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The Bride Wore Galia Lahav Down The Aisle at Her Italian-esque Wedding at The Biltmore

By Savannah Rockwin | Photography by 

Lauren Alatriste

Brianna Biancardi, an on-air talent director at CBS Sports, and Carlos Castellanos, who works in real estate, first crossed paths as Florida State University students at a bar’s happy hour. Carlos admits, “I whispered to my friend, ‘I want to marry that girl,’ when I saw her.”

After seven years together, Carlos surprised Brianna with a proposal at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami around Thanksgiving time. He and his grandmother devised a plan and told Brianna that his grandmother had given them tickets to the museum and a birthday dinner for Carlos would follow. The groom-to-be had a specific spot where he wanted to propose, but every time they passed it, people were crowding the area. “By the third lap, I had a feeling Brianna knew something was happening, so I decided to just do it by the water and completely threw off our photographer,” Carlos smiles. Once engaged, their immediate family members revealed themselves. “They had never spent a Thanksgiving apart so it was extra special.”

“Carlos and I dreamed of getting married in Italy, but family is most important to us and it would’ve been too difficult for some of our family members to get there,” Brianna shares. However, when they saw The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, they fell in love with its old world charm and European style. Aesthetically, the inspiration for their spring wedding was “an Italian, rustic, outdoor garden.”

With this in mind, Brianna tried on a few wedding dresses but didn’t want to make a final decision before she’d visited Galia Lahav’s showroom in SoHo. “I always thought I’d get a fitted dress, so I went straight to the rack that matched my vision,” Brianna explains. “As I was picking out the dresses I wanted to try on, my mom held up an A-line dress to add to the pile. To everyone’s surprise—except my mother, of course—that dress ended up being the one.”

On the morning-of, Brianna had natural bridal glam applied by Daniela Gozlan before putting on the Lee Dress. Her “something old” was a pair of her mother’s diamond earrings, while her “something new” was a diamond tennis bracelet that Carlos gifted her on the morning-of. Bridesmaids complemented her well in sage dresses from V. Chapman, Shona Joy, and Show Me Your Mumu.

Carlos looked handsome in a custom dark navy tuxedo with a black lapel from MDO Miami. As a sweet touch, he had the quote that this father wrote on the back of his sonogram embroidered onto the fabric: “The choices you make in life will shape the way you live forever.”

On April 13, 2024, the ceremony took place on a sunny afternoon at the groom’s alma mater, Epiphany Catholic Church in Miami. “Carlos and I went the traditional route and didn’t do a first look, so I was really feeling all of the pre-wedding jitters. But when the doors opened and I saw him standing there, it felt like no one else was in the building,” Brianna reflects of her walk down the aisle to the song “A Thousand Years.” “I remember the tears in his eyes, the way he looked at me and him holding my hands so tight. He squeezed my hands three times, which in our little world means I love you.” 

Cocktail hour followed, allowing the newlyweds to sneak away for a few sunset portraits with their photographer, Lauren Alatriste. As they posed for the first time as husband and wife, guests enjoyed alfresco cocktails and charcuterie overlooking The Biltmore’s lushly landscaped golf course. 

The bride and groom entered their reception and went straight into their first dance to “Growing Old With You” by Restless Road. “We didn’t take dance lessons or ever ‘prepare’ for this, but it was crazy how natural it felt looking into his eyes and dancing in his arms to a song that was so meaningful to us,” Brianna says. 

“I’m Italian and Carlos is Cuban, so we wanted to highlight both of our traditions in the food we served,” the bride shares. Guests enjoyed burrata and fresh pasta with their entrees, while surrounded by real trees, arranged by Cortez Event Agency. And after the delicious meal, Brianna indulged her sweet tooth with The Biltmore’s famous chocolate cookies, brownies, “brookies,” and chocolate strawberries—and their chocolate, Funfetti, and dulce de leche wedding cake by Elegant Temptations, which featured stenciled lace that matched her dress. The late-night bites of empanadas, croquettas, tequenos, and pastelitos paid homage to Carlos’s heritage.

A highlight of the night was the Cuban hora loca with a New York theme—a nod to where the couple first lived together. An inflatable Empire State Building, Big Apple, and Statue of Liberty floated around the room. Of course, the couple made their entrance to “Empire State of Mind” in Yankees jerseys with their last name. And the formal night closed with DJ Chris Cobas of Event Factor playing the classic tune, “New York, New York,” which—every New Yorker knows—plays at Yankee Stadium after every win.

But that wasn’t all! The fête continued in The Cellar Club, reminiscent of a city speakeasy. After reminiscing for hours with guests, the newlyweds headed up to their room, where The Biltmore kindly set up all of their wedding food and gifts. Brianna remembers, “We tried everything all over again and couldn’t stop smiling & talking about how special the entire day was.”