Here were my qualifications: not a ton of money, something I wouldn't feel bad only wearing once, something that felt... right. Soft. Danceable. Summery.
My mom and sister came to the city and we trekked around, somewhat dissatisfied with everything until we got to Lovely Bride. It's this tiny shop in the West Village, a little hole in the wall that used to be an apartment. It's a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e. and struck me as unpretentious. It was a perfectly designed shop, one that put me in a wedding mood (which was more than I could say for some of the more warehouse-feeling stores).
The consultant picked this dress off the rack at the last minute and I didn't think much of it. And then the craziest thing happened. I put it on and STARTED BAWLING. Holy bizarre! Also it had a pretty flower on it and FEATHERS that looked like wheat. And it was less than $1,000.
Other accessories: sandals on sale in a shop on 3rd Ave, pearl necklace that my Mom wore at her wedding, flower clip that I bought off Etsy, borrowed Sarah McLo's pearl earrings, borrowed Katherine's veil.
Chris and the groomsmen
For a while we were stalking grooms at the weddings we attended, but Chris wanted something a little different. I left it totally up to him... and in the end he chose gray J Crew suits. He got the groomsmen J Crew black ties and white pocket squares. His best man ended up needing to get a gray suit from Men's Warehouse and no one noticed.
There is something so summer about a gray suit, huh? (Also, when I look at the pictures of Chris in a vest at the reception, I want to marry him all over again. HOLY HOT HUSBAND!)
My bridesmaids did not all live in the same city and I went back and forth a bunch whether I wanted to shop with half of them or none of them. In the end, I ended up choosing a pretty dress from the online shop Joielle. To be honest, I might do that differently if I could go back. Each bridesmaid had to go to a tailor to get her measurements and though the dresses photographed beautifully, I think I probably could have found a simpler or cheaper option that I liked just as much.
I did, however, really like the way the magenta color popped against the green of the arboretum. Looks great in photos and ended up being a fun summer color. I hope they can wear them again somewhere!
P.S. I let them choose their shoes and accessories. I totally loved how the resulting look was similar enough, but not too matchy-matchy. They are six separate women and they totally come across that way!
The general direction was: look good and feel comfortable. The wedding was outside in mid-August, which meant no air conditioning. My Dad bought a new suit (which he will now wear for the next 35 years! Nice purchase, Pops!) and Chris' Dad and brother wore snazzy suits. The moms coordinated on jewel tones and some changed into flat sandals for the reception. Everyone looked great.
Like I said: mid-August, no air conditioning, walking on a lawn. We advised people to dress festively, which left it open to interpretation and allowed some people to dress more casually to suit their comfort level. We probably had the hottest looking guest list ever. Don't you love how the background of the arboretum makes all of the girls' dresses POP?
Stay tuned for tomorrow, when I tackle the venue!