Holy hell there are only four months left before our wedding. When time gets down to the wire like this and more and more elements of the wedding are finalized, it can be incredibly helpful to lay all of said elements out in one place.
Some parts of the wedding, like the beautiful crystal ocean pendant and the Lily Pool ceremony venue were easy to decide on. Other parts, like what we are all going to wear, left us scratching our heads.
I finally got my dress figured out thanks to an industrious and risk-taking bridal consultant at David’s Bridal, but unfortunately, we have not had the same luck for the dude half of this couple.
Let’s wade through some wedding planning muck and see if we can get a wedding to come together. Don’t worry, it’s pretty muck, and there will be a full moon and mind-blowing food.
The Dress: Ethereal One Shoulder Galina
I originally saw this dress when dress searching for my sister’s wedding, the little hippie kid that she is. She liked it quite a bit, but went in a totally different direction with an ivory lace number.
When I went dress shopping, my directions to the consultant were “tea-length and unique.” I was a terrible bride to deal with, I’m sure, what with that crystal-clear specificity and all. When the consultant said she wanted to try something totally out of left field on me, I was open to it.
This dress really did stop me in my tracks. I bought it that day, in a light ivory shade.
I walk this line, you see. Most of the time I’m modern and edgy and androgynous, but there’s a part of my heart that is a flower child that wants to live in the great wide open on the edge of a forest. I want to be a timeless and elegant and statuesque changeling creature, like Tilda Swinton or Cate Blanchett, some elven fairy thing.
I think this dress about nails it, but how the hell am I going to style this thing? Shoes? Accessories? Oy.
Necklace: Ocean Blue Crystal Necklace
I do have one accessory to start with. I bought this pendant the second I saw it on Etsy. Its color is a more intense version of my eye color. It is absolutely stunning with an antique filigree wrapping.
For the rest of the accessories, it is totally up in the air.
Hair: Up or Down?
Figuring out what you want to do with your hair for your wedding is tough. Against all reason, it is even harder when you do hair for a living. For most brides, it is primarily a question of wearing it up or down, even with short hair.
The photo on the left, while a little out of focus, may be one of my favorite styles I have had. It’s soft and pretty and no maintenance. But it is for that very reason that I think it may be too low key for the dress.
The photo on the right is a style that I have had many times, but can’t seem to find a photo of. When I wear my hair up and/or back I get a more striking and elegant look, but I wonder if it also too hard a look for the dress.
Makeup: Natural or Colorful?
Most wedding advice states to go with a natural look on your wedding day, and I couldn’t agree more. But does natural mean a completely natural look? What about a little color?
The look on the left is so clean and pretty, all beautiful skin and enormous eyelashes But if this natural look is your everyday face, should you go for something a bit more sparkle on your wedding day?
I’m not talking big over the top color or whatever the latest makeup fad is – your wedding look should be something you will not regret when you look back on your photos years later – timeless is the name of the game. But finding subtle colors that truly enhance your sparkle (Seasonal Color Analysis is a great way to find your best shades) can be timeless too.
Looks like a trip to MAC is in order.
Bouquet: Irish Lavender
Out in the yard this year we have planted both Bells of Ireland and Provence Blue Lavender, which we will be using in my bouquet. Both should be blooming nicely around the wedding. Then there will be a trip to Michael’s to make a bouquet wrap. I have been crushing on this wooden one I saw on The Wedding Chicks awhile back. I think I can craft up something similarly rustic.
The Bells of Ireland are a nod to the honeymoon we hope we can go on, and the lavender is a supposedly magical herb that promotes contentment, balance, love and good health. And it’s gorgeous and smells heavenly. Sounds just right for a wedding, doesn’t it?
Ceremony Venue: Caldwell Lily Pool
You need a pretty special spot for a full moon wedding ceremony. When I discovered this tucked away gem, I knew it was the one. I am so very in love with this place.
The plan is this: just show up and get married real quick. There will only be 15 total people at the ceremony, nothing to set up, almost a flash mob. While it does sound a little iffy to not actually reserve the space ($500 for 10 minutes is just not worth it), a very popular Chicago officiant we spoke to has held many weddings here using this “just show up” method with no problems.
We did not end up going with that officiant. He was very good, but we didn’t click with him the way we hope to with the person that will be marrying us.
Lucky for us, we have a family friend who may be the most awesome lady of all time. Former queen of Medieval Times, holds solstice parties every year with bonfires and drum circles, and I added a pink streak to her hair the year she turned 66. She’s spunky, she’s sassy, she’s amazing, and she has been practically a part of my family for many years.
We just found out that she is moving back to Chicago – now it’s time to ask her is she would be willing to get ordained!
Reception Dinner Venue: Tru
Food has always been one of my biggest passions, and Papa Bear and I were challenging each other to Top Chef-style cook offs even before we even started dating. When we were planning our original, larger wedding, one thing that kept tripping us up was that there was no way we could afford to provide our guests with a really wonderful meal.
Due to both budgetary concerns and no time to plan a big affair, we pared our wedding down to just immediate family. Now, with a simple and small wedding, we can afford to treat those closest to us to an incredibly special evening.
When we visited the restaurant, we even got to tour the kitchen at Tru. I teared up a little at the copper cookware hanging all over the kitchen.
Our wedding day is shaping up to be a dream come true. I get to marry my best friend, and then we celebrate with an experience that we had always relegated to the “maybe one day if we can afford it” mental file. And if you consider the cost of a wedding these days, we are still getting married for a bargain price tag. Not bad at all…
Food: By Chef Anthony Martin
Let’s be real here – the food deserves its own heading.
We chose a full moon wedding because of the moon’s significance in Paganism, which Papa Bear feels a strong connection to. While I am agnostic, the Pagan lore associated with food and magical herbs speaks to my foodie soul, and we wanted to incorporate it heavily in our wedding day.
When we told chef Martin at Tru about our wedding vision and how food played into it, he was so excited that he offered to prepare a special menu for us. I nearly died. We don’t know exactly what will be on that menu yet, as seasonality will play a huge part in the offerings, but I will definitely be posting it once we get closer to the day.
Still to figure out
There are a few items on the list that we have absolutely no direction for.
- Shoes – I am terrible in high heels, but I can manage a couple/few inches as long as my foot is strapped into the thing for stability.
- Accessories – Earrings? Bracelet? No idea.
- Papa Bear’s outfit – The dude looks best in warm and muted colors, so he wants to stay away from black and cool greys. He is bulky and muscular with shorter legs, so length in a look is a plus. He loves vests, and wants to wear a hat. Jackets are required at the restaurant, but it will be August, so it should look just as good with or without the jacket. This is going to take some doing, and neither of us have seen a look that fits the bill yet.
- Baby Bear’s outfit – While the little one will not be at the dinner (she will be 4 years old, after all), she is a big part of our ceremony. After all, I’m not just marrying the big bear! It is really hard to dress kids much ahead of time when they are growing so fast, so I have been putting off looking. Whatever we put her in, it has to be something whimsical. Because she is a whimsical kid.