Sometimes, bigger really is better. Just ask Tara Foley, who found her dream dress at Oscar de la Renta—a gown with a voluminous skirt that radiated, as she puts it, “cool princess” vibes. But to her eye, the petticoat the salesperson suggested she wear with it lacked adequate oomph. “I just thought it needed more,” she admits. “I ended up wearing the biggest, fluffiest one they had. It was a spectacle, but I loved it.”
As brand director for the modern lifestyle company Something Navy, Tara is a pro at creating moments with visual impact, and she relied on her fashionable instincts while planning her October 27, 2018, nuptials to investment banker Tyler Moni. “We liked the idea of a warm-weather destination wedding in Palm Beach,” says Tara. The New York couple was captivated by the grandeur of the Flagler Museum, a winter retreat for railway magnate Henry Flagler dating to 1902. “The spot has so much elegance and old-school glamour, perfect for a black-tie event,” she says. The couple's second ceremony—they officially married in New York City a week prior—was held outside. “We were the first ones to marry on the front lawn,” says Tara. “The setting was so dramatic.”
Keep reading to see more of Tara and Tyler's tropical glam wedding below, as planned by Jennifer Zabinski Events and captured by Allan Zepeda and Senderey Video. And check out the June/July 2019 issue of Brides to see Tara, in her stunning Oscar de la Renta gown, on the cover!
“I love the glamorous yet classic yet island vibe of Palm Beach,” says the bride of their destination wedding locale. The couple carried their elevated tropical theme throughout every detail of the day, from the fashion to the colorful decor and palm-printed invite suite shown above.
The weekend's festivities kicked off on Friday night with a rehearsal dinner at the Brazilian Court Hotel, followed by a welcome party at the Colony Hotel (where guests were staying). Tara wore a polka-dot gown by Markarian paired with two heart-accented accessories: Rebecca de Ravenel earrings and an Edie Parker clutch. Tyler matched the night's look in a palm tree-print dress shirt.
The welcome party took place by the Colony Hotel's pool, where the dress code was "Island-Inspired Cocktail." The couple took this theme running and added fun accents like flamingo floats and a Sant Ambroeus gelato cart.
On the wedding day itself, Tara spent the morning getting ready with her sisters and mom, whom she credits for much of the planning process. Of course, she had a special pre-wedding outfit: a Olivia von Halle slip dress, Jonquil lace robe, and Something Navy earrings. She changed into her statement Oscar de la Renta gown just before the ceremony.
Tara’s three sisters, who were maids of honor, wore white gowns by Rachel Zoe, while her seven ’maids dressed in various floral frocks from brands such as Carolina Herrera, Needle and Thread, and Alice McCall. “I love print on print,” Tara says.
Tyler wore a white dinner jacket from Freeman Sporting Club, while his 12 groomsmen wore their own black tuxes.
When she came down the aisle, it was pure excitement. The ceremony was the highlight of the wedding.
The couple did a first look before the ceremony. "It took any nerves out of the whole thing," Tyler says. "When she came down the aisle, it was pure excitement. The ceremony was the highlight of the wedding."
Tara's dress featured a short-sleeved corset bodice topped with sheer tulle and accented with floral appliqués. "The tulle was thin and my chest and arms had an illusion of being bare with floating flowers," she says. She accessorized with a peony bouquet, cathedral-length Oscar de la Renta veil, Gianvito Rossi sandals, and Stephanie Gottlieb jewelry.
Tara and Tyler's two nieces and one nephew acted as their flower girls and ring bearer, while their youngest nephew joined in for photos. The girls wore crowns of baby's breath and mini replicas of Tara's tulle gown.
All the guests, including influencer Arielle Charnas, gathered on the Flagler Museum's lawn just before sunset.
After their first look and portraits, the couple arrived at the ceremony site together. "We rented a vintage Rolls Royce, so at the start, the first thing our friends and family saw was the car driving up!" Tara says.
Since the ceremony venue made a statement of its own, the couple chose to keep the decor simple. They added Lucite chairs (to complement the museum structure) and a white floral arch featuring pops of pink. But Tara mentions that they didn't plan for the best decor element. She says, "My favorite detail of the ceremony was beyond our control: the lighting as the sun went down!"
Once the ceremony was underway, Tara made her grand entrance alongside her father, William Foley—but not before her niece, Shea, stole the show. "She froze and my sister had to carry her down the aisle," she says with a laugh.
Family was central to the ceremony, as Tara's brother-in-law, Brian Guthrie, officiated the proceedings, and her mother, along with Tyler's, did readings. The couple wrote their own vows, including what Tara recalls as her most memorable lines: “You gave me butterflies before our very first date six years ago, and although you can’t see it beneath this dress, I’m filled with butterflies right now. I always dreamt of finding a husband just like my dad. Here I am, here we are, living my dream.”
Cocktail hour followed in a glass-enclosed pavilion before the night's festivities took place in a columned space with 27-foot-tall ceilings. The newlyweds took more portraits around the Flagler Museum grounds before meeting their guests inside.
Because of the venue's layout, dinner and dancing took place in one room, but the couple made sure to create a schedule that separated the two activities. They started the night with their first dance to "Rather Be" by Clean Bandit. "Our first dance was so romantic, and I just loved it," Tara says.
"We wanted the decor to be island-inspired," Tara says. "I wanted punches of tropical colors within the florals and tablescapes, and some palm fronds." They created this look by mixing floral plates, gold flatware, and green tumblers on each table.
After a dance set, everyone sat down for the dinner: a three-course meal of burrata and short rib. Toasts took place between courses, and Tara counts her dad's speech as another highlight of the night. "He can always take over a crowd and this was no different," she says. "We are very close so I knew I’d be emotional during his speech."
Still, the biggest crowd-pleaser may have been the surprise performance by Tara's dad, who burst into a rollicking rendition of the party anthem “Mony Mony.” (The song is understandably a favorite among the Moni family.) “I had no idea he was going to do that,” says Tara. “It was hilarious!”
There was dancing and revelry until midnight, followed by a cheeseburger-fueled after-party at the nearby Chesterfield Palm Beach. And in case you're wondering, Tara did change, slipping into a sleek Alex Perry column (shown above) after dinner and again into a Brandon Maxwell mini later that night. “I loved my dress so much, so I was sad to take it off,” she says, “but it was hard to dance in!”
Tara & Tyler's Real Wedding | Palm Beach, Florida
Tara appears on the cover of our June/July 2019 issue—check it out below!
This story originally appeared in the June/July 2019 issue of Brides, on sale beginning April 30.