As a little girl I used to dream of shopping for my wedding gown, trying on racks upon racks of beautiful dresses with my mom and an entourage of bridesmaids. An aspiring fashion designer, I even sketched a few drawings of my dream dress -a scoop neck mermaid gown with spaghetti straps and about fifteen pounds of beading.
Fast forward 23 years and here’s how it really happened.
While taking a quick coffee break between seeing patients at my clinical internship last summer, one of my girlfriends text messaged me about a flash bridal sale online. Walking back to the dietitians office with a latte in one hand and my phone in another, I quickly scrolled through a few pages of heavily discounted gowns when one caught my eye. It was perfect.
There was no scouring of dress rack after dress rack in a bridal boutique, no enourage of bridesmaids or even my mother to give me her nod of approval. The gown was 64% off, final sale and a size smaller than I’d typically feel comfortable ordering but I took the chance and purchased the gown on my iPhone right then and there. This Badgley Mishka dress had the romantic, vintage feel I envisioned for Italy and much to my surprise it fit like a glove.
I immediately called my mom and, with tears in my eyes, told her I had found my wedding dress. I then asked her to make a special trip to North Carolina to help me pick out a veil. That was the first time she saw me in my wedding dress. I’ll never forget though, the first time we both saw me as a bride.
I got ready at my parents villa with a few of my best girlfriends. We sipped champagne and got prettied up. Most important about my look was that I actually look like myself. I tackled my own makeup while my best friend and Maid of Honor, Katie, teased and pinned my hair into a low chignon. I took a few photos with my grandmother’s cameo and slipped on my small, teardrop earrings.
The moment I was ready, the skies opened up. Apparently wedding day rain is a sign of fortune in Italy. Italians also rarely start anything on time so I took this moment of fortune to slip in one last prosecco toast with my parents and Maid of Honor.
Having to wait out the storm only made me even more excited to see my groom at the altar in his black suit.
Lucky for us the skies cleared just in time for us to walk out of the church.
Photography by Rochelle Cheever | Bride Details: Dress and shoes by Badgley Mischka; Veil by Toni Federici; Earrings by Kate Spade New York, Makeup by Tarte and Chanel
Next up: Wedding Week – The Ceremony
You look amazing Elle. Congratulations again, such a beautiful wedding!
You looked gorgeous and what a dream wedding you had! I got the exact same dress from Ruelala for my wedding last year. I ordered two different dresses in two different sizes. It was funny picking up four wedding dresses at UPS.
I’m loving the recaps of your wedding. The photography is just gorgeous!
I love reading about such a laid-back bride! Your wedding is pretty much what I want mine to be…a beautiful location and the people closest to us :) Love your dress…it suits you perfectly! :)
Elle, your pictures are absolutely gorgeous! You were a stunning bride!
Gorgeous photos and a gorgeous bride! Can’t wait to see more!
Everything is gorgeous! I love the incorporation of the succulents in the bouquet.
Absolutely stunning, Elle! The dress is perfect, and I love the villa setting–so romantic!
You look gorgeous, Elle. Love the whole look….!
that veil… what a stunning bride you were!
These turned out amazing! It is so special remembering getting ready in your villa and seeing you get ready for your special day. So excited to see the rest, you look so amazing!
So pretty and seems low key! I love the window pictures with the rain drops.
so exciting! lovely dress. i am getting married next month and am even more pumped now that i’ve read this!
Simply gorgeous! Your dress was beautiful. Can’t wait to see more pictures of your wedding.
Gorgeous dress, shoes, flowers, pictures – everything! And Italy is such a picturesque place to get married. Thanks for sharing this!
What a gorgeous dress! I am so happy to read this post – I did the same thing as you. I purchased my wedding gown on flash sale, along with my reception dress – both a size larger than I normally would order. Once the first one was altered, it fit me like a glove. People look at me like I have 10 heads when I tell them I bought my dress sight unseen but I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. Congrats on a beautiful wedding!!
Wow your dress is gorgeous!! I’ve only been engaged for a week but I’ve already been thinking about my dress too. All my friends and family are scattered all over the country and I don’t think I will be having any try-ons at a bridal boutique either. It looks like your wedding was incredibly special and you look stunning!
Thanks! And a huge congrats to you on your new engagement. Enjoy it, time flies!
your dress is so you!! i love that the dress is fancy, yet to took a casual approach to hair and make-up – beautiful! i am excited for the next wedding post!
Sorry to be repetitive of everyone else but…stunning! Hate to wait for the rest!
These are gorgeous pictures. Your wedding looks like it was tailor made for you guys, which is exactly how a wedding should be in my opinion! Congratulations again :)
Oh my gosh!!! ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS. You are glowing. Love, love love.
Beautiful and Stunning!