Our Wedding: Getting Ready & The Dress!

Hello and happy Friday – the wedding recaps continue! If you missed any of the previous recaps, check out our wedding page here on the blog to get all caught up first. I hope you guys enjoy reading these posts at least half as much as I enjoy writing them! It’s so fun to relive the weekend through these posts and I’m loving all the photos I’ve seen so far from our photographers! :)

Getting ready with the girls on our wedding day was such a blast.

the room

Everything took place in a studio on the property at Rosemont Manor, our wedding venue. It was so perfect because we didn’t have to go anywhere, we just simply walked on over after we ate breakfast! This is also where I did my hair and makeup trial a couple months prior, so I knew what to expect. As soon as we arrived, a Katy Perry Pandora station was turned on and the party started. ;)

For the hair and makeup services, we hired a team from KLH Makeup Artistry, recommended by our venue. They all did a fabulous job and were very friendly and professional – highly recommended! A woman named Patty Vance did my hair, my mom’s hair, and Matt’s mom’s hair. My family also paid for the bridesmaids to have their hair done however they wanted. Kelly Angstadt, another stylist, came along to do the bridesmaid’s hair!


Hair in action! You already knew what it was going to look like from my hair trial post, of course. I loved it – very pinterest-worthy. :)


Once my hair was done, it was over to makeup! My makeup (and my mom’s, Matt’s mom’s, and my grandmother’s) was done by Kerry Hellwig, who owns KLH Makeup Artistry. Again, highly recommended. Very friendly and chill and she totally nailed the look I was going for – nice and even for photos, but not too overdone or intense looking in person. Basically, I still looked like me, just a little better. :) For all of us, she did a form of foundation that uses an airbrusher. It was cool – very even looking and nice and light, too.




Meanwhile, miss Gretchen was doing the makeup for my bridesmaids! (Any photos in this post not marked with the official photographer stamp are courtesy of her.) It was a family affair – her big sis Jenny was my MOH and their brother Ben was our photographer. Lol! Gretchen isn’t a professional makeup artist but she’s awesome at it and loves it – I was in her sister’s wedding a few years ago and she did all of our makeup for that, so I knew she’d do a great job for the girls. She also serves as my official makeup artist anytime we travel to blog events together. ;) Thanks again Gretchen, you rock!



Gretchen in action:


The girls, ready to go! I told them to just do whatever they were comfortable with for both hair and makeup. Everyone looked beautiful!

the girls

Clockwise from upper left – Jenny (my MOH), Jess, Turner, Kris!

Since they finished up a little before me, the girls went and got their bridesmaid dresses and my bridesmaid Jess and Matt’s mom set to sewing a couple loose stitches on to everyone’s dress to hold the green ribbon sashes in place. They could easily cut it off later but this way it wouldn’t be moving around on them during the day. Perfect!



The bridesmaid dresses are from JCrew – the girls were excited because it was legitimately a dress they would wear again. Without the sash, they look like normal cocktail dresses (and were apparently really comfortable). The dresses are all silk chiffon in Newport Navy; Jenny went with a strapless version, and the other girls picked this version with straps and a pretty V front and back.


As for the ribbon, it was a super cheap pickup from Joanne Fabrics! Jess simply cut it the day of while they were sewing them on to everyone. So easy and cost effective, too.

Before we knew it it was time to head back up to the main manor house to finish getting ready! Once the girls were all ready to go, we reassembled in my parent’s room in the manor house to put on my dress. This is when it started to feel real. :)


the dress collage


For those that wanted more details about my dress, we got it at Global Bridal Gallery in Old Town, Alexandria. As far as I know it wasn’t any particular brand and I’d really recommend the shop if you’re local and looking for a dress – it’s a really small shop and the staff are all very nice and sweet (I feel like some of the bigger bridal shops can be super snotty or intimidating), and their prices are really reasonable, too. Hence me having rather expensive shoes. :) I’m happy to say the shoes survived the grass throughout the day and I will be wearing them again as often as I can!

the shoes

Back to the dress – it probably looked like it was all one piece but it was actually two! There was a satin nightgown/slip underneath and the lace section was an overlay. I love this picture below – in I go!


