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Open Thread: Style Conundrums


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

Open Thread: Style Conundrums | A Practical Wedding

This morning I prattled on about taking fashion risks for your wedding. And while I might go a little riskier now, I certainly didn’t play it safe for our wedding. And that means that exactly four years ago, I was up to my ears in last minute fashion dilemmas. (Did I mention I only decided on my dress six weeks before the wedding? Yeah. That happened.) There were the shoes that I finally pulled out of my closet to wear (after ESB did some serious shopping on my behalfI’m still a little mad I didn’t buy these). There was the hair flower that I made at the very last second, when I realized my plan to make a veil really should have involved some more… uh… planning (and that a veil didn’t work with the dress anyway). And then there was the jewelry question, and that one I never figured out. What kind of necklace would have looked good with my dress? And why the hell didn’t I buy myself a wedding clutch that I could have for always, anyway?

So this open thread is for your style questions. Are you debating taking a risk but want some outside opinions on if it’s a good choice? Do you need some help shoe shopping? Trying to figure out the jewelry situation? Or hell. Do you just have a day to day sartorial question that you could use some crowd-sourced wisdom on?

We’re here to help. Let’s get our shop on, this Tuesday afternoon.

Photo: Me on my wedding day by One Love Photo

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • MOE

    hurry up, I’m waiting to give out advice. :)

  • Kats

    Shoes! Outdoor wedding, floor length dress, looking for flats/comfortable/can dance in them/but not frumpy. Bridesmaids are wearing navy; flowers are something burnt orangey/dark red ish. I looked at Tom’s but they didn’t seem to quite fit, and I’ll walk right out of flip-flops. Any suggestions before I go old school and wear a pair of Converse?

    • Rachel

      If you can splurge a bit, I love my Tory Burch flats. They were a “you got your first real job” gift from my mom in 2008 and they’re still going strong. So comfy and you can wear them again and again after the wedding.

      I’m also currently loving all kinds of oxfords for women…like these and these fancy ones!

      • Ashley

        Tieks! I’m wearing california navy ones. THE MOST COMFORTABLE SHOES EVER!!

        http://tieks.com/

        • GA

          Agreed. I’m wearing them in Cobalt blue with art deco rhinestone shoe clips from the 1930s to dress them up. LOVE THEM.

        • Corrie

          YES. I second this. I have the tangerine Tieks. Got my first pair 2 years ago and I wear them all the time, plus bring them everywhere because they fold up small. The more you wear them, the comfier they get. Tieks usually posts a promo code around the holidays, which seems to be the only time they put them on sale. I have to (embarrassingly) confess that, thanks to their December sale, I already bought a backup pair of tangerine Tieks specifically so that I have a fresh pair to wear for my future wedding (even though I’m currently pre-engaged)… I should also note that my Tieks are by far the most expensive shoes I own, so that is saying a lot.

    • Cleo

      Steve Madden has a TON of great flats — cute, sparkly, and really comfortable (I wear them to work and to walk around on the weekends).

      Here’s a sampling: http://www.stevemadden.com/CategoryItem.aspx?id=134

      • SamanthaNichole

        I just got my wedding shoes and they are Steve Madden! They are flat sandly type things that I will probably break in all summer at work.

    • Tess

      I’m having the same dilemma except my dress isn’t floor length, it falls right on the tops of my feet… ideally I’d like to be barefoot, but my wedding is going to be under trees and there are lots of things to potentially step on…
      i’m looking for some kind of sandal but not sure how it can be more than just a sandal without being too flashy…

      • Kate

        A good gold sandal cannot be underestimated. Ever since my mother’s honeymoon they’ve been a staple in her closet. They can look fancy or laid back, go with everything. Good, slightly fancy way to protect your feet without having to go the sparkly or rhinestone route (unless you love sparkles or rhinestones!).

      • Amy Hawkins

        Depending on your style you might check out this lady: http://www.etsy.com/people/uku2

        She does handmade shoes particularly for weddings. I’ve never seen her shoes in person but I ordered a corset from her and she is fantastic to work with!

      • Liz
      • Brittany

        Sseko has gorgeous sandals that can be styled so many ways and you can even add a little glamour if you opt for some accessories. Plus, they have an awesome story :) http://ssekodesigns.com/

      • Tess

        thanks everyone for the advice….
        i just ordered these:
        http://us.shop.billabong.com/p/womens/accessories/sandals-socks/crossing-over?clr=MUL

        I know they aren’t classic wedding-y, BUT they are gonna make my sunflower bouquet totally POP!
        i’m excited :)

    • Amber

      Our shoe dilemma sounds similar. :-) I ended up with Toms. I found that they’re sizing tends to run a little big. Normally I’m a 7 1/2 to an 8, but with Toms I’m a 7. I got this style: http://www.toms.com/natural-crochet-women-s-classics/s, in teal. Not sure how helpful this is, but good luck! I like the Oxford suggestion!

      • JessPeebs

        I loved the style and comfort of Toms, but they didn’t have a shoe that “just worked” with my dress. I ended up with a pair of Bobs – the Sketchers equivalent (read copy cat) that -bonus- still gives away a pair to the less fortunate. And my Hubby’s name is Bob… cue groans.

        • Amber

          Sweet! :-)

        • Hypothetical Sarah

          There’s a Toms knock off called Bobs? My partner once met the founder of Toms Shoes at a conference and asked him “Is your name Tom?” Nope. It’s Blake. (“Toms” comes from “Shoes for Tomorrow”.) He’s still pretty embarrassed by that interaction.

      • Vera

        My advice is to buy Toms a half size down and wear them for a bit because they stretch a lot

    • FC

      I had the same dilemma and wore these in green: http://www.infinityshoes.com/Miz-Mooz-Womens-Panther-Flat-Shoe-3521.html Super comfy and supportive, but totally flat.

    • Sara W

      Target! I got a pair of super sparkly flats for my outdoor wedding for $20. All covered in little rhinestones. Wore them from 3 until 11, when everyone else pressured me to take my shoes off and dance barefoot. I have wide feet, so I made sure to wear them around the house in progressively thicker socks for about 3 weeks prior to the wedding.

    • http://www.weddingfortwo.blogspot.com Ellie

      I have a great pair of Born orange flats – love them, are great for weddings. I wore tevas for my ceremony though. They were plaid wedges and were adorable.

    • Lauren

      I wore these in a crazy flower print: http://www.amazon.com/Bass-Womens-Ophelia-Flatform-Whiskey/dp/B006WSNUYW

      Surprisingly comfortable AND they gave me a little bit of a lift so I wasn’t on tiptoes to kiss the mister.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I wore gold Cathy Jean ballet flats – $17. They’re $20 last I checked and also come in white, in a couple styles. I’m not particular about fit, though.

    • http://www.52kitchenadventures.com Stephanie

      Woah, my situation is exactly the same – floor length dress, outdoor wedding, navy bridesmaid dresses, orangey-red flowers, want comfy but not frumpy flats. I considered Toms but want something nicer looking. I tried on tons of flats and finally came across these gold glitter flats at Target: http://www.target.com/p/womens-mossimo-supply-co-odell-glitter-ballet-flats-gold/-/A-13020085#prodSlot=medium_1_1&term=glitter+flats
      They’re surprisingly comfortable (my feet seem to be a tad wider than average) and dressier than the average flat. Plus, $10, how can you beat it?!

    • Katie

      I wore Steve Madden sandals, they had a back so my feet didn’t fall out of them and they had enough sparkle on them for me to feel dressed up but are neutral enough that I wear them all the time now.

    • Morningglory

      I wore these: http://www.dsw.com/shoe/rocket+dog+madison+flat?prodId=268268&brand=300325&activeCats=women,300325&isBrand=y&categoryName=women

      I also have a similar Rocket Dog pair in orange. Super comfy after you break them in for a bit. I wore them while doing things around the house, even just watching TV, to help break them in.

    • Jess

      Kate Spade “Tock” flats…I just wore the wedge version in cork as a bridesmaid. They’re beautiful & comfortable; I kept them on all night long & I never wear anything resembling a heel.

      Or you cannot go wrong with Frye flats.

      (Both worth the splurge. Although note that KS has amaaazing sales–like 75% off– which is when I scored the wedges).

    • Lisa

      Kats, just wanted to chime in the say, “Wow! You are totally in my wedding headspace right now.” I am getting married in September with navy bridesmaid dresses and sunset colors flowers. I have heels for the ceremony but I am looking for flats for busting a move at the reception! Thanks for this!

    • http://www.amid Lisa

      WEDGES.

      • Anonymous

        If brides are interested in sandals (or barefeet), Sseko is a charitable company provides the opportunity for Ugandan women to pursue an education: http://shop.ssekodesigns.com/home.php?cat=251. They are the shoe equivalent of the versitile Two Birds bridesmaid dresses. They offer “wedding” ribbons [nude, lace, metallic] that can be styled in a couple of different ways.

    • http://www.christytenneryyoga.com Christy

      I’m wearing J. Crew ballet flats–similar wedding details you described above.

  • kayla

    I know the What to Wear on Your Head When You Wed series was supposed to help me out with this one, but I am still at a loss. What the hell do I wear on my head? I have very short, pixie-cut-ish hair, and no intention of growing it out. But I want it to look fancy! And it does not look fancy.

    I look ridiculous in headbands, I’m terrified of birdcage veils (a friend had about two thirds of her wedding pictures ruined because the pictures were focused on her veil instead of her face), and hair flowers just fall off (unless I walk very slowly and pretend I have a book on my head, which is only fun for a little while). Is there a brilliant solution I’m missing? I need fabulous lady help!

    • http://landlockedlove.com Kelly

      I would say either a fascinator or some really rocking barrettes or hair pins!

    • Laura Lee

      how about a crown? http://etsy.me/14GScoZ

      • kayla

        Oh! OH! A crown would actually stay on my head! And that is really gorgeous.

      • http://turningtoward.blogspot.com Kara H.

        I second a crown! I got married in my husband’s hometown in Hawaii, so I wore a traditional Haku lei (like a flower crown). I loved it, and a flower crown would look great with short hair!

      • SamiSidewinder

        It took me forever to find the right one for me, but I just recently bought this one!

        http://www.etsy.com/listing/89442892/bridal-crown-boho-flower-headpiece-babys?ref=col_view

        And that shop has so many great crowns and wreaths to choose from.

        Or just rock some big awesome earrings!

        • http://seasofgales.wordpress.com KH_Tas

          Ohh, shiny. And it looks like I could anchor the cathedral length veil I’m determined to have, and never mind the ‘doesn’t go with a pixie’ voices.

    • http://landlockedlove.com Kelly

      Having trouble editing my comment so commenting again!

      Not all of these are pixie cuts, but many of them are, and there’s some dreamy ideas in here: http://pinterest.com/shorthaircutcom/short-wedding-hairstyles/

      • kayla

        So many beautiful options there!

        Sadly, my hair is too short to clip anything to the sides. Maybe I could glue on an accessory? Is that the worst idea ever? Perhaps.

        • http://seasofgales.wordpress.com KH_Tas

          Can anything be sewn to your hair? Sounds nuts to most people today, but a common technique in historical hairdos

        • Lindsey

          I don’t think glue is the worst idea ever. You could use something like eyelash glue which is meant to bond accessories with hair. The burlesque community could be a great resource. Gotta have good glue to keep pasties on.

          • kayla

            Now that you mention it, I totally should have gone straight to burlesque-performing friends about this whole dilemma! They’d know how to make anyone’s head sparkly/feathery/awesome.

            But also, APW came through like crazy. Thanks everyone!

    • Rachel

      How about just a few hair pins? I really like these, and BHLDN has a ton of other pretty ones.

      I also kinda love when brides with short hair skip hair accessories and do something sort of fabulously tousled like this or this!

      • kayla

        Ooooh. I would strongly consider growing my hair out just enough to tousle it like that. That’s awfully dreamy. (And I could probably still keep my day-to-day hair maintenance time reasonable, which is, by far, my #1 concern.)

    • http://writemeg.com Megan

      What about a pretty comb or clip of some kind? My friend with very short hair (bob-like) pulled back one small section and fastened it with a beautiful rhinestone clip. Though it wasn’t super dissimilar from her regular hairstyle, it looked so pretty and sophisticated!

    • Kristen

      I wore vintage clip earrings in my hair.

    • Maddie

      I would splurge on a great pair of earrings and some expensive hair product and just wear it as hair! Pixie cuts are SO cute, I don’t think you need to adorn it with anything else.

      • Maddie

        That said, if you really want to wear something, I’d go with a delicate crown. Something like:

        This

        or

        This

        or

        This

        OORRRR maybe one of those pretty drapey veils that you don’t need hair for, like:

        This

        • kayla

          OH MY GOD THAT FIRST ONE. YES!

          • Maddie

            That one was my favorite too. :)

      • kayla

        This was my first instinct, but I’m having so much trouble with it! I’m really tall, and it feels like my head needs something to balance out all that dress.

        I should try on more earrings though. Some giant vintagey rhinestoney ones might be perfect.

    • http://www.weddingfortwo.blogspot.com Ellie

      I like fascinators – I’ve made my own by just gluing some craft store feathers to a heavy duty plastic comb. They stayed pretty well even in my short hair. But honestly – have you thought about a regular old veil? I found that a veil with my short hair looked great and stayed in.

    • Hayley

      Oh lordy, this one was hard for me too… I really had some strong feminist objections to wearing a traditional bridal veil, but it’s hard to get the same visceral reaction with just some hair pins. I also look ridiculous in headbands, and fascinators hardly solved my feminist objections to veils (HELLO you’re still covering my EYES, am I not supposed to be seeing anything right now?)…

      I wound up going for a fascinator, because it wasn’t too much HAT, but it was a totally unique and eye-catching look that isn’t wearable just any old day.

      This is what I choose (and it’s on SALE): http://www.bhldn.com/product/cloud-mist-bibi

      It is very sweet, suitably bridal, somewhat ethereal and retro-chic in person.

      • kayla

        Exactly! Half the time I feel silly for wanting my head to look “like a bride’s” at all. Because, you know, brides and their heads look all kinds of ways (but usually ways with veils, and that is not my thing). But I still want to wear something on my head, dammit.

        Also, that is really, really pretty. Maybe the commenters above are right and you can glue/sew it on! If you’re with me in the too-short-for-any-pins-on-the-sides camp, that might be the way to go.

    • Kirstin

      So I am currently struggling with the same thing. Short pixie. I am willing to grow out the back of my hair a little bit, but have no intention of completely changing my hairstyle just for the wedding.

      I initially got a gold birdcage veil. Yes, gold. I am excited about it, but worried about exactly what you said – about the veil taking over my face. So now I am debating whether or not to wear it. I also have no clue on how to actually attach it….

      • kayla

        That sounds amazing, and I think you should go right on ahead and rock it.

        If your veil has a side where it covers less of your face, maybe you can ask your photographer (or main picture taker) to make sure to get a bunch of pictures from that less-covered side? Or to aim for deeper depth of field so both your face and your veil can be in focus? I think either of those would solve the problem, at least from the pictures perspective.

  • My Name Here

    My partner is not someone who enjoys wearing formal wear — he changes into pajama pants or shorts as soon as he gets home from work. We’re set on an upscale casual dress code (sun-dresses for ladies, khakis and polos or button downs for the men).

    My dress is going to be more formal than that dress code and I would like my partner to wear something more formal (or at least more unique) than khakis and polo.

    Because this is my wish, he’s tasked me with giving him options, as his plan is either: “suck it up and wear a suit,” or “jeans and collared shirt,” but the former is too formal/uncomfortable, and the latter is below the formality of our dress code.

    Since this open thread is here, it feels like serendipity! Here are his additional requirements:

    No seersucker
    No linen pants

    Help!!

    • Marta

      Jeans and a blazer? I also like the dark jeans, button up shit with skinny tie look.

      • My Name Here

        ooh. I think he’d be into the jeans and a blazer!

        • http://www.christytenneryyoga.com Christy

          Jeans and a button-down and a vest?

    • ANOTHER MEG

      What about pants (chinos of some kind? Maybe brown?), a button down, and a vest?

    • http://www.piercedwonderings.com Lynn

      My guy and our groomsmen all wore vests, which dressed up their khakis and button-downs with ties. (his vest was slightly fancier than the groomsmen’s…as in gold brocade while theirs were sueded navy cotton)

    • B (the other one)

      I think the most important thing is that his level of formality matches yours. Everyone can be in sun dresses but if your in a full bridal gown and he is in jeans, you are going to stick out.

      What about a beige/cream colored suit? Or maybe pant trousers and suspenders but no jacket? Or suit with unbuttoned shit and no tie?

      • My Name Here

        good call on the formality. I have yet to get my dress, so maybe I’ll tell him to wait to pick something until I choose my dress?

        • B (the other one)

          I’m having the same dilemma with my hubby to be, he’s British and it’s just normal to wear tails to your wedding, but were eloping so I think it’s over formal. But I’ve picked out two dresses to try on, a short one that he can wear a regular suit to match me, or a full length gown which suits tails.

          • Brenda

            I recommend a three-piece suit. My husband is British too, but there was no way he was going to go the tails route. We had our registry office ceremony and wedding separately, so he got two new three-piece suits from a high street shop (Reiss). Neither event was overly formal – I wore a navy knee-length dress for the first one and my wedding dress was just below my knees, and he looked perfect. Plus now he wears them for other special events and without the waistcoat for work.

          • Brenda

            P.S plus if you decide to go with a long gown a three-piece with tie and pocket square will still be formal enough.

    • LaurEliz

      What about a vest over a button down? Those always look sharp in my opinion but wouldn’t be as heavy and formal as a full suit. Also, suspenders seem to be making a comeback.

