There's something so chic and adventurous about opting to get your dress custom made. I've covered four brides who have taken this road less traveled and it always seems to exceed expectations. This week's bride is my beautiful cousin Courtney Gill; she commissioned New York designer / Boston native Michael DePaolo to make her wedding dress and also found some of the Cape's best vendors for her gorgeous September wedding.
Bridal Style Mostly natural with a touch of classic glam. I kept my hair and makeup natural. My lace dress had silk covered buttons and swarovski crystal sprinkled across its bust and straps to add simple glam.
Dress By A custom dress by Michael DePaolo; he is a sweetheart and an absolute pleasure to work with! What I loved most about Michael is that he approaches each and every design opportunity with a sincere focus on his client's unique vision, style, budget and timeline to ensure an optimal experience for all involved. He has a certain style for which has made him such a successful bridal/evening wear designer; however, I was looking for a style that was somewhat more understated and simple that I thought he might not be as excited to work with me on. But that was far from the truth.
Shoes by Stuart Weitzman 'Nearlynude Sandal' in Platinum lamé. I have to say with the ankle strap and 3" block heel, they were surprisingly comfortable. I was able to wear them early afternoon until the very end of the evening, which is rare for me, as I hardly ever wear heels anymore ;)
Accessories I wanted to keep things minimalistic so aside from my engagement ring, my only other accessory was earrings- Adriana Orsini Pavé Teardrop Earrings from Saks.
Health Secrets I eat healthily most of the time- soups, salads, lots of fruits and veggies, but am a sucker for pizza and ice cream so I tried to limit these to once a week and not on the same day ;) I stuck to my regular exercise routine leading up to the wedding which consisted of, jogging here and there, Flybarre at least 2x/week and two HIIT or weightlifting classes like Bodypump. I wasn't looking to lose weight but more so, tone up as much as possible. I wanted my arms to look toned and to look fit, not skinny. Everyone has different health & fitness goals, but I would say do whatever it is that makes you feel good and that will show from the inside out. Sleep is key, although with all the activity and excitement in the weeks leading up to the big day, I found it tough to get as much sleep as I'd like but definitely made it a priority to power down earlier than I usually would.
beauty secrets Jergens Natural Glow body cream! I still had some color from the summer since our wedding was in September, but I would mix this lotion (in the fair-medium shade) with my regular body lotion after my showers and it gave me that continuous, soft bronze I needed so I didn't look "tan" per se but definitely had a little color, especially against the white dress.
hair by Shannon Kennedy of Artworx Salon in Sandwich. The Artworx team was fantastic; I was extremely happy with how my hair turned out. I wanted it looser and low but still off my face and Shannon executed the vision perfectly. I will say, I highly recommend 1-2 hair trials to test different styles and make sure you settle on one that's perfectly "you". The last thing you'd want is to be fiddling around with your style and unhappy with the final turnout on the big day!
MAkeup by Ariane Pagan also of Artworx Salon. I loved the way my makeup turned out as well. I wanted something elegant yet natural and Ariane executed the look perfectly with earthy tones on my eyes, peachy bronze on my cheeks and the individual false lashes applied made all the difference making my eyes really pop. I also recommend at least one makeup trial prior to the big day to ensure you have the chance to experiment a bit and find the combinations of colors and finishes that are just right for you.
Greatest moment of the night The whole day and night were such a dream, but one that really sticks out is when Matt and I came back into the tent after taking photos out by the pool to see our friends and family rocking light blue oversized T-shirts with pictures of us as toddlers screen-printed on the front. It was a total surprise and absolutely hilarious to come back to see.
Wedding Venue Wychmere Beach Club was top notch in terms of attentiveness, customization, professionalism and expertise. They truly went above and beyond to make sure the day went off without a hitch and the months leading up to the actual day were well planned out with tastings, walk-throughs, personal introductions to all the key team members, we were extremely well taken care of. It's becoming more and more popular so would definitely make sure to book a tour at least 10 months in advance of your intended month/date to make sure you get the weekend you desire. We always wanted an outdoor wedding so were married on the Grand Lawn next to the beach club and then our reception was on the beach deck down below, which is a relatively new site for weddings at Wychmere, but all of their facilities inside and outside are beautiful, it just depends on the vibe you're looking for.
Favorite Vendors Designers Touch Florist of Brewster, MA - Abigail Swanson is remarkably talented and shared my vision, executing the most unique, simple and beautiful tablescapes and understated decorative arrangements throughout the ceremony and reception. She also did the arrangements for our rehearsal dinner which were equally as stunning. Erin Kennedy's beauty team at Artworx were rockstars. Jen Chagnon owner of Pink Polka Dot stationery store in Falmouth; she was a sweetheart, exceptionally detail oriented and patient with us as we designed our wedding invitations and all our day of stationery, which turned out perfectly. Suzanna March, specifically her ability to artfully structure and capture the most beautiful, natural shots, sense of humor and ease of working together- made us feel extremely comfortable and had everyone laughing along the way.
Advice for brides to be Try to get all the big things booked early such as, venue, band/DJ, photographer/videographer, so you can enjoy a more leisurely planning period (even a lull) before things kick back into high-gear in the final months. Try to remain calm, everything always works out the way it should. Only try to control those things you actually have control over and try to let the other things go...it's tough when even the minutia seems like a big deal but I promise, a calm bride is a blessing to all ;)