Inspiration Board #4 – Nautical navy, coral, white, and light lime

I made this board for a sweet friend of mine that lets me indulge her day in and day out with wedding mumbo jumbo. I asked her if she were to get married, what her dream color palette would be. She asked for a nautical feel with navy, coral, white, and seafoam (which I went with more light lime in this board). The result is below! I encourage you to click the links as well – the weddings featured are all stunning.

Clockwise from top left:

1. Boutonniere  – a small pop of coral

2. Adorable ring bearer – I just LOVE his outfit!

3. Paper suite – preppy navy and coral designed by Posh Paperie

4. Reception space – I just love how glam this is!

5. Bouquet – don’t you just LOVE that striped bouquet wrap? So nautical!

6. Wedding cake – this is so whimsical and I love the stripes and the rope!

7. Sailboat

8. Amsale Dahlia gown – The wedding I pulled this image from is a stunner. This is also one of my friend’s favorite wedding gowns ever.

9. Bridesmaid’s outfits – probably my fave of all time. The skirt is from Anne M Cramer.

Hope y’all love it! I think this would be a stunning wedding if I must say so myself.

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Natural Makeup How-To’s

One of my sweet friends from Auburn, Vicki Johnson, contacted me requesting that I do a blog post about natural wedding makeup since her wedding is coming up this weekend and she needs some ! Here are some adorable pictures from her engagement session. How cute are they?!

As far as strictly advice goes, I can’t put makeup advice for weddings any better than Steph can in this post, which I mentioned back in April, but here is her top advice, copied from her blog. My personal experiences/responses are in bold below each numbered section.

