Styling a Wedding

29 Oct

First of all, I realize that this post isn’t all that relevant to about 99% of our readership (is that even possible when you have 2 readers?) but I felt kind of inspired to write it, so there you are.  Also, I’m kind of writing this also to distract myself from the hurricane.  I know lots of peeps out there (including our brother!), and my in-laws are getting pounded, and I’m trying not to worry.

When I was planning my wedding last year, I had a lot of restrictions financially, so there were some things that I didn’t get to go all out on.  However, I did have a specific idea for what I wanted that I didn’t want to compromise on, and that was the overall “style” of my wedding.  I then had to make it work based on monetary restrictions.

“Style,” especially in the context of a wedding, can include everything from the venue to the centerpieces to the food.  I suppose you could also call it a theme.  Our theme was something along the lines of “Victorian-ish Conservatory.”  But I mostly want to talk about the clothes here.

I think the one thing I really want to stress is that when you have a wedding, you don’t have to turn away from who you are or what you’re comfortable with just to fit the expected mold.  You don’t need a glittery ball gown if you don’t like glittery ball gowns.  You don’t need every groomsman in a matching neon tie if you don’t want that.  Just because people do it that way normally doesn’t mean that YOU HAVE TO do it too!

My main concern (aside from affordability) was comfort.  For one thing, I don’t like constricting dresses, especially short-sleeved ones that cut into my armpit and rub me raw.  I’m also not a fan of poofy dresses. I wore one to my junior prom and I felt ridiculous all night long.  Also, I got married in the middle of December.  It was 14 degrees when we got married.  So I wanted to be sure it was possible to stay warm, even a little bit.

SO.  I looked for a dress that fit my bill.  I couldn’t find one that really did, so I turned to the option of having the dress designed and made from scratch!  I used this company, which was actually just a girl in the area.  She worked with me closely as we talked extensively about fabrics (I have never seen so many types of lace in all my life) and measurements and everything else.  She got it done insanely quick, and I paid all of $715 for it.  And it was comfortable enough for me to wear it all night while I danced away!

This is the picture I used as design reference:


And this is the final product:


I loved all the little details, and I loved the longer sleeves (no chaffing, yay!)


To address the warmth issue, I got a coat (the aforementioned gnome coat) to wear when I could.


As for Sam, he got a tailored three-piece wool suit that was supposed to be reminiscent of a vintage era.  His tie was a dark blue paisley, instead of anything solid.  Again, anywhere I could remind people of a vintage-y feel, I took advantage.


I also didn’t want everyone to be too matchy-matchy.  Except that I was worried a little that the dresses for bridesmaids would be too different, so I made them match.  I wish now that I hadn’t.  It would’ve felt more authentic.  The groomsmen had matching blue paisley ties (different from Sam’s) and were free to wear a grey suit of whatever they had.

Anyway, my advice to anyone planning a wedding (so…none of you) is to remember three things:

1. Personal Style

2. Comfort

3. Theme (if you are into that…it’s fine if you’re not, but it gives you some direction)

Things to avoid:

1. Pleasing other people

2. Expensive things

3. Things you feel you “need” to have because “everybody” does

And there you have it.  Here are a couple of pictures of my friend’s wedding that show the “style” of her wedding.  She had a theme, which was something along the lines of “Summer Country/Cowboy Chic” or something.


Every bridesmaid wore a cream or white lace-ish dress of her choice and a pale yellow cardigan.


Bonus: she made that dress all by herself! With the help of her mom. And her grandma. 😉  Also, it was not white, but sort of cream.  Yet another example of going with what you want and what you’re comfortable with.  If everyone tells you you need white and you want cream, go for it.


I didn’t have a good picture of the whole look together, so I stole this from their Facebook…Mel, if you ever see this, don’t freak out!


2 Responses to “Styling a Wedding”

  1. Megan October 31, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    Shannon you are cute. When Rylie saw the last picture she said, “there she is again, with a farmer.” And I told her it wasn’t a farmer, it was her husband, but then she said, “her farmer husband.” She will not be swayed. Your friend is cute, too, btw.

  2. janeite42 November 1, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    Shannon, I thought your theme turned out rather well. But I never knew the theme was Victorian-ish Conservatory (which the hall did look like, by the way). I thought it was just Vintage. If I’d know, I’d have worn my Neo-Victorian outfit (without the goggles).

    Megan: you need to teach Rylie what a cowboy is.

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