Haute Wedding: Erin & Andy

Today we get a behind-the-scenes on HAP reader, Erin’s, ultra-glam wedding.  Erin, who is also a wedding blogger over at Holy Matrimony! and event artist extraordinaire, also shared her insider tips on enjoying the big day:

On February 27th, 2009 “I” became part of the most spectacular “we”. Finally. Operation Taffeta. The day was crisp, bright and absolutely perfect. I felt a distinct chill in the air as I moved from place to place, a ball of wedding nerves. I felt as if I were floating. My wonderful bridesmaids and my very favorite person in New York City kept me alert and on time. They handed me water when I needed it, an apple when I was hungry and my phone when my Mom called to get a status report. My wedding day was a whirlwind of feelings, satin, laughter, tears and Chanel No. 5.

I am so happy to share a few of my favorite moments with you and a few tips as well!

Andy and I were married at the Astor Hotel here in beautiful Milwaukee. This is, by far my favorite moment of the day. Before the people, before the noise, before the monumental moment I was about to have, this is what I saw. My soul was quiet here, serene. I could breathe.

Tip: Before your ceremony and/or reception starts, let your planner {or venue staff} know that you and your significant other would like some time to be alone in the space, before the guests arrive. Take that moment together and really sink in to your day. Just a few moments of relaxation on such a busy day will go a long way.

Oh the beautiful orchid trees. These were custom designed for us by the geniuses at Milwaukee’s Urban Sense. We decided on an art deco theme. We pulled inspiration from movies, architecture, photos and advertisements of the age. I had seen calla lilies numerous times in my research and was simply dying to use them. Little did I know that an orchid fiend was living inside me. After about 30 minutes at Urban Sense, Dan said “orchid trees” to me and I was in love. As I walked down that aisle, clinging nervously to the arm of my father, I felt as though I was walking through some of my favorite old movies.

Tip: You can find inspiration in all aspects of life. All you need is a little vision and guidance to help bring it out. Choose vendors that you trust. Take a little time to get to know them and, in addition to helping bring your vision alive, you just might find a friend.

All of our paper goods were custom designed by my very good friend and bridesmaid. My orchid obsession grew exponentially during the planning of the wedding. They were everywhere – bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, you name it. Allison took our flower and incorporated it into our wedding suite. Our program held a quiet beauty for me. It’s an oft forgotten piece that for me, was therapeutic. I dedicated our day to my grandmother. I lost her the summer before the wedding and was struggling with it more than I ever thought possible. I wrote a short piece for her and included it in the pages of the program.

Tip: Choose an invite suite that is uniquely yours. Let the paper elements of your wedding help create the atmosphere. Everything from the save the date to the thank you card should help you convey the feeling of your wedding.

This is part of our “guest book”. As a child, my father built a wishing well on our farm. It was amazing. Every year, my Mom would fill it with impatiens. I would play by it for hours. I imagined jumping into it and collecting all the wishes at the bottom and making them come true, mine included. So, I made “wishing well” and we asked our guests to write wishes on pieces of wrapping paper and throw them in. We were wished the most beautiful things! The whole thing including the pictured tray cost me twenty dollars and was easily the best twenty dollars I spent.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to bend those wedding “rules”. The moments and memories of our lives shape us into the fabulous people we are, so it stands to reason that our weddings should be a celebration of those people and not a time to conform to stodgy rules. Your wedding is the biggest party you’ll throw so have fun with it!

The Dress. I swear my mom and I stood there staring at it for hours. I asked her about a hundred times if she liked. She told me at least a hundred times it was the most beautiful dress she’d ever seen. I chose a dropped waist, halter top gown with a modest three-foot train, a total bargain with designer Mori Lee. My heart nearly stopped the first time I slipped it on. I knew. I just knew.

Tip: Be sure to order your dress at least 6 months prior to the wedding. A quality dress takes at least two to four months to finish. And ladies, I cannot emphasize enough, the importance of alterations. Trust me. That dress has to be beautiful and comfortable. Most importantly, remember that you are perfect just as you are. When you look in that mirror, find only good things.

This little work of art from Eat Cake! is….well, the most beautiful thing I’ve ever eaten. Or shoved in my Husband’s face, for that matter. Layers of red velvet and spice cake separated by vanilla buttercream frosting and raspberry filling. So good!

Tip: Make time to eat. It may sound silly but with all that schmoozing, dancing and general living it up, you will get hungry. You have a long night ahead of you and a little time with your new Hubbs will be just what you need to get that second wind.

Here they are, the five most gorgeous girls in that room. I’m sure every bride says this, but my bridesmaids really were the best in the history of ever. I asked them to wear black but that is where my involvement with their attire ended. They each have such a spark and a unique beauty that I never could have turned them into carbon copies of each other.

Tip: Brides, try letting your bridesmaids choose their own day of attire. Give them a color, brand or type of fabric to maintain some order, but let them run with it. You chose them because they mean the world to you, right? Why not let your guests see their wonderful personalities mirrored in their style?

And finally, me! We chose Front Room Photography and couldn’t have made a better choice. I am self-conscious about my body and appearance but Neil was so gentle and caring I was able to forget everything and just felt beautiful. My birdcage veil and fascinator were made by Brenda’s Bridal Veils, and my stylist/hair-goddess used clip in extensions to give me some length. I gave retro a go and I think it turned out all right.

Tip: Do a hair and makeup trial a couple of weeks before the wedding. Make sure it’s exactly want you want and can withstand the day. A word about makeup…make sure it looks like you, just an ever so slightly more fab version of you.

Our wedding was incredible! I am so lucky to be Andy’s wife and I am so excited to be on this journey with him. From the moment the prelude started to the last dance, it was the best day of my life…so far!

Photos: Front Room Photograpy

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1 Comment

Filed under Weddings

One response to “Haute Wedding: Erin & Andy

  1. I was so happy to be a part of your gorge wedding! Clearly you demonstrated you are a mastermind of matrimony, Erin!

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