Happy Wedding Wednesday loves! Between a few post deadlines and some traveling in between, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted a #weddingwednesday. But, have no fear – we’re back on track! Today’s WW post may be my favorite wedding post of all because I’m sharing all about my wedding dress and the 4 special ‘somethings’ that I wore on my big day!
So, let’s take a trip back in time and think back to when we were little girls. Or maybe you are a young lady reading this right now. The one thing that most of us can all probably agree on is that we dreamt of the day when we would go try on wedding dresses for the first time and then, eventually, get the feeling when you found the one. I know I can look back to my childhood and remember imagining that special day! It’s such a special time in a woman’s life, and I know that a lot of women can let themselves get stressed to the max when trying to find a wedding dress. However, this is a time that is meant to be cherished – it’s a happy time! So, my best advice for brides-to-be: Be patient and take your time. Invite your mom, sister, grandmother, (future) mother-in-law, etc. to join in on the occasion. Let your true emotions show (even if you feel the need to shed a tear or two). And most importantly, have fun and stay true to your personal style so that you feel the most beautiful that you’ve ever felt in your wedding dress. Your groom will think you look stunning no matter what and you will literally take his breath away (trust me).
My wedding dress search began in my hometown in Knoxville, TN. I went to two bridal stores (one where I tried on gowns and the other, I did not). The very first gown that I tried on was gorgeous, however, it just wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. Then, a couple of weekends later, my mom, grandmother and I traveled to Nashville to visit a couple of bridal boutiques there. I found two dresses that I absolutely LOVED!! Of course, one of them was more high fashion, edgy looking and then the other looked a lot like the gown I ended up wearing for my wedding, but it was just a lot more simple and classic. I even texted TJ that day and said, “I think I may have found my wedding dress!!” However, I still wasn’t completely sold on either gown. I loved different things about each dress, but I couldn’t decide which way to go. I was leaning toward the more regal, classic style, but needless to say, we went home empty-handed because I just wasn’t 100% sure about either gown. The one common factor of the two options was the mermaid style silhouette. That part – I loved. So, going forward, I at least knew that I wanted that particular style!
A couple of weeks later, my mom, sister and I made a few appointments at bridal boutiques in Atlanta. We live about 4 hours from ATL, so we just made a day trip out of it. The first boutique we visited was called La Raine’s Bridal (& they were SO great to work with by the way!). So, when we arrived, the sweet staff began taking care of us, showed us around the shop, etc. One consultant led us up the stairs to help us look through all of the gowns. Well, as I am approaching the top of the stairs, *ahhhhh* (insert angels singing here!), I see the most gorgeous dress I’ve ever laid eyes on, hanging on a featured wall all by itself. Instantly, my eyes lit up!! I’ll give you one guess as to which dress this was and what bride ended up ordering it. 😉
At that time, I told the consultant that I absolutely HAD to try on that gown, and then, she led us through the racks to let me pick a few other options to try on as well. There were so many gorgeous dresses that I tried on, but of course, when I tried on the Badgley Mischka one that was hanging on the featured wall, I finally got the feeling. I literally couldn’t even stop smiling. Then, we realized, the dress was outside of the budget that I wanted to spend on my gown (go figure). So, that was a bit disappointing at first. Come to find out, La Raine’s also carried the same ‘regal, classic dress’ that I loved so much in Nashville, so the consultant let me try it on right then to see if there was any comparison between the two that I had loved the most. It was still beautiful, and I still really liked it, but then when I tried on the Badgley Mischka one again, there was just no doubt that it was meant to be my dress. However, I was also trying to be realistic and stick within my budget. So, we left the boutique empty-handed, yet again.
We went to another bridal shop in ATL to see if there were any other options there (and they had gorgeous gowns as well), but of course, as soon as we walked into the second bridal store, guess which wedding dress I saw being featured on a mannequin. Yep, the one. I tried on multiple gowns there as well, and ultimately, came back to the Badgley one that my heart was set on. We returned back to La Raine’s Bridal to try on the dress again (We went back to La Raine’s, simply because it was priced $500 less there & when you’re planning a wedding, you’ll try to save anywhere you can!). I specifically remember my sister looking at me with tear-filled eyes and saying, “This is your dress. You look so beautiful babygirl!” I looked over to my mom – she was bursting with happiness – and she completely agreed. I lost it. That’s when my waterworks came into action and my mom and sister just wrapped me up in a big hug. My mom had actually been sending photos of the dress to my grandmother this whole time because she couldn’t make the trip, and my sweet Gran wanted to pay for a portion of my gown as a part of my wedding gift. I’m so thankful for that lady!! Our family is so close (and that’s a whole post for another day), but needless to say, we always have each others’ backs and will do anything to see each other smile! These 3 ladies are my rocks.
My sister is definitely the more vocal one between us, and our bond is kind of strange to some people because we are so close. We are more than just sisters – we are truly the definition of best friends. Being 9 years apart, she’s also always been my second Mama, and thankfully, I’ve always been able to just give her a certain look and she knows exactly what I need. I’m confident that in this picture (above), I had just told her something I wanted or needed and she was putting a plan into action to make it happen. I truly wish everyone in the world had a sister like this!
