November 3rd- The Dress

The story of my dress is one of my favorites from this whole experience.

First I want to give a shout out to Ms. Sandy at Beautiful Brides in Wilmington, NC. She is SO wonderful and helpful and is a wedding gown, seamstress guru. Anyone ever heard of a little movie called A Walk to Remember? The wedding scene at the end, Ms. Sandy was the brains behind Mandy’s wedding look even making the veil herself! She’s awesome. I’ve had so many friends (and even a cousin!) find their gown there, I can’t count them on one hand.

Now on to the story…

I went to 3 different bridal shops and Ms. Sandy’s was my last stop. I was with my dear friend Alicia when, after trying on a handful of dresses, I was going to call it a day. I wasn’t really anticipating finding “the one” that day for some reason. I tried on a bunch of gowns I loved on the hanger but didn’t feel right when I put them on. In a tale as old as time, before leaving, Alicia convinced me to try on a dress that wasn’t what I was looking for. At all. The color was a little more on the true white side than I had wanted, and it was strapless. I was looking for something champagne I thought, but definitely NOT strapless. No way. No.

So here I am trying on this gown (with a straight across neckline…hello small chested…not working…) and I walk out and I just felt it. I felt it, but something was holding me back. Ms. Sandy clipped it in the back and in the front creating a sweetheart neckline (because that was totally possible with the designer) and I just knew. This was it.

It was so random and not what I was looking for at all, but it was it. I remember not even really knowing why. I knew I felt like a bride, like a woman even, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was sealing the deal, especially since some family members didn’t think it was the right choice. Talk about heart wrenching.

Fast forward to a few weeks later…I hadn’t even mentioned to Andrew that I put my order in for my dress and while flipping through wedding magazines together (he’s amazing) and showing each other things we liked/didn’t like, he stopped to point out to me a dress he liked. “This is my favorite dress I’ve seen so far” he said.

It was almost identical to what I had chosen.

Although it was a different color (more of a silvery and a different type of fabric) the neckline was the same as what I had changed mine to (sweetheart), there were folds in the fabric at the top just like mine, there was an embellishment in the center right below the bust, there was gathering in the fabric to the side with an embellishment there as well… the similarities were insane.

My heart skipped a beat. It was in that moment that I knew why I had chosen what I did. It all made sense and I knew I had made the right decision. I was totally at peace about it all.

Soon though, my thoughts turned definitely to “he knows! He’s seen it! He had to!” but I didn’t bring it up until after the wedding and to this day he swears up and down he had never seen my gown until the moment I walked down the aisle, and I believe him.

Looking back at these photos, it really does all make sense. The gown was simple, yet full of character and that’s exactly the kind of style I think I embody in wardrobe, as well as personality. I absolutely love this dress.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any of my bridal portrait photos to show you because there were some intense things happening in the days leading up to the celebration day so I never received a hard copy of those photos. The only ones I have are the ones I was able to print literally the day before the wedding and they are all in storage at the moment while we sort out our moving situation. I do however have some solo shots of me in my gown from the day of the celebration and they are beautiful and I love them.

Photos of the dress were taken at the our venue, photos of me were taken at the Graystone Inn  which is a few blocks away. I chose to do photos of the girls there because it has a beautiful old world vibe and I wanted that in keeping with the theme of the wedding celebration. We walked there after getting ready :) All photos are by Amy Leigh Photography.

Historic mansion bridal portraits-

1940's themed classic black and white wedding-

classic black and white wedding-

classic black and white wedding-

Historic mansion bridal portraits-

Historic mansion bridal portraits-

Historic mansion bridal portraits-

Historic mansion bridal portraits-

Historic mansion bridal portraits-


I mentioned in my “choosing a venue” post that one of those photos contained a sneak peek of my official bridal photos. You couldn’t really see it though so I thought I would include this, which is a pretty clear photo of one of my official bridal portraits. They were so beautiful. Hopefully I’ll be able to share them with you one day!

Classic black and white wedding-

Where did you take your bridal portraits or what have you always imagined for them?! I’d love for you to share :)


Catch up on the wedding series here:

November 3rd- A wedding series

November 3rd- Choosing a date

November 3rd- “Engagement” photos

November 3rd- Choosing a venue