I decided to go shopping with (almost) all of my bridesmaids at a local mall and see what everyone would gravitate to. I told them color wasn't an issue, just no pink or purple, and the rest was up to them. I would just give the final 'o.k.' I wanted the dress to be something everyone liked, and would wear again - but most of all, was affordable. We went to all the department stores and just about any store that sold dresses. We found a couple that were possible contenders, but none that anyone really fell in love with. When we were just about done with shopping, we spotted "30% OFF DRESS SALE" on the windows of Express. So we figured why not, and went inside. Almost immediately, my sister (and MOH) spotted a turquoise number that I personally would never choose for myself - just because I know what style/fit I like on my body - and it wasn't one of them. But when I realized that all my girls have cute little bodies (I'm lanky and flat chested), I got excited and said let's try it! It looked awesome on each and every one of them. Turquoise is my favorite color. Boom. Easy as that. After tracking down a few sizes at other stores in the area, everyone had a dress - for 30% off. I believe they were $48 with tax. For a bridesmaid dress? I felt like it was a win.
After turquoise was a set color for our wedding the planning and details got fun.
Then it was on to my dress. I love this story...
We got engaged Christmas 2009. In April 2010 I saved this very picture to my computer:
It was love at first sight. I knew that style was my favorite. At the time I had no idea what "W____ers" meant behind that girl. It was the only wedding dress picture I filed in my wedding folder and forgot about it.
That summer I went wedding dress shopping with mom, sister and a couple bridesmaids. I tried on two dresses in the beginning that I loved. The rest of them were pretty, but we all agreed that they didn't beat the first two. Out of those first two dresses I started selling myself on the first dress because the price tag was a little easier to swallow than the second. Both still being fairly reasonable compared to everything else in the boutique. To be honest the dresses were almost identical. The main difference was the fabric, the second dress was made with very unique material for a wedding gown. We left that day and I had fallen in love with two dresses but subconsciously talked myself into the first because of $.
phone pic of me in dress #1
Christmas break of 2010 I got a random phone call from my grandmother on my way home from work late at night. If you know me, you know that my grandmother and I have a special bond. She's an incredibly generous woman that has spoiled my sister and I from day one. And at 24 years old I'll admit that she still spoils us. But not a day has gone by that we're not so very thankful and appreciative of everything she's ever done for us. I'm sure you see where this is going... She called to say that she had walked by a boutique in Birmingham and decided that she really wanted to buy my wedding gown for me. She wanted to make sure that I didn't stress over the price and make sure that I wore exactly what I wanted on my special day. I balled the whole way home.
So 3 generations of Ankeny's set back out to dress shop. We tried another boutique in Northville just to see what else was out there. They were all gorgeous but it was hard to open my mind to any new dresses because all I could think of were the two back at B. Ella Bridal. We went back there to show grammy the two I had fallen in love with. I repeated exactly what I did the first time. I tried on dress #1 and my grandma seemed to like it. I tried on dress #2 and she said "oh niki, I think that's the one." I was ecstatic. I think the whole time my heart was drawn to dress #2, but me being my frugal self wouldn't let it. Needless to say, I have an amazing grandmother and I'm so lucky to have been able to get my dream dress.
So that first image up there... that was dress #1. I had no idea when I was trying it on. After all of this, I was going through images I had saved to my computer and came across that image. I couldn't believe out of the thousands of dresses I had looked at online I ended up falling in love with that very dress.. and its sister dress. I guess when your heart knows, it knows.
Introducing the dress:
Mojave by Watters
My dress was incredibly comfortable. The fabric was almost like a cotton, with a floral burnout texture. AND the best part about it... POCKETS!
And last but not least, the fellas:
Eric and I both agreed that tuxedos were most likely out of the question. You can't find anything other than black or white in rentals. So we started looking at options for the guys to buy suits instead. We agreed on hunting for something in the khaki family. We figured it would look best. A trip to Jos. A. Banks left us both in love with their Seersucker (my favorite) suits. Also conveniently part of the summer collection being very light weight for an August wedding. So we decided on the tan stripe version:
Left: Image from their site. Right: I had to photoshop the ties to see if they'd look okay...
Suit: $99 (talked way down - practiced my negotiating skillz) much better than renting!
Tie: $15 from Express (given as gifts) I used lots of coupons.
They all looked super handsome. In my opinion. And another bargain if I might say so myself.
Wedding photos coming soon! You'll get to see all of this in action
Now I have to go ice my wrists from this blogging marathon.