At long last, I’m so happy to share the first of what will be a series of several (get ready!) posts on our wedding day and surrounding events. I’m kicking off my Wedding Wednesday series with all of the details on our ceremony, the wedding party, and (of course) ze dress! In the next few weeks, I’ll also be sharing a peek at our rehearsal dinner, my bridal luncheon, my wardrobe change for the reception, and all of our reception details. This means things will be slightly out of chronological order (sorry), but from all of your emails and comments I figured hey, let’s be real, people just want to see the dress already, so let’s cut to the chase and fill in the juicy deets later!
(UPDATE: Check out our wedding reception here!)
As a native of Wisconsin, it was a dream to get married in my home state, in the very Milwaukee Cathedral where my parents were married 33 years ago. Lucky for us, the grandeur of the ornate Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee epitomized our classic, old-world vision for the day, and perfectly complemented the spectacular Victorian interiors of the Pfister Hotel’s Imperial Ballroom where our reception was held just blocks away (more details on this next week!). With such a majestic ceremony venue, we chose simple floral decorations to highlight the space, lining the aisle with arrangements of roses, freesia, and ivory ribbon around the pew ends, and framing the entrance and altar with tall arrangements of hydrangeas, white rose, blush spray roses and cascading greens.
I had the honor of wearing one of the last wedding gowns designed by Oscar de la Renta before his untimely passing last year. For the ceremony, my father walked me down the aisle in a custom silk faille Oscar de la Renta gown with an off-the-shoulder threadwork lace caraco topper and cascading covered buttons down the full length of the back.
To accessorize, I wore a simple Christian Louboutin pump, opera-length satin gloves, and delicate diamond drop earrings with my hair in a sleek-yet-intricate classic low bun. My simple tulle cathedral veil was custom-designed and made by HOMA, featuring a delicate horsehair edge which allowed the veil to hold a beautiful cascading shape as it draped around me during the ceremony.
During the exchange of rings, I didn’t have to remove my long gloves because my seamstress created a small slit on the underside seam in the left hand ring finger of the glove. That way, I was able to put my ring finger through the hole in the glove so Rich could put the ring right on my finger, then easily slide it back into the glove.
Last but not least, the most treasured accessory that I wore down the aisle was this garter that was made for me by my Aunt Mary. 33 years ago, she was a bridesmaid in my parents’ wedding and saved the bridesmaid dress she wore on their special day. Out of the pale blue chiffon fabric of her bridesmaid dress (almost identical to the fabric of my own bridesmaid dresses!), she sewed this beautiful garter belt and gave it to me as a gift to wear on my wedding day. It was so special to have an extra little piece of their day with me as I walked down the same aisle, 33 years later.
In line with the rest of our romantic, Victorian floral arrangements, I wanted an old-world cascading bouquet of ivory roses and spray roses, white freesia, Italian ruscus, white orchid blossoms, and variegated ivy. Our amazing florists hit just the right note of not-too-loose, but not-too-tight with the lush arrangement, and mirrored my bouquet in similar posies for my seven bridesmaids.
As a fashion devotee for as long as I can remember, I have always been enamored with the work of Edith Head, the iconic American costume designer. In particular, there is a dress that she designed for Grace Kelly in the Hitchcock film To Catch A Thief that is exactly what I wanted to emulated when selecting the look for my bridesmaids. I found the perfect gown reminiscent of that iconic dress in both color and style at Weddington Way featuring a Grecian cut, modified sweetheart neckline, and shirred bodice in the palest periwinkle blue chiffon. And, just like the Grace Kelly stunner, there was a long piece of chiffon that flowed down from the skirt that the bridesmaids flipped up over their shoulder for a more conservative, formal, one-shoulder look during the ceremony. Like my wedding dress, their dress was also modified for dinner and dancing at the reception (again, those details coming next week!).
Rich and his groomsmen were our perfect, dapper counterparts wearing classic black tuxedoes and bowties. Rich wore a beautiful Armani tuxedo, and the groomsmen wore matching tuxes rented from The Black Tux.
Rich and I didn’t want to do a first look prior to the ceremony because we were both eager to preserve the surprise of seeing each other for the first time when walking down the aisle. Instead, after getting ready, my Maid of Honor and Rich’s Best Man brought each of us blind-folded to a grand staircase in the Pfister Hotel where we were placed back-to-back to trade gifts before the ceremony.
Immediately following the ceremony, the wedding party took a limo back to Villa Terrace in Milwaukee where the rehearsal dinner had been held the night before. We took pictures in their beautiful gardens that cascade down the hillside overlooking Lake Michigan.
Ok, now I’d be remiss if I didn’t share the one snafu from our ceremony: Throughout all of the planning and preparations, everyone always advised me to be prepared for something to go wrong. With the cooperation of weather and everything seeming to fall into place on the wedding day, I thought we were pretty much in the clear up until about ten minutes before the ceremony. The wedding was scheduled to start at 3 p.m., and I really wanted to keep everything on schedule so that we had pleeeenty of time for dancing at the reception! I had recently been to a wedding where everything ran quite late, which left little time for the hours of dance floor shenanigans we were eagerly anticipating. With roughly ten minutes until game time, we were all assembled in the Bride’s room waiting for the imminent cue to line up and begin processing into the church, when one of my bridesmaids walked in from the bathroom and announced that that the ENTIRE zipper of her dress had torn out (she was newly pregnant at the time—but nobody knew!). We’re talking about 18 inches of irreparable gaping-open zipper which turned her tasteful bridesmaids gown into more of backless number ready for Vegas. THANKFULLY, I had received this amazing Pinch Bridal Emergency kit which my Maid of Honor had ingeniously brought to the church in the event of… well, emergency. I immediately grabbed the sewing kit from the box and began sewing her into her dress. There was so much territory to cover and so little time, my mom grabbed another needle and thread and while I sewed from the top, she sewed up from the bottom. We managed to finish it in about six minutes, and still started right on time!
Check out the full gallery below for more pictures of our wedding ceremony, and stay tuned for all the details on our reception and more next Wednesday! In the meantime, be on the look out here for lots more Memorandum workwear outfits, Black Friday and Cyber Monday guides, and of course, be sure to snuggle up with the 2015 Holiday Memo while relaxing over the long weekend! Happy Turkey Day!!
UPDATE: Check out our wedding reception here!
PHOTOGRAPHY BY FRONT ROOM PHOTOGRAPHY
Flowers: Fresh Design Flowers | Ceremony Venue: Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist | Wedding Planner: Janelle Meyer-Brown of Événement Planning | Officiant: Reverend Timothy Kitzke | Hair: Pfister Well Salon + Spa | Music: Anthony Nunziata; Michael Walters Orchestra