One of my first wedding posts on the blog was a post on my wedding dress. I had so much to say about the dress itself, that I had to split the details of my look into a different post – the post you’re getting today! I’m going to walk you through everything from my hair and makeup to my jewelry, my shoes, and more.
MY WEDDING DAY LOOK
The look that I wanted for my wedding day was, in one word, timeless. I want to look back at these photos in 50 years and still feel that my wedding dress and accessories are as classic as the day I chose them. That meant that I went vintage for my jewelry, feminine for my makeup, and an updo for my hair. And, of course, I made sure to incorporate something old (my jewelry!), something new (my veil!), something borrowed (my fur!), and something blue (my shoes!).
MY BRIDAL HAIR AND MAKEUP
Note: I wore a nightgown and robe by Flora Nikrooz for getting ready. I tried on WAY too many ivory bridal robes, and I found that Flora Nikrooz’s were the prettiest, highest quality sets to be found at a reasonable price. You’ll find a great selection at BHLDN, though there are a few options at Nordstrom as well.
Unfortunately, this is going to be a bit of a horror story for you. When I was creating my wedding Pinterest board, I knew that I wanted a side-swept updo and pretty, classic makeup, which helped me easily narrow down the looks that I went to my hair and makeup stylist with. At my trial, she nailed it. The hair was perfect, the makeup was done up, but feminine. It was exactly what I wanted.
That is 100% NOT what happened the day of my wedding. I should have known when she didn’t take pictures of the makeup at my trial (she said she didn’t need them) that things had the room to go awry. But, she did my makeup from memory and, when I looked in the mirror, I think my look said it all (though, of course, I verbally expressed it as well). The eyeshadow looked like brown and gold tiger paint, there was liquid eyeliner around my entire eye, and my eyebrows looked like they’d been painted on with charcoal. I immediately informed her that it this was awful, I was washing it off, and I would be doing my own makeup because I didn’t have time to chance it again. It made for a stressful getting ready process, but I am so glad I didn’t just grin and bear it. What I ended up with was basically what I do for any fancy evening out makeup, and that was totally okay because, at the end of the day, all brides want to look like themselves, right?
I was fine with the hair she did, and it wasn’t until later, when I looked at pictures, that I realized how off it was from what I’d wanted. I had asked for both sides to be pulled up and off my face, but that only happened on one side. I had wanted a chignon inspired look and ended up with a low and wide bun. There were too many twists. It still looked classic enough, but it was not at all what I’d had at my trial, and now I’ve found that I really only like the photos that are from the side of my hair that was right.
MY SOMETHING BLUE: THE SHOES
I knew from day one that my something blue would be my shoes. I ordered many, many, many pairs of traditional bridal-inspired shoes, until I found these D’Orsay pumps on Nordstrom. They’re Jewel by Badgley Mischka, which is their more affordable line of formal shoes.
I loved the navy gemstones on the navy shoe that almost looked like water droplets. I never wear stiletto heels, so perhaps wearing a 4.5″ heel on my wedding day was a bold move, but I was totally fine all day and all evening (a dinner party wedding, of course, helped my cause – though I was up and about most of the night!). I did wear my shoes around the house for weeks leading up to the wedding to try to break them in, and I certainly think that helped.
Hint: whether you’re the bride or a guest, you need these sole protectors if you’re going to be standing on grass!
Also, even though we weren’t doing a garter toss (I’ve never actually been to a wedding that did one!), I still wanted a garter, so I ordered this blue one off Etsy.
MY SOMETHING OLD: MY JEWELRY
I knew that I didn’t want my jewelry to be an afterthought to the jewelry, so I chose to have those pieces as my something old.
On my right hand, I wore the sapphire and diamond ring that I bought myself two summers ago (another something blue!) – as someone who is fiercely independent, I felt it was meaningful to wear a piece of jewelry that I invested in myself because I loved it, not that someone else had given me. I wore a pearl bracelet that I’ve had for years – perhaps since high school even?! When it came to my earrings, I wanted something vintage and bold, with a bit of pearl. I found this vintage 1990’s pair on Etsy that fit the bill and I can’t wait to wear them again (this weekend!).
WEDDING DAY SIGNATURE SCENT
I’d read that a wedding signature scent is a wonderful way to remember your big day. Scent has such strong connections to our memories that just a whiff of a particular smell can bring you back. I decided on a perfume that I’d worn before, but only briefly.
While in Ireland, we visited the Burren Perfumery, and I picked up a bottle of their Winter Woods perfume. A slightly masculine, woodsy, wintery scent, I only wore it once or twice upon returning from out trip, simply because it wasn’t right for spring or summer. Then, I purposefully didn’t wear it once the weather started to turn cool in the fall so that it would become my wedding scent.
Of course, now, I wear it whenever I want! Each time, I remember both that amazing trip and an amazing wedding weekend.
MY BRIDAL BOUQUET
Oh, my bouquet! It was one of my favorite parts of my look. Our florist, Tanya from Starry Night Events in Richmond, did such an incredibly job creating a bouquet that was wintery, bridal, and light all at the same time. It had gorgeous white flowers, greenery, and accents of pinecones and evergreen.
Tip for brides-to-be: angle your bouquet towards the camera in photos! I didn’t realize this until I was looking at photos later…
I actually found my veil on a whim at Hitched in Georgetown. They were having a sample sale, and while none of the gowns were a winner, I did spot this simple, ivory veil, marked down to $50 from $300. I loved that it had a blusher (which I, whoops, forgot to actually wear down the aisle or in any of our pictures!) and the color was spot-on with my dress. I wanted something that was a bit more restrained since we were having such a small wedding, but, at the same time, this one accessory is what made my wedding day look feel so bridal. Had I not felt that the back of my dress was so special, I would have 100% worn my veil the entire evening.
MY SOMETHING BORROWED: THE FUR
As any winter bride knows, you must have a fur (or faux fur!). I went back and forth over what kind of fur to wear for almost a year. I initially thought I wanted winter white, but then decided it might look a bit dingy with my ivory dress (or vice versa – off-whites are hard to match). I thought I might want something longer. Or maybe something with sleeves. I definitely wanted something vintage. But, I came up short on all accounts.
This actually worked out in my favor because I ended up borrowing a fur that had been my grandmother’s – something borrowed! It was a short wrap, which actually was ideal with my ballgown dress, and the dark brown was the perfect contrast. With the beautiful weather, I didn’t really need to wear it, but it was a fun accessory to throw on for a bit at the reception.
A FEW FINAL NOTES ON MY WEDDING DAY LOOK
The biggest advice I would have to brides-to-be trying to nail down their bridal look is to let it come together organically. You’ve likely got a year of planning, so don’t rush to find every piece at the first bridal store you go to. Incorporate things that have meaning and items you’ll wear again. Make it special.