My Wedding Took Over My Life — & My Wardrobe

For many girls, the fantasy of one’s wedding starts way before a partner is in the picture. Sure, most are just musings over the style of dress they’ll wear or the location they’ll choose, but I’ve also heard stories of women taking things to extreme…like booking a highly sought after band years in advance, just in case. I always listened to these stories in partial awe, but mostly in horror.

Yes, I definitely wanted a wedding. But there was no box under my bed with a magazine tear of the princess dress I’d been dreaming of for years; there was no venue I had to get married at, and there was certainly no ten-piece orchestra on speed dial (there would later be a three-piece mariachi band, but that’s for another story). Then the time came: My husband proposed to me on December 30, 2016. The next morning, I bought the first of an endless number of bridal magazines. It took me less than 24 hours to become that girl.

As a fashion editor living in New York City for the past 13 years, my style has become fairly uniform: blacks, grays, and navys in clean shapes fill most of my closet. After weathering my twenties in a sea of the latest and greatest trends, at the ripe age of 33 I’d finally carefully and steadily crafted a personal style I was comfortable with. I imagined this would carry through into my wedding vision, but that was dispelled the moment I opened up the first issue of Brides.

Perhaps the location I picked (Palm Springs, California) had a little to do with my outfit planning spiral, or maybe it was because I was a late bloomer to the whole “wedding fantasy” thing, but I spent the next nine months buying and returning a million dresses, scanning e-commerce sites daily for the perfect accessory for each and every outfit (and there would be many), and at my most extreme, even traveling across the country to find THE perfect piece. Here’s how it all went down.

The very first purchase I made for my wedding really set the tone for what was to come. Before I had even stepped foot in a bridal salon, I came across a pair of jewel encrusted Manolo Blahnik sandals. Despite never having owned anything bedazzled EVER, it was so clear that I needed these. The fairy princess inside of me had finally awoken from a long slumber.

These, of course, were not the shoes I would wear with the dress I would walk down the aisle in, but they would look perfect with that second dress I would wear for the dancing part of my wedding (because, you know, everyone needs not one but two fancy white dresses hanging in their closet for eternity). I wouldn’t find the second dress until the month before I said 'I do,' well across the country in my home state of Texas.

Manolo Blahnik Fernus Flat Black Satin Crystal Sandal, $965, available at Farfetch.
As if finding THE one dress wasn't difficult enough, I decided I needed to find TWO the ones. I bought and returned more dresses than I could count before finding my "dancing" dress. The dress I finally decided on was from newish American designer, Brock Collection. I’d seen it online while obsessively scanning every site that had the potential of a white dress on it’s pages, but had brushed it off as “too much for me.” Once I put it on, though, I knew it was IT: The dress hit just below the knee (one point for staying true to my style) and featured an off-the-shoulder oversized ruffle neckline (two points for spiral princess sparkle style).

Brock Collection dress.
Photographed by Rad + In Love 
After trying on countless wedding gowns and never feeling any of them were quite right, I was introduced to Danielle Frankel, a seasoned designer who’s worked for Marchesa and Vera Wang. I felt immediately comfortable and connected to Danielle. She seemed to understand my desire to feel like a bride without being swallowed up by a traditional, poufy tulle, jewel-encrusted dress I’d seen too many times. Instead, she helped me find the perfect balance: I went in wanting a simple slip dress and came out with that, plus a long train and veil.

Danielle Frankel Studio custom dress.
Photographed by Rad + In Love  
Of course, a tulle train would not be complete without a little sparkle. This came in the form of a pair of gorgeous (and borrowed) earrings from New York designer Mindi Mond. Mindi takes estate jewelry and reworks each piece to make it feel a bit more modern. I chose a pair that were organic in shape, a nice contrast to the clean lines of the front of my dress.

Mindi Mond Contemporary Dangle Earrings with Detachable Huggie Hoop, $12,500 available at Mindi Mond.
Photographed by Rad + In Love 
While my husband chose a very simple wedding band (that he happily found at Popular Jewelry on Canal Street in Manhattan), I chose one that was, well, three bands in one. Cartier Trinity Band is a classic and timeless piece, but still has a little bit of that fairytale sparkle I’d carry with me once my wedding spiral was complete.

Cartier Trinity de Cartier Ring, Small Model, $6,450, available at Cartier; Doyle & Doyle ring; Popular Jewelry ring.
As the outfit planning multiplied, so did the number of wedding “events.” Why would we all fly out to California for just one party? Following that train of thought, two more events were planned. And following that logic, the search for two more outfits commenced.

There would be a casual dinner Friday night, and an even more casual poolside brunch that Sunday. When I happened upon a Barbarella-esque silver lame dress with metal ring detail by Michael Kors, I had to have it! And since this dress was going to be my greatest departure style wise, I opted to go all out with silver Frances Valentine slides, replete with furry pom-poms and a pair of bright white retro-shaped shades from State Optical (because I was the bride, and there had to be a hint of white).

Michael Kors Collection Party Dress, $1,250, available at Yoox; State Optical Wabash Sunglasses, $417, available at State Optical.
Friday night’s outfit was an ode to my love of vintage. Despite living in New York, the fashion capital of the United States, I found my Friday night dress in Los Angeles at the relatively new vintage bridal salon Happy Isles. This by-appointment spot is a vintage lover's dream come true. While there are plenty of white options, there is a hearty selection of colorful frocks and sparkly gowns for any occasion. After trying on almost every dress in the salon, I ended up with a blue and white tropical floral print vintage 1970s Oscar de la Renta dress. It fit me like a glove and was the only piece of clothing from the weekend that required zero alterations.
I decided to wear a pair of shoes I already owned with the Oscar dress. But, arriving in Palm Springs a few days early, I happened into the holy grail of vintage stores, a small shop called Mitchell’s. It was packed to the gills with vintage Missoni, Paco Rabanne, Prada, and...VOILA, a pair of white Chanel mules in my size. (It was meant to be!) I finished off this fabulously Palm Springs get-up with a (tame) pair of Mary MacGill pearl earrings and a not-so-tame wood box bird bag by Sarah’s Bag.

Sarah's Bag The Inseparable Clutch, $900, available at Sarah's Bag.
Photographed by Rad + In Love 
After 11 months of planning, my wedding weekend came and went in a flash. Was all of that planning and shopping worth it? Was that fourth pair of sparkly shoes worth draining my clothing allowance? Through all of those spiral-y questions, the weekend was, without a doubt, one of the best, most magical weekends of my life. While it all might seem a bit excessive, I embraced my spiral; I embraced my inner princess and I highly recommend it.
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