1.  Use matte colors – Although shimmer can look great when applied properly, if you are a little unsure about what to do, it’s always safe to go with matte colors.  Matte makeup won’t reflect light, making it easy to apply and easy to photograph.
Too Faced makes a great eye color palette. I used this for my wedding.
 2.  Fill in your brows – Even if you don’t fill in your brows on a daily basis, fill them in for your pictures.  Your eyes and face will look so much more complete if your brows are looking polished.  This especially goes for blondes.  Blonde eyebrows will disappear in photographs.
3.  Makeup will photograph 2 shades lighter – In the picture above, Mallory’s lip stick color was a seriously BRIGHT orange, but you would never guess it by look at the picture.  Makeup doesn’t translate as vibrant in photographs.  I recommend doing your blush, eyes and lip color a little more vibrant than you normally would.
4.  Use powder – Even if your makeup is applied perfectly, if you look shiny in your pictures it can ruin your whole look.  Once your makeup is complete, use a finishing or setting powder to make everything more matte.  I recommend even taking some powder with you (or oil blotting sheets), especially if it’s a warm day.
 5.  Wear false lashes – I have never had a bride who didn’t like wearing false lashes, even if they were hesitant about them at first.  95% of the people in my portfolio are wearing false lashes, and they make all the difference!  Once again, Mallory’s false lashes were sooo long, but in the pictures they look perfectly proportionate.  If you want something more natural, buy the individual lashes and just put a few on the outer corners.
I wore false lashes for my wedding and it really makes your eyes pop in pictures! It feels freaky, but it photographs really well.
 6.  Apply your makeup in natural light – When you put on your makeup, sit by a window or in a room with a lot of natural light.  This will give you the best idea of what your makeup really looks like, and how it will look in the pictures.
7.  Wax – makeup does not adhere well to peach fuzz.  Whatever you normally wax on your face, wax it before your pictures.  I suggest waxing at least 48 hours before your pictures to give enough time for any redness and swelling to go down.
I did not wax. I never had before, and i didn’t have any problems with peach fuzz on my day.
8. Wear lip gloss– I, myself, never wear lip gloss.  I am a chapstick girl through and through.  But when it comes to photos, lip gloss is a must.  I consider my lips on the smaller side, so wearing lip gloss really helps them look full and plump in pictures.
I also did not wear lip gloss. I wore Sephora Lip Stain and with Makeup Forever Aqua Lip Liner under it, and let me tell you buddy, it stayed put.
9.  Wear black mascara – Some people think black is too harsh for their skin tone, but I promise that when it comes to pictures, black looks good on everyone.  Wearing black mascara will bring out your eyes a lot more than brown will.
Here are some other pointers from someone who loves makeup (me)! As far as natural makeup goes, I think it’s good to wear a light pink lip at the least – not nude because it will wash you out in pictures. I also think that lining the inner rim of your eye with a nude or bright white picture really brightens up the eye in pictures. Tarte makes a good inner rim liner. Putting a little bit of dark brown shadow in the crease always enhances the eye a lot and looks great in pictures when you are looking down. In general, keep blotting paper with you for the heat so your skin won’t look shiny in pictures. You can find these at any drug store. Even if you don’t wear foundation on a daily basis, it will make your skintone look much more even in pictures, so I highly recommend it.
Here are some pictures of great nude makeup.
Notice that she is wearing quite a bit of upper liner, but really keeps the shadow to a minimum. The bottom lashes are lined about halfway across and the top liner gets thicker toward the outer corner of her eye. I think she has some brightener on the inner rim of her eye as well.
 I love this look, I think her makeup stunning. She goes heavy with the mascara, light on the shadow, and fairly heavy on the the blush, and the bronzer. You can tell she sculpted her cheekbones with the colors and put some on the bridge of her nose. The coral pink lip is gorgeous. Click the photo for a link to the original post with the products listed.
I think that this is on the very light side when it comes to liner and mascara (which I don’t love), but I do love the bright pink cheek and the matching lip. I also think her eyes really pop with the nude shadows.
This is a personal favorite. I think it’s the best of both worlds, enough liner and mascara to intensify the eye but still a nude shadow. Just a small swipe of bronzer on the apple of her cheeks and a touch of lipstick to enhance the fullness of her lips. If you click the photo it take you to a tutorial with all the products used listed.
You can see in this photo how elegant it looks to have a small amount of dark brown shadow in the crease. She is wearing natural looking false lashes as well. This is a beautiful and natural makeup look with a neutral pink lip and hint of blush on the apples of the cheeks.
This is a great natural look with a light brown shadow from lid to crease with a light shadow highlighting the brow. A small amount of blush and a very small amount of shimmery gloss, black liner on the top of the lid, along with a heavy coat of black mascara tops off the look.
Hope this helps all of the ladies (especially you, Vicki!) out there looking for a natural, but still glamorous makeup look for their wedding day. I think for Vicki, the 2nd and 5th looks would look amazing with her gorgeous skin tone. Thanks for asking me to write this post – I love special requests!! Have fun this weekend and good luck!
I’ll leave you with another pic from their ADORABLE drive-in themed e-shoot by Leslee Mitchell.

Inspiration Board #3 – Faded gold and copper patina

My sister and I had a long discussion about what she were to do for her wedding if she could do it over. She gave me a pretty specific and complex color palette, but a venue in Georgia called Barnsley Gardens popped into my head immediately. As it turns out, most of the inspiration images I dug up were from weddings there. I like how the board turned out!

Image

Clockwise from top left.

1.This is my favorite image. The chandeliers hanging in the ruins with the vibrant colors is gorgeous. This is a wedding held at Barnsley Gardens.

2. Whit specifically asked for anemones because of their bold personality. It looks great next to the rustic richness of everything else. I like that her husband’s Japanese heritage also ties in since some species of the flower are Japanese.

3. I’m obsessed with these gold Valentino pumps. So classic – and expensive!

4. Monique Lhuillier Fall 2012 ‘Brooke’ – this is an elegant and sexy dress. The back of it is stunning too.

5. Copper patina lanterns to line the steps.

6. Rustic old doors in a rich patina color to serve as the seating chart.

7. Pale turquoise wedding cake with anemones cascading down the side.

Inspiration Board #2 – yellow, coral, and white

ImageClockwise from top left:

1. Coral Ombre birthday cake – I really love this style of cake – I bet it’d be very expensive for a whole wedding cake, but super cute if you were doing multiple cakes.

