This week marked six (SIX) months since I married my amazing husband, so I figured to get back in the swing of things, I’d blog about that! Although not strictly made-by-me related, I did plan everything myself, and put a lot of handmade touches into the ceremony and reception. Plus, to anyone as interested in dresses as I am, there’s a really cool dress to oogle at.
The Dress + Headpiece
I mean, come on. If you’re anything like me, you’ve thought about wedding dresses whether or not you actually planned to get married or ever wear one. After trying a LOT of them on, I can tell you that most of them are works of art on their own. The amount of time and effort that went into creating my wedding dress was something I just couldn’t get over. I very briefly thought about making my own dress, but pretty quickly decided that I just wasn’t up to the task. Personally, I’m really into little details on clothes, so I knew I wanted something really, really detailed going into it. There was just no way I would have been able to make the dress, and still be sane enough to walk down the aisle! I also ended up with a dress that was totally different than what I had envisioned when I set out. I was really thinking strapless, corseted, ballgown. I ended up with a high-necked, low-backed, mermaid dress with a train.
Speaking of which, let’s talk about undergarments for a second. If you’re large-busted, start looking for something to wear under that dress like 3 months before the wedding at least. I had to order online since my size/style wasn’t carried in any store I tried in person, and it took a lot of ordering, returning, and re-ordering to find something that worked for me.
Anyway, my dress was seriously a work of art. The lace is pretty much a separate dress from the under-layer. They are attached at the zipper, but otherwise completely separate. The lace is really more of an embroidered tulle, with areas that are hand-stitched on (neckline, hem, waist, and entire illusion back). It was constructed in 3 pieces so the waistband could easily be moved for alterations. Perfect for my massive swayback and super-short torso! The hem band was also removable, which meant when they hacked off 4 inches from the bottom, I got to keep the pretty hem! The under-layer dress is a structured mermaid dress in organza and about 90 million other fabrics from what I could tell. I ended up bustling it separately from the lace to give it some flow, and it all moved really well on the dance floor.
My headpiece was another work of art. I saw and fell in love with the silver myrtle-leaf headpieces worn in Europe in the 20s and 30s and really, really wanted something similar. There were a couple on Etsy, but I wasn’t sure they would fit, and wanted something that would go all the way around my head, not just in the front. I stumbled upon Anna Marguerite on Etsy, and had her make something custom for me. She was a joy to work with, and I got exactly what I wanted. In looking at her site now, she actually has something exactly like what I ordered, so if you’re in the market for a myrtle leaf circlet, you’re in luck.
We got married at an old estate outside of Chicago. The estate currently doubles as a nature preserve, which was amazing, since we got to escape to the woods to take some photos after the ceremony.
I really, really wanted an outdoor wedding and reception, so we truly lucked out with the weather. The house was part of our package, but it was just too small to hold all of our guests. If it had rained, we would have been stuck under the pavilion, which would have still been nice, but would have really cut into our dancing space.
The estate itself has been there since the late 1920s. Again, a match made in heaven for me and all my art-deco obsession. Long before I ever met my husband, my love for art-deco jewelry began. He was smart enough to find the perfect engagement ring, still engraved from the original owners, who had the same first initials when they married in 1924. I was lucky enough to inherit my great-grandmother’s wedding band from when she married my great-grandfather in 1937. Together they are a match made in heaven.
We were married under a gazebo in the “preserve” part of the estate. It’s literally over a bridge and through the woods from the main house. One of our closest friends became a minister of the church of the internet and performed the ceremony. We borrowed most of it from Justice Kennedy’s beautiful words legalizing same-sex marriage in the US 2 years ago. You can read the whole thing here, but my favorite parts are:
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. Marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death…Marriage responds to the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there. It offers the hope of companionship and understanding and assurance that while both still live there will be someone to care for the other.”
We seated our guests outside under lots of twinkly lights, danced to an 8-piece New Orleans Jazz band, and ate some serious southern cooking and pie. We entered the reception with a second-line. If you’ve never seen one, there are lots of videos on YouTube, I’m sure. It’s basically a parade of wedding guests and the band, and in New Orleans it’s typically done on the street. If you’ve ever been there on a warm weekend, you’ve probably seen one. It was our way of paying homage to New Orleans, which we both agree is one of the greatest cities in the world.
We didn’t have a wedding cake, because I don’t like cake. We did, however, have a wedding pie, and it was glorious. Initially, I was a little bummed because the second week of July is usually a little too late for strawberry-rhubarb in Illinois, but we lucked out and it all came in a bit late last summer.
We potted the succulents the week before the wedding, and my wonderful sister-in-law and her gorgeous handwriting made everyone’s name card. The pitchers are molds from 1940s depression glass from BHLDN and match the actual depression glass on the dessert and guest book table. The guest book was really more of a wall-hanging, and it’s now above our bed.
I’ll leave details for everything I can think of below, and let the pictures do the rest of the talking!
If you’re also trying to get married in the Chicago area, or want to know where the decor came from, here are the details:
Venue + Reception: The Redfield Estate // Flowers: May Floral //Hair: Livia Caporale // Makeup: Traci Fine //Photography: This is Feeling // Dress: Adalynn from BHLDN // Shoes: Kate Spade // Rings: Antique // Headpiece: Anna Marguerite// Belt: BHLDN // Bridesmaid dresses: Purchased on their own! // Pie: Hoosier Mama //Pitchers + Cake Plates: Mosser Glass // Succulents+Pots: Say I Do Succulents // Paper Goods: Wedding Paper Divas // Cake Topper: Jolie En Rose Vintage // Guest Book: Red Heart Creations// Catering: Catered by Design // Reception Musicians: Four Star Brass Band // Sign Posts: True Connection