19 Apr 2019

Wedding Diaries - Bridal Looks


 After having shared various preparation tidbits along the way in blog posts throughout the year, it's with great excitement that I write this first wedding post in which I reveal my wedding dress! I'm sure many of you have been anticipating this post with bated breath. I figured I'd start with my bridal look, seeing as fashion is the main topic of this blog, but will also be writing other wedding posts to cover the epic and surreal January day! Let's start at the very beginning.

THE DRESS

The thing I looked forward to the most during the wedding planning process was undoubtedly shopping for THE dress! I mean, even if I was not one to daydream about getting married, wedding dress shopping was definitely at the top of my list. Knowing that ordering and alterations can take some time, I figured the sooner I got on it the better. I really wanted to share this experience with my mom, but was not down with having a whole entourage. I also asked my sister if she would come along, but she was not interested. We have very different styles and it's just not her scene. She participated in so many other ways that I was OK with her not being there. I did however ask one of my dear friends to tag along in her place. I knew my mom would be in town one weekend and booked three fitting appointments in boutiques. I must have tried on 30 dresses in one day! My friend was taking notes in my trusty notebook while I really appreciated my mom's styling opinions. I'm a very decisive person and knew which silhouette best suited my figure so we were just flying through the fittings. It was a very productive day and that's the day I found THE one! All three of us knew it!



I didn't buy it then and there because it was a big purchase and I wanted to sleep on it. Well, I slept on it for a week and couldn't get it out of my head! I booked another appointment the following weekend hoping it would still be there. The boutique in question is off-the-rack and only carries sample or designer dresses. It really was a great find because the price-point and quality ratio was the best I'd seen anywhere. My mom couldn't come this time, so I brought along another friend. We actually went to a different nearby boutique for more fittings just to confirm that I had really found the one. (I wanted to be certain!) Once back at the first boutique, I put on the dress for the second time and it confirmed that I had found it! My friend validated and I left the boutique, dress in tow this time. That's right, I did all fittings and purchased my wedding dress in the span of a week. Talk about productive! The feeling of leaving a store with your actual dress is unreal. I had it hanging in my closet for 15 months before the big day! It was a relief knowing that such a pivotal piece was in place. My dress was the Alba style by Sottero and Midgley and I purchased it at Renewed with Love Bridal.


I love everything about this dress! I knew that I didn't want white because it would clash with the snow, so this champagne hue was sublime. It also complemented my skin tone perfectly, meaning I did not need to get a tan before my wedding day (not that I normally tan in the winter). The A-line silhouette, accenting the waist, was exactly was I was looking for. I decided to add a sparkly belt to my dress to further accent the waist and give it even more sparkle. The dual plunging V necklines were both dramatic and alluring. I didn't want anything too modest, but still wanted to look classic and timeless. I also wanted something that was not trendy and that would age well. I want to be able to look back at my wedding photos without them wreaking of a bad fashion choice. With the shape and style of the dress relatively tame, I love that the beading and detailing was over the top! The lace appliqués and the cascading beading really brought the wow factor. The shimmering of the dress with every movement was mesmerizing and made me think of the way snow shimmers and shines in the light. It's both unique and timeless! I had found the dress of my dreams and have never second-guessed my choice!



The dress fit so well it only required minimal alterations (i.e.: the hem and bustle). This is where I pull out the ace I'd been keeping up my sleeve. I had made contact with a local designer a few months prior to my engagement and had really connected with him. When I suggest we finally meet in person, I found out that he is my high-school friend's partner! Such a small world! We became instant friends and share a passion for fashion like non other. I've seen some of his runway pieces first-hand and they are works of art! I had originally wanted him to make my wedding dress, but when I showed him a picture of the one I wanted, along with the price-tag, he admitted that he wouldn't be able to make it for that. He wholeheartedly approved of my dress choice and agreed to do my alterations. I was confident in my decision to entrust him with my precious dress.