2. Centerpiece with coral peony – I also love the milk glass arrangement, colorful and fun!

3. ‘Eat, Drink, They’re Married’ sign – Perfect signage for a reception!

4. My floral bouquet – picture by Stephen DeVries Photography – It was fun taking my bouquet and applying it to a very different color palette than what I had at my own wedding! That’s what I loved about my bouquet, it was so versatile!

5. Yellow bridesmaids – I have liked this bridesmaid’s dress assortment for a very long time, one of the weddings I saw early in the process and it’s just stunning.

Hope you enjoy!

Inspiration Board #1 – pink and gold

In honor of my sweet friend Audra’s wedding to her amazing future hubby Andrew Merkel on June 2nd – I decided to pull together an inspiration board of some of my favorite images from the pinterest board I created for her.

Image

Image sources or where to find it, clockwise from top left.

1. Pink and gold invite and floral arrangement

2. Jenny Packham blush bridal gown

3. Kate Spade Charm glitter slingbacks $325.00

4. Floral cascade wedding cake by Cake Ink

Hopefully this will be the first of many! Good luck and congratulations to Audra and Andrew!

Celebrity Engagement Rings – my take

We all know that celeb engagement rings come in all shapes and colors, but mostly very big sizes. I have always loved keeping up with celeb rings, especially since I got ‘wedding fever’ a couple years ago. It’s pretty obscene how big and gaudy they get, but hey, if you have the money, why the hell not. I personally believe in investing in a big and beautiful rock for a few reasons.

1. It’s a token of love, it should last forever and be special!

2. It’s an asset. It won’t depreciate in value, and in fact, rings often appraise for more than what you pay if you shop smart.

3. It’s a family heirloom – you can pass it down to generations and it can always stay in the family.

Colored stones can be fun and unique. I wanted a diamond, but colored stones are becoming much more prevalent nowadays. The nice thing about them is that you can get a stone other than a diamond, which means more carats for less cost!

Jeweler – Johnathon Arndt Flawless yellow diamond estimated at 5+ carats worth around $150,000. As far as celeb rings go, I think this is tasteful and beautiful.

Elizabeth Hurley’s blue sapphire flanked by two approx. 2 carat trapezoid cut side diamonds set in platinum estimated at $100,000. Stunning!

Heidi Klum’s approx 12 carat canary diamond set in yellow gold designed by Lorraine Schwartz. Estimated at $150,000. Personal favorite of mine

18 ct sapphire oval surrounded by 14 white diamonds designed by Garrand estimated at $65,000. Timeless and elegant.

Halle Berry’s 4 carat emerald set in yellow gold, designed by Robert Mazio. I love how unique this is!

I love pave. Lots and lots of pave. Some of these are pave, but not all of them.

4 carat center stone flanked by trapezoid diamonds designed by Bader and Garrin. Estimated worth $125,000.

Molly Sim’s approx 6 carat cushion cut designed by Diana Von Furstenberg. SO gorgeous!

3 carat pear diamond surrounded by a pave setting set in platinum. Pear is one of my favorite cuts, unique and elegant.

Nicole Richie’s 4 carat brilliant cut center stone surrounded by a pave diamond setting designed by Neil Lane.

Mariah Carey’s 10 ct center stone surrounded by 58 pink diamonds and 2 half-moon diamonds, totaling 17 carats. Designed by Jacob and Company and estimated to be worth $2.5 million Talk about big spending!

Cathy Waterman engagement ring. Some sources say it’s a ‘rustic diamond’ others say it’s a moonstone. Estimated 1.5 carats. Totally unique, and totally Anna Paquin!

