Sharing where we got ready for our wedding, what our first look was like, my pre-wedding anxiety, and the stories behind my dress and my bridesmaids'.
After our wonderful rehearsal dinner and welcome party, the morning of our wedding was calm and chaos all at once. I had my bridesmaids to our house in John’s Island for hair and makeup and Johnny got ready with his groomsmen in the golf club locker room. I got the largest number of hair and makeup stylists I could so that my bridesmaids didn’t have to come at the crack of dawn to start getting ready 😂. I however, was up pretty early to meditate and pray before the day. I used the app Soulspace and found it so helpful for Christian-based meditation leading up to the wedding, and then of course for the day of.
When my bridesmaids arrived, I had them change into the custom floral smocked dresses I had made with our wedding print on them. In hindsight, I should have given them those dresses the day before so that they could wear them over to our house and didn’t have to carry their change of clothes. One of my best friends did this for her wedding that I was in later on that spring, and I thought this was such a smart idea. But I loved having them in easy loose smocked dresses because of the warm weather and the fact that it was really easy to get your hair and makeup done in them, and also change out of them without ruining anything.
My sweet godmother generously offered to do the catering for the morning which consisted of champagne, yogurt parfaits, chicken salad sandwiches, and loads of coffee. It felt very comforting to get ready in my home and have my parents in and out of things and my girlfriends lounging around. We had this playlist going on the TV which I have to say is one of my best works. 😂 I’ve used it a number of times for getting ready during the morning of someone’s wedding and it’s always such a hit.
We danced, we snapped photos on my sister’s Polaroid, and we hung out with Liberty and leisurely got her hair and makeup done in small groups. I had already given our hair and makeup artists the inspo for everyone’s hair and makeup, which I was really glad I did. It took out all of the decision making and stress that anyone would have to do to find their own inspo pictures and decide on their own hair and makeup for the day. Also who doesn’t look good in a classic beachy bun and warm glowy makeup with touches of soft pink?!
During the morning, I also exchanged gifts with my parents and that’s when the only tears were shed. I ended up giving my dad cufflinks at were engraved with my handwriting on them and I gave my mom pink sapphire stud earrings. My dad gave me a dainty diamond bracelet that matched the flower shaped diamond necklace that I wore of my great-grandmother’s. And my mom surprised me with the most stunning painted replica of my wedding dress material, done by my favorite artist, Kristen Tirney.
Also, someone please remind me to write a separate blog post on wedding day gifts in general– I gave each of my bridesmaids “getting ready” goodie bags with toiletries they may need throughout the day, as well as pearl earrings to wear their dresses!
Out First Look
The boys enjoyed sandwiches, spiked seltzers, and lots of bow tie adjusting, until it was time for us to meet them at the golf club, where we took our formal portraits. Right before that, I had my first look with my dad who had not seen my wedding dress, and all of my bridesmaids, who had also not see in the dress. I am such a sucker for keeping a fun secret like that and was giddy when I told them that it was called “the Amy.” After my first look with my bridesmaids, I had one of my girlfriends lead a prayer which was such a special moment. Of course someone whipped out holy water that was blessed by the Pope (who are my friends), so it was all around a sweet, holy moment.
Over at the golf club, Johnny and I read letters that we had written to each other and then had our first look in private. I know that having a first look is a polarizing subject (and I totally see both sides!), but we both felt strongly that we wanted to do it so that we could have some special, alone time together before the day got crazy. It felt so intimate, exciting, and very us, and afterwards we got to hold hands and stand side by side all giddy as we took photos. 😊
When we started taking group photos, I weirdly got the most powerful taste of copper in my mouth, and couldn’t seem to get rid of it despite sucking down numerous mints. I finally had someone go grab me a chicken salad sandwich from the club’s little cafe and I ate that in my wedding dress in between photos. I definitely got some chicken salad in the between the beaded layers of my dress… which let’s be honest, is extremely on brand.
Weeks after the wedding, when I was remembering how I had that strange taste in my mouth, I ended up Googling it and figuring out that it’s a symptom of anxiety. Though I felt at ease in the moment, my body was definitely reacting to the pressure of the day and there were moments that morning where I definitely felt like I was out of my body and weirdly numb. However, I was really intentional about being present and aware of my surroundings, so I can fortunately recall little moments very distinctly, like walking back by myself from one photo location to another, and looking up at the sky and thanking God.
