Happy almost Valentines Day! I saved this post just for that 🙂 Being that my husband and I are both photographers and it’s the main reason why we started up a conversation in the first place, we had discussed photographing one another on our wedding day. The images of me were taken by Alex and the images of Alex were taken by me! I’m glad we followed through with it. Thanks to my best friend Sara for helping me get ready and move my dress around! Love you! Although blogging makes it easy to share photos with family and friends, I’m not simply posting these photos for posting sake! I wanted to talk about a few tips and tricks I used on my wedding day that could possibly help someone else planning their big day. I realize that I’m doing this a bit backwards, so for reference, check out my first wedding post for visuals >>here<< I’ll be writing throughout this post.Monique Monique Lhuillier shoes were purchased online at a website called My Glass Slipper. A perfect selection for Bridal and designer Bridal shoes. I found mine at half off, which was still pricey, but because my dress cost was so low, I splurged. >>Here << is a similar style I found online. As far as I looked, the peep-toe style is no longer available. Invitations purchased at >>Minted<< I have to say the costumer service was wonderful and printing the addresses as a complementary service was a nice touch. The selection of fonts they give as options was great – simple, clean and exactly what we were hoping for. The quality of the invitation and envelope did not disappoint. I also searched a coupon using Google and got 20% my entire order.
Like any girl, we all want to be wearing a designer gown on our wedding day, yet not all of us can afford to spend 3-10k on a wedding gown. But we all deserve to feel beautiful, right?!
My wedding dress was in a closet in my mothers house for 2-3 years and I never knew it. I saw it hanging there many times, I just never knew that it was mine, because it wasn’t at the time. It had belonged to my sister who purchased it on clearance at a bridal store that was closing . She saw a Pronovias gown for a extremely low cost and went for it. Totally something us Polito girls are famous for, finding the deals. No plans for a wedding, but who could pass that up? One day when planning a bridal shoot, I thought maybe I could use that dress hanging in the closet for the shoot. My model/best friend then yelled at me to use that dress for my own wedding dress. It was a size 12, I’m a zero and the cut/fit wasn’t anything I had imagined I’d be wearing when I got married! But we pinned and altered to imagine it. The Spanish lace was undeniably beautiful and so so soft and delicate. It seemed worth a try.
What. a. trial. Literal blood (yes, I was pricked) sweat and just a few tears of relief when it was all over. I took the dress to Meredith’s Bridal Salon and met the most amazing seamstress/fairy-god mother. A sweet kind-hearted older woman who made my dreams come true. She worked SO HARD. She took the sleeves from being upright and made them off the shoulder, she changed the neckline from a V to scoop, she took the dress from an A line to mermaid, she added crinoline in the lining to add some poof, she folded the back to make it a low V instead of well, just a high zip, and after ALL of that, my mother sewed Etsy purhcased lace applique on the back. PHEW. We together, had basically turned it into and entirely different dress.
It was easy for me to go in and out of those appointments, but I did fret often if she would be able to do it right. I took a gamble. The last time I went in for a fitting she zipped it up and it was perfect! My gloves and garter (garter not seen in pictures) were purchased off of Etsy. I found my veil at a consignment shop as I randomly strolled by. I saw the price tag and nearly fainted, but this time because of how low the cost was! $45. Cathedral veils are PRICEY. I had literally hit the jack pot. All together with the shoes, veil, dress alterations and accessories I spent under $800
I skipped purchasing flowers for the arch, aisle and back of our seats and went ahead and used some faux flowers from Hobby Lobby. I figured the ceremony was going to be about 30 minutes and the cost to fill the arch with real flowers was steep. The flowers that matter to me the most were the table setting, and both mine and the girls bouquets. I wanted a clean look for the aisle so I rented two big stone planters ($9 each) and filled them each with flowers from Lowe’s (also $9 each.) The faux flowers for the arch cost me $35 all together when I used my Hobby Lobby app coupon, which is almost always available (40% off.) There was A LOT that I purchased over renting. I ordered all of my linens >>here<< banquet size for $13 each. The lowest rental cost I could find was $23 plus shipping and a deadline. I purchased gold chargers for the table settings which were $1.20 each with the lowest rental cost at $1.50. The arch was on sale at Lowe’s, the vases for the flowers >>here<< and then sprayed them the right gold colour, see DIY post for instruction >>here<<. They were also the best price I could find. With every site I ordered from, I first googled the company and the phrase coupon codes. This saved me so much money and I was provided with free shipping every time. I know I’m jumping through everything, but there’s a lot, so if you have any questions, just leave them in the comments and I’ll help you out!The natural delicious smelling soaps from the Soap Bakery are what I used for my favours. You can’t lose with Rosie’s soaps! They truly are a crowd pleaser. Everyone loves them and will definitely find use for them. I selected two different scents so my guests had option. One was classy coconut, the other peach pretty which is my ABSOLUTE favorite. I use the Soap Bakery’s product on a day to day bases, so it was easy for me to choose the soap selection as my party favor. Oh – and not to mention, the owner is my mother and she’s great 🙂 I chose skipping the stylist and doing my own hair for two reasons. One because my hair is a bit unruly and I’ve had only one positive experience at the salon (Tops Salon!!!) Reason two was the wedding was in Florida. Outdoors. By the water. Whatever style I chose was going to fall out in about thirty minutes and I was fully aware of this. Sad, but true. At least I didn’t spend anything! Girls, if you’re thinking about doing your own hair, go for it! Just research product online and make a lot of time for yourself. I recommend being alone with some calm music before your bridesmaids start coming over. I didn’t feel rushed or stressed at all this way. Side note: I did have my bridesmaids hair done by my friend Emily who is a hair stylist because I didn’t want them to feel stressed out and not knowing what to do the day of, so that’s really up to the preference of your girls!
My husband is 6’6 and I didn’t think finding a well fitted suit for him would be easy, but I loved his selection. He ordered his suit online from a company called Indochino. The way Indochino works, is they’ll custom make a suit for you, based on your measurements that you upload to their website. Their measurements are very thorough, not just general pant and jacket sizes. With your first suit they also offer a complimentary remake if it isn’t just right. Alex had ordered from them before, so his measurements were stored on file. All he had to do was select the suit he wanted, and it was custom made for him. (Suit cost $399.)
Grooms shoes by Steve Madden purchased at Towne Shoes in Vancouver, Canada. Also found by simply walking by the store.Make-up however, I was paying for! Make-up will last under a lot of conditions and I wanted it to look professional. Plus, Brianna Gonzalez, is so affordable for her skill level. If you’re looking for a make-up artist that does a gorgeous natural look, while still making you look like the best version of yourself, and a little more special than the everyday, SHE’S YOUR GIRL. She applied make up on all three of my bridesmaids and they all looked beautiful!I’ll wrap this whole thing up with this: if you’re going for a specific look on your wedding day that you always dreamed of, but don’t want to break the bank, it IS possible. You just have to open your mind and think of ways you can make it happen! I realized not everyone has an easy time on the creative side, but luckily there are blogs and research you can do. After I purchased everything, I sold close to all of it after the wedding. Not only did I save a ton, but I made the money back!
Now, you have to consider this is all work on your plate. The reason I was able to research and take my time with a low amount of stress was because my planning phase was over a process of eleven months. I was prepared way a head of time and found myself able to relax and enjoy my family when it came to the week of the wedding. So if you can give yourself more time, I HIGHLY recommend so. In the beginning stages my friends and family told me to relax and that I had plenty of time, but I made sure to get everything finished as SOON as possible because I wanted time to relax and enjoy my soon to be husband.