If I had to narrow down one reason why I chose this wedding dress and felt like it was the one for me, it would be because I saw my own personality and personal style being shown throughout the gown – classic and elegant, yet fun, edgy and bold. The only thing that I really ever pictured in my wedding dress (before I began the search) was multiple materials. I guess being a fashion guru, I’ve always just LOVED the mix of different materials. I loved the satin on my dress (although it was a pain for my seamstress to alter), and the way that it showed off a very elegant and classy style. And, I also loved the lush tulle at the bottom of the gown, which put off another sweet and classic vibe. The mix between the two materials paired perfectly with all of the detailing on the dress – and trust me, there was a lot! So, originally, the gown did not have the stones on the straps or a belt around the waist. My amazing seamstress, Sandra G (local ladies, she’s the best), added these details onto the dress for me. However, the back of the dress and the detailing at the bottom, is what I fell in love with when I first saw this gown.
There were stones on the back and at the bottom of the dress that were acid-etched with a lace overlay to create a romantic, feminine feel and then, there were even tiny chains (yes, chains on a wedding dress!) at the bottom of the gown, which the edgy, fashion-forward part of me was going NUTS over!! I also loved the rhinestone buttons that went up the back and the curly stone designs at the bottom. The belt was originally detached from the gown (I just bought it separately at at a different bridal shop in ATL), and I ordered it in the largest size so that I could use the leftover excess from the belt on the straps of my dress. To me, it just looked way more polished and finished this way! Pro tip: If you have your seamstress sew your belt onto your gown, you don’t have to worry about tying the perfect bow and then it coming untied a million times throughout the day.
All around, this was just the gown of my dreams! Now, of course, this isn’t going to be what everyone else would have chosen, but for me, it was perfect (and Teej loved it which makes it even better)! I also got my veil at La Raine’s Bridal in ATL. The owner, La Raine, custom makes the veils – so naturally – I told her I wanted the longest one that she could possibly make me, lol! It was just a single layer of tulle, so it wasn’t heavy or anything like that! I did want it to be long, but I just wanted it to be super plain so that it didn’t take away from the dress. As for the other accessories I wore on the big day, I got the comb for my hair here in Knoxville, the Badgley Mischka earrings & bracelet at Dillard’s, and the garter here! I bought my shoes at DSW, and ultimately was just searching for something affordable and comfortable since they wouldn’t even be seen that much. I opted for a shoe with a platform because that always seems to be more comfortable for me.
Photos courtesy of Katherine Birkbeck Photography.
Lastly, I wanted to share with you about my four ‘somethings’. The 4 somethings come from an old English rhyme, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue … and a sixpence in your shoe.” This is basically the four things that a bride should wear or carry with her on the big day as good luck charms. I know a lot of brides who don’t participate in the ‘sixpence in her shoe’ part … I didn’t either. But, I thought it would be special to wear the four somethings! (You may recall where I used the 4 somethings when I ‘proposed’ to my bridesmaids .. you can read that HERE!)
This was a really fun part of wedding planning for me, and the best part of it all was that each item meant something really special to me!
Something Old: I have a baby blanket that my sister used before I was even born, and then when I came into the picture, the blanket was passed down to me. When I was little, you literally wouldn’t see me without my B (I would call it my B instead of my blankie haha.) I still have the B to this day, and still even pull it out occasionally when I just need to feel some extra love & comfort … no judging! You know you have a little something special like that too. 😉 Anyways, it’s so old now that it literally has holes in it, but I’m saving it to use for something special when I have kids of my own one day. Needless to say, there was no question when it came to what I would use for my ‘something old’. I cut off a small piece of my B and had my seamstress sew it onto the inside of my wedding dress. She even placed it right next to my heart — AH. *heart is melting*
Photo courtesy of Sarah McAffry Inc.
Something New: Obviously, we all know this one – my wedding dress, which if you have made it this far in the post (sorry, I know it’s a long one!), then you already know why my gown was so special to me!
Something Borrowed: This one may actually be one of the most special details of our whole wedding day for me! If you look back at the picture where I am showing my B sewn into my dress, you’ll see a little gold ring on my middle finger. This was my Granny’s wedding ring that my sweet & precious Papaw gave to her when they got married (if you know me, you know how obsessed I am with my sweet grandparents!). AND they are still married to this day! My grandmother actually gave this ring to my mom for her to have, and she wears it everyday, however, on our special day, I got to borrow it. This was one of the most simple, yet most meaningful details of our wedding day for me.
Something Blue: My ‘something blue’ came from my seamstress, Sandra G. Yet again, she did something so sweet to surprise me! I was actually struggling with thinking of ‘something blue’ to wear or to carry, but Sandra saved the day! She added a special touch of blue onto the inside of my dress with a patch that was embroidered, “TJ & Peyton June 25, 2016” – of course, in the color blue. After that, I had all of my ‘somethings’ checked off the list and was ready for the big day!
Now, if you have made it this far in the post, I’m sending you a big hug via the Internet right now – props to you! That was a super long one!! But, after looking through my analytics and receiving feedback from you all, I’ve noticed that the most popular posts are the ones where I just open up, get personal and lay it all out there. Therefore, my goal going forward is to let you guys into my life more than ever before and let you see the real me, the everyday me, the things in my life that set my heart on fire, the events going on in my life, the ditzy/clumsy/goofy me, lol! I picture you as a friend, and I hope that you’ll keep coming back to LNL for loads of girl talk on weddings, style, beauty, self esteem, life, faith, etc. If you have learned anything about me from this post in particular, I hope that you have learned that details play a huge role in my life. I pay attention to the small things. I especially pay attention to the feelings that certain things in life give me. Overall, the cliché quote, “It’s the little things that mean the most,” is something that I fully believe in – whether that be the details on a wedding dress or that small act of kindness from a loved one.
Thank you so much for stopping by today, sweet friends!! Almost over the hump!