Team McLeod : The Dress and the Details

I love this photo. Not only does it give you a feel for how utterly gorgeous the weather was that day, but I was so happy that Djamel decided to take my dress outside for her portrait. Inside things were cramped, hectic and not spectacularly lit. We already had a hook out there to hang flowers and his idea to move the red geraniums on the rail to flank the dress added a perfect pop of color.
My dress was everything I could have wanted; simple, modern romantic, no beads, no pearls, no lace. I wanted the textures to come from the fabric itself and armed with a pleated twisted bust and a big bubble hem, I was set.

My dress came from David's Bridal. I put off shopping for so long during the wedding planning process that at one point I started thinking I'd never find one I liked in my budget. Everyone always wanted to know about my dress, but I could see how disappointed they were when I said, "I didn't buy one yet...". I put off shopping at first because I wasn't able to go with my mom, then our schedules never worked out so that I could go with any of my bridesmaids. Let's just say I was bummed. Maybe they all thought I didn't consider it important because I didn't put that much emphasis on it from the start. While I didn't consider a wedding dress special enough to warrant a $1000+ pricetag - trying them on with my best friends would have been really memorable. All that procrastination paid off when David's Bridal came out with their new spring line. At that point I still hadn't seen any that really knocked me off my feet, not until I saw that bubble hem. Maybe it's a trend, at least for short bridesmaid dresses it is, but I didn't see DB making more than just this one dress with the feature. I'd also seen it on much more expensive gowns and still was swooning. It was sealed, style #T9381 was for me.

I also did some waffling on what kind of wedding band I wanted. My engagement ring isn't custom, but the double band has a unique shape that no other ring seemed to fit. Collin had it easy; he wore his father's wedding band. Erin and Craig came up to Gainesville to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary at their college date spot (a place that is still open and popular) earlier that spring. They surprised us with the gift at dinner and aside from a re-sizing, it was perfect. Nothing like what I would have picked for Collin myself - yellow gold for one.

It really suits him though, that wedding band. You may be confused because, well, Craig is 100% alive. That's usually how the kids get wedding bands from family, after someone has passed. Craig just doesn't wear a wedding band. He used to right when they got married but hasn't in so long he doesn't even have a ring tan. We loved the sentiment and the ring itself so this decision was easy. It was then that I decided to go with my gut and have my wedding band custom made to fit the curve of my engagement ring. White gold for me to match, I was even able to trade in some old jewelry to offset the cost of the gold. It was more money than I'd budgeted for my own band but with the gift of Collin's ring we fell within the total "wedding band" limit. Skillz.

Luckycat sat so well for these photos! I couldn't believe how calm and well-behaved he was all that day. Normally I would have expected him to hide away under a bed or something until the too-many people were gone, but he was content to hang out in the window and look on. I think he was too overwhelmed to do anything bad. When Djamel asked for something meaningful to take the ring photos with Lucky was the first thing that came to mind and I sure am glad Djamel has a cat of his own and had the kind of patience needed to get some amazing shots.
These are the most comfortable wedding shoes ever. This is most likely due to three things: 1) they aren't "wedding shoes" and didn't come from a bridal store 2) they had a squishy padded insole and the no-slip textured Vans soles you come to expect - this is important on a tile dancefloor after spilled drinks and 3) they are flat. I wanted somthing kitchy and fun that peep-toe heels just couldn't say. I also didn't want to tower over Collin who is just a couple inches taller than me barefoot. With our plan for the guys to all wear their own Vans, why should I miss out on the fun. There were other contenders, but nothing says "Vans" like the classic black and white check. Nothing goes better with a black and white wedding, either. Collin's shoes were a little more understated - a pair of black on black check that he has since worn to shreds.

Mom was finally here to help me into my dress. Honestly, I didn't really need help. It's not like I hadn't tried that baby on a billion times before all on my own. There was just something special about your mom helping you zip up your gown that I didn't want to miss out on. I also didn't want to keep this moment from my mom. With her and my dad all the way in Tennessee I didn't get to share as much of the wedding planning process with her as I would have liked. This moment though, I was determined too have.
Peep those fabulous blue undies! The ruffly butt isn't too apparent here but they were a great surprise gift opened at the bachelorette party and I immediately knew what my "something blue" would be on the wedding day. My other somethings?
old : bracelet from Erin given to me for my 21st birthday after moving up to Gainesville.
new : the attire (dress, shoes, bra, undies)
borrowed : my mom's garter pinned to the underside of my dress. She was a skinny lady or something because that son-of-a-bitch was not fitting around my thigh.
blue : undies, detail on the garter, my gorgeous eyes (jk)
Proud bridesmaids snapping away. I am the first of our group to get married and have a wedding. It made me nervous in a way to be "first" but hopefully my wedding has made them determined to have their own exactly how they want regardless of any nay-sayers. Checkered Vans and all.
I love when I have the photos people are taking in other photos!

The shoes were on and it was almost time.Here is Djamel catching me getting pumped. I was dressed, setup was done and I was ready to GET MARRIED ALREADY! Check that bubble hem action.

Lastly, Rachel helped me put on my veil. I toyed around with birdcage netting, tried on all the lengths of traditional veils at David's Bridal and ended up purchasing a 10$ single-tier veil on ebay. Since I would be wearing a tartan sash for part of the day I didn't want too much going on. Sometimes less is more.
It was finally time to see my groom, my love. The bridesmaids and family joined Collin and the groomsmen outside on the porch to wait for my big reveal.