My Wedding Look: three things I did right and three I did wrong.
I got married on May 16, 2015 at the Detroit Institute of Arts in Detroit, Michigan. Not gonna lie, I don’t think I’ve ever looked better than I did on that day. That said, I learned a few things about getting myself dressed as a bride that are worth sharing. Specifically, I think I did three things really right on that day and there are three things I wish I’d done differently. Let’s dig in.
Right #1: I felt completely like myself.
After tearing through every wedding magazine and scouring the web for months after getting engaged, I was feeling really frustrated. At the time, every dress was a sweetheart strapless, mermaid style. Lovely on some, but totally not me. There was one exactly one dress that piqued my interest. I tried on four others, but this tank-style, ballgown Amsale was always the right choice. There weren’t tears. I didn’t feel like my life had changed. I just felt like me. I felt pretty and special, but strangely comfortable. Plus, IT HAD POCKETS. Sold.
So here’s my advice. Yes, this is your day to look like a princess, but your busy and emotional wedding day is not the time to experiment with a new style or to worry about what a bride “should” look like. Find a dress and accessories that make you feel like the radiant goddess you are, but that are not going to make you feel self conscious while you pose for photos, hug your new spouse, chat with your grandparents and generally serve as the center of attention.
On my wedding day, I put on my dress, felt amazing and didn’t really think about it again until the train got stepped on while I horah-ed and I realized it was time to change (more on my second look later).
P.S. how cute is baby sis?
Right #2: My look fit the venue and vibe.
We had a black tie wedding in an art museum among its world-class collections. I wore a simple, architectural ballgown that fit, but didn’t compete with our (epic) surroundings. While I am generally of the opinion that you can accessorize a dress to make it suit the event, this dress would have looked super strange on a beach. Just as an embellished or boho-style wedding dress would have looked out a place in the museum. Our wedding had a crisp, modern look from invites to table settings, and I made sure the vibe carried through to my ensemble for a cohesive look.
Right #3: I had fun with my outfit and didn’t take it too seriously.
You may have noticed in the ceremony photo that I am not wearing a veil under the chuppah. That wasn’t intentional — i just totally forgot. So, later that night when I went to change into a short dress and saw my Amsale veil, I threw it on, and wound up with this super cute 60s vibe that was so much fun (especially with these silly glasses from the photo booth). Totally a happy accident. Things will inevitably go wrong on the day, but if you go with the flow and have fun, everything will be a-ok.
Wrong #1: I didn’t pack a change of shoes.
I wore some Valentino stunners and could not have loved them more. However, at about hour 6, my feet were wishing (read: dying, begging) for some flats and I had lots more dancing to do. I think some Converse would have fit the bill perfectly. If you’re going to be wearing heels, even if they seem comfortable during fittings, consider some cute flats so you don’t end up barefoot on the dance floor (shudder).
Wrong #2: My second look and undergarment situation were poorly planned.
I hadn’t planned on changing out of my wedding dress. I bought a short Shoshanna dress on super sale for something else and threw it into my bag for the museum at the last minute. When I got annoyed that my gown was getting stepped on, I remembered the short dress and went to put it on. But there was a (not so) slight problem. I wasn’t wearing at bra with the gown, the Shoshanna was not a bra-less kind of dress and I hadn’t packed anything else. My darling friend Kate came to my rescue to lend me her bra (good friend, amirite!?) but I still had ended up with a strapless bra that only kind of fit. We all know that doesn’t work. By not planning my second look, not only did I miss a fun fashion opportunity — imagine what I could have come up with if I’d given this any thought! — but I also couldn’t totally dance while trying to keep my boobs in check. Moral of the story: don’t be like me! Plan. Try on your undergarments and then plan some more.
Wrong #3: I rented ALL of my jewelry.
Rent the Runway is a godsend. It has saved so many of us tons of money in many a wedding season. I wore about a million bracelets on my wedding day (seriously, like maybe 10? 12?), and it would have cost hundreds to buy them all outright so I have zero regrets about renting some to save money. However, I really wish I had at least a few to still wear. I wore an Alexander Wang moto jacket over my wedding dress that I still wear all the time and love the reminder of my wedding every time I put it on. Ditto with my Valentino shoes and the ISSA cutout dress I wore for my rehearsal dinner. You’re not going to wear your wedding dress again or use your invitations or carry your bouquet, but accessories can be incorporated into other looks are made even more special with the memories of your big day. Before you rent everything, think about whether you’d wear something again and consider making the purchase.
I hope this was helpful! Follow my lead AND learn from my mistakes, and be the best bride you can be.