Our Wedding Story Part 1: Getting Ready

When Steve and I first got engaged and began planning our wedding together, we put together a brief wedding mission statement. We knew that we wanted our wedding to be beautiful. We wanted our wedding to be warm, welcoming and inclusive to our closest friends and family. We wanted every detail of  our wedding to be thoughtfully executed  from the invitation to the final send off. We wanted our wedding to remind our guests why they fell in love with their spouse, and even encourage them to fall deeper in love. We hoped our wedding day could be a celebration of love and the unity that God designed with marriage.

These next several posts will give you the story behind our wedding and how we set out to accomplish the goals we had for our wedding.

We always tell our clients that an invitation is the first glimpse into a wedding, as it tells a guest so much through the design, the paper and the textures. The very talented Brittany O’Brien of Dolce Design probably worked on hundreds of ideas and proofs for us to get it exactly right. I never knew how many details could be discussed with an invitation – ‘should the M look like this or this?’ ‘Do you like this flourish here?’ ‘I think the ink should be slightly darker’. Through the process of creating our invitations, Steve and I learned so much about our individual communication styles. I think the most notable story was when we got our first set of monogram proofs from Brittany. Steve sent them to me over email – some had both of our initials, some had different styles of the letter ‘M’. After Steve and I both had a chance to review everything, I said something vague like “I like the one with the M and leafy border around it” and Steve said “Yeah, me too. You mean the one with the laurel wreath, right?” and I said yes… assuming the leafy border I was talking about was called a laurel wreath. A few weeks later, it turned out I didn’t know what a laurel wreath was, and we had been talking about a different monogram for several weeks. Back to the drawing board we went.

After we agreed on the same monogram (in person this time), and spent many hours painting maps, searching for the perfect vintage stamps, and assembling the invitations with the help of my parents, they were ready to be sent to our guests. We could not have been happier with how everything turned out.

The dress was also a big project that we worked on together. I originally purchased a dress in a bridal shop, but when I went for my first fitting, I discovered they had made it too short for me, and I could see both of my feet in their entirety and knew it wasn’t right. I left the shop with my mom and sister on the verge of tears, called my groom and he said he’d be honored to make my dress. So he did. The Martha Stewart Weddings blog featured a wonderfully detailed post on the creation of the dress.

I always thought I wanted to surprise Steve with my wedding dress, but it turned out to be such a fun experience working on it together. We looked through catalogs of vintage dress patterns, took a shopping trip where I tried on dresses in virtually every silhouette, I learned that sleeves looked horrible on me, and we narrowed down our design to a simple strapless ball gown.  Steve flew to NYC to source fabric in the garment district and texted me different images of fabric options before we selected the vintage French lace salvaged from the 1950’s.  2 weeks before our wedding, we came up with the idea to make the skirt with a dark mocha color, and Steve quickly flew back to NYC (for a day) and found the duchesse peau de soie in the perfect shade.  Steve flew home and finished the dress, adding the final touches just 2 days before the wedding.

Getting ready on our wedding day seems like a blur. It all happened so fast. There were so many special touches and heirloom pieces that were a part of my getting ready experience. My mom had gifted me my great grandmother’s vanity set, she gave me the traditional sixpence for my shoe and an embroidered Belgian lace handkerchief that she had been keeping for me for my wedding day since I was a little girl. The incorporation of these elements were so special. Thank you, mom.

For several months prior to the wedding, I had been working with a jewelry designer to create special pieces for my bridesmaids. She and I met several times and exchanged dozens of emails with different ideas specific to each girl given their dress style, neckline, and personal preferences for jewelry. They were such fun gifts to give and my bridesmaids were so surprised.

After finishing up flower arrangements and setting up the ceremony decor, Steve and his groomsmen rushed to get ready. I just love these pictures of him ironing his pants and helping everyone else get dressed and styled. I don’t know how he did everything and managed to relax and enjoy the day, but he did. And he looked so handsome.

Steve gifted his groomsmen their entire ensemble, and on the wedding day included a set of cuff links personalized with each of their monograms.  The box for each groomsmen also contained belts, sox, an undershirt and a handwritten note.

Planning and getting ready for the wedding is always half of the fun.  It is one of the only times in your life you will build excitement and anticipation for something that culminates to such an amazing day.  Savor each and every moment along the way because it passes so quickly.