      • My Name Here

        I like all these vest suggestions too. Thanks!

        • Rachel

          What we’re doing is have the groom in a vest, buttondown, and slacks while the groomsmen are in the same color slacks but not ests. This makes the groom seem a bit more formal that the groomsmen, and less for the groomsmen to buy as well!

    • FC

      My husband wore a linen suit at our (similarly casual) outdoor summer wedding. His was a natural tan, which looked great with my off-white dress. Bonus was that it was super comfortable on our 90+degree, humid day, and he has worn it a bunch of times since.

    • http://cookie-loves.com Cookie

      We got linen vest & pant sets from this site custom for $100. Great quality & service speed!

      http://studiosuits.com

      My wedding was beach cocktail. The boys looked great and didn’t sweat too badly in the Caribbean heat!

    • Laurel

      Non-matching blazer and pants, no tie. You can get jeans in colored denim (I like gray, which doesn’t look too out there) and a blazer in a different gray, or possibly navy. Classy shoes. He can take the blazer off after the ceremony and still look sharp but be more comfortable.

    • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

      I’d go with a nice pair of slacks (whatever color you wish, though grey or khaki may be less formal looking) and a button-down shirt, and that’s it. He can roll up his sleeves if he gets warm at the reception. And if it’s a realllly nice pair of pants, he can keep wearing them at work and they should be fairly comfy (though maybe not *quite* as comfy as pjs)

    • KB

      My fiance is wearing a tux – and skater shoes. So kinda formal, but at least his feet will be comfy ;-)

    • Morningglory

      My husband wore a suit for the ceremony and first dance and then while everyone was eating dinner we slipped inside the house and he changed into jeans, a button down shirt, vest and cowboy boots (he’s from Texas), and I put on a cardigan over my dress (it was a chilly evening). I love the photos we did in these outfits even more than the formal ones we did earlier in the day because my husband was much more comfortable, and actually so was I after ditching the veil and bouquet.

    • Rebecca

      My husband was/ is fairly anti-formal wear, but since he owned zero suits we decided to get him one for the wedding and he -loved- it.

      I asked him why, since I was mostly expecting him to just tolerate it- turns out that when something fits really well and you look awesome, it’s fun to wear. Which fits the trend of every other wardrobe upgrade I’ve talked him into- well fitting, quality clothes are actually comfortable, even if they’re “nicer” than a baseline t-shirt and jeans.

      Even/ especially if he wears a suit everyday, it might be worth a splurge if it’s in the budget. Sports coat and slacks seems like another good option if you want to stay on the fancy side with your dress- same deal with fit and quality, though.

    • Rachelle

      Not sure if you have a wedding party, but my fiance was in the same boat with wanting to be casual, but no linen or seersucker and he wanted to pay for whatever his guys were wearing, so buying would have been too expensive.

      We actually found out that you can rent whatever pieces of the suit/tux you want from Men’s Wearhouse, so they’re all renting a grey vest and pants for about $75 each with tax/fees. No ties, white button ups (you could do any color that suits bridesmaids’ dresses) and white Converse. I thought the Converse would be too “trendy” for him (see seersucker/linen/etc.) but he was really into it!

  • Kippster9

    Oh my gosh, I am seriously struggling on coordinating accessories. I want very much to wear a champaign colored sash with my dress, but can’t figure out what to do for shoes. It’s tea length, so they’re out there for the world to see! They need to be wedges because I’m getting hitched on a hillside. Right now I’m thinking something metallic–but do pewter, silver or gold shoes clash with anchampaign sash?I don’t want a single bright color (except maybe red, but that wouldnt work w my flowers) but I’m worried that a black wedge is too much playing it safe. The metallic shoe issue also brings up the question of whether my earrings and hairpiece would have to match…..

    • rys

      What about pale aqua or mint? I’ve definitely seen (non-bright) wedges in that color, and I think they’d go well with champagne.

    • Kristen

      Rose gold heels.

    • http://thedilettantista.com The Dilettantista

      If you are doing champagne do silver or gold–pewter will be too dark.

      Metallics do not have to match. I mix metals all the time. It is a very fun and contemporary look. However, I would caution from wearing a super yellow yellow gold (I’m thinking anything above 18k particularly in jewelry) if you were worried. Otherwise I’d say mix it up! I am currently wearing silvery flats, a rose gold watch and ring, a silver cuff, silver earrings, a white gold engagement ring, and a gold shawl (freezing in my office!). Mix and match away!

      • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

        Very true- metallics are just shiny neutrals.

    • Catherine McK

      In the metallic arena, I would say a gold or copper shoe wouldn’t clash. The warm tones would align with the champagne…
      I think everyone’s first thought when they see the bride is, OH! She looks so beautiful! happy! glowing! Not that her accessories are silver and her shoes are gold. But, if you’re going with a champagne sash, maybe a champagne hairpiece? And gold earrings?

      • Kippster9

        Thanks you guys! Looks like I’m in the market for some coppery or rose gold wedges…

        • http://www.weddingfortwo.blogspot.com Ellie

          Is there a reason you ruled out white? Especially in a cute pattern or something, it could really work.

    • Tamar

      I’ve been seeing gorgeous nude pumps and wedges a lot recently, and I love ‘em! I think they can be subtle, classy, and still noticeably awesome. Bonus: they’d go with anything. Unequivocally, anything.

    • Anne

      I wore a fantastic pair of silver peep-toe heels with my very cream colored dress, and they were fantastic too. Anything metallic should work fine. I did end up going with silver to match my jewelry, but it’s probably not necessary unless you’re wearing big earrings or a flashy necklace.

    • Rebecca

      I wound up wearing a stacked heel from Seychelles for my tramping around a hill in a tea length dress and I did not sink into the ground never to return. Plus, their retro styling is super cute with tea length dresses. And I wore them all afternoon and evening without breaking them in and my feet didn’t hurt at all.

      These in copper?
      http://seychellesfootwear.com/Home.tpl?page=singleitem.inc&cart=130709667423&sku=foundmy9sl&H_P_Special=found%20my%20way#

      A wedge option:
      http://www.lordandtaylor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/lord-and-taylor/cissy-leather-wedge-sandals

  • Rachel

    Mmmkay I have a bridesmaid style question. We’re getting married in the winter in Austin and the farmers almanac is saying cold/rainy weather that day (FINE BY ME!)…I was thinking it would look nice if the bridesmaids had matching coats to wear for any outdoor shots but I’m not sure how to handle this in terms of who pays. On the one hand, their dresses were well under $100 and they can wear whatever shoes they like…on the other hand, I hate to be like OH BTW CAN YOU BUY A NEW COAT TOO? Should I just keep an eye out for simple trenches and pay for them myself or is it OK to ask my friends to cover them?

    • Laura Lee

      Do you have a MOH? I would run the idea past her and see how she thinks the ladies might feel about buying coats. I think as long as you pick something relatively inexpensive that you think your girls will actually like and wear again, it’s ok to ask them to pay. Alternatively, you could surprise them with the coats as part of their thank you gift.

      • Del678

        I second the clothes as the gifts idea. I paid for my BM’s dresses (let them choose, mismatched so they will wear again, whatever shoes) and that will be their thank you gift (because we’re not made of money either).
        My BMs earn very little money, and even so I don’t think it’s totally fair to ask you nearest and dearest to support you on your big day, but oh by the way can you pay for the privilege? It’s like me charging the restaurant for them giving me food.
        Having said that, don’t stress too much – it’s normal that BMs pay, and BMs expect it, and no one will judge you for asking then to pay.

    • Meghan

      I would say it depends on your bridesmaids. In GENERAL, I think you’d be within reason requesting that they buy a matching coverup (coat, cardigan, shrug, whatev). However, you’ll want to think about your ‘maids individually, what you know about their financial situation, and how comfortable you’d be with it. If you get red flags in your mind in any of those areas, I’d shell out for the matching coats yourself.

      Keep in mind many brides ask their ‘maids to buy matching stuff – I had to buy matching shoes for a wedding I’m in this weekend. However, if the accessory is thoughtfully chosen (mine are white Toms wedge sandals. SO CUTE and I will wear again!) it makes a big difference.

    • alyssa

      Hmm I think that the financial situation for bridesmaids has gotten so out of control. Oftentimes, they also have to figure out the hair, makeup, and manicure situation as well, and if your bridesmaids are girly and/or like to shop, they’ll probably be buying new shoes, even though you gave them free reign. And is it just me, or is $100 pretty durn expensive for a dress you don’t pick out yourself?
      So I would say… coats are a little over the top. I had a New Year’s Eve wedding in Seattle (read: cold!) and we have lots of “coated up” photos where everyone wore their own, and lots of photos where we braved the cold in our cute dresses and took lots of coffee sipping breaks. Both sets of photos are adorable, and even though my ladies had matching shoes and dresses, the mismatched coats didn’t bother me at all. In fact, it really lets the personalities of my dear friends show through in their own way.
      If you feel really strongly about being matchy-matchy, coats would be an incredible bridesmaid gift from you, however. Or, you know, maybe your ladies are just ITCHING to get a new trench and this is the perfect excuse! However, I don’t think you should make it a requirement.

      • Rachel

        I agree that the weddings can be super costly for bridesmaids, but those dresses felt like a steal to me! (I think they all used coupons and got the dress for around $60…I know at least two of the three did for sure.) I’m planning to pay for their hair, I don’t care if they get manicures or not, and I’m just going to ask them if they want me to arrange a makeup person to or not because I don’t really feel like that should be a requirement. So in that context, I don’t know if a coat sounds as costly or not.

        This is getting off-topic but I kinda feel like it would be good for all of us brides to set a “total for the day” budget for bridesmaids that we try not to exceed. Because when you take each thing piece by piece, it doesn’t sound like much, but when you start to do the math, it’s kinda like OMG. Obviously it would be different for everyone but thinking “OK, are my bridesmaids spending less than X on everything?” instead of thinking “What’s a good price for shoes? What’s a good price for hair?” might be helpful!

        • KC

          YES on the total amount thing. Bachelorette weekend spa getaway (even if it is *soooo* cheap for a weekend spa getaway, those things are *not cheap* from a “going out to see a movie is too expensive for me right now” perspective) + dress + shoes + hair/makeup can be a crazy amount of money even before you get into airfare and hotel and gift and whatnot. Obviously, different people have different budgets, but if one of your bridesmaids is in the “still in school and eating mostly ramen and only shopping at thrift stores” camp, then it would be really, really nice to adjust to closer to that level or subsidize somewhat (either just her or all bridesmaids) rather than making her drop a month or two worth of budget-money on your wedding.

          It is admittedly difficult when you have some people who can’t pay much *and* some people who really want to look extra-smashing in spendy apparel (or who only enjoy expensive pastimes). But looking at the total amount you feel okay asking them to spend, given any known financial situations, and then deciding from there which things you can set them loose on, so they can decide whether to spend Payless prices on shoes or Fancy prices on shoes, do their own hair/makeup vs. “have it done”, etc., seems genius.

          (also: for whatever reason, I’m more okay with dropping hundreds of dollars on a flight to physically get to the wedding than I am with spending three times as much as I normally would on a dress or a “fun ladies’ night” or anything else that is sort of comparable with my normal life and which could be done on a different scale [like: I could pay for a full month’s worth of groceries with the cost of this one meal] – I don’t know what the inside of other peoples’ brains look like on this, though?)

          • APracticalLaura

            Totally agree, KC!

            I think when you start adding up all of the expenses of the wedding (even if some are optional that your bridesmaids don’t HAVE to do- like a hotel room if they live fairly nearby), it can start getting quite costly for the bridesmaids.

            When I was MOH for my sister’s wedding, she asked that we each spend around $200 for her bachelorette party (comparative to others – pretty cheap), and another $130 for a dress, telling us that it would be our “gift to her.” But regardless of what she said, we all still felt like we should give a real gift on her wedding day (it just felt tacky to show up empty handed?!). The wedding gift never seems to get included in the calculations of how much you’re asking your bridesmaids to spend, so I think it’s definitely worth keeping in mind for that larger number!

            Rachel, why not get some super cute umbrellas or galoshes (much cheaper than trenches) instead, as part of the gift! Makes for some awesome pictures for sure!

        • lib

          Where did you get said cheap dresses? I am determined not to make my bridesmaids shell out a lot.

          • Rachel

            Banana Republic actually! I think they were originally $98 (though that *may* have been a sale price), but one of my bridesmaids found a BR coupon for 40% off that she passed along to the other girls so they ended up being considerably less than even the sale price!

            Shabby Apple and ModCloth also have really cute dresses for under $100!

      • Jessica

        I agree with this. Mismatched coats will look cute (cuter, dare I say, than matching) and if left to their own devices you can bet most girls will take the opportunity to buy themselves a cute new coat or borrow one. If you’re doing cardigans or capes, I’d say buy them for your bridesmaids.

    • Kippster9

      I think keep an eye out for something simple, and don’t ask them to shell out more than 75 bucks. Or ask them one on one and try to get a sense of how they feel.

    • Katelyn

      Are you looking for colored trench coats? If it’s a specific color, Old Navy and Target sell less expensive options if you want to buy them yourself.

      If you prefer black or khaki, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask them to buy their own…they might already own one!

      • Rachel

        I was totally thinking khaki from Old Navy or Target!

        • AttiredAttorney

          It sounds like you’re planning on a very basic/classic coat (khaki trench?). Maybe it would be worth asking your BM if they already own something similar? With a wardrobe staple like that, I wouldn’t be surprised if half your BMs already own some version of a khaki trench. The rest could just fill in the gaps, and you’d coordinate without being too matchy-matchy.

        • Rachelle

          If their dresses were $60 and you’re thinking Old Navy or Target for coats I think it would be totally okay to ask them to cover the cost, especially considering you’re paying for hair and aren’t forcing them to get manicures or makeup done.

          The total they spend on outfits should be right around $100 and I’d be willing to bet most of your guests will be spending at least that on outfits for the wedding! Unless someone has a really bad financial situation, I say go for cute coats!

      • Carolyn

        I’d maybe bring it up casually to test the waters, like, “We’re planning to do some photos outside, I was thinking if we all had khaki trenches we won’t look so crazy/homeless. What do you think?”

        This could open the door to getting some true feelings ranging from- who cares? to I’ve been needing an excuse to get that Burberry trench!

    • http://cookie-loves.com Cookie
      • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

        Seconded- at least, in terms of a shrug or wrap over a coat. It’s less expensive, does the same work, and is more versatile later (especially if the girl already has a bunch of coats- I have five, and no space for one more.). Plus, I’m a fan of the elegance factor.

    • Kristen

      Rachel,

      I feel like this is exactly the kind of thing I might have obsessed over for months during wedding planning, spent hours researching vintage coats on Etsy and stuff. But its also the kind of thing that if I’d mentioned it to any of my bridesmaids, they would have (appropriately) told me to worry about something that really mattered.

      Maybe outdoor photography options are like a HUGE deal to you for your wedding. And if so, by god find those bridesmaids the CUTEST little coats/trenches you can. But if perhaps its not actually even on your radar except you like thinking about cute clothes for people to buy and wear, maybe don’t worry about it. You know? Not because there’s anything wrong with it, but I know personally I wish I’d spent less time trying to find a feather skirted dress for one of my bridesmaids and spent more time maybe like researching photographers. Or hell, living my life and enjoying it. All those hours looking for affordable ostrich feather skirts and she didn’t even end up wearing one. You know? Just a thought.

      • Rachel

        Ouch. I…didn’t realize that posting a question about accessories in an open thread on style conundrums is the same as obsessing over it or spending hours researching.

        • Kristen

          Oh my apologies – that certainly wasn’t what I meant to imply.

          • LoLauren

            I didn’t read your reply as snarky at all, you were just sharing your experience. No worries.

        • Joanna

          Don’t worry, Rachel, I totally know what you mean and where you’re coming from. I didn’t read Kristen’s comment as negative, but I do see where she’s coming from about perfecting details. I did the same thing. And maybe your bridesmaids will totally be on board and want all matching trenches! If I were in your place, another option I’d consider is just asking the ladies if they have a dark coat. That way you wouldn’t have to deal with random colours infiltrating your shots that distract your eye (neon yellow bubble jacket!) so it looks cohesive, and it’s an easy-peasy solution.

          Totally your call, though. I’m the kind of girl who would feel really uncomfortable asking people to travel one town over for my bachelorette party.

          Side note: I asked my bridesmaids to wear whatever shoes they wanted, as long as they weren’t black. 4/5 wore nude shoes, and my MOH wore peach. It just kind of worked out, and the dash of peach added character :)

    • http://writemeg.com Megan

      Hmm. First, your mention of the Farmers’ Almanac has kicked my OCD into drive, so I immediately went off to do some research. I now know that the average temperature on the day we’re getting married is 65 degrees in our corner of Maryland! Wahoo! I definitely just spent 10 minutes looking through the past decade’s worth of weather in my zip code to get a true idea of what I’m dealing with here, and this makes me very happy. Thank you!

      We’re having an outdoor ceremony, barring no rain, and I haven’t been sure what to do about the jacket situation, either. I only have two ladies in my bridal party, so I was thinking about covering the coast of a potential jacket/cover-up/shawl/something myself, but I’m also kind of wanting to be like . . . eh, we’ll be outside for 30 minutes max. Tough it out! I will be.

      (I’m a totally sensitive bride, right?)

      • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

        I get obsessed looking at weather trends on WeatherSpark. Just in case you need something to add to the Farmer’s Almanac researching :)

    • Amber

      Maybe ask what they feel comfortable with? They’ll need some sort of a coat or warmer layer to go outside anyway, right? So, they might be ok with buying a new one for your special day. If they’re paying for it, I’d say make sure it’s something they’d actually wear again. It’s one thing to have a dress that you or may not wear again, but I feel like with shoes or coats or other things like that it’s important that you’ll wear them again. Another thought is that the coats (I just almost typed goats on accident, lol) could be your bridesmaid gift. But, ultimately, I’d ask your bridesmaids what they feel comfortable with.

