Gia Mongell. If that isn’t a stage name, we don’t know what is. This southern bunhead belle booked Broadway the second she graduated from college (a little conservatory known as Juilliard). Since swinging for her debut in “An American in Paris,” Mongell has performed at the Tony Awards, on the first national tour of AAIM, closing the tour in Paris, and for the Metropolitan Opera. When it was time for Mongell to design her own show’s costumes, sets, lighting, and music—for her wedding, that is—no detail was left unattended as she set the stage for the most magical day of her life.
LaDuca Shoes: What are some of the highlights of your dance career?
Gia Mongell: I’ll never forget bowing on stage with my classmates after we performed our Senior Showcase. It was incredible to be on stage with artists that I shed blood, sweat, laughter, and tears with over the course of 4 years at Juilliard. “An American in Paris” had a huge impact on me…my first time traveling internationally, my first professional job, my Broadway debut, performing on the Tony Awards, singing on the original cast recording, making the commercial, going on tour, and closing the tour in Paris. There are no words that could adequately describe how grateful I am for that experience. Besides performing, I also love teaching. The most important thing we can do as artists is to give back to the next generation. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the countless teachers I’ve trained with over the years. I love helping young dancers and seeing the joy and dreams in their eyes always reinvigorates me and my own dreams.
LS: Okay, we’ve got to start from the beginning. How did you meet Max and when did you know he was the one?
GM: I met Max my freshman year of college before a school Halloween party. He didn’t go to Juilliard but was visiting his friend who was my classmate. I’ll never forget it…Max was wearing a neon green Teletubby costume. What can I say—After our first date, the rest is history!
LS: How did he propose?
GM: We took a trip to Italy and Max proposed on a hilltop overlooking the San Biagio Church in Montepulciano. It was magical!
LS: Why did you decide to wear LaDucas for your wedding?
GM: I have typical “dancer” feet and have a hard time wearing stilettos because of my bunions. I wanted to wear LaDucas because they are so comfortable, and I knew I could wear them all day long without my feet hurting. Also, I knew I was going to break it down on the dance floor and I wanted to dance the night away in my favorite dancing shoe!
LS: How would you describe your personal style?
GM: I would say Georgia Peach with a little New York edge.
LS: What was the process like for designing custom LaDuca shoes?
GM: The process for designing my custom LaDucas was such a seamless and stress-free experience. Before I even walked into the store, the associates had pulled multiple styles in my size for me to try on. I was able to mix and match parts of the different shoes that I liked. The color choices were extensive and, ultimately, I decided to make my custom LaDucas my “Something Blue.” I was completely taken care of from start to finish and I am absolutely obsessed with the final product.
LS: What were some of your favorite songs to dance to during your wedding?
GM: My best friend, Madeline Fansler created the most amazing mashup of “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper and “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer for our first dance. It was absolutely magical! You can check it out on her SoundCloud. We tore it up the dance floor, dancing to everything from “Footloose” to Whitney Houston. It was the best night of our lives!
LS: How did your LaDucas (and, of course, your dress) make you feel on this special day?
GM: My LaDucas and my dress made me feel so beautiful and ethereal. It was so incredible to be completely enveloped in love by everyone that we love.
Congratulations to the newlyweds, Max and Gia Binner! xo, LaDuca Shoes
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