Umm, help! Where’s the head opening?! ;)


It was so exciting finally putting the dress on and knowing that I’d get to wear it for more than a few minutes at the dress shop! My favorite part of this dress was hands down the back. It was what sold us all on it way back when I first went dress shopping. Global Bridal Gallery was the only shop we went to and this was the very first dress I tried on, too! Of course I went on to try on about 10 more dresses, just for good measure, but we all kept coming back to this one. I just loved that it was unique but classic, romantic but flirty. And comfortable and lightweight, too!


Oh and yes, those were all REAL buttons. The girls were like… seriously?! ;) How many bridesmaids and moms does it take to do up all those buttons? It looks like 4 from this picture. :)


My mom also sewed a couple quick stitches around the bust area to make sure the lace overlay wasn’t moving around separately from the satin undergarment. We were going to do tape or something, but this was much easier!


Putting on my earrings and the final touches:


And last but not least, the veil. If I didn’t feel like a bride yet, I definitely did when this went on. We bought the veil from Global Bridal Gallery as well and it was just a very simple fingertip length veil – actually the sample veil they had me try on when I tried on this dress for the first time! We didn’t want anything that would overshadow the dress, so it was perfect. The earrings were from Global Bridal Gallery as well. :)


We finished getting ready around 1:30 (they fed us lunch while we were getting our hair/makeup done) and headed outside to take my solo portraits and some of our fun bridesmaids pictures!

Meanwhile, the boys were arriving back from golf and starting to get ready nearby…


Team Bridesmaid was all over the guys making sure they called when they came back to the property so we weren’t standing right out in front taking photos when they arrived. Thank you, ladies!


I think this was Matt writing my “love letter” that we incorporated into our ceremony (more on that in the ceremony recap post)!


Oh and they had whiskey. Where was our whiskey, ladies? ;)


Too cool for school. :)


Stay tuned for the next post in the wedding recap series coming early next week – the official pictures from our individual portraits and separate groomsmen and bridesmaid pictures, taken prior to the ceremony!

A big thank you to our wedding photographers Ben and Taylor from Ben Powell Photography for getting these pictures to me so quickly!


  1. 1

    GORGEOUS! I can’t say anything more. Stunning. Cant’ wait to read more!

  2. 2

    I love it! Great post! It really was just as much fun as you made it sound!! :) Gretchen did a great job on the make up, and I was so impressed to see Ben and Taylor’s photos, they look amazing! You never know what they will look like in the end while they are snapping away but they really rocked it! :) Also, you are ridiculously gorgeous, hot stuff ;)

  3. 4

    I love it all! You are beautiful!

  4. 5

    Stunning photos! I love your dress! And you did get these back super fast, our photographer already warned us that wedding photos take a while to get back. Did you guys do the wine box and love letter for a future anniversary during your ceremony? Josh and I are doing that and we’re so excited, his dad is actually making the box for it to go in for us!

    • 6

      Yes, we did, minus the wine! And plus that we’re going to add a new letter in each year for the following year once we read it. :) That’s so cool your dad is making the box!

  5. 7

    Gorgeous! You looked lovely – and I love your dress so much!

  6. 8

    Your hair is stunning and your dress divine! You looked absolutely amazing! Truly beautiful!

  7. 9

    I love everything about this!

  8. 10

    LOVE LOVE LOVE! :) <3

  9. 11

    Anne – I’m getting married in May 2013 and bought my dress a few months ago. It is nearly identical to yours in that is a simple, 2 piece with a satin slip underneath and a lacey overlay. It’s nothing like I thought I would want but it fit like a glove and I just felt amazing. I hope you did too!!

  10. 13

    I absolutely love your dress! Seriously-it makes me want to go redo my wedding!

