in 2021 so asked her for tips and tricks to help make this intimate event feel personal and special. “[Stefanie’s] eye and expertise helped transform our backyard into the wedding of our dreams,” Daniella says.

As has been the case for so many brides, Daniella soon discovered that her wedding gown was locked away in a department store and inaccessible because of the pandemic. Instead, she wore her mother’s custom Eric de Juan wedding dress from 1982. She paired the dress with a vintage Juliet cap veil that she intends to replicate for her actual wedding dress. She did her own makeup and kept her jewelry super simple, wearing only her mother’s pearl earrings and her engagement ring. Stephen wore his Ralph Lauren tuxedo with a Gucci tie that Daniella gifted him on Valentine’s Day.

The dress code for the small group of family members prioritized comfort and personality. The bride’s sisters and mother wore their best spring garden dresses, while the father of the bride donned a three-piece navy suit for the occasion. “My brother graced us in his finest Dickies pants, Human Made jacket, and Maison Margiela sneakers,” Daniella notes.

As Daniella’s father walked her through the backyard to the rose garden where Stephen was waiting along with the couple’s quarantine pod, “And I Love Her” by the Beatles played in the background. The bride’s brother officiated the ceremony, and the couple’s dog Django had their Vegas wedding bands around his neck. “He took his ring bearer duties very seriously!” Daniella jokes.

The couple exchanged rings and recited their vows in front of the small group of family gathered. “We both felt grateful that we were all healthy, safe, and able to still celebrate our love during this difficult time,” Daniella says. “We missed the Borrello family tremendously, but had a lovely evening knowing that both our New Orleans and Miami families will all be together next year. It was hard and disappointing to postpone our big wedding, [but] we got through it by accepting that life is full of endless challenges. When we got engaged, we made a promise to support and lean on each other during trying times. This event, or lack thereof, has provided us with the opportunity to not only reflect on our commitment to each other but to acknowledge that health and safety are the most important priorities over all other considerations.”

After the ceremony was over, the group toasted with Reposado tequila and sat down to a dinner of lamb chops and macaroni and cheese that the mother of the bride had prepared and plated on her own wedding china. “We cut a berries and cream cake with the same knife my parents used on their wedding day,” Daniella says. “And we danced the night away courtesy of my brother who has been honing his DJ skills during quarantine.”