All photos via the talented Andria Lindquist
Oh the details. A girl could get used to all the outfits and accessories you’re allowed to collect throughout the engagement for all the festivities along the way. But we all know the pivotal piece of the bride’s wardrobe. The item you’re dying to ask about once the groom and venue are decided. The one garment so important, it can take months to find and even longer to alter. Yes, the dress.
Omg, I can’t say enough about my dress. I am so in love with my dress. Remember when I said there were a few things throughout the wedding I was indecisive about? I didn’t even give myself a chance to be indecisive about the dress – I flat-out had no idea what I wanted. My only requirements were classic (timeless, elegant, beautiful) NOT CUTE. I have a thing with the word cute. I think it’s a complex shorter girls develop from always being called cute because they’re petite and then never outgrow cute and are deemed forever cute instead of pretty for the rest of their (my) lives. So nothing that even suggested cute. And not trendy. I LOVE me a daring trend. I love to test the waters and wear something funky and I don’t even regret it years later, most of the time (except when nighties were a ‘going out dress’ thing in college, that was not a good look for me). Anyways, I couldn’t have cute and I didn’t want trendy, so timeless it was. I also wanted an element of sexy, because hello its my wedding, and I tend to dress more flowy than fitted and I needed to eliminate cute. So I went on Pinterest.
Go on Pinterest. Do a lot of research. But also listen to what the inner girl who’s been planning her wedding since she was five wanted. Don’t agonize so much that you’re postponing your wedding because you’re waiting for next season to roll out their latest, but try on enough to educate yourself. You will find that sometimes the style you always thought you wanted doesn’t necessarily complement your body, or maybe you did want a little more flare. But it will happen, you will find it.
Over the last few years I started to fall in love with French Designers like Laure De Sagazan and Rime Arodaky. Problem was, they weren’t in the States yet. When I found out Rime was bringing her dresses to SF and later, having a trunk show at the Loho Bride in Los Angeles, I told Erik I had to go, with or without a ring. The trunk show ironically fell ~three weeks after we got engaged, so I had the ring. Check. We made a day of it and tried on alllll the dresses; my sister even dazzled in some fabulous maid of honor gowns, and it really got us inspired for the real deal. The dresses were stunning, representing the rock-n-roll, alternative bride with a classy touch, but it felt too early, and they weren’t the ones.
A few months later, I decided to plan a shopping day with my mom and sister, and Erik’s mom and sister as one of those commemorative, girl bonding days. I did not intend on finding my dress that day. The only other time I had dress shopped was the day my sister and I met with my wedding planner in Orange County and decided to pop into Panache Bridal. It was fun to try on some Inbal Dror show stoppers, but I had yet to find the one. So I made appointments at Elle Bridal and The Dress Theory, and off we went. I loved Elle, they had the sweetest designs and an even sweeter stylist helping me. I had a few great contenders, and I almost felt guilty not leaving with one of their dresses just because they made me feel so special, but I knew they weren’t the ones, and today wasn’t the day. By the time we got to the Dress Theory, everyone had let their guard down a little. Champagne was popped, opinions were flying, and it was more relaxed – more fun. I probably had 25 dresses draped all over my dressing room, not even knowing where to start. Long sleeves, floral appliques, you name it. Dress 6: By the time I got my Alexandra Grecco Evette Gown to my knees, I had a really good feeling. One of those feelings where you’re almost nervous to feel the feeling. The feeling like “this isn’t supposed to happen but I can’t stop it” feeling you get few times in life. The buttery material, the rich color, and then the way it felt. I walked out of the room and I was glowing. My mom on the verge of tears, my sister and future sister-in-law pouring more champagne, my mother-in-law-to-be exclaiming “I love it, it’s the one”. I had a mini panic attack. My mom looked at me and said “do you need to try on a few others?” I did. It wasn’t that I didn’t love it – it was love at first sight – but it wasn’t supposed to happen this soon. I wasn’t ready to commit that easily, and I had a million other dresses in the room. So I went back in and sped through a handful of others, each one beautiful but something a little off and finally, I was ready to commit. I walked back out in the one, was handed a veil – the veil – and next thing I know we’re off to Madison to celebrate.
I looooove The Dress Theory. From their insanely dreamy boutique (I want to live there) to the coolest stylists and their amazing in-house seamstress, Karen Thomas, it was such an amazing experience. They have a killer selection of dresses, hand-picked and carefully curated with all the best designers. You walk in there and this whole world of wedding dress magic is unleashed. I didn’t even grab my dress off the rack, but Shannon understood me. I am forever grateful to The Dress Theory and their team of wonderful.
PS. I added the buttons down the spine of my dress because I’ve always loved the look. They add such a regal touch without being too overwhelming, and my dress designer and seamstress made it so easy. It was exactly what I had envisioned.
And even though I planned to wear my dress for the entire wedding, I had to have an after party dress. I found this Leanne Marshall Silk Tafetta Dress on Etsy and I died. It was a no-return sample sale (sz zero, I’m generally a two), so I said ummmm I’ll think about it. And that little dress wouldn’t get out of my head and I had to have it. Sample sale = sketchy, but I was willing to take the risk. Not a chance I could fit into it right now but yolo. I want to frame it it’s so fabulous.
Getting Ready Gown
Again with the vintage, it ended up fitting me like a GLOVE. It was so beautiful some girls might actually wear it as a wedding dress. It felt so meant to be, and I will cherish it in my little wedding keepsake box forever. Or pull it out on occasion when I’m feeling Belle of the Ball-ish. My mom and sis also got me the most gorgeous vintage-inspired robe from BHLDN. It made me feel like a queen.
Since the day I saw this Brides Magazine cover (2008) and those fuchsia Louboutins, I knew I wanted a pop of color for my wedding shoes. As I matured I started to fancy a jewel tone like Merlot or mustard yellow, but I’m so glad I went with the olivish green-gray goodness I did. The velvet made them feel even more romantic and Old Hollywood. My Joie heels were butter and I will love them forever. And this pic of my bb sis helping me put them on ♥
I was planning to borrow my mom’s diamond studs to wear in my second holes (and as my something borrowed) and then Erik surprised me with these. Holy wow – I’m in love. And my husband has really good taste.
The veil kinda spoke for itself. Since my dress was so simple, any little desire I had for lace that my dress lacked, my veil made up for [in big ways]. My only disappointment is I wasn’t able to wear it longer, but the photos I have are all I need. I felt like an Italian / Greek goddess walking down an outdoor cathedral aisle.
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
Do people still do this? I love the tradition of it, but sometimes its hard to check all the boxes – I almost did.
For my something old, I wore my mama’s gold chain that she gave me (normally worn with her gold unicorn pendant that I cherish, but not for the wedding). I just wanted something that would kinda glimmer when the sun hit it, but almost unnoticeable. I knew my earrings would be my statement jewelry.
For my something blue, my mom gave me the cutest baby blue panties with Swarovski crystals that say ‘I Do’.
Besides me dress, my something new was my beautiful chandelier earrings by Samantha Wills. Added bonus, her packaging is SO cute – the earrings came in a fabulous hand-carved wooden box.
I guess instead of something borrowed I had something made – my leaf applique barrette. I wanted a show-stopper hair piece to wear after I took off my veil. I had been drooling over this Casablanca Headband by Bo + Luca, but it was $390 and I couldn’t justify that, especially for something I wasn’t even sure would fit right. You guys. I bought this leaf applique on Etsy and added backing and a barrette, and it looked like a million bucks. It was $5! I can’t believe how perfect it turned out – it was the ultimate statement piece for the reception. A huge thank you to Glory’s House for being so sweet.