Asscher cut diamond set in a micropave frame with a double band. I love this ring! Almost as much as Heidi’s.

5 carat oval cut diamond set in platinum and rose gold. Estimated worth – $250,000. It’s no secret ovals are a personal fave 🙂 My favorite element of this ring is the subtle inclusion of rose gold.

Hillary Duff’s 14 carat radiant cut diamond is estimated to be worth $1 million. Whoa.

Britney Spear’s 3 carat brilliant cut Neil Lane in a pave setting. A very timeless ring!

Well if you were wondering if Jay-Z is rich… Beyonce’s 18 carat flawless emerald diamond set in a split shank pave setting. Worth $5 million!!! I love the dainty setting contrasting the massive rock.

Angelina Jolie’s elongated tablet diamond flanked by the same shape stone graduating in size. Designed by Robert Procop with Brad Pitt’s help. Not a huge fan, honestly.

Amber Rose’s Oval cut solitaire. One site said it’s set in rose gold – but I’m not sure about that. It’s a gorgeous and simple ring and I LOVE it!

Reese Witherspoon’s 4 carat Ashoka diamond set in a micropave band. Designed by Willam Goldberg and is estimated to cost around $250,000. Another top pick by me!!

Nikki Reed’s 3 carat, 3 stone Tacori engagement ring. Fun and bohemian!

Brilliant antique, conflict-free diamond in pave setting set in recycled platinum. Designed by Jamie Wolf. Such a cool looking ring!

Kate Hudson’s 9 carat emerald cut with tapered baguettes set in platinum. Estimated to be worth $200,000. Classic and all about that center stone!

So what rings are your favorite? I love Heidi Klum’s the most – the yellow gold with canary diamond is just stunning, really. I also really really love Reese Witherspoon’s and Gwyneth Paltrow’s but they are all beautiful and unique in their own way!

THE shoes – Kate Spade’s Crown

The shoes were SO important to me. This was the one time in my life I felt that it was truly okay to splurge on shoes. Splurging to me is not Louboutins or Manolos, just so you know. That is still way out of my realm of splurging at the moment….maybe one day…my idea of splurging is Kate Spade. I think the moment I got engaged I knew in my heart of all hearts that my wedding shoes would be Kate Spade. Once I decided that, there was no turning back.

Here were some of my favorites that I really wanted –

Kate Spade’s ‘Charm’ – photo by Ryan Phillips

Kate Spade’s ‘Charm’ in gold. Photo by Ever Whim Photography.

Kate Spade’s ‘Maribeth’ – photo by Heather Waraksa

Kate Spade’s ‘Clarice’

Charm and Clarice were the two that I seriously wanted. I never got to try on Clarice, but I got to try on Charm and talk about sassy! I loved them SO SO much. I feel like I would have left a trail of glitter everywhere I walked in those! My husband was with me when I went to the Kate Spade boutique – and there was another pair there I had NEVER seen online or anywhere before. They were the most expensive of course – but they were the same color family as my bridesmaid’s dresses and they were SO sparkly and adorable! I tried them on and I was DONE! They were so perfect and SO me and I just knew they were the ones! They are called Crown and the name fit perfect – I wanted to feel like a queen on my day!

Kate Spade’s ‘Crown’ – photo by Christina Diane

Kate Spade’s ‘Crown’ – Photo by Christina Diane

I finished the wedding night blister-free, but I changed into TOMS for most of the reception. I was so happy with my shoes and I don’t regret spending the money at all. Girls – don’t let anyone make you feel bad for wanting to splurge on shoes, this is your one chance to get away with it!

Met Gala Red Carpet

I have decided to stray from weddings today to work on a post about red carpets. If you know me at all, you know that this is my true passion and obsession. The Met Gala red carpet often has some of the most fun and daring looks of the season – which is why it’s one of my favorite red carpets.

