After 7 years of dating and a few years of ups and downs before that… Jared and I finally tied the knot in Rockton, Illinois on August 28th. It was truly the most beautiful day of our lives. After fully soaking up the wedding, our honeymoon, and getting back into a normal routine… I’m ready to share all the details with the world.
As someone who didn’t totally LOVE wedding planning and didn’t embrace the fiance/bride life as much as I maybe should have… I’m going to change that now – even after the fact. Because I love content creation and sharing things that could be helpful to someone, somewhere… I have several blog posts planned (and maybe some videos on Instagram!) to document our wedding and help future brides. Even if you’re not a future bride, and you’re just here for the pretty pictures and details, I hope you enjoy. 🙂
So, here are all the details about my simple bridal style with a little touch of bohemian and western.
Let’s start with possibly the most important part: the dress.
To be totally honest, I didn’t love bridal dress shopping. I knew what I wanted all along, but despite it being very simple, I had a hard time finding the perfect one. I also had a hard time making the decision. Dress shopping is SO hyped up (for good reason), but I truly didn’t feel any emotional connection to the dramatic “say YES to the dress” moment. Maybe that’s partly because what I wanted was pretty simple, and I planned to make it more “me” with accessories, hair, shoes, etc.
Nevertheless, I found a dress that checked my boxes: simple, sheath, crepe, low back. It took 4 bridal appointments, scouring the internet, and actually reaching back out to one of the previous bridal shops I visited to see if they would be getting this one in their shop anytime soon. Well, it worked out pretty perfectly because the dress I found online, happened to be coming to their shop within a couple of weeks. I came back, tried it on, and said YES.
It was a simple, sweetheart neckline, spaghetti strap, and low/detailed back by Justin Alexander. I made a few extra customizations like a slit and some extra beading around the slit that matched the faint beading on the straps. I had always pictured a sheath, crepe dress but many of the ones I originally tried on were very formal and classy. While I LOVE all things formal and classy, I really wanted an element of fun. “Fun” is what I feel when I think of Jared and I’s relationship and what we wanted for our wedding, so I felt like that should be reflected in my bridal style.
Thank you to Savy’s Chic in Dixon, Illinois for providing the MOST amazing customer service, being patient with me, and helping me finally find my dream gown.
The photos truly do not do the beading on the dress justice. They had the most pretty pearlescent-opal shine to them. There was also a touch of silver in some of the detail too, so I really played that up by adding a lot of silver in my accessories. More to come on that.
The boots. So, I know the dress is supposed to be the star of the show… but wearing boots was truly one of my favorite parts of the look. I went back and forth on these a few times… I wondered if I would look too casual. I wondered if I would regret it in 5-10 years. I wondered if I would look childish or silly when some of my bridesmaids, my mom, and mother-in-law had the most GORGEOUS, sparkly, formal gowns…
But I can confidently say now that I have zero regrets. I felt *ME* that day, and that’s what every bride should feel on her wedding day.
The boots are Idyllwind by Miranda Lambert. They are silver, and the perfect amount of “worn” so they didn’t look too cheap, shiny, or “fake cowgirl”… you know what I mean?
I love them so much and plan to wear these for the rest of my life.
Anyone who wears cowboy boots knows they need to be broken in, so yes… I wore them around the house while I was cleaning and dancing around the kitchen to ensure I didn’t have major blisters on our wedding day.
The flowers. I TOTALLY underestimated how much I would love my flowers. I think working with a florist who I’ve had the pleasure to get to know and become friends with over the past few years really helped create a little more of an emotional connection to them. But, WOW, I loved these flowers so much and was so protective of them. I told Sammy at River Valley Designs that I wanted all things neutral: a lot of dried goodies, lots of texture, and a loose, draping style. It’s safe to say she nailed it. We included orchids, pampas grass, bunny tails, and more to really create something unique and beautiful.
Stay tuned for another blog post, video, or Instagram post about what I’m doing to preserve these beauties. There was no way I wasn’t going to do my best to enjoy these for years to come.
The jewelry. I got all of my jewelry and hair pins from a variety of places. Because none of them were a “set”, I was nervous that they may not look cohesive. But once again, I was pleasantly surprised by how well it all came together: even with blending pearls, opal, silver, and diamonds. Here are some links to all of my accessories if you want to check them out:
Hand chain (right hand): HERE
Hair pins: HERE
Bracelet (left wrist): My bridesmaid Talia lent me her grandmother’s diamond bracelet as my “Something Borrowed”.
The nails. Another one of those “little things” I wrestled with and went back and forth on. I originally thought I’d do either a french tip with a touch of silver to tie in with my accessories OR ombre nails. I even did a poll on my Instagram Stories where I had hundreds and hundreds of people vote for their favorite. Well, curve ball… I did neither of those. Haha! I instead went with a simple white, oval shape. The highlight of my nails was really the opal-shimmer placed on top of the white. It looked so pretty and bridal, especially in the sunlight. You can’t really tell in the photo above, but check out this photo from our honeymoon to see what the shimmer looked like in direct sunlight.
I got them done by Jane at her salon: 2850 Milwaukee Rd. in Beloit, WI.
*Shoutout to my sister and MOH, Damaris, for giving me the idea at the last second to add the shimmer… I’m so glad I did.
The makeup. I had the one and only, Annetta Michelle, do my bridal makeup as well as the rest of the girls: my 8 bridesmaids, my mom, and my mother-in-law. That’s right… She did 11 full makeup applications back to back. What a powerhouse.
I’ll leave most of the makeup details to her, because she created a really cute Instagram Reel with my before and after as well as some of the product details. Check it out HERE.
Many of the products she used (and I use on a daily basis) are from her own makeup line, The Collection. Check out their website for cruelty-free, fragrance-free, high-quality makeup.
The hair. Michelle Thanos at Haute the Luxe Beauty House has been doing my hair color for the past year or so as I’ve been keeping up with blonde, bronde, and everything in between. I’m really happy I ended up doing a “happy medium” between brown and blonde for the wedding because it actually felt very natural, blended, and summer-y which was perfect for our August wedding.
Kristen Altamore did my bridal hairstyle, which is where I really played into the “bohemian” look. We did textured, beachy curls, a fishtail braid on each side to pull half of my hair up, as well as 2-3 tiny braids scattered through the rest of my hair to add more of a fun element. I was obsessed. The hairpins we added in the back really took it to the next level and made it a little more glam/bridal. Although my hair was attacked by humidity and sweat by the time our reception started… my hair was absolutely one of my favorite parts of this look. You can find a more detailed photo of my bridal hair trial on Kristen’s Instagram.
If you made it to the end, you’re my people. I know this was a long one and I’m glad you loved reading about all the details. There is so much more to come, so while you’re here… make sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter (at the bottom of this page) and following along with me on Instagram and Facebook so you don’t miss the next one.
OUR AMAZING WEDDING VENDORS
Hair style @hairbykristenlicari_
Hair color @michellethanoshair @haute_theluxebeautyhouse
Spray tan @coco_spray_artist
Rings @psdesignsfinejewelry @manlybands
Mr. & Mrs. Jobes Letters @alphalitchicago