I’m going to tell it like it is: nothing made me feel less in the mood to get married than shopping for The Dress. Some girls get goosebumps just stepping into a bridal salon. Some girls hear chords from above when they try on The One. I was not one of those girls. Dress-shopping was the opposite of a fairy-tale for me. More like a morality tale featuring evil, judgmental salespeople trying their best to make me feel too large (“curvy” and “broad,” they said, shaking their heads and sighing) and unsophisticated to wear their gowns. I finally flew my sister down from North Carolina to help me make the final decision, desperately in need for a second opinion and someone who actually knew me to be in the room. I already had a favorite by the time she arrived, and when I stepped out into it – after a morning of trying on dozens of other gowns for her – she called it like she saw it: “This is the only dress that’s made you grin all day.”
I’m a fan of grinning, and my sister was right – the dress was light as air and felt like me. It referenced the beach with a scalloped halter neckline, had a vintage feel thanks to its beautiful lace, had a bit of sweetness with raw silk ribbons woven into the waist and straps, but felt quite modern because of the slim cut. It was Monique Lhuillier’s “Fabiana,” and it was the only one that I felt relaxed wearing, excited, even. Here I am wearing The One at the salon. No chords from above, but a lot of laughter with my sister instead, and that was all I needed.
I ordered the dress in white to coordinate with the beach and Trevor’s seersucker. His suit was something we were thrilled about; it belonged to his late grandfather and fit him like a glove. We found a tailor who modernized the fit a bit, turning the triple-pleated pants into flat fronts. We decided on a navy linen tie and a red and white gingham pocket square in lieu of a boutonniere. The result was dashing, completely beachy-handsome!
I’m an unabashed lover of shoes, and must admit: I enjoyed shopping for my perfect, to-die-for red shoes about a million times more than shopping for my dress. I ended up with a pair that were take-your-breath-away gorgeous.
Not one to be outdone, Trevor needed fun shoes, too. He found them in saddle shoes, which are perfect for seersucker, it turns out.
We completed our looks with the help of Etsy. I chose a custom-made hairpiece from Smitten instead of a veil, and Trevor had cufflinks made by blockpartypress.
So what about the rest of the wedding party? Let’s twist tradition and start with the men. The groomsmen wore stone khaki suits, the same tie as Trevor, bold checked shirts, red and white polka dot pocket squares, white bucs, and of course… fun socks!
We decided early on that the ladies would wear navy blue halter cotton dresses. Shortly after the visit where my sister helped me decide on my dress, she found out she was pregnant – and that her due date was six days after the wedding! Given the cut of the dress, we decided to just exchange her dress for one two sizes larger and bring on a seamstress at the end if necessary. As it turned out, we didn’t even have a stitch resewn, and she even rocked her outrageously fun bridesmaids shoes all night long!
Last but not least, take a look at the precious dress we found for my two-year-old niece Taylor, who was our flower girl. Is this girl fit for a beach wedding or what?
Coming up next: The first glimpse!
(professional photos by Julie Dreelin of Beach Productions)