My Wedding, Post #2: What We Wore

Hello there friends, happiest of Mondays to you!

I recently got called out by one of my friends who told me that I do not blog often enough for her liking. Sooo, I’m going to attempt to rectify this.

Awhile back, (like a WHILE back) I started a series documenting my own wedding, the choices I made and the details we created. Post #1 documented the invitations. I figured it was due time for another post of this nature, and thought I’d talk about the details on things I and the bridal party wore.

First in a girls mind, next to the ring, is nearly always the dress. I had gone looking with some friends, and though there was one I thought I liked, some of my girlfriends weren’t sold on it, and something just didn’t feel quite right. So, my mom was able to come in town for a few days and we headed up to the bridal district in Cincinnati. We first visited the *big* store, where I tried on a whole slough of gowns. But, after a little while, I felt rushed by the saleslady, was feeling discouraged because I wasn’t finding anything, and then distinctly felt like the salesperson was annoyed with us. This nearly put me over the edge, and when she left the fitting room I told my mom I just wanted to leave. I was so discouraged, certain that I’d find a dress there since it is the biggest gown store in America. But, I didn’t. I was on the verge of tears, and I still didn’t have a gown. The clock was ticking, because I had less than four months until the wedding.

Mom and I headed across the street to another store, where the woman directed me to the racks of dresses that I could buy off the rack. They were pretty much all ugly, and my discouragement grew deeper. I found a handful of dresses to try, and we headed to the fitting room. The sales associate was not helping us with the gowns for some reason, so I was getting in and out of them very quickly. I’d hop in it, say “nope, this isn’t the one” and move on. It got down to one final dress. The dress was a champagne color (which I never even anticipated looking at) and I was so upset I hadn’t found anything that I just said “Mom, should I even try that on?” She said that since we were there I should go ahead with it.

I slipped it on, and it fit like a glove. I looked in the mirror and liked what I saw. I stepped out to look in the full length mirrors and stand on the pedestal. Mom studied me and said “Jess, I think this is the one.” I said “Really? You think so??” I was falling more in love by the minute. And as I saw tears creep to the corners of Mom’s eyes, I lost it. I cried, and then I laughed. It was the very last dress of the day, and one I almost didn’t try on. It was nothing I thought I’d pick up, and yet it was everything. It had the sweetheart neckline, the angled rouching across the bodice, a fun skirt, and some glamour and drama to it with the bling. I took it home that day for half its original price, and had to make virtually no alterations to the dress. It was meant to be!

The gown is by Impression, and you can see it on a model here. The gown came with a halter style strap that had all of the bling found elsewhere on the dress, but I wasn’t crazy about how it looked, so I decided to use it on my bouquet. We wrapped it around the base of the flowers, and I loved that bit of bling there.

I had expected to NEED to wear some kind of strap, and first thought I’d be wearing a halter-style dress. I was paranoid about being that girl that is hiking up her dress the whole wedding. Let’s be honest, I’ve been that girl before. But let me just tell you girls, when you get into a wedding dress… you are not going ANYwhere. Those suckers are serious!

Next a girl thinks about her shoes. I feel like I was trying to find the perfect pair of shoes for a long, long time. The tricky part for me was that I couldn’t wear heels. Lee is only about 2 inches taller than me (on a good day) so I didn’t want to wear much of anything. Plus, I was a little worried if my dress would be long enough with heels. So, I was looking for some flats… but some with sass. I finally found these blingy sandals at DSW, I believe.

The rings. I opted to forgo a wedding band (which my fiance was pretty excited about). I loved my ring just the way it was, and the contrast between the larger setting and the thin band, so I felt like adding to the band would just detract from the ring. You can see closer/clearer shots of my ring here. As for Lee’s ring, I swear the man looked at every picture of a man’s wedding ring available on the internet. We eventually ordered a titanium ring, inlaid with a band of silver off the internet from this guy who hand makes the rings himself! We love his ring, and especially loved the price.

Garters– these were another challenge for me for some odd reason. I wanted to buy some on Etsy, because I’ve found most garters in the world to be just plain tacky. So I bought some from seller Lola in Lace which she customized to match my colors. We did a champagne base and then coral, pink, and turquoise for the rosettes. I loved how they came out, and bought a set with two garters, one for tossing and one for keeping (and wearing later that night!)

The perfume is one of my favorite things. We all know that scent can evoke strong memories. And so, I decided to do something special for my wedding/honeymoon. I have worn an out-of-stock perfume called Ultraviolet by Paco Rabanne for years, and it is very much “my smell.” So, if I were to wear something else, I knew it would really stand out to both Lee and I. I sniffed around and picked up Halle Berry’s perfume, wore it that day and all during our honeymoon. I stopped after that time, but plan to wear it on anniversaries and other special days to remind us of that time. I recently wore the scent one day to try it. We both LOVED it, and I kept saying “ooh, this makes me feel like I’m in Mexico again.” Definitely a tradition I’d recommend to all you brides-to-be!

My earrings I picked up at a department store.. I wanted something with glamour and bling, and decided not to wear a necklace, because it would have competed with the dramatic neckline of my dress. The bracelet is my mom’s and she’d actually brought it on the day of the wedding as a possible option for her to wear. I didn’t have a bracelet yet, and this went perfectly with the pearls the bridesmaids wore, and became my “something borrowed” too!