    • Breck

      Hmmm I would say take a look at their overall costs. Are they also shelling out to help pay for any side parties (bachelorette/shower/engagement)? What about extra gifties for any of those parties? If the cost seems pretty low still, I’d bring it up with everyone and see if it seemed doable if said trench was also pretty affordable.

      • dawn

        A big part of over-all costs could also be transportation and lodging, depending on the situation. And when people are staying at a hotel, they have to eat out a lot. This can really add up for bridesmaids.
        Specifically regarding the coat– really it depends on the people involved. I suspect that since you’re asking, you might be apprehensive about asking them to buy coats?

        • Breck

          I didn’t factor in lodging and transportation (though, one totally could) because I figured that’s an expense every guest from out of town is incurring to attend. But, I think this stuff is definitely something to examine. One of my good friends is a bridesmaid right now and is spending a ridiculous amount of money on a lot of extra parties that the bride/bride’s family is insisting on, and I know she’s pretty stressed about it.

          • http://www.ameripriseadvisors.com/cristina.l.caruso Cris C

            I feel like there are additional factors for the bridal party when it comes to transport and lodging. I spent 2 extra nights at the hotel and had much less flexibility in choosing flights because of timing. I also stayed at their recommended hotel, so we could be in the same space day of, but it was not the least expensive hotel in the area. If I was just a regular guest, I would have had travel expenses, but I would have had a bit more control over what those arrangements looked like.

        • http://www.piercedwonderings.com Lynn

          It cost my MoH over $1000 to be in my wedding :( and that didn’t include attending any showers or other festivities other than the rehearsal and the wedding. The flight, the hotel, the rental car, the meals…all of that added up and added up quickly. I tried my best to keep everything else reasonable (dresses of their choice, she ebayed her shoes, etc) but it was still a case of sticker shock in terms of what it cost my best friends to be in my wedding.

          • Breck

            I think a big part of the problem for my friend is that it seems like the bride (unlike you!) isn’t being very conscientious of all the costs :(.

          • Jessica

            This is normal. Don’t worry. Bridesmaids may wince at the cost initially but we all know the cost is high, especially when we’re not local, and in the end we don’t regret doing it.

        • Rachel

          I guess I wouldn’t say I’m particularly apprehensive; though I don’t know the exact ins and outs of each bridesmaid’s financial situation, I feel like this isn’t an outrageous request based on what I do know…on the other hand, I think it’s important to remember that even when people have money it doesn’t mean they want to spend it on what you want them to spend it on. :) So I guess I’m just trying to be conscientious of that and not give them too many financial obligations!

          • Breck

            I think that as long as you’re thinking about how much your bridesmaids are spending, you’re probably doing a fine job :).

    • Laurel

      I strongly believe that if you’re asking people to wear something specific, you need to pay for it. I understand that there’s a social norm that bridesmaids buy their own stuff, but I def think adding on additional things is a big ask. And people don’t always feel ok saying no. That said, you know your friends and their financial situation better than we do.

      • Alison

        I agree. My comment is not in response to the thread about coats (i.e. is not a criticism of it) but ventures into broader territory… But yeah, I would be uncomfortable asking my friends to buy or rent specific outfits for my wedding. I don’t anticipate having a bridal party if I get married, but if I did and I wanted them to wear something specific, I would definitely consider it my responsibility to pay for that. I guess my gut tells me that if I’m treating my people like decoration (in this instance), I should pay for that decoration just like I would the flowers, etc. I would, however, feel comfortable ‘imposing’ on them to play meaningful roles in the wedding that may go beyond what is done in some other bridal parties (though many do these things), such as doing readings, setting up the venue, playing an instrument, driving my grandma to the reception, calling the caterer the day before, etc.

        I don’t assume any malice or emotional negligence or feckless superficiality in people who dictate their bridal party’s outfits (and it sure is common), but it seems to me there’s a lot one could unpack from the act of telling your loved ones “I want you to look exactly like this” and in considering what the value is to you of their appearance standing at your side.

        Any old posts along these lines? My search didn’t turn up anything.

        • rys

          On the broader issue: I completely agree. This is why all my friends know to ask me to help with all sorts of (meaningful *and* menial) wedding-related things for them, but not to be a bridesmaid if buying a specific dress is the price of admission.

          I *totally* recognize I am the oddball here in maintaining such a stance, but dressing in a certain way is not how I understand/show/enact close (or any) friendship. Handily, very few of my close friends have had bridesmaids so it’s not really been an issue.

          That said, having and being bridesmaids works for a lot of people, so in these sorts of cases, I think you need to know your friends and how they would feel about coats and any other requested items…

        • JES

          I am getting married out-of-town in a few weeks and one of my biggest sources of relief is that I had my bridesmaids pick out their own Anthro dresses (using my cousin’s 40% discount! Shhhhh!). Sure, the dresses don’t match perfectly (or maybe even that well, I go back and forth between oh this is so bohemian, and what is my grandma going to say!) but I keep telling myself that I have NEVER looked at a picture of me with all of my best girls and thought to myself “man, this picture would have been so much better if our dresses matched” and I’m hoping I will feel the same way about the wedding pictures. I’m pretty traditional, so I never envisioned such a departure from the wedding “norm” but I have to tell you that knowing my friends adore their dresses gives me such peace of mind… especially when they have to pay for hotel rooms to be in my wedding! Fingers crossed it turns out great!

          • Del678

            So this: “I have NEVER looked at a picture of me with all of my best girls and thought to myself “man, this picture would have been so much better if our dresses matched””
            Made me laugh. Such a good answer to doubters.

    • Kate

      They could just wear their own coats and throw them on between pictures. Also, little pocket warmers and some hot cocoa during pictures could go a long way.

      • Meghan A.

        This is the option that we chose to do for our recent wedding. It was about 55 degrees on our big day. The girls had coats that they were wearing as we walked around. I was the only one that forgot mine, but it seemed to work. Pictures were quick, and we sat by a warm fire with champagne before heading into the reception.

    • Maddie
      • Rachel

        Duuuude. When I was in third grade, I begged my mom to make me a cape like Samantha Parkington’s (the most posh American Girl doll) and she did…so I rocked a purple cape for a while and then a few years ago I was like “Um, I think it’s time for a grown-up version!”

        So. I love this idea and the ones you linked to are super cute! Also I think it’s something my mom or grandma could easily sew on the cheap.

        • LMN

          OMG I loved Samantha! I just about cried when a friend and I wandered through the American Girl Store and we found out they had retired/discontinued/whatever’ed her.

          Aaaand slightly more on topic could you recruit your mom to make BM capes? I found a super cute (and very simple) capelet pattern online a few years back. If you picked the right fabrics it could look super cute and be very affordable (helloooo joann’s 40% off coupons!). If you’re contemplating the DIT route I’m sure I could scrounge up a link to the pattern if you’re interested.

          • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

            They retired Samantha!?! Sadface. (Apparently I am out of the American Girl loop. Think that’s for the better ;)

          • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

            Update: They are also “saying farewell” to Molly (my sister’s doll) and Emily (who was after my time, checked, ah, Molly’s friend).

            Apparently, even historical doll characters are not timeless.

        • Stella

          Oh my goodness, i actually did this too (only in blue) Samantha’s cape was the best.

    • MOE

      What about coordinated umbrellas for photos (handy in case it rains too).

      Then perhaps a pashmina wrap as a gift (that you suggest they wear day-of).

      • Rachel

        I was thinking the same thing! I also found this cool website where you can rent pretty ones, which is kind of fun! http://bellaumbrella.com/

        • MOE

          Also If I were a bridesmaid and was already spending on a dress, shoes, etc…a coat might be a bit of a stretch for me. Especially if I’m only going to be wearing it at the reception or something.

          How much time will the girls actually be in their coats and how many photographs will be taken of them in the coats??

          Perhaps all they need is a suggestion to wear a nice coat they already have.

        • Hannah K

          oh my god. that website ignited FIERCE longings in me. SO MANY PRETTIES!!!

        • http://www.alacartealbums.com jeliza

          I’ve worked with her before at both weddings and fashion shoots and she is super nice.

        • Maddie

          If you do umbrellas, I can’t recommend clear umbrellas enough. They don’t cast a color shadow on your face in photos, and you can have fun playing around in them without hiding your faces. You can get them for like…$15 at Target.

      • Vera

        I’d say umbrellas might be better because I’m fine with getting wet, but I don’t want my hair to (water could ruin fancy do’s and any curling or straightening not to mention frizz up curly hair). So would prefer an umbrella to coat for that. Bonus: umbrella pictures would be 10000% cute.

    • http://landlockedlove.com Kelly

      Do you already have a plan for gifts for the bridal party? (Again, I don’t know where bridal party gifts fall in the scheme of Must Dos or whatever, but they seem common). If you don’t already have a plan for that, maybe the cute coats could be your gift to them?

    • Another Kate

      I was a winter bride so I TOTALLY understand wanting adorable outdoor photos, but I do think asking the girls to buy a coat is a stretch unless you keep a close eye on prices and find a great deal. I bought my girls inexpensive faux fur wraps for photos, after agonizing for months about whether I wanted fur coats, capes, shrugs, etc. I, um, had 8 bridesmaids, so it got spendy, but I just didn’t feel comfortable asking them to buy something else for the wedding. Dresses are pretty much expected at this point, but since it was just something I wanted for pretty pics, I felt it was my responsibility to cover the cost. The pictures came out super cute. I ended up getting them all cashmere gloves as part of their gift, not intending them to wear them for pictures since they were all different colors and not meant to match the dress, but they all took them out during pictures and it eneded up being really cute with the rainbow of colors. Good luck!

      • Rachel

        “Since it was just something I wanted for pretty pics, I felt it was my responsibility to cover the cost” You’re absolutely right. Problem solved. Thank you. :)

        Also I love the idea of cashmere gloves as a gift. I had been thinking of scarves but if I’m giving them a coat/wrap/cape then gloves make a lot of sense. And they all live cold places so that sounds lovely!

        • JES

          OMG do the capes! And please post pictures of the adorable-ness after.

    • LikelyLaura

      As a fellow Texan, I just want to point out that Murphy’s Law would suggest if you have your bridemaids all buy matching coats, it will, in fact, be 85 and humid on your *Texas winter* wedding day.

      If it were me and I really wanted them to have matching coats, I’d buy them myself. I’d feel terrible if they bought them and then didn’t even have a reason to wear them.

  • schish

    This is so perfectly timed, I can’t believe it.
    Needs:
    Turquoise wedges. For a casual, relaxed outdoor/indoor fall desert wedding with a groom in khaki slacks and a vest. Long dress with a white camisole top and champagne washed organza skirt. Halp!

    AND… some suggestions on where to get my under-dress lingerie online?

  • http://letsbeamie.wordpress.com Amie

    http://www.justinalexanderbridal.com/wedding_dresses/8641 That is my dress. We are going for a soft, glamourous garden ceremony, and a dinner party feel reception.

    My issue is with necklace. I have a large twisted rope pearl necklace from my Great-Aunt I would love to wear (sort of like this one, http://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/89805778/pearl-necklacetwisted-necklace18-inches), or a simple freshwater pearl necklace (like this one, but single strand http://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/42127414/beautiful-baroque-freshwater-pearls) and earrings I wore when I was a flower girl. Great-Aunt necklace falls just on the cleavage. Flower girl necklace falls just below collarbones.

    I would love to be bold, but use what I have. I also have 3 more strands of pearls of different lengths that I can wear or try.

    I will be having a birdcage veil, held in my pearl and silver comb on one side and pins on the other.

    Thoughts on necklace?

    • Rosie

      Your dress is amazing! I think because it’s quite dramatic you should wear the twisted rope pearl to match. If you can try on the dress, or something with a similar neckline, I think you should also try layering those strands of pearls and see what you think. I think that would particularly suit the garden party idea. I’d love to see some pictures of what you decide on :)

      • http://letsbeamie.wordpress.com Amie

        The dress is currently housed at a bridesmaid’s house, so it is easy to go over and try on accessories, I’ve just been lazy to do so!

        Layering the strands is tempting if the rope doesn’t work.

    • Aubry

      Gorgeous dress! Without the lace top? I am doing a similar pearl necklase from my late grandmother, sits up close to the collarbones with my boat neck dress.

      Do you have any shirts that sit similar to your dress, or are you able to try it on? Also, is a big bust something you need to consider? I find the lay of a nacklace can greatly affect how the top of a dress looks. Sometimes long necklaces cover and sometimes they fall into clevage and emphasize it.

      I would say if it doesnt sit funny the longer necklace may tie the look together. Like, if you have the short nacklace and all the veil/clips up top it would be to heavy on your head, and then a big gap to your dress, you know?

      • http://letsbeamie.wordpress.com Amie

        I am going lace topless. It was too much for a garden wedding, but would be lovely if we were in a church.

        I do not have an ample bosom, so necklaces tend to lay flat or lightly rest on the ladies.

        I don’t really have anything sweetheart shaped, and strapless kicking around in the closet to test at home.

    • Quinners

      Your dress is beautiful! Are you set on wearing a necklace? With a dress that striking and a neckline that high you don’t strictly need one.

      I think the longer one would probably look better with the dress if you are set on wearing one.

      • http://letsbeamie.wordpress.com Amie

        Thank you! I always thought I would end up in a tea-length crinolin number. But when I tried them on, they did not work on me whatsoever. This vavoom number hit all the right places and makes me feel sensual. I’d like that feeling of sexy to float on over into my accessories.

        • Quinners

          I bet it does make you feel sensual! It’s an excellent dress. I just saw that you’re doing it without the lace top, so a necklace would work better than I originally thought it would. I’d say that if you already own several that could work, you might want to just try them on close to the day and see how they make you feel.

    • Megan

      Go for the twisted! Your dress is so pretty and detailed, I think the twisted pearls would look gorgeous. As for the length, you can generally add an additional clasp if you want the necklace to hit you higher on your body.

    • B (the other one)

      I think your dress is to beautiful and speaks for itself without covering up the lace with pearls. Why don’t you just wear some amazing earrings and let your dress stand alone?

      • http://letsbeamie.wordpress.com Amie

        My ears are incredibly sensitive to metals, that most of my Great-Aunts jewellery (yes, I inherited it all, the woman loves her pearls and costume jewellery) will make my ears puss after a half day at work. And it means a lot to me to wear something from her, because her and her sister, my Grandpa’s sisters, were like grandmothers to me, and both cannot make it to our wedding.

        I’ve chosen not to wear the lace jacket. 35C in August in the middle of the afternoon will have me sweating through everything if I cover up.

        I think I will go with the rope, after some trials on the dress to play with the length as Megan suggests. And wear a pair of large single pearl earrings, that I know won’t make me regret it.

  • B (the other one)

    What about shawls/corrupts in a coordinating color? How cold will it be? I’m from Austin and i know it can’t be too cold…

    • B (the other one)

      This was in response to Rachel, oops!

    • Rachel

      Oooh good call, that was an idea I had once had that I totally forgot about! I think it will be like 40 or so that day? My grandma could probably make them faux fur wraps to wear, in which case I’d just pay for the supplies. I’m wearing a white vintage fur stole over my dress.

      • Meghan

        OMG Rachel do it!! I can just picture how cute that’d be!

        • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

          Seconding this. Brilliant idea, and I feel like given the lovingly hand-crafted nature of your dress, this is sort of a perfect compliment for your bridesmaids.

      • http://acceptorchange.blogspot.com YetAnotherMegan

        Not knowing the color of their dresses this could totally not work, but I’m picturing a line of black or brown “fur” stoles and then your white one looking gorgeous!

        • Rachel

          I love this! Their dresses are mint green and they are wearing nude heels…so I think gray or brown “fur” would look okay with it?

          • Laura C

            Yes, either one, I’d think. Loving this idea!

        • Another Kate

          Yes! I did this, I wore white fur and my girls wore black and I think the contrast was really cute.

      • B (the other one)

        I just saw today a wedding on pinterest where the bride and bridesmaids all wore sequins and fur wraps. So epic.

    • Hannah K

      ooh, what’s a corrupt?

  • http://acceptorchange.blogspot.com YetAnotherMegan

    Right now, what I’m most stuck on is jewelry. I’m torn between pearl and diamond/diamondesque. The detailing on my dress is such that either could work, and I found a hairclip that has both, delaying the decision. I’m just not sure what I want, but know I can’t spend a ton. Any suggestions?

    • Meghan

      Here’s my two cents: I have heard that for some inexplicable reason, pearls are bad luck to wear on your wedding day. I don’t know where I heard it but I’m personally planning to ignore it and go with pearls! They’re the only jewelry that doubles as a natural cosmetic; the way they catch light and the sheen they give off is beautiful with every skin type.

      I’d think about the color of your dress – if it’s diamond white, diamond/diamondesque might play better than less-white pearls. It’s all totally up to you and whatever makes you feel awesome in the end!

      • GA

        I’ve never heard that before! I’m ignoring it too. My mother and her sisters all wore the pearl earrings my (now deceased) grandmother wore at her wedding… I’m absolutely going to wear them, and I suspect the sentimental attachment to them will more than balance out the bad luck. ;)

    • alyssa

      There is also beautiful, non over the top jewelry that features both… which is what I went with. :) I mean, if not on your wedding day then when?

    • B (the other one)

      Pearls are cheaper and since they’re more delicate you can’t wear them everyday like diamonds, which makes them feel more special.

