Hello, and happy Tuesday, friends! I can’t believe we are already on our third #merefoundherbeau post – time sure is flying! Last week we hit the four-month mark (yahoo!) on our six-month planning journey, and I felt the “butterflies” really turn up a notch. I may or may not still be doing a little happy dance inside celebrating this mini milestone! I have so much goodness to share with you all today – prepare your eyes for way too many pictures and your hearts for lots of light, pastel beauty. We’re talking wedding attire for my beautiful bridesmaids, dashing groomsmen, handsome fiancé, and me (squeal!). There’s plenty to cover, so I’m going to dive right in… ladies first :)
Bridesmaids! Planning for my ladies, although fun, involved one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make so far. I have a pretty little image in my head of how I would like my wedding day to look and feel, and it includes the bridesmaids dresses. When I began my bridesmaid dress search, I had this “feel” in mind – as well as something that fit with our color scheme and was reasonably priced, re-wearable, and not too toasty (there’s the weather again!). I wanted something with a light and airy feel that flowed — similar to an ocean breeze.
Judy Pak Photography
I quickly realized two things as I began my search: not only is it difficult to find the perfect dress to match the beautiful image in your head, but it is also not an easy task to find NINE different available sizes when you DO find the perfect dress that matches the image in your head. Every time I found a possible dress, it was as if the sizes were fleeing from store inventory with each click of the refresh button.
As my search grew increasingly frustrating, I decided to loosen my search criteria to include dresses that were a little less flowy, but still the right color, and perhaps with a hint of sparkle :) I remembered a dress I had seen while browsing Anthropologie a while back, and figured I’d hop on over to their site to see if it had wandered to the sale section yet.
Hallelujah, praise the Lord! The pretty, unique, and sparkly number I had fallen in love with was not only on sale, but SUPER sale. Although online options were slim, I was able to contact individual stores to have their inventory shipped our way (thanks for the tip, Nicole!!). Whew! One decision down, one thousand more to go :)
On to our gents… and thankfully, they were much easier to dress! As I pulled inspiration images for our handsome fellas, I realized that I was drawn to the “jacket-less look,” an ensemble that would be both cute and practical for the battling heat AND the budget.
Before we could buy the suit pants for our groomsmen, we needed to figure out which suit my handsome beau would be wearing. Knowing the suit styles and colors we were interested in, we set a goal for our upcoming Valentine’s visit: find a cute and comfy suit that actually fits Beau properly. The two styles I envisioned were a light grey suit or a blazer/suit combo, like the one below:
After visiting four different stores, Beau and I decided we were not in love with any of the chambray blue jackets we tried on, and that we liked the look of the light grey suit better than the mismatched option. Happily, we found the perfect suit for Beau at J. Crew – their Ludlow collection is amazing! The Ludlow suit in Italian Oxford Cloth was the perfect shade of light grey, and it fit great (this is a rare thing when it comes to Beau’s athletic build!). The price was a little more than we were hoping to spend, but when we switched the groomsmen from wearing the Ludlow suit pant to the less expensive Bowery pant, took off a generous 20% discount thanks to J. Crew, and got a bit of cash back through the fabulous Ebates.com, we began to cross over from “absolutely no way” to “okay, this is doable.” Making these last minute money-savvy decisions ended up helping quite a bit, but we glad to know that Beau and his groomsmen would end up with a nice suit with a great fit for use long after the wedding.
To complete the look, we purchased the white, wrinkle-free oxford shirt from J. Crew Factory (through Ebates, as well), some brown oxford shoes from shopWSS.com, and a lovely bow tie, of course! Funny story about our bow tie… I at first wanted polka dot bow ties (I love dots), and Beau said he would agree to that for me. I then I tried to push the bar a bit – I really love velvet bow ties in a soft ocean color, and I thought they would match the “feel” I was going for, literally and figuratively :) Beau quickly put his foot down at that suggestion, so we will not be having velvet bow ties, but equally amazing cotton ones from Lumina, a shop in Raleigh – similar to the one in the left image.
Now, I’ve saved the best for last :) Two weeks after I got engaged, it was still sinking in that I was going to need to look for a wedding dress, and plan a wedding – in six and a half months, for that matter! I had to get things rolling, and could think of no better way to start than on my birthday and with a few of my favorite people on this planet. The morning of December 28th my mom, sister, sister-in-law, baby niece, and I drove up to our first stop, JJ Kelly Bridal in Oklahoma City. I had saved quite a few inspiration images on my phone, all of had at least two things in common: they were fitted through at least the waist, and they had some sort of sheer detailing or overlay.
Some of my inspiration – a Tara Keely, a Jenny Packham, and a Monique Lhuillier
Going in, I knew I loved the detailing of a sheer overlay across the chest or arms, soft and flow-y tulle, and sweetheart necklines, but I was open to trying anything. I had heard many people say that you come in wanting one thing, and you go out with another, so I figured it would be better to just keep my mind open! I thought a mermaid/trumpet gown or an A-line/ball gown would be the most flattering for my body type, and would help accentuate my height (or lack thereof). To my surprise, I loved both of those styles the best! I had five favorites from the dresses I tried on:
Top row: Watters and “Emotion” by Monique Lhuillier, second and third row: both Reem Acra, fourth row: “Sofia” by Matthew Christopher
Each dress we loved just as much as the one before, but I could sense my mom’s favorite (the Monique Lhuillier) and my sister’s favorite (the Watters). I’m typically an indecisive person, so we decided to write these down and make an appointment for the following week. On my second trip up to JJ Kelly, I brought my mom and future mother-in-law with me, and it was much more successful! We had gotten over the initial giddy excitement of slipping on that first dress, and now were able to make clear and decisive choices, leading to my final decision… which I cannot reveal because my fiancé reads these posts :)
I’m more than happy about all of our attire decisions, and excited for how they will pull together to create the lovely “feel” we are going for. But, I’m doing my best to focus on our true desire: to have a “marriage more beautiful than our wedding.” Weddings are something I have dreamed about since I was a little girl, and they are beautiful in every way, but the union of two people under our heavenly Father is even more exciting. We can’t wait for this next season of joy and celebration!
Tell me: Do you have a favorite? Are our choices similar to what you or your bridal party wearing?
Missed a post? Check them all out here:
An Introduction + Proposal