Focusing on being truly present in my mind and body really allowed me to experience the day at its fullest, and taking in all of the sights and sounds. People say that your wedding day rushes by, but I really didn’t feel that way. I think that both the meditation in the morning and my dedication to being in the moment allowed me to appreciate every single second and live it as my best self.
After the formal portraits, we loaded up into buses and drove over to the First Baptist Church of Vero Beach, where we waited in the children’s nursery area as all of the guests arrived. This was the most nervous I felt during the entire day, and I remember trying to go to the bathroom and not being able to. 😂 But it all ended up fine as we put in my cathedral veil and I read my vows over one more time before walking into the church lobby.
The Story Behind My Wedding Dress
I found my wedding dress on Instagram (where else) after searching high and low at most of the bridal designers on Madison Ave (here I shared everywhere I shopped!). At first glance this dress had every single element I had been looking for (a corset top, a long train, layers of tulle, appliqué florals, a touch of sequins, detailed embroidery, and delicate beading!) and at second glance I realized the dress was literally called the ‘Amy.’ I’ve never tried to find a dress faster, but quickly learned that it was only available to try on in Tel Aviv or Paris. I happened to be going to Paris for our ‘engagement-moon’ three weeks later and as fate would have it, the designer, Dylan Parienty, had availability for me to try it on in their showroom then. I left my fiancé with a baguette and a bottle of wine and tried on the ‘Amy’ while Facetiming my mom and sister. It was clear to us all that I absolutely had to wear it. After chatting with Dylan about a few design customizations, it was made and then shipped to NYC six months later. As for my after party dress, I decided on a hot pink tulle halter dress that looked like the mini version of the dress I wore during our engagement photos in Paris during that very same trip! I paired it with vintage Chanel earrings that my sister had given me the morning of my wedding, and sparkly crystal heels adorned with bows that matched the halter bow of the dress. Johnny wore a classic black tuxedo with handsome black velvet loafers. He incorporated lots of floral and color in his rehearsal dinner outfit though, when he wore his grandfather’s vintage Lilly Pulitzer blazer with a pink dress shirt and white pants. Old school Florida style at its finest.
My Bridesmaids’ Dresses
My bridesmaids each wore a long pink dress of their choice. I had twelve bridesmaids so the assortment looked gorgeous all together— there was fuchsia, bubblegum pink, blush, you name it. I never actually got the chance to put all of their dress choices together to visualize, but it serendipitously worked out so beautifully. One of my bridesmaids was eight months pregnant during the wedding, so I was so happy she could be in the dress of her choosing (which may I add, was a pleated blush SemSem caftan with crystal buttons…). My girls also said that the hair and makeup team was the best they’ve ever experienced. They went with low knotted buns for their hair and glowy, bronzed looks for their makeup, with touches of shimmery pink of course. I’ve never seen them look so radiant!!
Getting Ready Outfit Details
Our Wedding Vendors
Church: First Baptist of Vero Beach // Reception Venue: @ji_club // Catering & Cake: @ji_club // Coordination: @annacarolineweddings // Band: @theheadlinersband // String Quartet: @lotusstringquartet // Officiant: @gracespacechristiancoaching // Tent: @sperrytents // Florals: @hutchinsonsfloral // Linens: @nuagedesignsinc, @bbjlatavola // Rentals: @achairaffair, @orlandosparklersse // Photography: @joseph.rogero // Videography: @eriksoncorbin // Dress: @dylanparientyparis (wedding), @bronxandbanco (after party) // Shoes: Jimmy Choo (wedding), @stuartweitzman (after party) // Jewelry: vintage necklace, Asha earrings (wedding), Chanel earrings (after party) // Hair & Makeup: @cindygoetzmakeupartist & @lindsaynaffzigerstylist // Stationery: @ashleyd_studio, @emilymccarthyshoppe, @anne_vallette // After Party DJ: @wearetraxxentertainment // Transportation: BTM Motorcoach