Our Wedding: Getting Ready

At the risk of overdosing you on our wedding, I have a few more posts with more bits and pieces from the day – there were so many details that I wanted to share, and they just wouldn’t fit into one post! First up, a “Getting Ready” post (though we all know getting ready for your wedding isn’t just about hair and makeup)…

While the boys (Ryan, his dad, brother, brother-in-law and nephews) got ready at our house, the girls (me, both of our moms, my sister, Ryan’s sister and sister-in-law, and nieces) got ready in one of the historic suites at Cavallo Point.

Ryan and I didn’t write our own vows, but we did write letters to each other – it was so nice to take a moment in the middle of all the hair and makeup and chatter to connect with my groom, even though he was getting ready somewhere else. We also each gave a card from Tallu-lah (one of Snippet & Ink’s long time sponsors, and purveyor of charming letterpress wedding cards) to our moms and siblings.

This next bit is only relevant because you can see my hands in the photo above: I have a terrible time with manicures – within minutes of leaving the nail salon I am guaranteed to smudge the polish, and within a day or two I’ll have chipped a couple of nails. For this reason, I decided to try out long-lasting gel polish for the wedding (I believe the shade I chose was “Bashful” by Gelish). Though I wouldn’t do this on a regular basis (it kind of destroyed my nails for a few months), it did keep my nails looking good for the rehearsal dinner, wedding and honeymoon.

There were a few little things on my wedding to-do list that ended up falling by the wayside, one of which was to get a decent dress hanger for photos. Instead I get to show you this pic of my dress on a plastic hanger, and guess what – it’s really not a big deal. It’s one of those things that would be nice if it happens, but that is really not worth stressing over if it doesn’t. (Does that sound crazy? If a special wedding dress hanger never crossed your mind until now, then please ignore this entire paragraph.) I kept it simple for shoes: you’ve already seen my not-so exciting white bridal shoes which lasted me through the ceremony, dinner and first dance, and then I changed into my sparkly Steve Madden flats. And then I changed into bare feet.

Per my wedding planner‘s recommendation, Jim Avila and his associate, Darlene Carlson, were there to make sure we all looked our best. He created a soft look for my hair and makeup, and they both stayed in place all day and throughout the evening. Jim also acted as a sort of a bridal bodyguard, making sure that noise was kept to a minimum, and that any problems went to our planner, Jenna, instead of to me – I think every bride needs someone like this around!

Ryan and I knew we wanted our wedding to feel intimate, regardless of how many guests we had, so we chose to have our siblings be the only attendants. My younger sister was my maid-of-honor, and Ryan’s niece was a junior bridesmaid. Ryan’s brother was his best man and his sister was also a groom’s attendant (groomsmaid?). Ryan’s younger niece and nephew were the adorable flower girl and ring bearer. I wanted my older sister to stand up with me, but she was due with her third baby and couldn’t travel to the wedding – even though it made me so sad not to have her and her family there, I knew she was thinking of me that day (I also thought she should let me name the baby to make up for missing the wedding, but she disagreed).

I had what you might call “wedding dress issues.” I’ll probably embarrass myself here, but my dress search involved seven different bridal salons and at least 50 different dresses, a ridiculous fight with my mom about a Grace Kelly-inspired dove gray dress that she absolutely loved, purchasing a dress that I loved as a dress but not for me, deciding eight weeks before the wedding that the dress for me was in fact the Grace Kelly number favored by mom, and scrambling to have it made and altered in time for the wedding. If you ever think you’re acting like a crazy bride, just remember my little story and feel better.

Jin Wang was awesome to work with – in addition to being wonderfully sweet, she rush ordered my Angel Sanchez dress at no extra charge, fitted my dress in one week, and completely altered its neckline for me. Since Jin is herself a designer, I trusted that she would be able to make the top of my dress less revealing without sacrificing the original design, and she certainly lived up to my expectations.