    • Sara W

      I wore a three-strand pearl necklace with my champage/ivory v-neck dress and it went really well. I’d check out JC Penny’s or Kohls to see if they have cultured pearls at a reasonable price.

    • http://landlockedlove.com Kelly

      I wore both. Pearl necklace, dangly pearl earrings with a bit of rhinestone detail on the stud, and my dress had a rhinestone and pearl applique. The only actual diamonds were on my rings, the rest were rhinestones. But the pearls on the necklace and earrings were real. I think they looked great together. If you can’t make up your mind, I say go with both!

    • http://herodesigns.etsy.com Marlee

      I agree with Alyssa–diamonds/quartz/rhinestones and pearls are beautiful together! That’s actually what my wedding jewelry was like too (quartz, though, not real diamonds). I made these and wore them for my wedding–now they’re totally my go-to. : )
      https://www.etsy.com/listing/154673532/diamante-earrings-bridal-gemstone-rock?ref=shop_home_active
      I’ve also seen some beautiful pearl strand necklaces embellished with vintage (or vintage-esque) rhinestone brooches! https://www.etsy.com/listing/59817609/bridal-pearl-necklace-statement-wedding?ref=shop_home_feat

    • http://acceptorchange.blogspot.com YetAnotherMegan

      After all your posts I did some browsing and I think I am choosing to not choose! I’m 99% sold on http://www.etsy.com/listing/98227722/wedding-vintage-pearl-crystal-stud?ref=related-1 and http://www.etsy.com/listing/118654715/bridal-pearl-necklace-vintage-wedding?ref=shop_home_active . Thanks for your help!

  • Erin

    How can I dress up an otherwise pretty plain dress? Like, I got my dress, and it’s really cute and fits me and is pretty flattering, but it’s not in any way dressy (I could pretty much hack the skirt off at the knees and make a super cute sundress out of it . . . which I sort of want to do after the wedding). But I sort of want to BE dressy. (And everyone else keeps emailing me their super cute and dressy outfits that they’re planning on wearing and I’m always like “that will look so cute on you” while secretly being like “waaah, you will look so much better than I will!”)

    I am thinking of getting maybe a collar necklace? Would that work with a square-cut bodice? I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT FASHION.

    • http://happyguts.com Erinn

      Hi Erin! I have a similar situation, my dress is a fancy cut but casual fabric, and very simple. I’m looking for a statement necklace to pair with it. I want something blue but you do anything with some sparkle (if you so wish) or something else that would go with the style of your dress but also dress it up at the same time. I’ve been looking on etsy, here is a link for statement necklaces http://www.etsy.com/browse/jewelry/necklaces/statement?h=c987d439&lid=130329339&ref=cat_subcat_tile_4

      Hope this helps!!

      Erinn

      • Ashleyn

        Um, this link is amazing and I will be using it for my everyday life. I want a statement necklace in EVERY COLOR. Thanks!

      • MOE

        Stement necklaces from Posh Little K: http://www.poshlittlek.com/category/necklaces

        Some are casual, some colorful, some not not wedding-appropiate. But there are a few pieces that are stunning.

        I got my wedding necklace from here and the prices are pretty awesome in comparison to traditional stores.

    • http://letsbeamie.wordpress.com Amie

      http://pinterest.com/pin/60798663692122140/

      you could also go with a statement necklace or any shape with a large square neckline.

    • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

      Yes, a collar necklace would work! You could add a sash, too, if the fit allows- all it really takes is a long, wide ribbon and done.

      Depending of the level of formality, there are a bunch of ways to accessorize yourself fancier- gloves, bracelets (an armful of bangles? one big sparkly cuff?), hair do-dads, fancy earrings (esp. fancy if your hair is up). The statement necklace would look great by itself or paired with something quieter, like a simple bracelet.

    • http://herodesigns.etsy.com Marlee

      Don’t know if this would work well for your dress, but have you seen all the pretty wedding dress sashes and belts on etsy? I secretly wish my wedding dress had needed something like that, because I love staring at them. : )
      https://www.etsy.com/browse/weddings/bridal-accessories/belts-sashes/?ship_to=US

    • Lada

      I would probably opt for HUGE earrings or necklace, probably made by soutache technique.
      http://pinterest.com/greenja/soutache/
      Soutache jewellery can be a little pricey, because it requires endless hours to complete, but if you think about it as an investment – you can wear it later or it can become a heirloom piece.

  • Rachel

    OK my second question is regarding shoes…I’m torn between wearing nude heels or fun heels (like leopard or gold) with my knee-length, long-sleeved wedding dress and fascinator/birdcage veil. (BTW does the little veil come off for the reception or not?!) I had always thought I’d wear nude but…well, my definition of “nude” is different from most designers. Any darker-skinned gals know of comfortable and chic “nude” heels that match your skin a little better than the average nude heel on the market?

    • http://acceptorchange.blogspot.com YetAnotherMegan

      I’m as pale as a ghost, but Corporette did a rundown of “nude-for-you” pumps a few months back that may help. http://corporette.com/2013/03/04/the-best-nude-pumps/

      • http://acceptorchange.blogspot.com YetAnotherMegan

        Or, if you want to design your own, there’s always shoesofprey.com

      • Rachel

        Thank you for this!!

    • http://letsbeamie.wordpress.com Amie

      Fun, always go fun!

    • Kate

      You could buy a pair of light colored heels with a style/fit you love and paint them the right shade of nude?

    • alyssa

      I will forever and always love my pink heels. I’m so happy I went with something that showed off my personality! Another thing is to wear something subtle for the ceremony and switch it up at the reception. Reception shoes!
      As for the veil, I kept mine on for the cake cutting/first dance with my man, and then took it off when the REAL dancing got going. Because I was going to DANCE, yo. I’m not sure about any specific rules, but that worked well for me. :)

    • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

      I feel like in light of Meg’s earlier fashion post today, you have got to rock the fun heels. I love the idea of the leopard print, personally.

    • Aly

      I’m pretty darn pale so I’m not familiar with specifics, but what if you look for shoes with colour names like tan, bronze, or camel? A mixed-race friend freaked out once (in a good way!) when she saw the bronze coloured bra I was wearing because it matched her skin perfectly; she had never before found a bra that was “nude” for her.

    • MOE

      I wore a birdcage,I could have easily took it off but I kept it on the entire day and it was never in the way. The hair stylist placed it slightly to the side and it didn’t cover my eyes.

      I’m still waiting for an excuse to wear it again.

    • MOE

      I wore a birdcage,I could have easily took it off but I kept it on the entire day and it was never in the way. The hair stylist placed it slightly to the side and it didn’t cover my eyes.

      I’m still waiting for an excuse to wear it again.

      I’m have dark olive skin and still can not find a proper nude shoe. I wore leopard print kitten-heels.

    • Carolyn

      You could always do a nude for the ceremony and something louder for the party. Best of both worlds. Although, actually, just rock the leopard.

    • Amy Hawkins

      I made a birdcage veil with a few flowers on it. I could have worn it all day and I’m sure it would have been fine, but I personally felt like it would have been a little weird at the reception? I didn’t want to wear it all day but I didn’t want my hair to be just bare either, so I used some leftover flowers from making the veil to make a matching hair clip. But if you feel like keeping the veil on I don’t think there’s any reason you couldn’t!

  • Meg

    Is it super weird to wear my reception dress to my friend’s wedding?
    Here’s my dress: http://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/when-the-night-comes-dress
    Mine is red. The wedding is semi-formal and in the afternoon. My wedding was about six weeks ago. She has probably seen pictures from my wedding and would recognize it.

    • alyssa

      If you got your reception dress with the idea that you would wear it again, wear it again! I think that’s a great idea, and I say go for it. :)

      • KC

        I don’t know if something like “bringing a little of the leftover good luck and warm fuzzies from my wedding to share at your wedding – may your marriage be awesome!” would be suitable here? I mean, there’s competing/comparing, but then there’s *sharing*, and sharing/giving is awesome.

    • Meghan

      First: LOVE that dress! It’s so beautiful and I love the idea of you dancing it up at the reception in it.

      Second: If she’s seen pics and might recognize it, yeah I’d say it might be weird. I wouldn’t risk giving off the idea that you’re channeling ‘bride’ at anyone else’s wedding – even though you totally wouldn’t mean to! Then again, would your friend care? If not, go for it.

    • Rachel

      Not weird! It’s a little black dress, it’s not bridal at all!

      • Meg

        Well, for me it’s a little red dress… but I get your point. :)

    • Marta

      Wear different accessories?

    • Alison

      Don’t think it’s weird at all. If I were the bride in this situation I think I would be touched (along the lines of KC’s comment), if I even noticed.

  • Meghan

    What I need help with is a large barette/clip for my hair! I’m planning on a half-up style for the day and I need a clip to hold the ‘half’ up. My hair is super-straight, long (falls about mid-boob) and very thick. I’d love to DIY one, but does anyone else have a good source for one that’s inexpensive and up to the challenge?

    Info about my ‘look': Grandma’s ivory satin gown from 1951, reddish-brown hair, wearing pearls, autumn wedding.

    Thanks everybody!

    • Lauren

      I went straight to Etsy for hair clips (my original choice, not what I ended up picking) and there are a lot of designers who will work with you to make sure you get a sturdy clip up in there.

      What I do on the daily for my thick hair is put my “half” in a small, clear plastic tie and then clip OVER the tie for extra support. You might be able to get away with a less industrial clip using this method.

      • KB

        I second the Etsy suggestion. I got a hair piece from a site called Bella Tiara and had a horrible experience and it was expensive. If you have friends who used Etsy vendors, get their recommendations and maybe see if the vendor can do a custom piece. I have a friend who had a vendor do her take on a $500 belt for $100 and it looked even better than the one that inspired her!!

    • Laura Lee

      I would recommend getting a hair comb, and using it just as decoration, not to actually hold your hair up. Use bobby pins/hair pins/whatever to keep your hair in place, and just plop the comb in over top. If you are getting your hair done professionally, they will have absolutely no trouble doing that and keeping the pins doing the actual work practically invisible. Here’s a couple pearl hair adornments I like, but Etsy has like thousands.

      http://etsy.me/18LfyxI or http://etsy.me/15uqi0p

      • Meghan

        Great suggestions Laura Lee! Thank you!!

    • Another Kate

      I had issues with hair combs myself…I wanted to use etsy so badly because the stuff was gorgeous, but I just couldn’t tell from online photos if I was going to like it in my hair, the scale of some of the pieces, etc., and w/ Etsy you can’t typically return things. If I’m going to order something wearable online, I need to be able to return it if it doesn’t work, so unfortunately most of Etsy was out. I ended up ordering a bunch from Amazon, of all places, returned most of them, kept one, but eventually ended up borrowing rhinestone pins from my cousin instead.

      • JessPeebs

        I also bought and returned tons of hair things from amazon until I found one that I loved and worked right for me. I ended up with this that I still love. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006WPBU2O/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

        • Anonymous

          When my wedding dress that I had ordered arrived, I was surprised to find two silk flowers that were not on the sample. I asked the salon to remove the two flowers, but set them aside for me. I attached a clip to one and wore it in a half-up (Billie Holiday) style along with a birdcage veil. Perhaps you can use left-over material from your dress to create a fabric flower or bow fascinator?

  • http://teastrumpets.wordpress.com/ kyley

    Perfect timing! (Are you all ready for the neurosis in this comment?) APW I’m in a panic about the dress and my wedding is in two and a half weeks.

    I am a seriously busty woman, and despite swearing to do otherwise, I wound up with a strapless dress. And the dress is beautiful and soft and romantic and flowing….and doesn’t look flattering at the chest. I just went to my last dress fitting and it fits great–we did a bit of work to make it fit properly, and that’s not the issue–but I think my shoulders and chest look…not good. (And, guys, I generally like my shoulders and chest.) It’s a relatively low back, so adding straps would just look off, but I think it’s just too much skin showing of chest and shoulders and arms.

    I don’t know what I should do. I’m upset that I spent this much money on a dress that I feel very meh about. And, honestly, I’ve just spent way too much money on it to wear something else, so with 2.5 weeks to go this is the dress. I love, love, love my accessories. (These giant bad boys that look a little bit like bugs are my earrings and I couldn’t love them more.) Maybe I need a bolero??

    Here’s the dress:
    (What you can’t see in the picture is that the dress is made of soft, dotted tulle, giving it a sweet vintagey feel.) Anyone feel like shopping for a bolero? Would that make it better? The solution can include color! Any other ideas? Any help?

  • Jenni

    Maybe this isn’t the thread for this, but it’s currently on my mind … My fiance has mentioned wanting to wear his military uniform for the wedding. Everyone seems to think this is a great idea, except me. On the one hand, he’s a grown-ass adult who can dress himself. I don’t want to dictate the man’s choice of clothes. On the other hand, the military is entrenched in our lives enough as it is, and I’m marrying the man, not his profession. (Pointing out that I’m not wearing my doctoral hood kind of backfired as everyone said that was a good idea too. -_-)

    Plus there’s so many awesome groom outfits! Ugh, I just don’t know if I should breathe deep and accept, or debate a little on this. Has anyone else felt strongly one way or the other about what their partner wears, military spouses in particular?

    • http://teastrumpets.wordpress.com/ kyley

      I took my partner’s desires into my decision on what to wear. I ultimately made my own choices, but I could tell he was excited about the white dress, so I went that route. On the flip side, I told him I liked ties with a hint of purple in them (The man looks good in feminine colors, what can I say) and he chose a tie/shirt combo that tied that in.

      I think it’s okay to have a vote! I would maybe try to frame it as a positive (I think you look so cute when you wear x,y,z) rather than as a negative, as that can have the most lasting impact, but I also think that your reasoning about the military already having such a hold on so many other aspects of your life is a really, really valid one. I also think that if possible, maybe shut out the other voices, and just make this a conversation between the two of you. Be sure and ask him *why* he thinks he wants to wear his uniform (maybe it’s the path of least resistance, and maybe it’s for sentimental reasons). Good luck!

    • KB

      I totally feel you – in fact, I think this is kind of related to the Timeless post from early. You want to be able to look at your photos and see HIM, not the uniform of the institution that has had such a major impact on your life – just as, I’m sure, he’d want to see YOU and not some hyper-trendy weird gown. I’d poke more about his reasons for wanting to wear it – is it because it’s a dashing look that he’s comfortable with? All of his friends got married in their dress blues/whites? Or does he see it as a part of himself that he’s proud of and wants to share on his day? If it’s the last one, I’d probably bite my tongue on this one. If not and he’s just kinda being like “Meh, I’ll wear this,” I’d suggest some other dapper choices – fedora hats, canes, skinny-pants tuxes – there’s a lot to go with.

    • http://landlockedlove.com Kelly

      Once we agreed on the level of formality for our wedding, I made a few suggestions as to what my husband might wear (colors he looks good in, things I just think would look great on him, etc). He chose his own outfit. I very much wanted him to wear loud, adorable fancy dress socks, but he wasn’t into it, and regular dress socks it was.

      I have no personal ties to the military, so I can’t relate to what you’re feeling but I think I can understand it. I would suggest, though, that those feelings maybe aren’t enough to warrant dictating his wardrobe. It sounds like the military uniform would be appropriate (I’m guessing he’s talking about his dress uniform, and not fatigues) and no matter what either of you wears, you are marrying the person, not the profession.

      If my husband had tried to persuade me to wear a dress other than the one I wanted to wear to our wedding (and I know for a fact that he and I had different ideas about what my dress would be like), I’d have been hurt by that.

    • Carolyn

      Think you need a serious chat about *why* he wants to wear his uniform.

      Is he a 4th generation military man? Is he proud of his achievements? Family and traditions run deep and are worth respecting even if it’s not your aesthetic. But if he just doesn’t see the point of buying another suit, then explain your reservations.

    • Alison

      Your concerns make sense.

      My partner is going into medicine which can be pretty demanding and life-dictating, but not to the extent of the military! One the one hand, if he were to wear a stethoscope at the alter, I’d feel, like you, that it was sort of intruding on our personal space. The wedding is about us, not his job. I make enough accommodations every other day of the year for his professional pursuits.

      At the same time, I think there’s another potential valence of it (and obviously a military uniform is not tacky like wearing a stethoscope or white coat, LOL), which is to recognize that your committing to this person who has this other huge commitment IS a big deal and speaks to strength of your relationship.

    • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca Juels

      Kind of late to the party, but I totally feel what you’re saying. I have (to steal Kelly’s wording) very personal ties to the military and I can not imagine getting married to a man in his uniform. The overwhelming feeling behind that is “Ugh. Can I not have one nice thing that doesn’t involve the military?” Because, seriously, they take over so much of your life already…

      That being said, if he’s really proud of his job, then you may have to rework the way you’re thinking to support him. AFter all, it wouldn’t be the end of the world, right?

      • Jenni

        “Ugh. Can I not have one nice thing that doesn’t involve the military?” Exactly. This is what it all boils down to for me.

        Thanks to everyone who replied for your advice! I definitely will sit down and talk with him about the reasons behind what he wants and explain how I’m feeling. It certainly wouldn’t be the end of the world, but an honest conversation would probably make me feel better about the whole thing no matter what the end result is.

  • Susie

    Can I justify buying a pair of Hey Lady shoes if I never ever wear them again and sell them online? The fiance says no, but really it’s just like borrowing, right?https://www.shopheylady.com/

    I have a floor length, flowy gown but I want to be able to wear my shoes all night and not die. I did buy this pair of Seychelles in blue, but I’m a little worried about the height/comfort and the cold feet (literally). http://www.dsw.com/shoe/seychelles+jumpin+the+broom+sandal?prodId=263733

    I’m hoping Hey lady will come through with a discounted sample pair or I’ll snag a pair on ebay.