Since my dress was champagne, I obviously needed a veil in that color too. I had at first purchased a birdcage veil, but decided, once I’d received it that I just didn’t like it and it didn’t work with my dress. I needed to go fairly simple, so as not to compete with the dress. So Marisol Aparicio on Etsy made me a two tiered, raw-edge, elbow length veil, and it worked out perfectly. My hair fascinator was champagne and ivory peacock feathers with a crystal, sparkly pin, from Etsy seller Bridal Couture. I love love loved it all. It was so fun to wear the veil, because it really made you feel like a bride.

The next photo is my “something old.” When I was born, someone gave me a baby bonnet. My mom thinks I wore it home from the hospital. The bonnet came with this sweet little poem (which I swore I scanned to my computer, but now, of course, cannot find.) It talked about saving the bonnet for another special day in my life, when I’d walk down the aisle. You had to snip a couple of threads, and it transformed into a handkerchief. I carried it with me (and it came in handy when I thought I had a bloody nose during the ceremony! False alarm… but I’ll tell that story another day…) It was quite neat to know my mom had saved that all these years, and that it was a link between the beginning of my life and the beginning of a very new and wonderful chapter in life. And, btw, isn’t my mom’s dress fabulous?!

Now, on to the fellas. Lee was definitely interested in picking out his own formalwear, and so we headed to Rebecca’s Black Tie, where we had a great experience.  I had originally imagined the guys wearing tan-colored suits to match the Southern, outdoor feel. I would have even loved to see them in seersucker or bow ties. But, this decision was not mine. My awesome wedding planner Lauren had mentioned the idea of a classic black tux, James Bond style. As soon as I mentioned the name “James Bond” Lee was all in 🙂 (By the way, if you click over to Lauren’s blog now you’ll see a photo of one of her current magazine ads– featuring a photo from my reception!)

So, we went with a classic, fitted black tux. I opted out of boutonnieres. Too often they get droopy (especially an an outdoor affair), and guys aren’t very thrilled about wearing flowers anyways. So, we utilized the pocket squares that come with the tuxes. Brides, I would advise opting for one or the other. They are worn on the same side, so a boutonneire AND a pocket square are just too much. Lee had a champagne colored tie and square, to match me and to stand out as the groom a little bit.

Isn’t he cute? I like the fake tie straightening for the photo. It’s a trick most photographers will employ, because guys take like 5 minutes to get dressed, so its hard to get their photos, as opposed to the five hours it takes the girls! ha.

My girls wore dresses from J.Crew’s silk taffeta collection, in champagne. Their dresses were just a shade or two darker than mine, which created a classy, preppy look. Super bold colors on the bridesmaids is not always my cup of tea, and although it is cliche, I did want the girls to be able to wear them again. J.Crew also has services where they assign a wedding consultant to you who is like your personal shopper for you at the store. She handles all the ordering, and helps you to get the best deals.

The girls were able to choose the dress that suited them best, which I think is a great option. My bridesmaids looked so pretty! They were able to choose their own shoes and jewelry, but I asked them to wear pearls. I LOVED how they ended up looking. I have distinct memory of getting my hair done, and looking up to see all my bridesmaids, in their dresses, hair done, and faces made up just looking at me and smiling. All my dearest girlfriends, staring at me, the bride, on my wedding day. They were a sight to behold, and I tried to photograph the precious moment in my mind.

My bridal party contained two girls who had given birth within the last three months, and one that was 6 months pregnant! I’m so glad everybody’s dresses fit on the day of the wedding!

From left: Maegan, Tiffany, Laura, Charity, Shannon, Amy (my sister), and Courtney. Love these girls so much!

And here is our gorgeous wedding party! The guys were in teh same tux as Lee but we gave them skinny black ties to wear. The ties were by Pierre Cardin, and we found a few at a TJ Maxx one night. I then spent the next several weeks calling TJ Maxx’s everywhere to find enough. My friend Ashley actually picked some up from her store in Georgia for me!

We also had two “groomsgirls” (Lee’s sisters) who wore from the same line of J.Crew dresses, but in black, so as to blend with the guys a bit.

And then there were my flower girls. They pretty much stole the show. We had these dresses made for them by Etsy seller Totally TuTu for You, who unfortunately now is no longer crafting. There were other varieties we found on etsy for these flower girl tutu dresses though, in case you’re interested in a similar style. She made these out of tons of tulle and giant flowers, and the girls looked like little fairy princesses! The girls’ mom had to make something for them to wear underneath, however, as they were a little bit itchy. I babysit for these adorable girls (and their brother) every week, and their mom is the one responsible for setting Lee and I up!  Here’s just a couple more of the girls– I just couldn’t resist.

And this one of Lyrik dancing is definitely one of my favorite shots from the day. So great!

So, I think this wraps up the “what we wore” post… but I’m excited to continue this series with all the handmade craft items, special details, vendor choices, honeymoon, and wedding memories! More to come. Thanks for stopping by the blog. I’d love some comment love! xoxo

**Photo Credit: Scotty Perry, Think Photographics**

Want your own beautiful photos? I love Contact Jessica!


Ashley Raque Loved your blog, and your wedding was gorgeous! Your vision truly turned out perfect! xoxo, Ashley Raque

Mom Enjoyed looking back! And yes you did wear that bonnet home, I saw a picture recently!

Courtney was i the one that “called you out”?!?!? i hope so… haha!! 🙂 love ya jess and love this post!

My Wedding- Post Five: The Moments | J*Grace Photography […] Post 2: What We Wore […]

My Wedding, Post Three: The Vendors | J*Grace Photography […] is the third post in a series about my wedding. Click on the following to catch up: Post Two: What we Wore and Post One: The […]

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