Confession: when I was engaged, I visited 8 bridal salons, tried on more than 40 dresses, and ended up buying one gown only to change my mind and buy a second gown just 6 weeks before my wedding. If you were feeling like a crazy bride, I hope I just made you feel a little less crazy by comparison.

See this gorgeous Monique Lhuillier gown? That’s the dress I ended up not wearing. I love that dress. It’s gauzy and gorgeous and light as a feather, and I totally had plans to wear it long for the ceremony, then shorten it for dancing like this bride did. I fell in love with it so hard that I bought it even though it wasn’t the right dress for me. But it might be the right dress for you! I’ve listed it with Nearly Newlywed, and if you love it, you can have it at a huge discount (almost 60% off!).

Or maybe you’ll find another designer wedding dress for anywhere from 40-90% off the retail price. Some of them are gently used, and others (like mine) have never been worn. Vera Wang, Reem Acra, Jenny Packham, etc. They’re all authenticated, inspected and shipped via Nearly Newlywed, and you can actually try them on at home before you commit to buying. Perfect, right?!

In addition to the Marketplace dresses (the previously owned gowns), Nearly Newlywed also has an exclusive collection of new dresses from hard-to-find designers (how pretty is this “Swan Lake” gown?!). Really, though, I think the best part is that they’ve made it virtually risk-free to buy a wedding dress online – even one that’s pre-owned!

“Tell me about the $500!” you’re saying. Okay, here goes: One of you, dear readers, will win $500 toward any purchase from Nearly Newlywed! All you have to do is go to their website and shop around. Find the dress you’re most excited about, then come back here and leave a comment on this post with a link to the dress, and a line or two about why you think it’s The Dress. Of course, if you can’t make up your mind and have two favorites, I’m in no position to judge.

Contest begins Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:30AM PST, and ends Friday, January 17, 2014 at 11:59PM PST. Winners will be selected by Snippet & Ink, and notified by email. Please note: winners must live in the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec).

Official contest rules.

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If you’ve been reading Snippet & Ink for awhile, then you know that every Friday I post links to some of my favorite finds from around the web. But if you’re new here (welcome!), and if you’re a bride (or groom!) in the midst of planning a wedding, then you might be wondering why a wedding blog has a weekly post dedicated to things that are (mostly) not wedding related. If you’re a bride or groom, you know that wedding planning, while usually delightful, can also be stressful and often all-consuming. So just think of this as a pause button; a chance to take a breather from the wonderful world of weddings…

Inspired by 1930s actress Dorothy Knapp‘s style.

BIG monthly planner to get the year started off right.

Lost my favorite sunglasses and looking for a new pair a la Grace Kelly. Suggestions?

Funny 1981 news segment about the Internet (I mean, it probably wasn’t funny then, but it’s pretty funny now).

Amazing what artist Elsa Mora can do with a little paper and glue.

Marshmallows? Cornflakes? Chocolate chips? These are quite possibly the best cookies I’ve ever had.

A little something blue for your ears?

Show mom and grandma’s handwritten recipes some love with this DIY project.

Gorgeous side braid tutorial on Once Wed.

Afternoon tea with a twist, aka the Sherlock & Watson cocktail.

If you have 30 seconds and need a laugh, this commercial did it for me.

A poem made from 2013 New York Times obituary headlines, via 5 Intriguing Things.

 

Have a happy weekend, lovelies!

 

This post contains affiliate links.

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Meet some of the wonderful vendors who help to support this blog. Without them, there would be no Snippet & Ink! Some of them are longtime sponsors, and others are new, and they’re all wonderful. It’s our hope that you’ll discover just what you were looking for.

Glamorous bridal accessories from Perfect Details.

Custom house portraits from Little House Shop.

Stylish letterpress wedding invitations from Parklife Press.

Unique handcrafted jewelry  from Bario Neal.

Find your dream dress with PreownedWeddingDresses.com.

Fast and friendly letterpress from Thomas Printers.

Playful calligraphy and custom maps from Trial by Cupcakes.

Lasercut wedding invitations from B Wedding Invitations.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor on Snippet & Ink, please email us at advertise@snippetandink.com to learn more about advertising options.

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I just adore this bride’s timeless style, and I love it even more knowing that she wore her grandmother’s I. Magnin wedding dress from 1963. She and her groom were wed in Washington D.C., and Laura Gordon shot these lovely portraits for them at the Capitol.

Elizabeth’s “something blue” was a lace-edged handkerchief embroidered with her name in blue thread.

Says the bride, “Our absolute favorite part of the day was when we first saw each other from down the aisle. At that moment we both felt completely relaxed.”

SEE THE FULL GALLERY FOR MORE BEAUTIFUL PORTRAITS FROM ELIZABETH AND BRANDON’S WEDDING.

 

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  From the beginning we knew we wanted to have an intimate gathering that captured the feeling you have when you’re at a great dinner out with friends and family. We started by looking for great restaurants that had a private space large enough to fit our guests. We settled on Charlie Palmer Steak because of the wonderful food, beautiful atmosphere and location right near the Capitol.

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  We had a traditional Catholic ceremony but didn’t feel the need to have a traditional reception with a DJ and dancing. Not having a dance floor allowed us more time to visit with friends and family and helped to achieve the feeling of the intimate dinner we wanted.

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Early on in the wedding planning, a friend pointed out to me that a wedding is one of the only times when everyone you love is together, celebrating and supporting you as a couple. At times, when the anxiety of wedding planning wore on me, remembering this would help me focus on what was important.

What advice do you have for other brides?  While your wedding is a celebration of your marriage, the most important people in attendance are your guests. When planning, consider how the event will go from their perspective and be as organized as possible to ensure the day flows well and guests are comfortable. You don’t have to go crazy, but small considerate details will be remembered.

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  Most wedding guests are looking forward to having a great meal- an investment in a great caterer will really go far to make an event. Great photography is another smart purchase. Wedding photographs will be are shared with family and friends for years to come. A great photographer helps capture the excitement of the day and all the details you spent so much time planning.

Photographer: Laura Gordon / Church: Our Lady Queen of Peace / Venue, catering: Charlie Palmer Steak in Washington D.C. / Vintage Dress Restoration: Orange Resortation Labs / Bride’s Shoes: Enzo Angiolini / Earrings: Kate Spade / Veil: Nina / Suit: Tailor Made Man / Groom’s Shoes: Magnanni / Bridesmaid Dresses: Adrianna Papell / Stationery: Hello!Lucky / Floral Designer: Sara King, Park Florist / Cake: Balducci’s
SEE THE FULL GALLERY
  • Timeless Washington D.C. Wedding Portraits

    9 January 2014
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