    The alternative for a potentially cold/rainy January wedding includes a pair of sage green converse I already own or a splurge on a pair of Hunter rain boots in Lagoon (tealish/green) that I could wear again.

    Also, fun tip, I found a pair of hair combs fashioned from vintage clip-on earrings on Etsy for my half-up/half-down hair and I’m stoked! A little sparkle, no veil, just perfect.

    Oh, and a vintage ivory lace sweater on Etsy to keep me warm. Although I’m keeping my eye out for a BHLDN wrap this fall… again with the hopes of reselling it afterward.

    • Rachel

      OK, the Hey Lady shoes are GORGEOUS, I don’t even know how to feel right now about the fact that you introduced me to these.

      I’m a really bad influence so I’m not going to weigh in on this one. But I do also love Hunter rain boots!

    • Aubry

      Oh hey lady, how you haunt me. I found the perfect pair on there, and they dont come in my size anymore! *cries* Now, I am a terrible influence as well, but I say go for it! If you can afford it of course. Or nock $200 off something else if you can, and reallocate the funds.

    • http://seasofgales.wordpress.com KH_Tas

      I wouldn’t recommend converse for the wet, they get soaked in 0.000005 seconds and then are unpleasant for the rest of the day. Just a word of warning. :)

      • Anonymous

        I have several pairs of cute rainy day shoes from Mel that may be an alternative to Hunter boots or converse: http://www.melshoes.com/shop.html. They’re waterproof and even come in heels.

  • Jessie

    In serious need of menswear advice!

    We weren’t originally planning on having a bridal party, and since we didn’t have to worry about matching anyone, my guy got a really awesome brown suit. Then…we had a change of heart about the bridal crew, and now we have two guys standing up with us and no clue how they should dress. (Our Best Lady is luckily taken care of already!)

    My partner is a sharp dresser and wants these guys to look badass, but neither has the cash to buy new full suits. I shudder in horror at the prospect of putting them in khakis, because the rest of the wedding is more formal and I know they are excited to dress up.

    Help! What matches a brown suit?!?
    (specifically this brown suit: http://s7d4.scene7.com/is/image/BrooksBrothers/MK00184_BROWN?$bbproductimages$)

    • Quinners

      Your link doesn’t work, but navy pants might look nice with brown?

      Or they could also wear brown, but not do a full suit? A nice pair of brown dress pants might be financially doable, with a dress shirt and tie? You probably want them to be less dressed up than your partner, so maybe losing the jacket would help both financially and in terms of wedding style?

    • Rachel

      Navy or a gray wool would match brown!

    • Megan

      We’re going the suit for the groom, dress pants/vests/bow ties for the guys route. Your fellas could wear brown or navy dress pants and class it up in the tie department.

      Also, selfishly, where did you find that suit??

      • Jessie

        Yup, that’s the one! We got it at Brooks Brothers. My fiance had a serious “this is the ONE” experience with it — way more of a Say Yes to the Dress moment than I ever had with my gown. :)

        We were thinking about going with navy, so it’s nice to hear everyone agreeing about that. Now onto the shirt and tie coordinating. Sheesh!

  • Quinners

    I’m having a blue version of the Vera Wang “Gabriela” dress (you can see the original here: http://julietmarriesromeo.com/vera-wang-dream-ruffled-wedding-gown-bridal-fall-2011-collection/) made for me. I love it, but it feels like A Lot of (beautiful) Dress, so I’m not planning on accessorizing at all. But what do I do with my hair?

    Right now I have an asymmetrical bob, with the long side just under my chin and the short side just under my ear. It’s super-thick, so curls could be overwhelming. Should I try to grow it out over the next year and then put my hair up? Leave it short and just get it neatly styled? Get a fancy headband even though I really want to do minimal styling with that dress?

    • KB

      That is a GORGEOUS dress!! I can see an updo being pretty because it shows off the back. I could see a headband working as an informal contrast to the formality of the skirt, but I also think it depends on what kind of event you’re having.

      • Quinners

        Secular evening wedding in a Butterfly Conservatory! Followed by a cocktails-and-canapes type of reception in a very cozy venue full of couches. It’s definitely not a super formal event.

        • KB

          Ooh, then I totally think a headband would work, especially with like loose curls or waves – super romantic.

          • Quinners

            That does sound pretty. I’ll probably have to talk to my hairdresser to figure out how to make it work, because I do not want to end up with GIANT FACE-EATING HAIR. :)

    • Breck

      I kind of love the idea of your current bob with a delicate headband or hair clip (as to not overwhelm that AMAZING dress). Reminds me a lot of the early 1920’s hairstyles a la Downton Abbey (just watched S3E1, so it’s on the brain), but I’m not sure if that’s really your thing.

      • Quinners

        I do love early-20s hairstyles.

    • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

      I’d recommend leaving your hair short. Unless your hair grows reeeeally fast, the shortest part will still be difficult to put up without millions of bobby pins (which get harder to hide as they multiply). My hair grows pretty fast, and a year would still be tricky timing. Especially since you’ll want time a month out from your wedding to get a sense of how you want to style it

      I, too, have really thick hair, and when I had it short (I did the Posh Spice angled-forward bob), I could curl the front and pin it out of my face so the crazy volume didn’t completely envelope me. Also, have some weight taken out of your hair will make it easier to style. Also, if you’d like to forego the curls, you could just barrette one side back, and just use a simple, plain barette. When thinking about hair accessories, you can still add a headband or clip without going bonkers on rhinestones and feathers. You could absolutely just pick a plain, simple style that works for everyday. (Bonus: likely to be cheaper!)

      If minimal is what calls to you for this (and I think that makes perfect sense with your dress), then go with it!

      • Quinners

        Thank you for discouraging me from growing my hair out – every time I try I end up getting frustrated and having four inches cut off, so it’s probably better not to drive myself nuts for a year. ;)

        • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

          No problem! I’ve grown my hair out and chopped it all off numerous times. And there is no fast-forward button for the growing-out phase. Plus, in the thick hair club, four inches of length is a whole lot of heaviness!

    • Hannah K

      blue!!! loving this.

  • Becca

    Ooh, I have a question: I have mid-length (just barely past the shoulder) hair that is very fine, a little thin, and not all one length. The last three descriptors make it really hard to pull off an awesome updo, which is what I would actually love to have. How to deal with this situation? Should I just cut my hair off into an awesome 20’s style bob and be done with it?

    • MOE

      A good stylist can clip in extra hair that matches your hair to give you more volume and then style it into an updo.

      • Becca

        For some reason I’m nervous about the idea of clip-in extensions (permanent ones I’m definitely not okay with). I guess I worry that they’ll look… fake? I don’t really know as I have very little experience with hairstyling other than wash/dry/comb.

        • MOE

          You can always do a trial updo with a stylist. I had clip-ins once when I was a bridesmaid to create a large bun when I didn’t have the length. My hair is dark brown and wasn’t so hard to match. The clip-ins were natural hair, not synthetic (which I recommend).

    • KB

      Maybe look into extensions? They can be expensive, but if you get them added to the underside of your head, it can provide the volume you’re looking for to pouf it up into an updo. I’ve also seen temporary clip-on ones for special events.

    • Carolyn

      Do you have a regular stylist? Get your hair done the next time you have a wedding/party or just the next time you get it cut. It’ll probably be clear pretty quickly whether you dis/like what they can do with your hair. My old stylist would schedule me at the end of the day so we had extra time to “play.”

    • http://teastrumpets.wordpress.com/ kyley

      I have the same hair as you! (Mine is more or less the same length all around, but it’s fine and pin straight and barely passes my shoulders.) And I’m getting an updo! I had my trial last Saturday!

      She’s curling it, braiding down the back on one side, pulling everything to the opposite, and allowing some loose curls to gather at the nape of my neck. This may not be the style for you, but it can definitely be done. I’d say bring some pictures to a stylist and talk about the general feel you want, and see what they can come up with. All of my pictures were of hair that was much longer than mine, but my (awesome) stylist understood the bohemian vibe I was going for and pulled something off that is really flattering and fun.

    • ItsyBitsy

      I’m not sure how you feel about braids, but they work *wonders* with hair like yours. They stay put really well with the only teensiest bit of product (I also have fine hair, so I feel you) and it’s basically an updo that isn’t too, for lack of better description, “up.”

      The fact that they are super popular right now is only an added bonus (bonus because now more stylists are likely to have practiced them recently).

      Example: My hair fine and I have an “A-line” bob that’s grown out to aaalmost my shoulders and I rock a faux crown braid all the time. I say “faux” because my hair isn’t long enough to wrap around my head in front, but in my humble opinion it still looks pretty darn fancy. A stylist can also work magic with bobby pins to get any shorter hairs in the back by your neck into place.

      • Becca

        I LOVE braids, but I’ve always assumed that because my hair is thin as well as fine, I couldn’t pull it off. It’s something to consider though!

        • ItsyBitsy

          I would deeeefinitly say give it a try (although I’m clearly biased). Maybe if you have a friend who’s good at hair-type-things you could play around a little and get ideas before going to a stylist? If you’re cheap like me. :)

        • Kestrel

          What you want to do with thin hair is to give it some texture before braiding it so it stays in better. You can start with day-old hair, or something I like is a beach or sea salt spray (usually used for making ‘beachy waves’). A dry shampoo can also work.

          You can also try to tease your hair a bit for some volume and for some extra holding power.

    • Rachel

      Clip-in extensions. I have very fine and thin hair so thinking of wedding styles freaked me out until I realized that extensions were a possibility. I got mine from Sally’s Beauty Supply and I think they looked really nice and natural.

  • KB

    Wedding is on Saturday – and I have two problems:

    1) I have a lace dress, sweetheart neckline with cap sleeves (Maggie Sottero, Lorie) that has little sparkles throughout and a corset in the back. When I tried on the dress for the first time, I tried it with a big sparkly belt that I loved, but it was $400. I got a small, thin belt from Etsy (a single line of rhinestones all the way around) which I think looks cute, but my mom doesn’t like – she thinks it looks better plain, but I love the sparkle. Here’s my thing – I’m thinking of just putting it on for the reception, but since it’s not sewn onto the dress, I’m worried that it’s going to fall off or it won’t look nice because there’s a corset in the back. Any suggestions? I’m thinking of having a bridesmaid thread the ribbon throughout the corset so it looks entertwined but the problem is that the ribbon is ivory and my dress is white – do you think anyone will notice?

    2) I need my something borrowed still!! I have all my jewelry already and no one I know has an antique broach or lace hankerchief. Any unorthodox suggestions?

    • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

      1. No one will notice, it will look great!

      2. I read somewhere the idea of borrowing someone’s perfume for the day- so you’re wearing a “borrowed” scent. Or borrow some nail polish?

      • http://letsbeamie.wordpress.com Amie

        I love this idea! Borrow your MOH’s perfume!

    • Rosie

      4 days, so exciting!!

      I’ve worn belts in the way you describe without them falling off, but I think it depends if you’re happy with it being quite tight or if you’d find that uncomfortable. I don’t think anyone would notice the difference between ivory and white, and if they did I don’t think it would look bad! Is there any way you could try the dress with the belt before Saturday? Also if you put it on and it falls down and you take it off then no harm done :) If you have time when you’re getting ready you could try the intertwining thing and see what you think.

      For borrowing: would it be weird if you borrowed make-up?! Like using a friend’s lipstick or something. Or nail polish? You could maybe borrow something to put in your hair, like a clip, pin, flower etc. Hope that helps :)

    • alyssa

      I walked down the aisle holding a tiny bible I borrowed from my sister, because my mom and grandma walked down the aisle with a bible as well. Maybe you could weave something into your bouquet as something borrowed – I think it doesn’t have to be worn. :)

    • Megan

      I think that your belt will look awesome! Don’t sweat working it into the lacing on the corset. I’ve seen corseted dresses with slim belts on top and they look amazing. If you’re worried about slipping, you could saftey pin the belt to the lacing on the corset.

      Rock it!

      I love the idea of borrowing a scent!

    • http://teastrumpets.wordpress.com/ kyley

      I’m borrowing an old necklace charm fro my fiance’s grandmother (that her now passed husband gave her when she was 18!) and wrapping it around my bouquet. Just last weekend my future MOH also offered me the clutch from her wedding, so I guess I wound up with two “borrowed” items. It doesn’t have to be something you carry with you all day long, you know?

    • Sarah

      1. a. If you tie it tight enough, it won’t fall off. If it falls off, you will still look pretty.
      b. No one will notice the ivory-white thing if that’s how you decide to do it.
      2. Perfume? (Sunscreen? Moisturizer?) In the end, I couldn’t make Borrowed or Blue happen (I had a lot of green, and, well, I’m detail-oriented and had everything done before I realized it and got seriously cracking on what to borrow), and I just said the hell with it. It was fine. No one asked me about it, I didn’t regret it, and no major bouts of bad luck on the day of that I’m aware of.

    • Morningglory

      We used the knife that my parents used to cut their wedding cake as our cake-cutting knife. We also used pilsner glasses from my grandparents for our toast. I also borrowed a clutch from a friend. And I had one of my grandmother’s hankies pinned into my bouquet. So I guess I wasn’t wearing anything borrowed, but we borrowed quite a bit for different things throughout the day.

    • Carolyn

      I’d not fret too much about the borrowed item being super significant (assuming here that maintaining the rhyme is important to you, or else why would you have asked!) Makeup, jewelry, bobby pins, handbag, kerchief, shawl, et. cetera all seem pretty simple to come by.

      Or go more abstract- “borrow” a first dance song, a reading, or a tradition from a friend or family’s wedding.

    • http://Www.smittenchickens.com SarahHoppes

      Just for the ceremony, I wore my mom’s anniversary ring. Her engagement ring was very small, and after 15 years, my dad gave her a bigger, nicer one on ther anniversary, and that’s what I wore as my old. My borrowed wa my mother in laws pearls. Neither were all that old or heirlooms, but they both were happy to contribute, and their jewelry was pretty.

  • Margi

    Late to the thread but help would be very much appreciated.

    I’m a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding and need to buy strappy gold sandals. Unfortunately, due to a recent back injury, I can’t wear heels. So I’m looking for gold, strappy, FLAT sandals…is there such a thing that doesn’t look like a gladiator sandal or just something you see on the street every day?

  • Meredith

    Such a perfectly timed thread. My two problems are shoes and dress length. Morning wedding on the beach. To get to the beach I have to walk down a fairly steep, gravel path. The wedding is fairly informal/business casual. That said the groom is wearing suit pants, button down, tie, and button vest.

    Here’s the dress I’m getting in Champagne: http://www.dessy.com/dresses/bridesmaid/d501/?color=champagne&colorid=950#.UdxwYrRhfE0. I haven’t gotten it tailored yet so I can keep it at full length or go tea length. I’m completely waffling. I like the idea of tea length but I’m not sure about it. I’m 5’4″ and heavy set but I like my legs. Not sure how much of a difference my height will make.

    Second question is what shoes? Flats or sandals? Peep toe? I want them to be comfortable and re-wearable. Our color is a red on the orange side of the scale (based on the yarn for the sweater I am making out of Madeline Tosh’s Robin Red Breast colorway). So I’m thinking maybe red or champagne. Maybe purple for the out of the blue but still could look good. Chance are also very good that once we get to the sand, the shoes will be coming off.

    So APWers, suggestions? Advice?

    • LMN

      If the wedding is fairly causal and you like your legs, I’d say show them off! Plus you don’t have tho worry about the dress getting icky or ripped from dragging in the sand.

      I’d keep your shoe options pretty open for now–flats or wedges, sandal or peep toe–and try and find something in a color that works for you and in a style you’ll wear again since those will probably be the harder things to find. I’d probably stay away from high heels though for a beach wedding… but I’m also completely uncoordinated so I might be biased.

    • http://turningtoward.blogspot.com Kara H.

      I would go with something more toward the sandal-side for a beach wedding. I’ve always loved these Loeffler Randall wedges (and they would look FANTASTIC with your dress). And here’s your option if you’d prefer to not have a heel. Did I mention that they’re also on sale?

    • eulalia

      OMG! I love this dress – I haven’t tried it on, but I have stalked the website plenty. I think that due to the kind of wedding you are having, you could do either full or tea length just fine – will having a full length on the beach annoy you or would you worry about sand/water on the hem? One thought is that you could wear it long for the wedding and then have it cut off short to wear again another time… And I say go for colored shoes – I love colored shoes and I think they are so fun. If I were on the beach, I would want sandals, I think, but that is just me.

    • CII

      I would vote tea length, but then again, I’m partial to tea length. And I think that dress is beautiful floor length, but I can imagine how beautiful it would be if it was tea length (adds a whole romantic audrey hepburn vibe). Also, based on what you described about your body type, that might help keep you from feeling like you are drowning in too much material or that you are too formal for the kind of wedding you are having.

      I would think that a peep toe wedge would be beautiful with this — if you like your legs, I bet that would make them look great. And any color you loved, really, for shoes. You could do plum (admittedly, I’m just borrowing from the photo) or rose gold, just as two suggestions.

    • Meredith

      Thank you guys! I am concerned about the bottom getting dragged through the sand and I do want to walk along the beach and not have to hold my dress up the whole time.

      I’m uncoordinated too and would totally break or sprain an ankle in any sort of heel. Spending the afternoon in the ER is not how I envision my wedding day. I am concerned I need to have my shoes before the tailoring fitting. If I get a general height shoe that I plan on wearing. Do you think that would work?

      • Sarah

        The only reason to have the shoes in hand at your fitting, besides making sure the hem falls where it should, is to make sure the hem doesn’t interact weirdly with anything else going on (vamp embellishment, sparkly ankle strap snags the lining, etc.). If you don’t think those issues are likely to come up with your final choice, I think just having shoes with the heel height you intend are fine.

