What to wear... what to wear?

Bride's Attire

I wasn't sure what style of dress I wanted, but I knew I wanted a designer gown for a bargain. I searched websites, thrift shops, and bridal salons. Finally I found my bridal Mecca: the sample rack at AniA Collection. I was in heaven. So many beautiful dresses for such reasonable prices!

See my dress!

{Image from September Bride}


Since I bought a sample, I needed to get the dress taken in about two sizes. AniA Collection works with Jennifer Phillips for alterations. She seems efficient and reasonably priced. I will say that she was running late on my first fitting, so she rushed and it really threw me off-guard. I would have spent more time on the bustle, but I was too overwhelmed to push it. But at the second fitting, she let me take my time and I really liked how the dress fit.

Veil & Jewelry

Arg!! I don't know!!! I can't decide. 

Because of the simplicity of my dress, I'd like to wear a distinctive necklace. But I'm having trouble deciding what that would be.

I also am thinking of doing a birdcage veil. But I haven't found one to try on, so I don't know if I'll like the look of it. I can't decide if it would look good if I wear my hair down.

{Some knottie; STP wedding; Hawaiibride2b; VintageGlam}

Hair & Make-Up

I've gone back and forth on getting my hair and make-up professionally done. As a redhead, it's hard to get makeup to look right on me, and I'm usually pretty happy with how I do my own hair. But on the prodding of my mother and MOH I decided to book a pro. I'll be using Darbey Bacchus Budd for make-up and Michelle at Robert's of Portland for hair. 

At my hair trial, I tried a down and up-do, because I couldn't decide between the two. FI wants my hair down, but I was worried that it will just look like I didn't do anything. But after the trial, I found I really preferred the down-do (although Michelle did a wonderful job with both). Doing both styles was definitely a splurge, but I'm glad I did it.

Here are my hair-up and hair-down inspiration photos:


{Dancing with the Stars; some knottie; Miss Pennsylvania USA; a Weddingbee} 

{Two knotties and Green12 by Nicole Wagner}

I have mixed feelings about my make-up trial. On one hand, Darbey did the look I asked for. But on the other, I don't see what he did that I can't do on my own. I had asked for something dramatic, but I think I'm going to take it back for the wedding - My FI was pretty freaked out by the way I looked in person (although the makeup photographed well). I also wasn't happy with the makeup's cool tone, since my complexion has a natural warm tone.

{Left: After the trial; Right: 5-hours later, after I took of the scary fake lashes}

Bridesmaids Attire

I'm only having a MOH, so I let her pick out whatever dress she wanted. She's a modest dresser by nature, and it was really hard to find a dress that was flattering, under $200, and not strapless! Thank goodness for Ann Taylor's Celebrations line. My MOH even was able to double-up on the discounts, so she got it for almost half-price.



Mother of the Bride

I almost didn't mention my mother's dress, but she had a very difficult time finding something she liked as I know many other mothers do. My mom wanted something that was "age appropriate," not flashy, and not heavily beaded. To further complicate, she is plus-size. We looked at Nordstrom, Macy's, Coldwater Creek, Talbots, and some boutiques. Finally she found her ideal dress (on sale!) at JCPenny! I never would have thought to look there, but the dress is beautiful and very flattering. 


Groom & Men

We're getting the tuxes from Cromwell Formalwear. FI chose whatever he wanted, aside from my request for a windsor tie. He selected a brown tie and champaign vest. The saleswomen was very patient and helpful. I like that 1) they have a second fitting before the wedding to assure that everything is present and fits, and 2) the store is close to our wedding location (in case anything unfortunate happens the day-of) .

My dad owns a nice suit, so I see no reason to rent tuxes. I was going to have Richard's dad rent a suit to match and get them ties that coordinate with the wedding colors. However Richard is really uncomfortable asking his father to wear something particular, so he'll just wear whatever he shows up in. I'm still going to get my dad a tie that coordinates with my mom's dress.


We bought our rings at Maloy's Jewelry Workshop. I chose them because they specialize in antique and estate jewelry, and it was important to me to get our rings without having to mine more gold or gems. We are huge fans now! They patiently educated us about our options (since neither of us know anything about jewelry), but did not put on a hard sale. They also did good work in repairing and resizing my rings.