Melani E.: Love at First Sight

Melani E.: Love at First Sight

Mother of: Natalie
Wedding venue: South Coast Botanic Garden, Palos Verdes, California
Vibe: Garden Party Formal
Dress: Tadashi Shoji from Neiman Marcus


Melani and her daughter Natalie have always loved shopping together. “This time was a little different as we shopped online, sharing ideas nonstop,” says Melani, who lives in southern California, where the wedding took place, while Natalie and her now-husband Will are in Chicago.

The bride wanted a garden party theme to suit the South Coast Botanic Garden setting. “Once the garden party vision was clear, it was like the dress magically appeared in our feeds,” Melani says. “We knew right away it was the one.”

“My mom was the easiest person in the entire wedding to shop with,” Natalie adds. “While I tried on 10-plus dresses, I think my mom tried on one other one. When we saw the green dress, we knew it was the one for her.”

Melani says she loved every detail of her Tadashi Shoji floor length dress: the green and pink floral pattern, the flattering diagonal pleating across the bodice, and the built-in cape.

“The cape!” Natalie gushes. “My mom is my elegant, classy superhero, and this dress embodied that in every way.”

“Aside from my own wedding dress," adds Melani, "I would venture to say this was the most beautiful, wonderful, fabulous dress that I have ever worn."

But it almost didn’t happen. When they first spotted the dress online, and Melani clicked “purchase,” she got an out of stock notice. She messaged the brand, requesting that they let her know if the dress became available. This was nearly a year before the wedding, so Melani didn’t panic. She and Natalie continued to browse and swap dress photos.

“I didn’t really like anything else,” Melani confesses.

Two months later, there it was again—the green and pink Tadashi Shoji dress! Melani and Natalie were in the car together, talking about the wedding (of course) when the dream dress popped up in this mother of the bride's feed. Melani quickly clicked, and found one available. It was a size larger than she wears, but nothing a tailor couldn’t fix. “Not only had I secured my dream dress for the garden party,” Melani recounts, “It was on sale!”

The stroke of luck set the tone for a magical wedding day. “It’s not an understatement to say Natalie and Will’s wedding was a dream come true for me,” Melani says. “After months of meticulous planning, watching everything come to fruition and observing my daughter glowing with happiness and pride made my heart explode with joy.”

More: Mother of the groom Beth also wore floral.

| Photography by Jessie Rowan Photography

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