        • Meredith

          Thanks for the info. I think I am going to wear the shoes posted below.

    • Lada

      I would vote for either full lenght or shomewhat below the knee. I am 5’3″ and from my experience, tea lenght and mid-calf lenght make me look shorter. But if you’re not sure, just try pining the dress to your desired tea lenght and see how it looks.
      And BTW, those dress are to die for :)

    • Meredith

      Thank you all. I just found these today and am pretty sure I am in love. Hopefully the colors will work together. http://www.6pm.com/born-ginnifer-oro-metallic

  • Catelyn

    Earring help? My sister has offered to buy me a pair, but wants me to pick them out. We both love Alexis Bittar in general, but have not loved anything specific (I’m tempted to throw in the towel and borrow the ones she wore for her wedding, but she is more stubborn than me). I like something with about a 1.5-2 inch drop, and will be wearing my grandmother’s yellow gold & opal necklace. I have emerald accent stones in my engagement ring and would love to mirror some color from there, but don’t need matchy-anything. Price point is around $200-$250.

  • LMN

    Colored crinoline, yay or nay? I found a lovely creamy-ivory tea length dress and coral shoes with cream piping and am debating a colored crinoline. I’ll end up making it myself so (providing I can find the materials in the right colors) I can totally customize it. I’m currently torn between making a completely coral or ivory with coral edging crinoline for under my dress. I’m leaning towards the coral/ivory mix, but I’ve never seen contrasting edging on a crinoline before so I can’t quite envision it… but I also feel a solid coral petticoat might be a little too pink for me. I had planned on blue shoes and crinoline and navy BM dresses… but then I found the coral shoes and coral and blue will still look fab together (plus peachy/coraly bouquets!). Thoughts?

    Also… any thoughts on pairing nude shoes with navy/dark blue dresses? My default would be black but I’m currently toying around with styling ideas. I don’t want to demand very specific shoes from my BM’s but I’m guessing requesting a general neutral would be ok.

    • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

      Nude shoes look great with just about anything- and with navy dresses, they’ll look stellar. :-)

    • alyssa

      I think neutral and navy is gorgeous. Very fresh and current.
      http://pinterest.com/pin/185703184608058992/

    • Hannah K

      can we know what the coral+cream-piped shoes are?! (at least post a pic?)

    • CII

      I. love. those. shoes. And coral + navy + ivory/nude = WIN.

      I say yay on colored crinoline. On Etsy, “Eleen Fashions” has a few dresses that appear to have colored crinolines that coordinate with the sash and shoes. Even if the specific styling’s not your thing, I still think it’s helpful to see examples. Such an awesome idea.

    • KC

      I’d double-check whether colors show underneath your dress in any lighting (like, through the dress fabric) and make sure that any color show-through and associated color borderlines are intentional, but otherwise, either way sounds awesome. :-)

      • LMN

        Oh good point, I hadn’t even thought of that! I’ll have to keep that in mind for sure.

    • Ashleyn

      For the crinoline, since you’ll be able to customize it, what if you did layers of both ivory and coral, sort of alternating? Then the ivory layers would soften the brightness of the coral and result in a sort of soft peachy look? I feel like I have seen that done a lot lately in all the tulle layered blush or gray wedding dresses and I really like that there is color but that is is softened enough that it’s almost like is it blush or is it ivory?

      I hope that makes sense, I can’t really find a visual for what I mean.

      Also with navy dresses, nude heels are perfect!

  • dawn
  • eulalia

    Ok, here is my concern. I am so excited to be working with a dressmaker to design my own dress! I am a plus size bride and really want some sleeves (to just below my elbows) and am in love with a bateau neckline. I love these elements, but both together makes for a lot of coverage of my decolletage/shoulders/arms, and I am afraid I am going to look frumpy. I am asking the dressmaker to make the neckline as low as is reasonable and will also have the back be as low as I can tolerate, but is there anything else I can do to not look too matronly? The dressmaker is making a muslin of the bodice with plenty of time to make changes, but I won’t be able to see the real thing until it will be way too late to make a change. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to make it feel not too matronly? The dress will be a very light dove gray dupioni silk with empire waist and full length skirt, and we are getting married in our church in May with an indoor evening reception, in case that makes a difference. Thank you, all!

    • http://landlockedlove.com Kelly

      A killer lipstick will save anything from being matronly.

      Your dress sounds GORGEOUS.

    • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

      The sleeves and neckline sound elegant, not matronly at all. Plus, give the dress will fit you like a glove, that will end any frumpiness right there. (Secret to not looking matronly? The sparkle of being YOU and full of love!)

    • Carolyn

      I’m guessing you don’t want the back too low so you can wear a bra, but a suprise low back could look hot. But anyway I think it sounds lovely. If you’re worried, I’d maybe sass it up in whatever way is your usual (red lip? crazy giant earrings? bright flowers or sash?)

    • MOE

      Sheer sleeves?

      I was a plus size bride too and I was hellbent on NOT wearing another strapless dress.

    • CII

      I think that sounds beautiful. And I bet you will be absolutely beautiful.

      I am also working with a dressmaker to have my dress made, am on the edge of plus size, and also insisted that there be no straplessness. Two things I’ve learned from this experience so far are: (1) my dressmaker was right (even though I doubted fiercely) that, because I’m larger up top, a ton of material up there is not my friend. So we are breaking up that solid space with detailing, and a lower neckline than I would have thought I was willing to do (it’s shocking what you can do when the dress is being made for you). (2) that although my concept was important, I also have to sometimes compromise on what I thought I wanted a little bit to also get something that looks good on me. So, for example, I ended up with a different neckline than what I had originally envisioned, but the rest of it (sash, tea length, etc.) is still the same.

      My suggestion would be that, if you are concerned about feeling matronly, is there a way to add details or break up the top half of the dress a bit? Could the sleeves be a gauze material overlay (with a portion of the sleeve that is solid, obviously, so you can hold up the ladies), or could there be lacy details around the neckline? Plus, you can offset matronlyness with makeup and hair (maybe a pinup / vintage look?) Just some ideas — I’m sure you are going to find a creative way to stay true to your concept, while also finding something that brings out your beauty. Good luck!

    • Tamar

      It sounds like a few other people have made a similar comment, but can you go sheer on the sleeves/top area? I’m in a similar boat and looking at a lace 3/4 sleeve top over a sweetheart neckline sleeveless.

      No matter what, seriously, is it weird to say that your dress sounds delicious? It does. If it’s well fitted, it’s going to be great, and it sounds really lovely for a church wedding/ evening reception.

    • Anne

      LACE SLEEVES!! I did this with my tea-length dress (that was also handmade, by my mom), and it was a nice amount of coverage without being heavy at all. If you can get a very light French lace without any cording in it, the lace will look pretty and not too overwhelming, but still allow you to wear sleeves.

    • Rebecca

      I love, love bateau necklines. I think they can be super elegant- as long as you stand up straight! They really emphasize the line of your shoulders, so good posture (shoulders back, etc.) can really change how elegant the lines are. And killer lipstick. Definitely killer lipstick.

      Looking at google images, it seems like a tipping point between super covered up and elegantly sexy is right around the collar bone (to my eye- not an expert here!) Above the collar bone looks super covered up- just below looks a lot lighter.

    • eulalia

      You are all right… The tailored fit will help and I will work on my posture, too, those are very good tips. Yes, my dressmaker has suggested a sheer, narrow edging perhaps in a slightly darker organdy, so that will help distract from the large field of material. I will be wearing a longline bra, so the back will only go down as far as that, and I think the neckline will be below my collarbone (my dressmaker will make the neckline as low as she can while still being a bateau neckline, and it will be low enough that my nana’s pearls will not overlap the dress).

      I really like the lace/sheer sleeves idea, although I think finding a lace the same shade of gray will be extremely difficult bordering on impossible, however maybe organdy sleeves? I will ask her about it the next time we meet – good idea!

      And I hereby swear to find a lipstick that will at least maim (if not kill!)

      Thank you, all for your suggestions and support!

  • Jacquelyn

    As always, perfect timing :) Shoes, haven’t had any luck finding dark teal (peacock) flats… any help appreciated!

  • Ariel

    Thoughts on these (in blue): http://www.dsw.com/shoe/jessica+simpson+oscar+patent+pump?prodId=221728&category=cat20006&activeCats=cat10006,cat20006

    I just started planning (got engaged two weeks ago, woot!), but already have a place for ceremony+reception and I ordered postcard save the dates because I’m a crazy person. I’ll wear those shoes again… but I probably won’t be able to wear them the entire night. Is it stupid to buy shoes knowing that my I<3sneakers self will have to change into flats or flip flops at some point during the night? Recommendations for cute (although not nearly as important as comfortable) flats/flip flops?

    • Ariel

      This is dangerous. I LOVE these in the white/neon green/hot pink: http://www.crocs.com/crocs-womens-capri-iv-polka-dot-flip-flop/14386,default,pd.html?cid=68M&cgid=women-footwear-flip-flops

      wedding-y enough?

      A little about what we’re already planning: late June, (hopefully) outdoor (hopefully short&sweet) ceremony, no wedding party, old carriage house, blues/greens/yellows/oranges, no DJ/band (Spotify and speakers), pretty lights, paper lanterns, trays of food from a restaurant buffet, no organized dances (fiance and I are mad awkward people)… trying to keep it simple and “us”. We just want to have a quick ceremony and throw a fun party for relatively cheap (~$5,000 in Northern NJ exclusive of outfits and rings).

  • one more sara

    I’m at my dayjob so I don’t have time to read through the comments (tear) but I have a dilemma! I want to put my 4 year old son in a nice outfit to be our ring bearer/wedding kid/whatever, and I think I want him in a dress pants/suspender combo (I am not a fan of full suits on children) but I have no idea where to look or what shoes to put him in. Our groomsmen are wearing (medium, lighter than charcoal, darker than normal light grey) grey suits and our bridesmaids are wearing royal blue dresses. It’s a church/hotel ballroom wedding that is on the more formal side of dress casual.

    My specific problem is WHERE THE HECK DO YOU BUY DRESS CLOTHES FOR LITTLE BOYS THAT ARE NOT 3-PIECE SUITS OR TUXEDOS???

    • Breck

      JCrew crew cuts? I’m pretty petite, so I always buy their little boys dress shirts since they’re so much cheaper!

      • Breck

        Whoops, hit submit too quickly. But, crew cuts are pretty good quality, fairly affordable/always having sales, and JCrew is generally pretty easy to deal with, customer service-wise.

    • eulalia

      Saddle shoes would be adorable on a 4 year old!

    • MOE

      My ring bearer was my husband’s little brother, 10 years old.

      He wore a black suit his mom found for him at JC Penney I think. I really did not want her to spend a lot of money on something he would potentially wear one time before outgrowing it.

      But to make him more kid-like yet still very cool I ordered his bowtie from Etsy. A Star Wars bowtie. I am the coolest big sis-in-law now.

    • http://www.alacartealbums.com jeliza

      Macy’s has some, though they don’t always have them in the store.

    • Emily

      My 3 year old ringbearers (twins!) are wearing a vest/pants combo they got at Macy’s with bow ties we found that match the bridesmaids’ dresses. They’re SUPER cute!

  • http://thebeejays.blogspot.com Joann

    Mismatched coordination!!!!! It’s driving me insane.

    Mister is wearing a slim grey suit with a white shirt, mint tie. I am wearing a pale opal (blush) sandblasted silk dress by Nicole Bridger (strappy, flowy, kind of relaxed goddessy) with gold strappy sandals, mint earrings, gold jewellery.

    The Honorables (maid, sister, man) and Groomsmen were asked to keep to a palette of chambray, pale grey, white.. I only have two ladies, they both are figured in dresses that have chambray in them but are different dresses, they will look super cute.

    The men… are less easy to round up, one is wearing a dark chambray shirt (like dark dark denim chambray) with grey pants and grey tie, and I’m starting to worry that it will all look messy and uncoordinated in a not nice way. And that Mister will look like the sore thumb in mint.

    Am I just going crazy because there’s only 18 days to go?????? Do mint, chambray, white, grey peach and gold work together? Should I just trust that they will all look great and no one will care if we aren’t gracefully mismatched? Fuck I’m excited for LAW (life after wedding).

    PS: the wedding is on a laid back island, if that matters at all

    • Catherine McK

      I vote for trusting that it will look great! It sounds lovely to me and I know the aesthetic things I worried about didn’t bother me the day of one iota and they certainly didn’t bother anyone else.

    • Meredith

      It will be great! Laid back and wonderful.

    • Susanna

      Trust your instincts, that sounds amazeballs! I have never seen chambray done in a wedding- I love it.

  • May

    HALP. I’m having a really traditional wedding (grand old church, ballroom reception) and everything is very fancy and whatnot. The catch is that I really reeeeaaaallly want to wear flowers in my hair. But the only time I’ve seen that work is on little elfin boho brides who are not wearing dresses with metre-long trains. Hair flowers in a conservative church ceremony setting – CAN IT BE DONE??

    • eulalia

      I am in a somewhat similar situation – my idea is to make myself a headband with smallish (fake) flowers on it. If you want to use real flowers, I have seen tucking individual flowers in updos and it looks awesome! I think the key is to find the right flower – something not terribly delicate so that it can be pushed into your do without disintegrating and will last all day/night without turning brown. I think baby’s breath is a good idea, or anything with a woody stem – tea roses, maybe? I wouldn’t worry too much about the church setting specifically! I think that would be grand. It might be a bit tricky if you also want a veil, but still do-able.

    • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

      Yes! Do you want color or not? I think it looks much less boho if you stick with all white flowers, but color will look good, too! You can also decrease the boho factor with rhinestone or pearl accents or more “tailored” flowers (ex: roses or buds vs. peonies).

    • Rachel

      Yes! There is this wonderful wedding on Pinterest that has a perfectly placed hair flower:

      http://pinterest.com/pin/102245854012695697/
      http://pinterest.com/pin/102245854012864481/

      Here is the original post where the pins are from. The ceremony was held in a church: http://www.elizabethannedesigns.com/blog/2011/10/04/rustic-vintage-maryland-wedding/

    • MOE

      You could change from a veil to kickass flowers for the reception.

    • alyssa

      Wait, there was a post about risk this morning! I say go for your boho crown if that’s what does it for you! I can imagine that a ballgown/train with a flower crown would be so beautiful.

      I haven’t read this blog, but a quick google search gave me these traditional wedding + flower crown photos. Totes gorge. http://www.lovemydress.net/blog/2013/07/belvoir-castle-wedding-vera-wang-wedding-dress.html

    • Tamar

      My two cents- I think that it would be a beautiful touch. I honestly feel that flowers enhance the vibe, instead of totally changing it. Flowers at a boho, etsy wedding enhance that carefree feeling, and flowers at an elegant, traditional wedding would enhance the elegance of the occasion. Imagine- a circlet of beautiful white and pink flowers with the fancy dress and occasion- SWOON. Do what feels right! I’d be willing to bet it turns out amazing!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Fergie did it. (They were removed right after the ceremony to reveal a tiara so they’re not in most of the photos.) Also Pippa Middleton.

    • Lada

      I’d say you can totally wear flowers in your hair, but they need to be of smaller scale, or it will be overwhelming.

    • Emily

      My dress is pretty elegant, and I asked a florist to make pins of stephanotis to put in my updo – I’ve seen it before, and I think it’ll work!

  • Jessie

    Also…shapeware for the tummy area for a low back/keyhole dress? I don’t need a bra (hooray built-in), but I’m looking for something to smooth out the hip line/lower tummy and doesn’t go above my belly button.

    • http://acceptorchange.blogspot.com YetAnotherMegan

      They have some that look a lot like bike shorts and go from mid-thigh to belly-button area. Personally, I wasn’t a fan when I tried one on (A-line skirt, no desire to suck in any more than I need to), but they are out there. The one I tried was from Soma, but I’ve seen them at other places that sell shapewear.

    • ItsyBitsy

      The Lingerie Addict has a few articles on shapewear (and also lists when there are sales, because good lingerie is damn expensive) if that helps. She also writes about corsets a lot, although they might all come up too high on the back for your purposes. Good luck!

      • ItsyBitsy

        Gah! Comment editor broken. :(

        In any case, after posting the above comment I found this article which addresses (ever so briefly) shapewear for wedding dresses & offers a few places to check out.

  • Jenny

    Will someone please tell me it’s stupid to worry that my champagne colored dress will look “dirty” or “dingy” if my fiance wears a white shirt?

    • eulalia

      I wouldn’t worry unless he is wearing a white suit!

    • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

      It’ll be great! Especially in sparkly light (whether sparkly church light, evening candlelight, or bright sunshine). He will be the foam to your fizzy ;-)

    • LMN

      I’ve seen this question asked a lot in regards to ivory dresses and white shirts and it seems the overwhelming answer is *don’t worry about it* I wouldn’t stress about it for champagne either, especially since men’s ivory shirts tend to look dingy so if you try to tone down the white then it won’t look that great for the guy.

    • http://teastrumpets.wordpress.com/ kyley

      It will not look dingy or dirty all, just a lovely champagne color. It will make both of your respective outfits pop much more than matching, where it’ll all blend together. Not only should you not worry, but you should celebrate that you will have even *better* pictures this way. :)

    • Copper

      If it’s what goes with your skin tone, it won’t look dirty it’ll look perfect and natural and completely coordinated.

    • Anne

      Don’t worry about it — we did this and it was totally fine. If you’re concerned, just have him keep his jacket on for the photos, and you won’t even notice.