I’ll start with the bad:

Kirsten Dunst in Rodarte – no ma’am, a suit gown with greasy hair? You are NOT Tilda Swinton

Hailee Steinfeld in Miu Miu – the color is wrong, the makeup is very wrong, the hair is too plain

Beyonce in Givenchy Haute Couture – Is it really necessary to show that much skin after having a baby. Don’t even get me started on the feathers, ma’am.

I just, no. It’s okay to show a LITTLE skin.

Jessica Chastain in Louis Vuitton – She’s SO beautiful and this dress just makes her look, well, chubby. And the lips are too dark. And the cleavage is funky.

Kristen Stewart in Balenciaga – there is literally nothing right about this look!

Now onto the trends of the night: peplum, metallics, and citrus colors. There are some notable overlaps here – I’ll post those pics only once, but the caption will remark on the overlap!

I’m not saying I love this outfit, but it’s fun, it’s yellow, and I love that she’s wearing Elizabeth Taylor’s garment. Makes it pretty special.

January Jones in Versace – one of my favorites of the night. Sexy, bold, and rocking the necklace, yellow, AND the peplum. Get it girl.

Ginnifer Goodwin in Monique Lhuillier – I love this gown on her and the gown’s details. I always love her short hair too. If we could just get her to smile…

Emma Roberts in Escada – This look is simply stunning on her. One of the best she’s ever worn. The color of the dress, styling, and hair are spot on. Notice the peplum-ness too. Best dressed nom for sure.

Kristen Bell in Tommy Hilfiger – She has the effortless beauty look down pat. Perfection.

Solange Knowles in Rachel Roy – Absolutely love this color on her skin tone. Her hair is rocking, the peplum is darling, and she TOTALLY beats her sister tonight.

Jessica Alba in Michael Kors – I love this color on her. Het styling is stunning and she knows how to accentuate curves. She’s not a best-dressed nom tonight simply because I’ve seen her look better. (2006 Academy Awards, 2011 BAFTAs)

Sofia Vergara in Marchesa – she always looks good, even if she’s a little predictable with her mermaid silhouettes.

Nina Dobrev in Donna Karan – This dress is stunning on her and her styling is spot-on. I love the mix of silver and black and I LOVE her hair. Best dressed nom.

Leighton Meester in Marchesa – While I appreciate her bold fashion choice, her skin tone and styling looks terrible with this gold-hued dress.

Camilla Belle in Ralph Lauren – Everything about this look is perfection except the lip color. She is always stunning.

Lana Del Ray in Altuzarra – I actually quite like this look for her. The dress is flattering and the hair looks great, just not a fan of the cape. It is apparent that dark lips are hot right now.

Karolina Kurkova in Rachel Zoe – I’m sorry but I love this. It’s so bold and daring and she looks incredibly confident in it. The ‘swim cap’ is my favorite part!

Carey Mulligan in Prada – Another favorite. Carey Mulligan has the newlywed glow and her dress is playful and gorgeous. The hair adds the right amount of elegance and the cat eye black liner is perfect. Best dressed nom!

Now on to the peplum ladies – don’t forget that Solange, Emma, Sofia, and January also had peplums and they are shown above!

Amy Poehler in Fotini – This isn’t one of my favorite gowns of the night, but only because of the feathers. I love the styling and the fit and the smoky eye with bright pink lip is adorable on her.

Elizabeth Banks in Mary Katrantzou – She will probably get a lot of heat for this dress, but I find it truly couture and appropriate for the occasion. I think her toned down styling does the unique and beautifully patterned dress justice. Props to her for her bold fashion choice!

Dresses I just like or appreciate –

Dianna Agron in Carolina Herrera – Love the jewel tones, the hair and the belt. Shout out to my wedding dress designer!

Diane Kruger in Prada – This dress is so hippie chic and relaxed. The jewelry she chose is PERFECT and I love her hair. Best Dressed Nom!

Jessica Biel in Prada – I love that the dress has a menswear feel to it. I also love her hair and the lime accents on the soft pink dress. The length of the dress is slightly awkward.