Our sisters wore floor-length charcoal gray chiffon dresses by Amsale, and they each chose their own style for the top, while the flower girl and junior bridesmaid wore silk shantung dresses from LulaKate, in contrasting shades of gray and white. All of their dresses were ordered through Bella Bridesmaid, which was nice because even though they live in different states, they could each go in and try on dresses. Our sisters received beautiful gray pashminas to keep warm (it was December after all!), and for the little girls, we found the sweetest clover pendant necklaces (since Ryan’s family is Irish). Ryan’s brother and the ushers each received a different gray necktie.

My mom and her friends let me look through their jewelry boxes for the perfect pair of earrings, and there were a few contenders in the running. My sisters and I each have a pair of diamond stud earrings made from our grandmother’s watchband, and my godmother, who used to make her own jewelry, made the most wonderful suggestion and gave me one of the sweetest gifts: she added a pair of large drop pearls to the diamond studs, creating a pair of earrings that were not only beautiful, they were also incredibly meaningful to me.

A special wedding day perfume was another one of those wedding to-do’s that I had written off as unnecessary. But the day before our wedding, after our civil service at City Hall, my mom took us to lunch at the Rotunda at Neiman Marcus where a salesperson suggested Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom Cologne as a wedding day fragrance – and it was perfect! And unlike my wedding dress, it took about five minutes to find. I’m dying to wear it again, but I’ve been saving it for a special occasion. When I do, I’ll let you know if it brings back wedding day memories!

All photos by Elizabeth Messina.


Bella Bridesmaid, Jim Avila, Kiss the Groom (Elizabeth Messina), Laurie Arons Special Events and Tallu-lah are sponsors of Snippet & Ink. Thank you to Cavallo Point for extending the media room rate for our stay.

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  • I really am so excited to get ready for my wedding. your morning looks like it went beautifully. I have to find out more about your civil ceremony though. I’ve secretly thought about doing a private ceremony with just our immediate families before doing a more formal one with all our guests. but I’m not sure we’ll have enough time that day…


  • redfrizzz says:

    Thank you for sharing all these details from your wedding, it looks absolutely stunning and lovely. Can you tell us more about your civil ceremony the day before?

  • I love hearing all the details about your wedding. It’s different reading one feature with 15 photos in a post compared to hearing all the details combined with gorgeous photography and a really touching video.

  • I totally had the SAME wedding dress hanger. How could I, of all people, not have thought about getting something at least decent looking. Oh well :) Glad I’m not alone! I suppose everything can’t be perfect :) In the end, it doesn’t bother me in the least. Just funny that I never thought about that detail. Ha ha! Oh, and I love that you had a wedding day fragrance. That’s so special!

  • I really loved your story on the stud earrings from your grandmother’s watchband. :) How lucky can someone get if she has a jewelry designer of a godmother? :D And yes having a special perfume for a very special moment, when you wear it again, you relive that memorable event in your life. :)

  • Everything is so gorgeous. Thank you for sharing your dress story. I completely understand. I had very few “crazy Bride” moments but the big one was a week before the wedding when I was hysterical b/c I thought looked awful in my dress. I made my soon to be husband come to the bridal salon to get his opinion despite how hard I had worked to keep it a secret for 14 months.

    You looked stunning and your dress was wonderful. Good choice. Those Moms… they’re always right.

  • Kristen says:

    Orange Blossom is fabulous! I’m sure it will bring back a rush of good memories the next time you wear it.

  • MeitsMo says:

    Keep the posts about your wedding coming- I’m taking notes! Nice hanger- check, shot list check, all your advice pre-and post wedding is so helpful and keep those amazing pictures coming! OH MY GOODNESS. Your wedding looks amazing and you look STUNNING!!! I love every photo. Every single one. Elizabeth Messina is clearly a goddess of photography but she had help with an amazing wedding and beautiful people to photograph! The picture of you looking at the camera while your bodyguard make up artist extraordinaire is doing your hair is so ridiculously amazing. It should be in an exhibit someone where titled ‘joy’. Congratulations all over again and keep sharing- I’ve been looking forward to these posts since I first started reading Snippet and Ink- and I know I’m not alone! :)

  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… you made the most stunning bride. Even getting ready, you are totally, flatout, how-does-one-get-to-be-so-damn GORGEOUS!

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