  • Devon

    I just had my make up trial this weekend because I don’t wear make up, like ever. I was expecting to look in the mirror and see a beautiful, natural, glowing bride. Instead I saw my old face with a lot of paint on it. Everyone said it looked beautiful and I needed the make up for my photos to turn out. I just felt so uncomfortable and didn’t feel like myself and I don’t think I want to have my make up done on my wedding. Will it ruin my photos if I have very toned down make up- some blush, a little mascara and some lip gloss?

    • MOE

      Perhaps this is what you need to communicate to the make-up artist?

      You will photograph better with some foundation to even out your skin tone. However, if it doesn’t feel like you’re being true to yourself you shouldn’t force it either.

      • rowany

        I also don’t wear makeup ever, and I’m wondering how important makeup is if you’re not wearing a white dress? Mine is mustard yellow. I’m more worried about having an ‘airbrushed’ appearance next to the non-makeup’d groom – wouldn’t that just make him look washed out. If it was that important for pictures, why don’t the guys wear makeup?

    • Catherine McK

      Nope! There are a lot of great posts on here about doing your own make-up. I think the general consensus is that primer and foundation help with the pictures, but do what makes you comfortable! I know I didn’t want to have my makeup done, since every time I do my husband looks at me funny and tells me how much better he likes me without it. Despite the rhetoric, it’s not all about the pictures! (And ours turned out great anyway)

      Here are a couple of the tutorials makeup if you need encouragement:
      http://apracticalwedding.com/2013/01/how-to-do-sheer-foundation/
      http://apracticalwedding.com/2012/07/how-to-fresh-faced-makeup-with-a-bold-lip/

      • Rebecca

        Ha ha! My husband totally does the same thing. I managed to find drugstore makeup that made me look exactly like me, but airbrushed/ a little more eye definition, and wore that because I wanted to play with makeup for a change, but he was still not a fan, although that was decreed to be “okay, I guess.”

        Also, post-processing the photos is totally and option and means you don’t have to wear stuff on your face…

    • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

      Your photographer might have some good tips for you, too. Or be able to use your engagement session (if you’re having one) to test how different makeup looks on film. Definitely make the choice that you’re most comfortable with.

    • May

      My future SIL was exactly the same as you; she didn’t want to look in the mirror on her wedding day and see a stranger. So she wore makeup, but honestly I didn’t notice it at all, and it definitely did not ruin her wedding photos! Can you do another trial and take some photos, see how it looks?

      I definitely second the foundation, though. And maybe a leeeeetle bit of very very subtle eyeliner? Maybe?? Just enough to enhance what you have.

      • Ali

        Is there someone who knows you well and knows a little about makeup that can do it for you? I never wear make but I have had my mom and sister in law do it for me on special occasions and they do a great job. Its prolly hard for a professional makeup artist to do it as naturally as you want. Another option is to go to a makeup store and ask for makeup emphasizing how you want it really natural. Then buy the basic makeup you want and practice doing it yourself.

    • http://partialto.tumblr.com LIZ (SINCE 1982)

      I so resent the idea that you “need” full makeup for the photos to turn out. I mean, this is 2013, we have HD everything – no makeup artist should be troweling the slap on you like you’re in the touring company of Miss Saigon.

      For my engagement photos, I stuck with my usual routine of bb cream and concealer, and I do not look pasty, blotchy, or overly shiny; my features do not disappear into my face. I look like I actually look – not perfectly matte and glossy-lipped – but with the benefit of a talented eye capturing all the joy my gent and I were feeling. For me, those shots are perfect, and I can’t imagine wanting to look any other way in my wedding pictures either when the time comes.

      For the two weddings I’ve been in this year, the brides both had pro makeup right down to false eyelashes and while it wasn’t my style, they looked glamorous and loved every second of getting dolled up, and their pictures are going to show how beautiful they felt.

      I really think that’s what it comes down to, in the end: how you FEEL will have a much greater effect on your photos than any product on your face. If you’re excited to rock it, you’ll look fabulous; if you’re counting the seconds until you can race to the nearest sink and scrub it all off, that’s probably going to show. Whether you work with your makeup artist to figure out a look that you’re into or you decide to do some minimal makeup yourself, just figure out how you feel most at ease. If you’re having a blast with your spouse and guests, your photos will be awesome!

  • Jade

    Hi ladies (and gents),

    Help help help help! I have REALLY long straight brown hair and no idea what to do with it for the wedding. My normal style is in a bun with chopsticks holding it up or less often a simple braid. The problem is that most of the styles I like require about a foot and a half less hair (mine is about a yard long).

    I’m having a daytime spring wedding with a simple lace dress. Followed by a picnic with a normal party dress. Any links/tips/ideas would be appreciated!

    • MOE

      I’m really loving all the braided styles I see lately. I searched on Pinterest “braided updo” and found things like this: http://pinterest.com/pin/575053446140413442/

      • Jade

        That is lovely, but I’ve tried styles like that and I have to wrap my head too many times for grace. A braided bun looks like a dinner plate on the back of my head. *sigh*

    • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

      I’ll have to see if I can find a good picture, but a friend of mine had hair down to her butt at the time of senior prom. She went into a hair salon with no idea what she wanted, and the stylists just fawned over what they could do with her hair. In the end, a lot was pinned up, with twists and braids and stuff, but about half of it cascaded over shoulder, too. I think it would definitely work for daytime wedding- very much “fairy forest princess, and all the little birdies put my hair up” kind of feel.

    • Lada

      I used to have long hair too, and to dress up, I’d:
      (1) change my usual chopsticks to dressier ones, with crystals – easiest option
      (2) do some tricky half-updo
      (3) use different kinds of braids
      There are many tutorials on youtube for very long hair, if you DIYing, and there are hair stylists which can work magic without destroying your hair by too much hairspray.

  • Erin

    Oh! Another question!

    Drop veils with flowered crowns – CAN IT BE DONE? And also what the hell do you do when it comes time to be doing some kissing, because the flowered crown would be over the veil and it won’t lift well, I wouldn’t think.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      When I looked into this, I learned that the part over the face is usually a separate piece in such situations. Kate Middleton, however, appears to have pinned hers at (to?) the tiara, and flipped it over the tiara.

    • http://thehumanehuman.blogspot.com Pippa

      No answers for you, except that I’m having the same dilemma.
      Do I put my floral crown on top of the veil and have it be covered when the veil is up? Or put it under the veil for easy veil removal and liftage but have it hidden for a large part of the ceremony?
      On a similar note, I’m torn as to when I pull my veil up – when my father has finished walking me down the aisle or when my hubby goes in for a smooch??

      • Carolyn

        Apparently the historical context is that covering the face symbolizes “purity” . Gross.

        I had a serrrious veil happening and was told that the norm now is to raise the blusher when you get to the end of the aisle and kiss your family/meet your partner. So the face is not covered for the majority of the ceremony. Personally, I felt a little weird being hidden/not being able to see as well…

        • http://m.pinterest.com/magelet33/wedding-outfits/ Caroline

          I vote veil then flowers on top. Then for the reception, take the flowers off, take the veil off, and put the flowers back on. If I do this, my plan is to hat pin the veil to my head then put the flower crown on without pinning it to my head. Then flip it back over the crown.

          I’m definitely thinking veil down for the ceremony. The whole partly lifting the veil to drink the wine for kiddish (Jewish blessing over wine)? Swoon.

        • Erin

          Nah, it’s because they didn’t want grooms to bolt if they found out their bride (who they had been arranged to be wed to) was ugly. So, also gross!

          I actually don’t really understand veils from a historical perspective (i have a kid; that ship has sailed), but I like drop veils cause they’re so prettttty.

    • http://m.pinterest.com/magelet33/wedding-outfits/ Caroline

      Yes it can!! It’s stunning. I have a ton of photos of it pinned to my Pinterest ( linked in my name just for this post so you can see.
      Why not make a crown and try it? I think it would lift okay.

  • MirandaVanz

    I wish I saw this earlier! Hopefully this wont get lost.

    So does the wedding dress have to go with the wedding that much? We are having a DIT, mason jars, balloons, giant gorgeous church wedding. My dress is soo fancy and I worry that it will look out of place. I know that logically it’s my wedding dress so it’s going to be freaking fancy and that’s fine, I just want to stop worrying about it.

    • Meredith

      Sounds like my friends’ wedding. She wore a fancy dress and everything else was DIT and laid back. She looked gorgeous, happy, and in love. She shone but didn’t look out of place at all. The wedding was beautiful and everyone had fun and was comfortable. Congratulations! Enjoy your wedding!

    • alyssa

      This is really similar to what was going on with us. My dress was pretty sparkly and princessy, and our reception was verrrry budget and DIT in a friend’s barn. I worried for a while, but then just let it go because a) I loved my dress and b) I loved the reception space. When a bride is happy and beautiful, so is the space! And in looking at pictures, I think that the glam dress with the toned down atmosphere totally worked. You’re going to looove your pictures, promise. :)

  • http://everything.learackley.com Lea

    You know when you design the perfect thing in your mind but can’t seem to find it anywhere? I have thick curly hair, and imagine clipping a little back on each side (I do this normally with bobby pins and it looks really nice, but I want something that won’t slip out throughout the wedding day.) I dreamed up some tiny, delicate clips or barrettes, maybe in a pretty matte gold or other metallic. Anyone? We’re talking really small, too, since I’ll be wearing on on each side of my head. Thanks!

    • Meredith

      Oooh, you have hair like mine and I’ve got the same thoughts. I’m thinking of looking on Etsy for some cute small barrettes or decorated bobby pins (I’ve seen lots on there). Then backing that up with some heavy duty bobby pins and hair spray for last-ability. And then letting my hair do whatever it wants once the ceremony is over and choosing not to care. Heaven knows it will anyway.

      • Breck

        I would also suggest Etsy. Maybe find a shop that makes hair pieces in the aesthetic you’re looking for, then design a set of custom barettes? I’ve done so much random custom stuff on Etsy, and it’s pretty much always turned out great and affordable.

      • http://everything.learackley.com Lea

        Perfect! Curly hair is meant to run wild and free. It’s our best look :)

    • Copper
      • http://everything.learackley.com Lea

        Beautiful!!!! Thanks!

    • Rebecca

      Claires used to have these kind of twisty spiral thingies with rhinestones/ flowers on them- they weren’t for holding your hair up- just sort of bedazzling for your hair. Would something like that suit? Claires is totally the place for cheapy hair sparkles…

    • http://m.pinterest.com/magelet33/wedding-outfits/ Caroline

      For my mom’s wedding, I pulled back her hair to the sides with lots of little butterfly clips (you know the ones that look like butterflies, from Claire’s or whatever) in two rows/sort of a v, and stuck tiny bud roses in them so it looked like she had a net of roses on her curls. It was lovely.

    • Kestrel

      I actually have some barrettes in matte-ish metal colors from goody I believe.

      So check out your local drug store and see if there’s something that might work.

  • ROSE

    I’ve been scrolling through all of these and realized that a) that you all are so awesome for helping each other out and b) I have questions of my own…

    1) I am wearing this dress: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/bcbgmaxazria-inga-print-silk-chiffon-gown/3430926

    Shoe suggestions? I’m thinking just flat brown-ish sandals, but I’m pretty lost. The wedding is on dirt, gravel, and grass, so heels are probably out of the questions.

    2) Also, bouquet suggestions? Since this dress is chock full of color and pattern, I’m thinking an all white bouquet, but I’m not sure how that would look…

    • MOE

      when speaking to my florist I remember her lamenting over white bouquets, she doesn’t like making them because the flowers turn brown when they wilt. I see what you mean about the dress having all the pattern and color could compete with a flower bouquet.

      how about a monochromatic bouquet, perhaps something in all coral?

    • Copper

      I like the all-white bouquet, and you could do white or ivory sandals to go with it even?

    • Lada

      First, sorry, I meant to reply, not report :/
      I am thinking – maybe flowers in the colours of the dress? And a little bit of yellow, too?

  • http://www.alacartealbums.com jeliza

    Very late to the thread, but … I am usually a seriously menswear kind of gal (as in, I get my suits at Men’s Wearhouse half the time) but for our vow renewal I’m wanting to mix that up with something more … womanly? I’m going to be 40 and don’t really do cute, but don’t want to just wear a tux. The wife says a suit jacket with a skirt would be too business-y. Any and all ideas appreciated.

    • Breck

      I don’t know anything about menswear, but maybe some really well tailored slacks and a more-feminine-than-usual blouse? Or a regular shirt but in a more eye-catching color? Banana Republic usually has some great, classic options.

    • Kh_tas

      Tailored black/grey/white knee-length dress with cap sleeves? Don’t have any links right now unfortunately

    • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

      I think you could still do a suit or tailored slacks, and make it more feminine with a blouse that has the flair you’re looking for. You could easily find a nice blouse in a bright color, or with ruffles, or with an interested collar/button detailing, etc. And wear fabulous shoes, that’s always “womanly” (heels not required for fabulous-ness).

  • Emilie

    We’re going for a very non-matchy bridal party look. Our girls are wearing whatever floral dress they want. And we asked the guys to wear any non-navy suit. But I just found out that two of our groomsmen happen to have matching light blue seersucker suits. And they want to wear them. We’re getting married at 9am ceremony in the summer, so seersucker’s totally appropriate. But will it look weird if two of our men match, and the rest don’t? Or even if just one rocks the seersucker and everybody else is wearing black and brown?

    I should note these two men are standing on my side, not my groom’s. It’s me they’re closest to.

    Help. Me.

    • Rebekah

      Just saying here I don’t look at the attendants. I look at the couple when I attend a wedding.

      If you are seriously concerned that it will draw the eye away from you two if your two Bridesmen are wearing Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum matching seersucker, maybe you can stagger them? Or perhaps different colored shirts/ties/shoes.

    • KC

      I think them being on your side makes it easier; people will be even more comfy with them being on the bridal side if they partially match each other. Just stick a girl or two in the lineup between them and call it good.

      I’d also note that two light blue seersucker suits not acquired at the same time are probably not exactly the same shade/cut/etc., so it’s honestly probably not even going to be as much of a matching issue as it is when one imagines it anyway. But anyway, separate matching things with non-matching things, and bingo, things un-match!

      • Emilie

        They actually bought them together. Some sort of two at the price of one discount.

        Good call putting a girl between them.

        • KC

          That is… an unusual situation indeed. (I think?)

          But people are used to bridesmaids matching and being colorful, so them matching each other but not the groomsmen will probably help with associating them with “the bride’s” side?

          Anyway, yes, toss a bridesmaid between them or put them at the ends of the line or whatever works with your numbers and call it good. :-) It’ll work fine.

    • Carolyn

      Don’t sweat it. Also if you asked them to pick their own clothes you then have to let them *pick their own clothes.* I get your fear, but having just been a bridesmaid who was told to pick my own dress, it was super annoying to then be micromanaged (sorry if I’m projecting my frustrations!). Give them different ties and call it a day.

  • Riah

    Any suggestions on turquoise jewelry, specifically earrings? My wedding’s on the casual side and I want my jewelry to be pretty, but not fancy. I’m wear a knee length white dress with an empire waist, cap sleeve and a sweetheart neckline and low turquoise heels.

  • Rebekah

    Last time I went to visit my FM/FIL and stayed in the guest room, there was a jewelry box. I’m a snoooooop and I opened it. There’s a gorgeous and perfect jade necklace in there that FMIL doesn’t wear and might have inherited (Her mom is Korean, dad is Chinese) that would be so perfect with my dress and with my longstanding desire to wear heirloomy stuff.

    HOW do I open a dialogue with her that leads to being able to wear it?

    And yes, I know this makes me sound awful and if you invite me over you might lock your cabinets first. I’m getting better about it.

    • Emilie

      I bought a jade bangle a couple years ago when visiting China and I am so totally excited to wear it on my wedding day! It’s my favorite piece of jewelry.

      Sorry that’s not helpful. Ask your future spouse for help?

      Yay jade!

    • KC

      Okay, so as I see it, your options here are:
      1. be honest that you’ve seen the necklace (“the jewelry box in the guest bedroom was so gorgeous, I wanted to look at it more closely, and I saw this amazing necklace…”), but be very careful to make it easy for them to say no if they’re not okay with loaning it out (it might have major sentimental value, or might be fragile [need to be re-strung before use to be safe, etc.], or they just might have had bad experiences loaning out expensive things or whatever). Asking where they got it so that you could potentially buy something similar for the wedding might work, or might seem really strange; sort of depends on the uniqueness of the necklace. Obviously, being honest that you looked in the jewelry box in the guest bedroom could backfire, as often people assume you’re “on your honor” not to ferret around places and will then think less of you in that dimension, but… if you want to kill off this habit, being honest about it is probably the way to go. And also, I think looking in things that are out in the open in a guest bedroom is less creepy than poking around in peoples’ medicine cabinets [unless you need something for a headache] and definitely less creepy than entering other private rooms and poking around.
      2. inquire about borrowing “something borrowed” as a tradition, and mention jade as your top pick, followed by whatever else you would be okay with wearing, possibly checking with other family members as well so that if they do offer you something that is jade but is not what you want, you have a “oh, thank you, that’s gorgeous, but my aunt Gertrude already offered her thingy…” as an “out”. But honestly, this might backfire badly if it came out that you were angling for something specific, or if it seemed like you were asking for a gift rather than a loan, or if they’re not comfortable with that sort of request.
      3. ask fiance what the best way of approaching it is
      4. give it up and look on Etsy for something similar/inspired-by

      In any event, remember to hold the idea of wearing this particular necklace loosely. It is not worth damaging relationships over, guaranteed.

      • Carolyn

        Well as long as your a snoop, let’s work on adding con artist to your list of skills ;)

        If you talk to or see that family often, the next time they ask “so how’s wedding planning going?” bring up that you’re stuck on jewelry. You were hoping for something vintage/from family/colored/not from Claire’s/incorporating his heritage, but are coming up short. Does she have any ideas?

