Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wedding: Getting Ready and My Dress

We're still waiting on the official photographer's photos, but in the meantime I thought I'd start our wedding recaps with the following photos from my very talented sister, Susan. She's working on building a wedding photography portfolio, and took a bunch of the "getting ready" photos, plus a million others that make me wish we'd hired her for the whole event. Though she was also the Maid of Honor, so that might have been tricky. Either way, it's been really fun and touching to see the wedding through her eyes. 

The day of the wedding, Nathan and I woke up early to pull together last minute things. We had a few errands to run (pick up the tablecloths, get breakfast for the ladies) so we slipped away to Whole Foods, where we had a quiet breakfast together and finished writing our wedding vows. Better late than never! The bridesmaids and groomsmen arrived at our house at around 9:30AM, at which point we loaded up the cars and headed to the Train Depot. When we got there, the lady in charge handed me the keys and said she'd see us at 11pm. It's a great space, but very do-it-yourself, as you'll see from other recaps. 

At the Depot, everyone immediately got to work setting up, decorating, and making ourselves beautiful. My hairdresser, Will, met us there to style our hair onsite, and my youngest sister helped with my makeup. We also had bagels, vegan cream cheese, and mimosas. Here are just some of the moments Susan captured that morning. 

The bridesmaids were wearing dark purple dresses in different styles, all from David's Bridal. They also got their shoes there and had them dyed to match. I did not specify which kind of shoe to get, but nearly everyone opted for the sparkly heels. They are much braver than me.

One of my oldest and dearest friends, Allie, was sporting an awesome new tattoo (a full sleeve peacock!) and vibrant red hair. The Depot had a large conference room at the back of the building, and they were kind enough to let us take it over for the morning. It was a great place to hang out and get ready. While one person was getting her hair done, the rest of us were running back and forth, setting up tables and chairs, making bouquets, assembling centerpieces, and frosting the wedding cake (I told you this was a DIY affair!).

We were planning to start the morning with mimosas, and Amy spent about fifteen minutes trying to get the bottle of champagne opened, but it would not budge. It would have been funny, if I wasn't so nervous and desperately in need of liquid courage.

Rachel and Amy tried to combine forces, but still the bottle wouldn't open. Finally, my dad came to the rescue and somehow popped it right off. I was happy to finally get my mimosa, and he was happy to feel useful. Everybody wins! 

Oh, dad. You're a funny one.

A rare photo of Susan, who spent most of the morning behind her camera.

This was one of my few bridezilla moments. My other bridezilla moment was having Will give me an up-do, seeing Allison (my sister and fashion expert) cast a disapproving eye, and asking Will to re-do my hair, this time as a low side ponytail. He gracefully obliged, and I'm glad we made the last minute switch. As Allison said, my original hairstyle looked very Amish, which, while the Amish are awesome, was not the look I wanted to emulate. This is why sisters are awesome.

I love this photo of Ella, my bridesmaid, undergrad BFF, and cake decorating extraordinaire. She's also a very fancy lady, as you can see from the curlers and mascara. I can't wait to be her bridesmaid in February!

Ally did my makeup. I wanted to keep it simple, since I don't wear a lot of makeup in regular life, and I wanted Nathan to recognize me when he saw me. She did a perfect job. I hadn't bothered with the whole "something old, something new" thing, and at the last minute, my friends decided that this was unacceptable. The night before, they helped me assemble the following: an old silver spoon broach that was a gift from Amy years ago, pinned to my bouquet; my fancy new earrings from Etsy; a borrowed necklace from Ally, who had borrowed it from her friend Erin; and a blue bobby pin that Will slipped into my hair. Everyone was happy, and the necklace was the perfect final touch.

My Wedding Dress

My dress was one of the first wedding tasks I crossed off the list - I went to David's Bridal with my mom, sisters, and friend Allie last winter break, tried on a bunch of poofy, princess gowns (even though I said I didn't want a poofy princess gown) and after about an hour and a half, got my hands on this dress and decided it was the one.

It was actually two colors - the dress was ivory and the lace that covered the whole thing was champagne (or maybe it was the other way around? All those whites look the same to me). It had some bead work on the top of the dress, an empire waist, and cap sleeves. It also had a low back, which I really loved - modest and demure from the front, with a touch of sexiness in the back. I also snagged some white carnations from the bouquet/centerpiece piles to put in my hair.

I loved the dress, even though the lace got caught on things and it took us about fifteen minutes to figure out the bustle. I said once that wedding dresses are almost universally flattering, and I stand by this statement. I felt beautiful on my wedding day - mostly because of the way Nathan kept looking at me. When we first got engaged, I didn't know if I wanted to go the traditional route with the dress, but I'm glad I did. It made me feel like an actual bride, brought another layer of ceremony and importance to the day, and helped me walk across the threshold of marriage. A tall order for a dress, but this one delivered.

And, even though I loved the dress, I'm totally selling it as soon as I get it cleaned. I don't plan on wearing it again, I don't plan on passing it down to any children, and I'd love to know it will get another chance to be a star. So if you know any brides-to-be between a size 6 and 8, who are looking for a gorgeous, classic wedding dress, let me know. 

More wedding recaps soon! And thanks again to my super talented sister Susan Hennessy for taking such amazing photos.