Emma Stone in Lanvin – This is fun and flirty. Does my girl Emma ever look bad?

Claire Danes in J. Mendel – Claire always looks good and always keeps it simple. I love this drapey white dress, with turquoise clutch and sleek updo.

Marion Cotillard in Dior Haute Couture – While this isn’t my fave of the night by a longshot, I do appreciate the lines of the gown and the boldness of it. Her hair is a no-no though.

Leslie Bibb in Zac Posen – I always love a print on a ball gown. This color is great and the neckline is fun. Her hair, makeup, and nails are perfect! Glam alert.

Amber Heard in Zac Posen – Another great look by Zac. Gorgeous color, gorgeous lines and draping, gorgeous hair and makeup. Glam alert two!

Kate Bosworth in Prada – This is the only girl I truly think pulls off the dark lip. She looks gothic sexy in this feathery frock. Love the blinging clutch and dark nails, but not a huge fan of the hair bun.

Christina Ricci in Thakoon – She will catch grief for this dress but I find it stunning and bold. The proportions and length really flatter her figure and the tone down styling and shoes make the dress work.

Rooney Mara in Givenchy Haute Couture – I love this dress so much. I wish Rooney would wear a color besides black, but this is one of her best looks of the season. The hair and makeup are beautiful and she shows just the right amount of skin.

So my best dresses of the night are – Emma Roberts, January Jones, and Diane Kruger.

Worst dressed has got to be poor Kristen Stewart.

Who are your faves and least faves of the night? Are there any on here that I should have put up?

The Venue – Matt Jones Gallery

My parents had to go venue exploring for me since I was in school – but I was fairly confident I knew which venue I wanted. They checked out 3 venues for me after I did extensive research. I narrowed it down to Avon Theatre, Matt Jones Gallery, and Vulcan

1. Avon Theatre –

Avon Theater

Pros –

Beautiful artificial lighting, exposed brick, pretty structure, cheap, set up and take down included

Cons –

Hideous chairs/tables , ugly drop ceiling, no windows or natural light

2. Vulcan

Vulcan event space

Pros – local historic culture, gorgeous view, pretty architecture, affordable, my parents got engaged here

Cons – mostly outdoor, not-so-great indoor spaces, didn’t include outdoor furniture rental (outdoors was a big enough con for me not to consider this one at all)

3. Matt Jones Gallery

Matt Jones Gallery

Matt Jones set up for a wedding

Matt Jones Gallery

Pros – already decorated with art, very much mine and Corey’s style, beautiful entry with natural light, included tables and chairs that were pretty, gorgeous track lighting, set up and take down included, awesome exposed structure, open floor plan

Cons – no catering kitchen on site, 250 MAX (which was a little scary), the most expensive

Well, the choice for us was incredibly easy. It had an awesome downtown location next to a lot of local nightlife, my parents were willing to pay the extra since it included set up and take down, and it was EXACTLY the vibe we were going for – fun, quirky, and modern. My mom called me and said “You’re going to want this space,” so I rushed home to see it and practically died. It was perfect! We signed the contract the following week.

Picking a venue is typically one of the hardest parts of planning a wedding – the venue basically determines the vibe/style of the wedding. We got lucky for sure, but here’s my best advice.

1. Don’t book a place that doesn’t include set up and take down – you’ll thank me for that one day

2. Allot a good chunk of your budget for the venue – ours was about 12-15% of our wedding cost.

3. Think OUTSIDE the box! Check out museums, galleries, libraries, parks, and restaurants. It doesn’t have to be a country club, botanical garden, or historic home. Those kinds of venues can be gorgeous too, but lots of times they are WAY more expensive because they’re in such high demand. Also, they often require that you only use their caterer, their florist, and their cake baker, which ends up being a minimum amount of $$ per person and the price can skyrocket. I would also reserve backyard type weddings for very adventurous DIY brides – if you have to rent a tent, tables, chairs, a dance floor, etc., then the cost adds up very fast and takes lots more work!

