While I always knew I wanted to wear a dreamy white dress on my wedding day, Grace didn’t have a lot of examples of what someone with her style might wear. Today I am sharing both of our (very different) processes for finding our wedding look! Grace did not see my dress until the moment I walked down the aisle, but I helped Grace figure out what she wanted to wear (and get it custom fitted) and as a result she didn’t want to hide it from me until the wedding.
I loved the way our outfits looked together on our wedding day, and I was especially glad Grace loved her wedding attire, as someone who had to “go rogue” without a lot of examples of what her wedding outfit could be.
Finding “The Dress”
Going into wedding dress shopping, I knew a few things: I wanted a very classic look, I did not want a strapless dress, I wanted a lot of tulle and volume in the skirt, and I wanted to keep my dress a complete surprise from Grace and almost everyone else (a few bridesmaids saw photos beforehand, but my dad didn’t even see my dress until my wedding day!).
The day after Thanksgiving when I was in my hometown (Raleigh, North Carolina), I went to a local bridal boutique called Traditions by Anna with my mom, my sister, and one of my oldest friends and bridesmaid to try on gowns. But before we headed out that day, I had to look through my parents’ wedding album for some inspo. Doesn’t my mom look so classic?!
Because this was going to be my first time trying on any wedding dresses, I wasn’t that concerned with whether or not I would find “my” dress that day. But as I went through the store and saw so many stunning gowns, I started to get a strong feeling that I would find my dress there.
I pulled 7 dresses to try on, and honestly, I could have ended up with almost any of them. They all felt magical and I was feeling smitten with several. The dress I ended up getting was the last one I tried on. My mom had mentioned beforehand that she was really excited to hear Traditions by Anna carried Carolina Herrera, as she had always loved that designer and would love if I ended up in one her gowns. Well, sure enough, the Carolina was the last dress I tried on, and we all agreed, it was perfect.
I wasn’t an emotional mess by any means when I found my dress. I didn’t tear up, but I had a strong instinct that this was my dress, and it felt effortless to say “yes.” As soon as I did, our attendant in the store popped some champagne and we all celebrated!
The way it works in a lot of bridal boutiques, and did in mine, is that you don’t just walk out with the dress—they take your measurements, and the designer makes one especially for you. For my particular dress it took about four months to make, and the boutique then mailed it to me in California.
I also bought my veil at the same time, which I LOVED—you can see the beading at the edge in the photo above.
On my wedding day, my dress felt like a dream. It was long and dramatic, which I loved, but we bustled it for the reception so I could actually dance without tripping myself. I wish I had a reason I could wear it again!
Finding Grace’s Attire
Grace wasn’t exactly sure what she wanted to wear at our wedding, but she knew she didn’t want to look like a woman in ill-fitting menswear. Because of that, we knew she would probably need something custom. What we ended up going with was somewhere in between. We both liked the idea of a bright, summery blue—lighter than navy—and she ended up finding a beautiful color at Suitsupply. She went with her mom and one of her bride’s men, Jack. What she decided was that the guys in our wedding party would wear the exact same suit, but they would wear the jackets, and she would wear a vest instead. That way, she stood out a little bit and had her own look. I think the vest ended up looking amazing.
Similar to the situation with my gown, Suitsupply makes their suits custom, so Grace had to wait a few weeks to get hers in. But once we got it, it still didn’t have the perfect fit we were hoping for, so we went to an incredible tailor that we both loved—MH Tailoring & Alterations in Beverly Hills. They took the suit from something just-okay to a perfect custom fit that Grace was so excited to wear on our wedding day. Getting it re-tailored (even though it was already custom made) made all the difference in the world, so I highly recommend that for women who want to get married in a suit.
Finding the little flying heart collar clips was such a fun detail for Grace’s look. She also decided to wear a boutonniere that our florist made for her.
Overall, even though my wedding look was very traditional, my advice is to wear what YOU want. Questions about what Grace would wear was one of the most consistent things people would ask leading up to the wedding, and I think that kind of stressed her out, but in the end we were able to find something that we were both so happy wearing. It’s cliche, but it’s YOUR wedding and you are the one wearing the clothes—so remember that you have to be happy with them not only on your wedding day, but for years to come as you look back on photos of your wedding. I’ve seen photos of many beautiful weddings where there are two brides both wearing dresses, but that wasn’t Grace’s style at all, and I’m really happy with what she picked. I’ll be swooning over our photos for the rest of our lives!