The dress was an after-thought for me pretty much from the start of wedding planning. I had a great time trying on options at BHLDN, but just couldn't wrap my head around spending what seemed to be $800 minimum on something I'd only wear once. After doing a bit of research on affordable options, I landed on this stunning dress for under $200. I was set on it until I visited my parents the month before our would-be wedding date and tried on my mom's wedding dress for the first time. It felt like kismet when it fit like a glove, and I decided to wear her dress for the ceremony and change into the less-delicate one I'd purchased for dinner and drinks.
What I found far more interesting than the dress were the details around it. I felt more comfortable finding and spending money on accessories I'd be able to enjoy long after the wedding, like jewelry, perfume, and shoes. Of course, no one could have anticipated that my wedding plans would shrink to such a tiny, beautiful ceremony but my interest in accessories meant I was still able to incorporate many of the pieces I'd purchased into the ceremony that felt too casual for a white dress. In the end, the pieces I wore felt nearly as personal to me as the ceremony itself. Here's a bit more on what I wore to my wedding:
Tank: It is not lost on me that I spent more on this tank top than I did on my original wedding dress... but when I came across it the week before our wedding, I immediately knew it was perfect. In a move that's very out-of-character for me (I'll dive deep into this in my upcoming capsule closet post!), I only thought about it for 24 hours before buying it. Made by the L.A. brand JoosTricot, it's similar to a tank top I own and love from Doen. I splurged on it, knowing I'll be reminded of my wedding day every time I wear it, which will be often!
Jeans: I knew I wanted to wear something white to my wedding, so my favorite jeans from Agolde were a no-brainer!
Denim Jacket: Jonah had been talking about wanting a black denim jacket so for Christmas last year, I surprised him with the very dorky gift of contrasting, embroidered denim jackets that I envisioned us wearing to our rehearsal dinner. His (from Madewell) is black with a subtle L embroidered on the cuff, and mine (from Everlane) is white with a subtle J embroidered by Lot, Stock, and Barrel who were amazing to work with.
Earrings: The weekend after Jonah and I got engaged, my mom and I wandered into the Los Angeles jewelry store August, and these earrings by Gabriella Kiss immediately caught my eye. My favorite necklace growing up was a blue scarab in a plastic casing I lost in elementary school gym class, and I've always loved bugs and the imperfection of raw gems—so, to me, they were perfect. I'd never purchased fine jewelry for myself, so I thought about it for months before returning in January to buy them. They'll always be a prized possession, and one of the things that drew me to them was how beautiful they'd be not only with formalwear, but with jeans and a tank (look how true that turned out to be!).
Veil: Not much to say here, other than I knew I wanted a veil that would tuck into a simple low bun, so I did a quick Etsy search and found this 40" raw-edge veil!
Shoes: In a minimal-effort move, I purchased the same Loeffler Randall heels Anthropologie styled with the dress I bought, but for our ceremony I wore a pair by the same brand that I bought on sale last year. I also just realized they were my "something blue"!! *High-fives self in the middle of writing this post*
Hair: I didn't do my hair for the exact same reason I hired a professional to do it for my original wedding plans: I hate doing my hair, and didn't want to waste a second of my wedding day on it! Instead, I did it the exact same way I've "done" it every day of quarantine, with a twist: I slept in a braid, then looped it into a low bun right before leaving our house and stuck my veil in!
Makeup: One of the benefits I saw of our small wedding was the freedom it gave me to truly look and feel like myself. For my original wedding, I went back and forth before deciding to hire a professional makeup artist, but this time around, I wore even less than I usually do for events: RMS un-coverup, ILIA tinted brow gel, ILIA mascara, an all-natural lipgloss I don't know the brand of, and RMS Illuminator on my cheeks.
Nails: I applied the same logic to my nails and removed the polish I had on, so I could feel as "me" as possible.
Emily had recommended that I purchase a special perfume for the day so that its scent is always tied to the memory. One Saturday in January, I took myself out to lunch then went to Scent Bar (next-door to the jewelry store where Jonah bought my engagement ring!) and took my time smelling different jasmine-rooted perfumes before landing on one that was just the distilled essence of my favorite smelling flower.
Wedding ring: Obviously, this is the only necessary item on this list, but we had it custom-designed by Tura Sugden to go with my engagement ring. I always thought I'd want an eternity ring of diamonds, but when I tried one, I discovered that it completely upstaged my engagement ring (which I love). In the end, we opted for a gold band the same width as my engagement ring, with tiny diamonds embedded in it irregularly, like stars. Tucked inside, facing my finger, is a teeny, hidden emerald in homage to my grandmother and namesake, whose own engagement ring had an emerald.
Great-great grandmother's ring: The most emotionally valuable thing I own is a ring that belonged to my great-great grandmother, Hannah Rose. She holds an enormous importance in our family because she was the first to move into the home where my extended family still lives (Jonah's wedding ring is a replica of her parents'!). Though I obviously never met her, I think of her and wear her ring often. (It's the ruby ring in the photo of Jonah and me, above!)
And for her honeymoon, the bride wore sweatpants... ;)