Whether you are in love, wondering when you will find your person, or planning your dream wedding, this feature will, without a doubt, make you want to watch your favorite rom-com and pop open a bottle of bubbly. Keep reading to learn more about fashion blogger and recent bride @danimaiale, and enjoy her advice on love, event planning, and everything in between.
Finding love in your twenties (or any age) may seem hard, but manifesting and planning your dream wedding may be even more overwhelming. So, I thought who better to touch on both topics than the incomparable @danimaiale. You may know @danimaiale for her fashion finds on Instagram, her jaw-droppingly gorgeous events, or just being overall goals, but this interview dives in deeper into her story. She shares to DD readers how she met her now-husband, John, and her advice for anyone single, planning a wedding, or anywhere in between. She shares incredible and thoughtful advice, and I swear she is one of the most organized and detailed oriented people I have interviewed, as well as kind. I am thrilled to also showcase photos from her special day taken by @emilywrenphoto throughout this feature.
DD: Introduce yourself to our Dear Diary readers.
Dani: "Hi! I’m Dani, and I’m a Philadelphia-based fashion influencer! I’m currently 28 years old and just got married to the love of my life – John! We lived in the city for over four years together and felt it was time in 2020 to make a big move. We bought a townhome out in the suburbs of PA and can’t wait to move in December!"
"A bit about me – I LOVE meeting new people (especially over a cup of iced coffee, lol), I plan on getting a puppy sometime in the near future, and I am a yes-man when it comes to traveling! I have been to Greece, Italy, London, Paris, and can’t wait for many more trips this year. When I’m not in Philly, I love to spend time with my family in New Jersey – where I grew up. We are incredibly close, and Sunday dinners are a staple in this Italian household. But, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, I always make time to elevate my influencing strategies and better myself with every passing day."
DD: How did you begin your journey as a fashion blogger? Your followers love your fantastic finds and LTK links. Did you ever think you would become as influential as you have become?
Dani: “I have been part of the LikeToKnow.it (LTK) team for over five years now, and what started as a hobby quickly grew to something bigger! I moved to Philly not knowing many people, and I thought blogging and networking through this outlet would be a great opportunity to make new friends in the city. While attending Drexel University for graduate school after Loyola University of Maryland, I worked on the LTK platform and grew my brand to where it is today! With a lot of time and research, trial and error, I finally found what works well. I am nowhere near where I would like to be, but I take every day as an opportunity to learn and grow. I love connecting with like-minded people, whether in person or over social media because I truly believe that the only way you’ll get better is through learning and helping one another. The blogging/influencer world has been amazing as everyone looks to lift you up and help where they can."
DD: How did you meet your now-husband, John? What advice do you have to anyone looking for love in their twenties?
Dani: "John and I met through a mutual friend down in Long Beach Island, NJ, in July of 2014. My family has a house there where we like to vacation in the summer months! He had asked if I wanted to join them for a boat ride around the bay that afternoon, and without hesitation, I said yes! John and I spent the next few hours getting to know one another as we rode around and docked to get some quick bites and drinks at a local restaurant on the island. When it was time to head back, John had asked for my number. He later invited me on our first date at Rouge in Rittenhouse Square, and the rest is history!"
"My advice might sound cliché but give someone a chance! Don’t always judge a book by its cover; you never know a person until you really get to talk to them one on one. If someone asks you on a date, give it a go – if it doesn’t work out, no worries, at least you said you tried. But you’ll never know that unless you put yourself out there. I am a huge fan of online dating apps as well – a LOT of my close friends have met their now spouses through them. I know it may seem uncomfortable sometimes, but it’s 2021 – things have changed! And if you can find someone who can make you laugh, that is the best trait in my opinion!"
DD: When did you notice your following growing due to your wedding content/advice? When did you begin being featured in notable media outlets?
Dani: "I had noticed my following grew more rapidly when I was sharing my wedding-related content. From the moment I got engaged, I took my followers on a journey showing them everything I had planned step by step. From the time I said, 'Yes to the dress' to postponing my wedding a whole year due to COVID – they saw it all. I was also very transparent and always posted a Q&A on my Instagram page after every wedding-related event. I had one for my bridesmaid's brunch, my bridal shower, and my bachelorette party! If you have a question, I'll be more than happy to help find the answer – I'm an open book! I just loved helping others with their big day!"
"My first feature was for my engagement on Philly Mag! From there, I was also featured on Betches Brides to recap my bachelorette party in Miami and then again on Philly Mag when I had to postpone the wedding. That's when I noticed the growth of my social media really taking off. People were curious about how to plan a wedding during the height of COVID, and I've spoken with so many people via direct messages – it was crazy the stories they would tell me. We were all in this together and forming a little community of brides-to-be, and COVID brides were, in a way, connected. I had never actually met those people in person, but I feel like I know them. The power of social media is genuinely so impactful!"
DD: Did you always dream about your wedding, or did your vision develop as you began wedding planning? Any tips for brides planning their weddings?
Dani: "YES! I’ve dreamed about planning my wedding and what it could look like. It started to feel real when we finally booked the venue, and I could begin to envision the designs more intricately. I knew I wanted it always to look whimsical, timeless, and romantic. We went with the colors pink, white, and gold and created this beautiful layout with the help of my amazing designers! I started doing a lot of digging on Pinterest and saving photos I liked. I would also buy tons of bridal magazines and follow all wedding-related content on social media. I honestly couldn’t get enough; it was so fun!"
"My biggest tip would be to plan early. I don’t want to stress any bride out but book the venue and the vendors asap. This should be the first step! Especially since weddings were moved from COVID, many vendors are backed up and may not have the date you’re looking for. Start scouting out locations and finally do tons of research on your vendors before making the final selection. Once that is over, ENJOY EVERYTHING! It all goes by so quickly; I wish I could do it all over again!"
DD: Advice for any of our single readers who look up to your love story?
Dani: "I met John when I least expected it! I wasn’t actively looking for someone, but it just happened to fall into my lap. I had actually been single for the last two years and focused on my studies at college, never really thinking about dating. BUT, I guess everything happens for a reason. He had asked me on a date and after saying yes – we have now been together for over seven years! I guess my piece of advice would be to not put so much pressure on yourself with dating. When the time is right – it will happen. Focus on yourself and what makes you happy first."
DD: Advice for future brides reading who want to manifest their dream wedding?
Dani: "Whether you’re looking for a traditional wedding or something totally outside the box – YOU DO YOU! There is no “normal” way of planning a wedding, and it should be exactly what you want. This is your day – do whatever makes you happy. And let me tell you, after COVID, weddings changed, and I love seeing how people pivoted throughout this entire journey. No matter how many people you have, where it’s at, or any of the details, it will be so beautiful and memorable because it’s for YOU!"
DD: Now, for our final question of each interview, what now?
Dani: "I wish I could do this all over again. It truly went by so fast! I never really believed it when people said to soak up every minute because they were 100% right. Now that the wedding is over, my focus has shifted to our BIG project – making our new house a home. We will be designing and decorating our townhome little by little, and I can’t wait to bring everyone along on this next exciting journey!