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Carpe Vitam: Bringing Italian Luxury to Utah Wedding Dresses

Mar, 28, 2024

Picture this: you, in a custom Italian wedding gown, walking down the aisle to the love of your life, also in custom Italian. 

When it comes to custom fashion, the magical touch of Italian luxury is transformed into the dress of your dreams in the hands of Tommaso Cardullo. For him, being a designer is more than just creating art—his contagious excitement for life and “return on experience” attitude is what sets him apart in the industry. He’s the kind of person you have one conversation with, and it changes your life. Tommaso created his own brand for people everywhere to come and outfit themselves in luxury. 

Custom Wedding Gowns

In the beginning, he was planning on specializing in men’s and women’s custom wear, but in his search for manufacturers, he came across a family who had been making wedding gowns for four generations. As a call back to his first love of creating evening gowns and bridal dresses as a teenager, he decided to be a source for custom wedding gowns as well.

“I did my first wedding dress and it was very stressful,” Tommaso says. He knows that brides have great expectations for their dresses because they’ve been dreaming of this moment their whole lives. He wanted to make sure that every “T” was crossed and every “I” was dotted. 

“But it was so beautiful on her, that the satisfaction completely erased all the stress and anxiety of the process.” Since then, he has created hundreds of custom wedding gowns.

From Italy to Utah

Born in Messina, Italy, and raised in Sicily, Tommaso has always had a passion for fashion and an eye for beauty. He can remember being a teenager and sitting in his philosophy class, creating sketches of gorgeous evening gowns. Those sketches would one day become the wedding dresses you see today.

What started as a creative outlet grew into pursuing a career in fashion, getting his undergrad in fashion merchandising and eventually a graduate degree in organizational behavior with an emphasis in small business environments. He became familiar with both sides of the fashion world, combining his creative genius with the numerical side of everything, or “learning how to use the left and right side of his brain,” as Tommaso puts it. 

Tommaso has had all kinds of experience working with well-known brands such as Nordstrom, JC Penny, LL Bean, Tommy Hilfiger, and more. He worked with men’s and women’s wear and eventually started a kid’s wear clothing brand. After that he began consulting and was eventually hired by a leather accessories company—and he even has experience in designing jewelry. 

Tommaso really has had his hand in every aspect of the fashion world, and experience in every kind of design. If his experience didn’t convince you—wait until you see his designs.

Life-Changing Fashion to Win the Race

Throughout his fashion career, he always knew he wanted to start his own business, and five years ago he created Tommaso Cardullo the brand. After a year of searching through Italy for manufacturers, he decided to specialize in custom fashion. He wanted to create beautiful designs while building a deep connection with every person who walks into his shop—as much as he loves to create, Tommaso loves people even more. 

He sees himself as a mechanic. “My job is like a pit stop, I show them who they are and help them hit the road and win the race.” Like F1 race cars, his customers are already a magnificent masterpiece in his eyes, they just need to know what makes them powerful. Do you think he could make a custom checkered flag dress? Asking for a friend.

For Tommaso, “Every day is game day. I have the opportunity to make a difference.” Whether you’re thirteen or ninety-five, Tommaso will create what you need and change your life while he does it. 

He loves it when a client comes into his shop and has what he calls a “lightswitch moment,” when they feel great about themselves and see who they are. “That is, for me, my payday.” (I’m not crying, you’re crying.)

From Utah to Italy

The process from start to finish for every bride is extremely involved. You come in for an appointment, and Tommaso gets to know you and what you love, both in a gown as well as in yourself—he will ask every bride directly what she loves about herself. He uses this as a starting point. 

“In design, you need to focus on your strength.” From there, you will work closely with Tommaso to create a focus point or two, and the rest will follow. “I want to elevate them,” he says. “It’s a team effort; it’s not about me, Tommaso Cardullo, primadonna designer.” He wants to create gowns and designs that emphasize the beauty already there within every bride.

After working closely with you to design your dream dress, along with taking your measurements, Tommaso creates a few designs for you to pick from. The design is sent to the manufacturer and it only takes around four weeks to get your design back—in the design world, four weeks is an insanely short amount of time to get a dress back. Tommaso says it’s all because he has such a close relationship with his manufacturer. We say it’s because he’s actually magic.

A great benefit to creating a custom design, as Tommaso points out, is that you don’t have to do any additional alterations or pay for any additional costs of alterations. Each dress is measured and created perfectly for you. Again, we think he’s magic.

Mom, Can I Have My Wedding in Italy?

The best part? Tommaso’s favorite thing to do for weddings is to outfit the entire bridal party. He loves going to a wedding and seeing the “fruits of [his] labor,” the magic of making custom looks for everyone. 

While the bride has the spotlight, other members of the family should also feel and look their best. Beyond wedding gowns, he is known for creating dresses for the mothers of the bride and groom, suits for the groom and groomsmen, and even dresses for the flower girls! Tommaso is truly your go-to source for bringing Italian luxury to every single person on your big day. Who needs a destination wedding when you can bring the destination to you?

Seize Life by the Stitching

Last year, Tommaso launched a bridal line that was wildly popular at the Chicago Bridal Market, and it was so successful because his designs are timeless and classic. There are always ups and downs in bridal trends, but he creates gowns that will last. 

He wants to make designs that are “so timeless that the children of the bride and groom will want to wear their gown or their suit at their own wedding someday.” 

That’s another thing that he loves doing—taking a gown that was worn by a mother or grandmother and elevating it even more for the bride, giving it that sentimental element along with a “crescendo” that makes the gown unique. 

His ultimate goal as a designer is to create dresses that are available to as many people as possible. “I would like to create a line that can be afforded to anyone.” He knows how important it is to have such an amazing gown for your wedding day and wants everyone to have that special experience. 

Another dream of his is to create designs that are just flat-out iconic. His love for design and his attention to every single detail is what sets him apart, and why he is already on his way to achieving that dream. 

Anyone who has the privilege of working with him can attest to the love he puts into every interaction and design. His slogan, “Carpe Vitam,” means to seize life, and Tommaso does exactly that. When you wear a Tomasso Cardullo design, you feel the powerful effects of embracing every stage of your life and the passion for beauty that is woven into every detail. As Tommaso puts it, “People are unique, dynamic, and powerful. The clothes they wear should be as unique as they are.” 

Models: Gentri Music
Photographer, Gowns, & Suits: Tommaso Cardullo
Venues: Holladay, Utah Estate, Pugila, Italy Estate, and Tommaso Cardullo Estate

Utah Valley Bride

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