THE COAT

Knowing I would be getting married outside (in the winter) and that my dress had no sleeves, I knew I needed some kind of covering. I wanted to stay far away from the typical fur stoles frequently used for winter weddings and go for something practical. Yes, practicality was a recurring theme in our wedding planning process. I wanted to reuse as many things as possible to justify the purchases. When discussing with my designer extraordinaire, we settled on a bespoke coat. Simple enough, but I liked the idea of a coat because I would most definitely wear that again.




I wanted a silhouette that would complement the dress, but not be too extravagant. Truth be told, we pared back quite a bit from the original inspiration for the coat. We had a lot going on in the first design and decided to streamline and go for something classic. The theme for the wedding was also very rustic, so I liked the thought of a shape and style reminiscent of the turn of the century, but with a modern take. I absolutely adore the fit and flare shape, the statement collar (the underside is lined in the same fabric as the bridesmaid dresses), the bell sleeves, the removable sash and the asymmetrical buttons. The button holes were even hand stitched! The craftsmanship and attention to detail in this piece is breathtaking. I plan on wearing this special coat for years to come. I already got a few more wears out of it this past winter and I'm reminded of our special day every time I put it on. There is something to be said about the memories a piece of clothing can evoke.



This is my very first bespoke piece and I don't regret the investment one bit! We've been calling it my princess coat because it reminds me a bit of the dress coats the Duchess of Cambridge wears. However, I think the part I like most is just how perfectly the coat brought my vision to life! I mean, you'd swear some of these pictures were taken in the 1900s! The Filles de Caleb vibes are strong! You don't get any more French Canadian than that!

THE DETAILS

For the accessories, I will work from the ground up, starting with the footwear. I actually decided on two pairs of shoes for the big day, big surprise! I knew that with an outdoor winter wedding, stilettoes were out of the question. Knowing how much I love and wear my Hunter boots, I decided to invest in another pair. Just being practical again! With deep plum being part of the colour scheme for the wedding, that's the colour I wanted. I actually lucked out big time with these because I randomly found the new quilted style, in my size, at Marshall's for a steel! If I recall correctly, I paid only $120 instead of the retail $250 before taxes. I was validated in my choice because it was storming big time on our wedding day!



The following pair of shoes were to be my indoor/dancing shoes. I came across these plaid beauties on clearance at J. Crew during the holidays and scooped them up. I knew the block heel and ankle strap would be comfortable and stay put all night long. I have a few pairs of shoes in this style and absolutely adore them. Being the plaid lover that I am, I couldn't resist this pair! Bonus: they have a silver glitter sole! They were the perfect party shoes and I can't wait to wear them again during the next festive season. Always trying to find things I will get more than one wear out of.




Because the dress was so detailed, I wanted to keep my jewelry simple. I chose to wear classic hanging pearl earrings. I really wanted pearls because the shade would complement the dress really well and keep in line with the rustic, timeless feel of the day. I mean, pearls are classic for a reason! I chose a drop style because I knew I wanted an updo and that I would not be wearing a necklace. The other piece of jewelry I wore was my mom's pearl bracelet. It was given to her by my dad for one of the children's births (not sure exactly which one anymore.) It meant a lot to me to wear a family piece.


My sister played a big role in the next part: the hair! Those who have been following me for a while will know that my sister is also my hairdresser. The moment I got engaged, I knew without a doubt that she would be doing my hair. We had been preparing my hair in the run-up to the wedding and discussed ad nauseam what style of updo I was looking for. I toyed with the idea of donning a tiara for a long time, but my sister had reservations about that. We decided that we'd go try some on to get an idea. She was right. No matter what we tried on, they always ended up looking tacky or cheap. In the back of my mind, I had always thought that my wedding day would be my only chance to wear a tiara, but I quickly realized it was just a dream. To be honest, after shopping for tiaras, I came to the conclusion that unless you are wearing the real deal, or are willing to spend a small fortune on getting a custom piece made, they would never hold a candle to the crown jewels. I say leave the tiaras to the real princesses!