  11. 14

    I have LOVED reading all the recaps so far, and you looked so beautiful! I can’t wait to read more! :)

  12. 15

    Your dress was absolutely to die for! If I could get married again I would want that dress! You looked stunning!! Congrats

  13. 16

    Anne, this might sound creepy but I don’t care… your back looks AMAZING/so ripped in that one photo of you putting on the lace overlay! Such a stunning silhouette!

  14. 18

    Gorgeous photos! And I *love* your dress, Anne-timeless and absolutely stunning!

  15. 19

    Everyone looks so beautiful, especially you! The dress is absolutely gorgeous!

  16. 20

    I love your dress and your shoes!!! You look amazing Anne!

  17. 21

    Absolutely fANNEtastic recap……. and You look spectacular!!!!! :-)

    Truly a phenomial wedding. Best party ever!

  18. 22
    Pat Elsberry says

    Your dress and shoes were ABSOLUTELY gorgeous!!! I never would have guessed it was 2 pieces! And the shoes – L-O-V-E them!! So glad you can wear them again! Great recap, Anne. Thanks for taking us through your special day with you! Look forward to the next one.

  19. 23

    You look absolutely gorgeous Anne! I love all these posts:) Love your dress too!

  20. 24

    Everything looks so beautiful! I’m loving the wedding recaps :)

  21. 25

    I can’t believe that was the first dress you tried on! How lovely. I am having such a hard time finding a dress! I am going to be the bride who tried on 200 dresses!

    • 26

      Yeah I got lucky – the sales lady nailed what I was going for right away! I mean, I knew there would be other dresses that I’d probably love, too, and we were deciding between a couple we all really liked that day, but I knew it would stress me out if we waited too long to make the decision or introduced too many other options to the mix! There’s so many beautiful dresses out there!

  22. 27

    What gorgeous pictures Anne! Congratulations to you and Matt, wishing you a lifetime of happiness together :)

  23. 28

    You dress is so beautiful and you looked absolutely gorgeous in it. :)

  24. 29

    Beautiful… I absolutely LOVE your dress! So elegant!

  25. 30


  26. 31
    Adventurer says

    Beautiful bride!

  27. 32
    Laura Matute says

    Anne, I must agree with Nina. Your silhouette looks gorgeus in that picture. You were perfect for that dress and the dress was just perfect for you. You made an excellent choice. Your makeup and hairdressing were exactly as needed, as well as the shoes and accesories. All combined made you look authentic, graceful and elegant, just as you are…. Again, congrats to you and Matt!….

  28. 33

    AWESOME pictures! And I loved, loved, LOVED your dress! Unbelievable it was not one piece :-)

  29. 34

    beautiful pictures Anne! you are a relly pretty bride!!

  30. 35

    These are so amazing. I just love seeing wedding photos and I bet you love reminiscing again too! :)

  31. 36
    elle | nutritionella says

    Yes, where WAS your whiskey? ;) Stunning photos and stunning bride! xoxo

  32. 37
    Adventurer says

    P.S. Can’t wait for the next post! Don’t make us wait too long, pls…

  33. 38

    Those are beautiful pictures! Your photographer definitely captured the feeling of the day!

  34. 39

    Gorgeous dress! And loving the Jimmy Choos! :)

  35. 40

    Ok, that picture of you in just the slip part of the dress – AHmazing! The shot itself, with the light filtering through the lace, but also your awesome back – wowza! ;)

  36. 41

    Love it. Such beautiful photos. The back of that dress is just amazing!!

  37. 42

    Absolutely stunning, Anne. That dress looks like every one I have pinned on Pinterest—it’s beautiful!

  38. 43

    Your dress was stunning, especially the lace details and open back! Never would have known that it was 2 pieces!

  39. 44
    Chris Ann Matteo says

    Your dress is a dream! Everything that a lovely bride would wish for. Feliciations!

  40. 45

    What a lovely dress! You and your entire wedding party look beautiful and blissfully happy. I hope your day was everything you dreamed it would be, and that your marriage is full of joy.

  41. 46

    Wow I am in love with your dress. It is the first dress I can actually see myself in. I think for my wedding I will look for a dress like yours :) too bad Arizona is so far away!

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