        If you have equally conniving bridesmaids, you can send an email to both moms and all the bridesmaids asking for jewelry help. Have a bridesmaid reply all and steer the conversation.

        Ask your partner to tell your mom about the snoop/jewelry find. She may be more comfortable telling him (as a middleman) no if she doesn’t want you to borrow it. Anyway, you get a lot of crazy-person leeway around the wedding anyway.

        Suck it up and tell the truth. FWIW, I kept waiting for my grandmother to offer to let me wear her sapphire ring from my late grandfather… Finally I just asked if it would be ok (sheepishly, assuming she didn’t want me to since she hadn’t offered) and she was so happy and honored! She never offered because she assumed if I’d have wanted it I would have asked.

    • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

      Carolyn’s advice is right on. I just wanted to give you snooping solidarity. I tend to just make myself right at home wherever I am (which means opening cabinets to find coffee cups, raiding bathrooms for emergency tampons, and certainly opening cool jewelery boxes, especially when in the guest room)

      Though on the whole, I don’t think opening anything in the guest room is snooping, especially if it’s unlocked. I mean, if it was reeeaalllly private, it’d be in the master bedroom, right?

      • Tamar

        Just giving support to this- seriously, it was in the guest room. How could you not look?? You didn’t go digging through something hidden in the back of the master bedroom closet (right??). I feel like it would be totally fine to be upfront and say, “Hey, last time I stayed in your guest room, I saw a really beautiful piece of jewelry in the jewelry box. I’m trying to find something special to wear as my ‘something borrowed’ for the big day. Do you feel like this is something you’d be comfortable lending to me, even just for the ceremony?”

    • JEM

      How about “I went to store my jewelry in the box and saw this beautiful necklace…”?

  • Copper

    ok, I not so secretly stole this pin from APW and made it my central style inspiration: http://pinterest.com/pin/126241595776342154/
    And I’m imagining hair something like this (only light coppery red, cause I’m me): http://pinterest.com/pin/126241595776791126/

    I am currently planning on wearing: vintage tea-length skirt, bustier from BHLDN, and a custom-made lace top my my amazing mom, and these beauteous gold loeffler randalls: http://www.loefflerrandall.com/tamsin-classic-pump-gold-crackled. Probably a birdcage veil of some sort.

    Outstanding/questionable issues are… it’ll be october. So, I should have something warm on hand, right? It’s LA, but it’s still a bit of a crapshoot by then, plus I want to stay out late. I HATE wraps. Hatehatehatehate. Suggestions? Also, jewelry… my hair will hide my ears, and the neckline of the top comes up high enough that will a necklace even work? and bracelets cut me off at the wrist and make me look fat. So do I bother with jewelry?

    • Carolyn

      Meh, got married in October in Ohio. When I got cold I just went inside or borrowed from a groomsman/husband.

    • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

      If you don’t like bracelets, I’d say don’t bother with the jewelry. One less thing to worry about.

  • Caroline

    Style dilemmas: can I rock this dress ( not purchased yet but I think I’m going to): http://media.preownedweddingdresses.com/dresses/31561/White-One-W1-6228-Size-8.html
    with a drop veil? Or is that too much tulle? What length veil? (I’m chopping the dress to ballerina length/no train and short enough I don’t trip)

    Also, I’m thinking red lipstick, red shoes (pumps or ballet flats. I want to wear puns but won’t I then trip over the dress for dancing? Do they make cute red flats?), and a big red and yellow and orange sunflower one flower bouquet. Maybe also a flower crown, maybe not. No jewlery. I’ll swap the veil for a kippah for the reception. Am I crazy or is that a good idea? It sounds good to me, but I don’t trust my own fashion judgements and my partner, who is normally my fashion faux pas checker doesn’t want to see any of it, so I’m slightly adrift.

    • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

      Sounds good to me and I think you can totally do a veil. As for length, you’ll probably need to experiment a bit and see if you can try some on with the dress.

      Your accessory choices sound great!

      • Caroline

        Thanks. I don’t always trust my style choices so it’s good to know it doesn’t sound crazy.

  • ISLA

    I need jewelry help! This is my dress:

    http://www.weddinary.com/dress/augusta-jones/1618-illusion-ball-gown-in-satin-style-number32335515/

    Which I love because it is very classic and toned down. But then I feel like I should maybe tone it up a notch with jewelry? I have NO idea what jewelry to wear. I’m thinking maybe no necklace, and some fabulous giant bling earrings (???). Maybe a blingy bracelet too (???). My problem, specifically with the earrings is that (1) I’m having trouble finding anything I like, and (2) when I do find something blingy and big and try it on, it seems ridiculous on my ears (probably because I never wear big, blingy earrings in real life). Suggestions? Help? I’m going blind looking at etsy. (I’d go for opals/(fake) diamonds/pearls/and any light blue or turquoise stones, if that helps. And I really can’t swing more than $150, POSSIBLY $200 if I went temporarily insane…)

    • http://poppiesandicecream.blogspot.nl/ Amanda

      Opals or Turquoise sound perfect to me.
      Also, have you thought of crystal? You could get very pretty Swarovski earrings, I had them… kind of in the form of a drop / tear, not too big, but big enough to see and they looked pretty and classic, plus you can reuse them easily.

    • Lada

      Those are some seriously amazing dress!
      If you feel that big blingy earrings are not for you, maybe try little studs and rock a crown/ headband?
      Also, the dress will look fab without any accesories, maybe with some killer red lipstick.

      • ISLA

        Thanks, guys!

  • Ashley

    I recently saw this wedding posted on reddit and I am absolutely in love with the bride’s jewelry. Its this sort of pearl harness that drapes down her arms and I want to find something similar but I have no idea what it would be called or how to search for it.

    Picture: http://i.imgur.com/fnxCFm9.jpg

    Any ideas?

    • Susanna

      Lovely! It looks to me like the pearl strands are actually a part of the dress. I imagine a seamstress could help you out.

    • Lada

      I tried googling shoulder necklace pearls and got some pretty similar results

    • Rachelle

      If you want to/can pay a bit more than etsy prices, I would contact http://littersf.com/ about custom work… And please please please submit a wedding grad post so we can all see the results! Such a cool idea!

  • EM

    Another accessories dilemma: I need help finding a kickass cover-up.
    I thought I would go for a non-traditional, edgy dress with a lot of interesting detail that reads less bridal and more stylish. Sleeves! Texture! Deconstructed vintage! Whatever that means.
    I tried, but none of those seemed quite right for our semi-rustic, backyard party, then I found a strapless, sweetheart, ivory silk number that I love. Go figure. It’s deceptively simple with a beatiful drape an cleverly gathered pleats in the bodice.
    But! I still want to bring in something bold, fun and creative for the accessories and I thought something to wear on my head or a coverup would be a great way to do that.
    Added difficulty level, it will cool, possibly foggy, so it needs to actually provide some warmth. And I have 5 weeks.

  • honeypie

    Is it too late? I have always wanted to wear a blush pink dress. I think it will look better on my skin tone and I just love the color. I happened upon a thrift find of a lifetime. I found not only one but two Vera Wang silk dresses (in blush pink!!!!)(in my size!!!) along with a silk shrug. I’m guessing they’re bridesmaid dresses but I don’t care. The first is a long gown, spaghetti straps with some cleavage and a bow in the front. The second is a knee length strapless. I had a coupon and the dresses along with the shrug totaled $32. Crazy, right?

    So I need ideas on how to make the long dress more bridal-y. What can I add? Bustle? Tulle? What hairpiece? I have a pixie cut now. I’m certainly thinking of bejeweling the shrug. I can even do the short dress as a reception dress, which is something I never would have considered before finding a deal on these dresses. I think I can get a little spendy on the rest, which is a good thing because the shoes I want are really really expensive. And sparkly/sequinned. I’m part magpie.

    • Kh_tas

      Sorry, accidently reported while trying to type on my phone – mods please ignore

      sequiny / beaded / crystal headband?

      Is there room in the skirt for understructure to lift it up/ out a little bit?

      Definately bedazzle the shrug :-)

      • honeypie

        I think there is some give in the skirt, it isn’t fitted so maybe a seamstress can add something to bring it out. I like the headband idea, thanks! :)

  • Jennifer

    I am wearing this dress: https://www.etsy.com/transaction/134012637 (minus the collar) and I’m wondering what kind of shoes to wear with it. I’m having trouble finding vintagey heels that I like (preferably under $100).

    Also, I’m wondering what kind of veil to wear with it.

    And it’s an indoor wedding in December (but in CA so not really winter) :)

    • Rebecca

      I probably sound like I’m paid to advertise for them, but Seychelles are a pretty good bet for vintagey and less than $100. Also comfy.

      Or you could go all victorian and wear heeled ankle boots.

  • Emily

    I am wearing a strapless dress with an off-the-shoulder lace jacket over the top. It has a definite romantic/vintage feel. Should I wear a long strand of pearls doubled (one strand around my neck, one strand hanging just past bust) or a choker?

    • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

      Hmm. Hard to say. Either will look good, but I’m generally a fan of long necklaces, so my vote is the doubled strand.

  • Vyvyan

    Oh handy! Hope I’m not too late on this; I was just fretting the dress yesterday. I’m wearing a dress I picked up as a shop sample (Christina Wu 15440). It’s not at all what I pictured myself wearing (tea-length, simple, etc), but I like it and it looks great on me. I’m not sold on the huge train, though! I’m planning a ceilidh, and I want to *dance*.

    How much of the train can I get away with removing? And can I have my seamstress take out some of the floof under the back to make it a bit shorter, or will that ruin the line of the thing? Hellllllp! (I am average height, and wearing it with pale gold ballet flats, so I can dance.)

    I’m planning on reselling it afterwards and know that this might ruin the resale value, which I’m willing to take as long as I’m happy in it on the day!

    • Kestrel

      Maybe you’d want to look at bustles? I’m scared that if you remove the train the weight of the fabric would not be enough and it wouldn’t stay where you wanted.

      I do feel you could remove some of the poofyness. See if you can pin down the tulle inside first to give you a better idea of how that would look.

      • Vyvyan

        I hadn’t thought of needing the weight of the fabric! I’d been thinking I’d like to lose some of the fabric weight, for dancing. Hah. That’s a good point, and it hadn’t occurred to me. There is a hidden seam under there, so the way it falls may not be entirely reliant on draping, but I guess that’s really something that I should ask my seamstress!

        Taking out a little poof and getting it around floor-length or so with no train would make me so, so happy. Though I’ll bustle if I must!

  • Lauren

    Ah!! I hope I’m not too late because I’m having a horrible time trying to determine accessories (I hope you all can help!!). Here’s my dress: http://watters.com/Product/WattersBrides/8072B/. I love it and want to keep my accessories minimal – I am certain I would like a necklace or earrings (I think both is too much?) and I 100% want a pretty sash to help define my midsection. My problem is that I have zero ability to accessorize and, as much as I want to keep my look very understated BUT I’m so drawn to the “boho-flowers in hair/bright big accessory” look. Can I blend the two?? If so, can you do it for me because I don’t trust accessorizing abilities!

    Here’s some other, possibly helpful, info: I don’t wear accessories on a daily basis (mostly because I’m intimidated by trying to make sure they “go” with what I’m wearing). We are getting married in the fall in a field at a kids summer camp with a reception at the camp. I am going to do my hair similar to this: http://pinterest.com/pin/56646907786108810/. The bridesmaids are all in different jewel tone dresses with a mix of lace dresses and chiffon (they picked! I’m excited! the dresses generally fall in the plum/cranberry/teal/navy realm). The guys are in mismatched brown vintage vests (some with tweeds).

    So, with all that background – Does anyone have ideas for how I can accessorize so I feel comfortable but still feel all “girl in a field with flowers in her hair”? Also! Ideas for inexpensive sashes?? (I’m totally willing to buy 2 rhinestone appliques, sew them on ribbon and call it a day but I can’t find any I like!).

    • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

      I’d say copy that Pinterest picture as much as possible, seeing as it has the hair you want, a woodsy-flower tiara, and a nice big necklace. Just amp up the crown a bit from the picture. Maybe add larger flowers just to one side of it, instead of having them circle your whole head?

      You could go a couple of ways color-wise, depending on your preference: bright flowers on the crown, with a white/neutral necklace; white flowers on the crown, with a bright, colored necklace; or bright colors on both (sounds like your could easily draw from the colors your bridesmaids are wearing). Any option will work, it just depends on how much color you’re looking for.

      How bling-y do you want your sash? That could be another place where you could do flowers for the boho look instead of bling. Fake flowers might be easier to find. Even if you’d like to stick with rhinestones, maybe look at brooches or barrettes, as those would be easy to clip on to a ribbon as well. Good luck!

      • Lauren

        Ahh! Good idea! I didn’t even think about copying her because the dress is different (so simple rather than big and poofy) but I still think it could work.
        And so the internet research begins…

  • Kestrel

    So I’m wearing a full-length flowy dress but want to wear shoes that are almost shockingly casual underneath. I like the juxtaposition, and I never wear fancy shoes (my work shoes are sketchers!)

    I definitely want flats as I’d like to remain shorter than my fiance (1″ difference) and the place where we’re getting married can be a tiny bit damp if it’s rained recently on the trails so slightly robust would be awesome. I also planning on running through the local gardens in my wedding dress and frolicking!

    But I’m not a chucks kind of person and I also am not thrilled about toms. Any suggestions?

    • Susanna

      Sounds to me like you need a pair of Keds! They come in so, so many colors and patterns, so I’m sure you could find something that tickles your fancy.

    • honeypie

      Hmm. If it is damp, what about some jelly flats? That way they’re waterproof and you can frolic without care.

  • Tamar

    Okay, guys, I just JUST came across the dress that is basically exactly what I’ve been looking for. About 10 minutes ago, online, following a dig through the APW archives leading to the post about bridesmaid dresses that would work as wedding gowns. It’s beautiful and it just looks perfect. Tiny concern- it looks a bit under-dressed for the January church wedding we’re probably having (probably meaning we haven’t set the date in stone).

    Here’s the dress: http://www.shopjoielle.com/product/ceremony-joanna-august-bridesmaid-dress-style-40442/ And the color: Going to the Chapel (Also, I love that song. It couldn’t be more appropriate.)

    Is this too informal?? I’m going to do the whole veil shebang, so that’ll dress it up. Aside from that, can anyone think of other ways I could make it more winter/church-y?

    I’m dying, it’s so right.

    • CeeBeeUK

      Go for it! It’s gorgeous and elegant and perfect!

  • Carolyn

    It sounds like a lot of folks here are stumped on accessories! And maybe there’s just not a lot of advice out there since styling is soooo subjective. You think it’d be easy, you get dressed every day, but it’s tough when you’re trying to balance feeling fancy and special but not look overdone.

    It might be really cool to see one dress with different jewelry/styling options. FREE IDEA: “5 ways to…” Like 5 ways to sass up a plain dress, or 5 necklaces that don’t look insane with a blingy dress.

    • Cait

      That would be great!

      5 necklace styles for strapless dresses, 5 statement necklaces for bold brides, things like that could be super fun and helpful.

  • Jenny

    Timing of this thread is everything. I’ve been so laid back about wedding planning I think I just realized yesterday that I only have slightly over a MONTH LEFT! EEK!!

    My Current style conundrums:
    -my dress is ivory tea length, and I’m adding a sash – but what color? wedding colors are yellow and gray, casual 50s feel to the wedding, but idk if yellow would look right – maybe champagne?

    – SHOES – thinking about a pop of color since the dress is tea length and why not.. but mint (my new obsession), red (to match my dark red lipstick), or another color altogether? I know I want simple ballet flats, since its an outdoor ceremony and I’m not a heel wearer in everyday life, much less in front of everyone I know.

    Opinions welcome and greatly appreciated! I’m almost to the point of just asking my sister to please go buy me shoes in whatever color she thinks will look best and I’ll wear them.

    • Vyvyan

      Feel free to disregard all of this: What about a light pearly gray sash? (Agree on being unsure about yellow with ivory.) I’d be tempted to go with either yellow shoes or red, possibly leaning more toward red if it matches your lipstick.

    • Cait

      I think gray could look nice with ivory. As for shoes, maybe a shiny silver to go with the colors? Or just throw away the color scheme for shoes and do red, to match your lips!

  • Cait

    My partner and I are trying to organize our ceremony, and it’s been really hard! It’s going to be non-religious, and we don’t know our officiant (we haven’t chosen one yet, so there could be time to get to know him/her, but we don’t know yet–also, the ceremony isn’t in the town where we live, so odds are probably worse that we’ll know the officiant well).

    Once I went to a courthouse wedding where fifty-ish people sat around a big conference table and stood behind each other while the bride and groom, who had just entered the room as part of the group, stood with the officiant, who talked about them, about marriage, about love, and then pronounced them married. Their witnesses signed, everyone cheered, and we all went back outside to have food and drinks.

    I loved loved loved this, that there wasn’t the pageantry of the bride’s arrival or a gendered differentiation between the bride and groom (besides attire in this case), and I loved that there was a long talk about them.

    So if I want to recreate that kind of ceremony feel, but ours will be outside on grass (we’re renting chairs, so people won’t be literally sitting on grass), I’m not sure what to do. And if people are arriving before the ceremony and milling around, how can I get everyone to like, go get seated at once with us? Should we have a table, so we can sign our license in front of our guests, which I liked about this other ceremony I saw? If we have people do readings, should we follow a basically traditional order of events IN the ceremony, even if it looks different besides that? I just don’t know!

    Tell me what you’ve seen work well (or not work well, but when does a wedding ever not work well?) and what we should do! Thanks for your creativity and help!