Our Wedding: Getting Ready

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Now that you’ve read about our venue and wedding design, time to go deep into our wedding pictures — starting with a bit about how everyone looked and what they were wearing…

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My Matron of Honor, Cassie, decided to gift me my wedding day hair and makeup, specifically because she knew I would love her friend Lexie’s work. Which I do. I love her.

Lexie Lazear does makeup and hair for brides, and wig-building and make-up design for musical theater productions in the SF Bay Area. She also teaches classes on doing the perfect cat eye, and everything else you could ever imagine about makeup.

Lexie did everyone’s makeup, but she, Kim, and Lexie’s friend/assistant Erin all split hair-doing duties.

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My sweet darlings, Christine and Jenn, hung out with us while we got ready, since they were staying on the property!

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While the other girls were getting hair and makeup started, I worked on handwriting my vows — which I had just written in a phone memo that morning!

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My bridesmaids also surprised me with a book of letters written by many of my friends and family members, all wishing us a happy marriage and reminiscing about wonderful memories. It was an unexpected highlight of the morning!

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I recently discovered how much I adore a bright lipstick, so we decided to go with a simple eye and bold lip. I also had some hair extensions  my sister gave to me and they miraculously matched my hair exactly. Lexie pulled my hair back and curled it into a side pony, to show off the length, leaving a perfect spot for a strategically placed flower.

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This eye makeup. Did. Not. Budge. It was still as beautiful as ever as I headed off to bed at 1 AM.

OK, a quick note on buying my wedding dress…

I found it at Janene’s Bridal in Alameda, CA — a shop I picked from Yelp because it had the best reviews, a great selection, and affordable prices.

I scheduled my appointment for September 2013. Turns out not every bridal dress appointment is a Say Yes to the Dress / Kleinfeld’s type of experience, where the associate looks at a moodboard and says, “I know just the dress,” then goes off to hand-pick five dresses that work best with your body, budget, and bridal dreams. I was allowed to roam on my own and pick what I wanted; it was insane to look through row after row of dresses, praying I’d find options that fit with the flow-y, twirl-y fantasy I’d been pinning and envisioning for years that I could also afford. It helped that I am an incredibly tactile person, and I could simply run my hand over most dresses and determine undoubtedly that it wasn’t the dress for me. (Taffeta: why are you a thing?)

I grabbed several dresses that seemed to fit my style, and then I saw without question the prettiest dress in the bunch. The dress is called “Willow” (Style 1350) by Blush By Hailey Paige. It was also over budget, but I picked it up anyway. When I walked into the dressing room with the handful of dresses, my entourage offered a reassuring “oooouuuu” when they saw it.

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Then, when I walked out wearing it, there was the stereotypical gasping and tearing up, even though it didn’t fit at all and the back was gaping open. It was so soft and twirly and everything I’d hoped to find. Since we all loved it so much, I had my size 8 sister try it on so I could see how it would look when it actually fit someone. Even though Kim was already skinny and pretty, it made her look even skinnier and prettier. The dress is mostly tulle, with soft, thick handkerchief lace, and has just enough train to feel super bridal.

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I’m 5’8″ with good posture, and Jonathan is about 5’10”, so I knew I didn’t want to wear heels. I searched high and low for solid navy flats that weren’t too casual or a million dollars. While they aren’t solid, I eventually found this pair from Seychelles (no longer available, I’m afraid) that were just what I needed.

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The necklace and earrings were from J.Crew, the bracelets were my “something borrowed” from my Aunt Lynn (they once belonged to my grandmother), and our rings were purchased from South Coast Jeweler in Santa Ana.

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For the bridesmaid’s jewelry, I told them to pick literally anything they liked. It could be bold or it could be subtle. These are Jessie and Cassie’s choices (which suit them so well)…

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… and this was Kim’s…

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The dresses were knee-length J.Crew in the most beautiful dark navy.

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Pretty ladies! :)

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Jonathan and I chose not to do a “first look” because I really wanted him to see me for the first time coming down the aisle, so I decided to do one with my dad!

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It was simple and sweet and I know it meant a lot to my dad.

Now, onto the guys!

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I find it funny that Jonathan and I both have similar pictures of us writing our vows by hand from notes on our phone that we typed up that morning. (And they were long too!)

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It should come as no surprise that it took the groomsmen, Martin and Lukas, exactly 45 seconds to get ready, so there was plenty of time for them to goof around and have pictures taken.

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Jonathan’s best friend Rebecca was the groomswoman and she handled all that testosterone like a champ!

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How sexy is that man with this beard?! ;)

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I am really happy with the suit/tie color combo that we ended up going with, which tied in almost all of the color scheme for the wedding: navy, yellow, gray, white, and black.

The guys are all wearing the Ludlow suit vest and pants in Italian worsted wool from J.Crew — navy for Jonathan, gray for his groomsmen. I can’t remember the brand of ties, but Jonathan and I went to Nordstrom and browsed through literally every tie they had until I found exactly the right color and texture.

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Rebecca, being the lone lady among men, had leeway to find whatever dress she wanted so long as it was gray and knee-length. It all ended up matching perfectly!

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That’s it for what we did to get ready for the day! Tune in tomorrow to read all about our ceremony and see more pictures. :)

(Photos by Joe Gunn and Justin Divine)

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