Having had my reality check, we turned our attention to other hair piece options. Having my hairdresser shop that accessory with me was a godsend because she knows what is feasible and what isn't. After all, I wanted to pick something she could work with. We settled on a pearled hair comb. The comb is a great option because it's a versatile piece that can be worn many different ways. Even though we had a few hair trials, we knew that if the style ended up changing on the big day, we'd still be able to use the hairpiece. I also got really lucky and ended up getting it at 70% off!


For my outdoor look, I also chose to wear fur earmuffs. This was a bit tricky and one of the final details I picked. Luckily, my sister was able to work with that and create an updo that would feature the beautiful hairpiece and accommodate big fluffy earmuffs. She really is a champ! We decided on a full updo because I think they look elegant and sophisticated. I also knew I'd be wearing a coat and changing a few times, so wanted my hair out of the way. I also vetoed the veil option because it didn't make sense with the coat and everything else. Besides, it would have been a disaster blowing in the snow storm... Happy I decided not to wear one!


Last but not least, let's talk make-up! I also lucked out in this department because one of my sister's best friends is a talented make-up artist. She put us in touch with one another, we had a trial run and totally hit it off! I had gathered inspiration photos on Pinterest and we decided to try out two different looks during the trial. Yes, it looks a bit odd, but it really helps if you are undecided between a couple options. Even though I don't wear a ton of make-up daily, I do like it and am not afraid of doing something bold. I ended up going with a purple smoky eye, winged liner and bold berry lip. It's not a far stretch from my usual winged liner and bold lip, but it's the full-on glam version. I know how important good make-up is for photos and I was over the moon with my final bridal look! It was also really awesome having my sister and her friend tag-team the glam for my wedding. They make such a great team! I highly recommend them if you are in the area!

THE FIRST LOOK

The big reveal; the moment of truth. Although my husband and I got ready separately, we knew we wanted to do a first look. We had discussed it with our photographer and wanted it to be a special and private moment just between us. We opted to have this moment before the ceremony, to make the most of the precious winter daylight. I'm so happy we decided to do it this way! We got to spend some one on one time before the day really amped up. We did our pictures at the bed and breakfast where we were staying because it's just such a gem of a place and the décor was spot on with the theme and vibe of our big day. These are definitely some of my favourite pictures, our photographer captured some really special feelings!






My husband had not seen my dress at all. Even thought it was in the closet for over a year, he never sneaked a peek. Now that is trust right there! After all, he didn't want to ruin the surprise and boy was he happy he didn't! His reaction upon seeing me is the best and totally gave me goose bumps! He was so moved and overwhelmed by the reveal. He kept saying how amazing I looked over and over (even days and weeks after the wedding!) I was just as thrilled that he loved it and did a little spin to really show off the sparkle. I mean, he thinks I look great in my flannel pyjamas, but I don't think he ever could have imagined just what I'd look like on our wedding day. I felt and looked like a real princess marrying her prince charming.  




COMING UP

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I did writing it. I'm working on another blog post in which I talk about the ceremony, the venue, the music, the menu... I still have so much to tell! Keep your eyes peeled for the next chapter!








Photos by Christine Reid Photography. Used with permission. 

Bride's Look

Dress: Sottero and Midgley | Coat: Aragon Couture | Boots: Hunter | Shoes: J. Crew | Earrings: Orostar | Bracelet: (my mom's) | Hair piece: Vivah | Earmuffs: Kyi Kyi (Nordstrom) | Engagement ring: Tacori | Wedding bands: La Maison d'Or       



Groom's Look


Shirt: Tip Top | Pants: Lauren Ralph Lauren | Bowtie: Tip Top | Cuff links: Tip Top | Hat: Crown Cap | Shoes: West and Vine | Boots: The North FaceCoat: Banana Republic | Wedding band: La Maison d'Or


     
Vendors
Bridal boutique: Renewed with Love Bridal
Hair stylist: Marie-Josée Lebel
Make-up artist: Kassandra Pereira
Designer: Eric Hernandez (Aragon Couture)
Photographer: Christine Reid Photography

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