Our Wedding Day: Getting Ready with the Girls

Monday, March 26, 2018

It's been more than four months now since Mike & I got married, & I realized I've yet to share many photos here or tell you anything about the wedding other than a post about all our wonderful vendors. We hadn't yet gotten our wedding photos back yet, so that post only includes the one sneak-peek pic we got from our photographers on social media.

I want to share more about the day, so this is post one of [I don't know how many yet!] about our wedding day, starting with the morning of the big event.

Disclaimer: If I'm being honest, I kind of hate when people break up photos from their wedding day into multiple posts - like, I wasn't there, how many can I possibly care about reading about every single element of the day? - but now that I'm about to do it myself, I know that it's just as much for you (if you care) as it is for me. I can't imagine I'll forget these details any time soon, but I think it's worth documenting the day here for posterity's sake.

I got ready in the bridal suite with my five bridesmaids, my mom, & my soon-to-be mother-in-law, plus assorted family members who stopped by throughout the day, including my exchange sister, Ani, who flew in for Oregon, & my aunt & cousins.

Mike stayed with me in the bridal suite the night before the wedding - after all, we already live together - but he left early to get ready with his groomsmen at our apartment about a mile & a half away. Soon after he left, our hair & makeup folks, Karin & Daniel from Cleveland Makeup Artistry, showed up to get started on me & the other ladies in the wedding party.

My sister, Ani, presented me with her wedding gifts to me while I was getting my hair done. She's an incredible jewelry-maker, & she made me a pair of silver & blue earrings, a silver-hammered ring, & a beautiful, pearl-laden hair clip that I decided to wear the day of the wedding.

Karin & Daniel were so easy to work with, & Karin even allowed my aunt & two cousins to "book" last-minute makeup appointments with her on the spot! After the wedding party left for photos, they stayed in the bridal suite to have their makeup done for the day. Karin could've ditched out & said she was busy, but she stayed & prettied everyone up.

I asked each of my bridesmaids to choose different dresses in the same color (black) & fabric (chiffon) from the same company (Azazie). No body type looks quite the same in the exact same dress, & no style is universally flattering; I wanted my friends to look great & feel confident, & I thought the best way to ensure that was for them choose their own dresses.

I also asked them to choose gold-toned statement jewelry that would make them look even more individual (in that Destiny's Child kinda way, where they match but don't match). I loved seeing how each of them spun those requests into their own unique styles.

I don't have a photo of the gifts I gave my bridesmaids, but I was so proud of them. I planned for them forever! They included:

Of course, each one also included a hand-written card thanking them for being a part of the big day. I was so excited to give them these gifts as a thank-you for their love & support & friendship. 

My mom made breakfast platters for everyone, with bagels from Bloom Bakery & accouterments from... Costco! My bridesmaid Elise & I did a quick Starbucks run, too, to be sure I was fully caffeinated for the big day. My mom also brought a whollllle bunch of champagne. I didn't want to get booze-bloated, so I only had one little glass, but it was so fun to toast to with my favorite women in preparation for the big day.

I don't think my dress looks nearly as pretty hanging up as it was in real life. It's from David's Bridal, of all places, an Oleg Cassini that I fell in love with at first try-on - & it was the first dress I tried on, too!

I will admit that I wish I'd thought to look a little more elegant as my mom & my friends helped me put on my dress. Alas, in most of the photos, I am grimacing & squishing & squeezing & looking generally very undignified, so I won't be sharing most of those pics. Such a beautiful moment, ruined!

You may remember that I had back surgery when I was 12 to correct severe scoliosis, & so I have a huge scar down my back & what I call my "chicken wing," where one of my shoulder blades pops out funny. I was really worried about having both of those so visible in my low-cut dress back.

Karin, my makeup artist, said it was better not to try to cover it, because the makeup could rub off on guests & on my own dress, so my flaws were on full display on my wedding day... & after this one, brief moment of self-consciousness, I didn't even give it a second thought.

My earrings were from Bombay Taxi Boutique, owned by fellow Cleveland blogger Shibani. As soon as I got engaged, I knew I wanted to wear jewelry from her shop, if I could make it work - & when I found her Kiara moonstone earrings, I knew I'd found The Ones. I asked our photographers for special photos that focused on the earrings so that Shibani could use them in product promos if she wanted to!

I'd long feared that I would spend my wedding day feeling gross, but when the time came, I felt more beautiful than ever. The photos, to be honest, don't look as beautiful as I felt, which is a bit of a bummer for my self-esteem - but at least I felt great that day, happy & excited & in love.

The morning seemed to fly by. Within just a couple of hours, it was time for me to head off to my first-look photos with Mike.

To be continued...

All photos copyright The Oberports, our wonderful wedding photographers based out of Charleston, WV. 

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