4. Let the venue reflect who YOU are as a person – not your parents, your friends, or your status. We had so many people come up to us and tell us how ‘us’ the wedding was. There is no greater compliment!

Hope this helps everyone looking for venues! Readers – do you have any stories to share about your venue rental? Did you have regrets or praise?

 

THE Dress

When I first started looking at dresses, these were a few that I loved –

Maeve Priscilla of Boston

Amsale Ella

Priscilla of Boston #4206

Spring 2011 Collection – Amsale

They are all very simple dresses – not much sparkle or details and either ball gown or A-Line. I love low backs, a cinch at the waist, and I preferred sweetheart neckline. The one thing they had in common is that they were all way out of my price range. I was shooting to spend around $1500 – most of these dresses are in the $3,000-$6,000 range. HA!

I had a very short dress-shopping experience. It started with my mother and I just randomly popping into a consignment store called Renaissance Consignment by our house one day with zero expectations being that it was the first place we’d looked. I browsed the racks and picked out about 5 that I liked. One of the dresses I wasn’t that fond of on the hanger – BUT it was Carolina Herrera and had never been worn. I am a sucker for a designer gown, especially when it’s 75% off.

The first dress I tried on was about $400, I liked it, but really the belt made the dress and the belt didn’t actually come with it. I loved the style/silhouette, but the back was plain and I really wanted a jazzy back. And as snooty as this sounds, it was just TOO cheap.

First dress I semi-liked

The third dress I tried on was the Carolina Herrera. I didn’t expect to, but I definitely had ‘a moment’. It fit so well and the back was seriously show-stopping. But I didn’t like the neckline that much. I walked out and looked into the big mirror and the back just blew me away. It was enough to make me cry, but not enough to convince me it was ‘the one’ since I had only been engaged 12 days, the wedding was 1.5 years away, I had only tried on 3 dresses, and I had to decide on it immediately. So we put it on hold (for only 2 days, yikes!) and decided to go check out David’s Bridal since they had a new Vera Wang line out.

The back, seriously. OMG

The front was pretty too. And yes, I am crying here.

Let me just say to all you finicky designer label snobs like myself out there – David’s Bridal is NOT a wonderful experience service wise, but they certainly have a wide selection of very expensive looking dresses. I seriously considered 2 or 3 from there, but in the end, my heart was set on a designer label. Here’s a few I tried on below. Just my faves.

I liked this one – but it was SO trendy. Just too trendy for my taste. This was a Vera Wang White Label gown.

This was probably my favorite there – but it really had an uninspiring back and I knew a girl that had worn it before and it looked so good on her, so it kinda took the fun out of it for me.

I loved almost everything about this dress. But the belt was sewn-on and kinda chunky. Plus, no awesome back.

I loved the neckline AND the back of this dress, but it felt SO youthful, not how I wanted to feel on my very grown-up day.

Can anyone say, Cinderella? This is a Vera Wang dress also. TOO. MUCH. DRESS. I could barely walk!

So after driving back to school and having some time to really think it over, I decided that with the tiny modification to the Carolina Herrera neckline, that dress was really going to be the one. I felt like God had led me to that dress – it had NEVER been worn, had the designer label I craved, fit almost perfect, had a stunning back, had the cinch at the waist, and most importantly was marked down from $5,000 to $1,200. I called my mom, told her to go buy it, and almost immediately felt very relieved that decision was over!

THE dress.

You can kinda see the neckline modification – it made all the difference in the world for me! I’ll have better pics of my dress once the photographer finishes them up 🙂

My dress is hiked up here – but you can see the neckline!

In the end – don’t have your heart set on a specific silhouette – I absolutely did not think I wanted a dress that looked like this, but it was timeless and classic. I knew it would NEVER go out of style. Go into with an open mind and you will end up much happier! I am SO SO happy with the dress I chose and I felt like a million dollars in it.