Sometimes you just can't help what you fall in love with. That goes for your significant other as well as the odd little obsessions we pick up and run with in our lives. Our next bride was planning a quaint nautical themed wedding with her husband-to-be and when it came time to find a dress she found herself madly in love with a gorgeous Hayley Paige creation with a subtle yet bold strip flowing through it. Not at all what she had originally planned.
Keep scrolling to hear how she decided to stick with the stripes and what she recommends when it comes to dress alterations. Oh and don't miss a moment of this beautiful day, Shaina Lee Photography provided us with all the photos and we have them for you to check out in the full gallery here!
Show stopping stripes
From the Bride: My dress was designed by Hayley Paige - Decklyn dress -- from the Plumed Serpent in Westport, CTI definitely did not see myself getting married in stripes--I was looking more for something girly and sweet, with lace or embellishments. And actually after I bought it, my mom said, "You went straight across the store to the striped dress!" and I replied, "No, I went straight across the store to the dress next to it, the one with all the lace, and the saleswoman asked if I wanted to try on the Decklyn too and I said, 'Sure, why not.'" But when I tried on this dress I instantly thought, "This is the showstopper." I could just perfectly picture walking across the big green lawn to Matt waiting at the end of the aisle, and so I knew it couldn't be topped. It fit the yacht club and summer vibe I wanted exactly, and I loved that it wasn't strapless, wouldn't wrinkle easily, and could be customized a bit by adding a belt (which I got from Etsy).
Everything went really smoothly on the actual wedding day but getting alterations down on my dress ended up being a bit of a nightmare (with the caveat that I realize it only FELT like a disaster because I wanted the dress to be absolutely perfect and any "flaws" were totally invisible to everyone else but me). Another piece of advice is to go to the alterations place that your salon recommends. I decided to take my dress to an alterations store that was closer to my house and was a bit cheaper, and I really regret it--I needed a seamstress that had worked on a Hayley Paige dress before because her multi-layered skirts are really complicated to hem and bustle correctly.
Making the Day Personal
From Shaina Lee Photography: Even if you were to meet Julia and Matt for the first time, you'd know they were meant to be together. They started the day with a first look on the lawn of the Guilford Yacht Club, which has beautiful backdrops of the marina and the water. Their smiles shined brighter than the sun as soon as they saw each other dressed up to say their I Do's.
The wedding ceremony was officiated by a close friend, an extra special and personal touch to their day. Julia and Matt were married in front of some of their favorite people who came from all over the country to share their beautiful day. They wrote the sweetest, most heartfelt vows to each other, promising the other life-long support, love and adventure.
During the ceremony, the couple also planted a fig tree, using soil from Julia's hometown in Arizona, Matt's hometown in Pennsylvannia and water from their current home in Connecticut (even the 3 mason jars that held the soil and water matched the color palette of the day!).
Matt and I wanted to add personal touches wherever we could, and also save money by DIY-ing whenever possible, and one great way to accomplish both is to "shop" your own house. We ransacked our place for frames, books, and other knickknacks and then found ways to use them as decorations throughout the venue.
For example, I collect classic books with beautifully designed covers, so we used those on the fireplace mantle in the bar room. Instead of buying a guestbook, we used a big tin I had from Dylan's Candy Bar and scrapbook paper to make a "bucket list" where people could suggest adventures for the two of us.
On our escort table, we used stuff like copper pineapple shot glasses, a small glass boat and a framed image of two maps (Philadelphia and Phoenix, our hometowns) in the shape of a couple holding hands, which was a Valentine's Day gift Matt made a few years ago. I also had a lot of frames, both hanging on the wall and gathering dust in our basement, that we were able to use for signage throughout. We loved that using so many personal items made our reception feel a tiny bit like it was taking place in our apartment.
From Shaina Lee Photography: The attention to detail from the bride and groom for their wedding was spectacular! Everything about their wedding style and décor was thoughtfully planned by the two of them. Julia and Matt managed to combine a New England nautical theme with a tropical theme, and it totally worked! From floral arrangements inside of pineapples to the bride's subtle nautical striped dress, you could tell even the tiniest details were thought of. Julia even found a pair of shoes that matched perfectly with her bouquet!
Their watercolor-style invitations were a perfect fit to their theme as well. Julia's handkerchief was handmade by the Matt's grandmother, and consisted of pieces of wedding dresses from women of earlier generations on both the bride and groom's side of the family. To add a fun touch to the outfits of the groom and his groomsmen, they wore bright colored socks which had palm trees, hula girls or tropical fish on them.
Floral arrangements inside of pineapples decorated the bar and guest tables, which were accompanied by a sign for signature drinks featuring the bride and groom's favorite cocktails. Sticking with the nautical-tropical theme, Julia and Matt also had a Goldfish bar with a variety of flavors set up for their guests after the cake was cut.
A Last Bit Of Good Advice
Have a plan for how to handle all your stuff (clothes, decorations, flowers, gifts) at the end of the night. We spent a ton of time thinking about how we'd deliver all our personal decorations--and we had a lot, especially with all the containers for the Goldfish bar--and wrote down very specific instructions about how it all should be set up. But when the reception ended we had no plan for how to juggle the chaos of saying goodbye to guests, pointing people towards the after-party and hotel shuttles, getting my own personal items out of the bridal suite, and dealing with all the decorations (which the GYC staff packed up). We weren't allowed to leave anything in the building overnight, so I was frantically shoving tote bags full of decorations into my parents and in-laws arms and ordering them, "Put this in your car! Or anyone's car! Just get it out of the building!"
oh and don't miss a single moment of this sweetly elegant wedding day thanks to the talents of Shaina Lee Photography and this fabulous wedding film!https://vimeo.com/221590384