what i am wearing on my wedding day


Now for the fun part, my outfit!

Though our wedding isn’t traditional in many ways, I still wanted a white dress. However, since we are most likely holding the ceremony in a garden or someplace quiet, but public, I didn’t want to attract too much attention with a big gown. Anything that could draw a crowd was out of the question… but I still wanted it to feel special.

Given our tight timeline, I knew ordering a bridal gown was unlikely which made my shopping trips limited and focused. I went to Nordstrom, Bhldn, and J.Crew. I also knew that I wanted to wear flats. So a short dress seemed ideal to not overwhelm my height or attract a crowd.

And again, going for short, white, wedding dress that is off the rack made the search even more specific.

Though I found some nice options at all the places I tried, the one that hit exactly the right feel and fit for me was at J.Crew in their bridesmaids dresses. 

Yep, I’m wearing an ivory bridesmaid dress that I got for $240 with tax. Because I opened up a J.Crew card with all my honeymoon shopping, I snagged some savings on the dress at the same time.

So though the dress is not “inexpensive” for a bridesmaid dress, it is a great bargain for a wedding gown. Especially since it fit off the rack.

The savings on this piece opened up my wedding gift clothing budget for lots of other items I’ll be able to wear on our honeymoon and year-round. Plus, my wedding dress can be worn on our special day and possibly at our friends and family parties, too. It’s a win-win-win.

In fact, the shoes I found ended up costing more than the dress.

Ever since we abandoned the traditional wedding route, I no longer had to consider wedding colors or bridesmaids dresses to match (which would have been coral). So I used the old adage “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” for inspiration.

Because of my short dress, my shoes were an obvious place for me to have some fun with blue. Which apparently Something Bleu agrees with too.

Even the box matched my impromptu wedding color scheme.

As did this lovely pair of flats.

French blue. Flat. With a bow! I mean, common, they were begging to be worn in a Paris elopement ceremony (or any special occasion for that matter).

They are comfy and dressed up enough to add a little something extra to an otherwise pretty simple wedding dress.

And then it was time to add the sparkle.

The rhinestone bracelet and earrings were my late Grandma Constable’s. I am thankful that I’ll also have a piece from my late Grandma Gravette: my engagement stone. So my Grandma’s will be with me through these special pieces.

The pin, which will go on my waist, is from the 1930’s and was bought from a Brooklyn street vendor for $20. The lady vendor had a huge tray of vintage pieces, and this pin seemed more special than any that I had seen in the stores. I adore it’s design and tarnished patina so much. It also fits right in with my Grandmas’ jewelry.

I’ll also be using my Grandma Gravette’s beaded purse. When she passed away in 2004 I inherited a lot of her accessories. This was one of them. Though I’m not sure, I like to think that she might have been married with this purse, too.

For the “something borrowed” part of the equation I’ll be wearing an item my mom sent me to wear which was given to her by her mother (Grandma Gravette) on her wedding day. I’m not sure what it is yet, but I can’t wait to find out.

When it comes to hair and makeup, it cost a pretty penny 200 euros at a local Paris salon to get my hair done on a Sunday (when most salons are closed). So rather than splurge on the hair, I’ve decided to do it myself* and buy new makeup which I will apply myself.

Thanks so much for following me on this journey this week, I can’t wait to share details from the trip when I am home!


* To ensure that my curling iron would work in Europe, Mr. Lively did some Amazon research and found what I can only call The Mega Converter. Hopefully this monster will do the job.

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Carolyn

    All of the pieces are stunning and so you! I can’t wait to hear more about your special day and see photos :).
    Congratulations Mrs. Lively!!

  2. Eleanor

    It all looks so lovely, Jess! I especially like the shoes, and the fact that you’ve incorporated your grandmothers’ possessions into your wedding outfit. I can’t wait to see photos 🙂

  3. Alyssa

    I love everything you chose. So perfect for a Paris elopement and I love that you managed to fit in some very personal items. I blew out a straightener AND a curling iron when I studied in London in college before buying the exact same converter Mr. Lively found for you. It definitely worked!

  4. Kristen

    I’m tearing up… 🙂 Everything is so perfect. I love that you have your grandmothers’ things. I have some similar costume jewelry that was from my great aunt and just having it with me keeps her near all the time. Congratulations again!

  5. Claudia

    Jess, It’s been so nice to follow along every day and hear how this special day all came together. Though I’ve known about a number of these details for some time, it’s a treat to see it come full circle. I’m sure you made a spectacular bride. xoxo

  6. Absolutely beautiful!!! I cannont wait to see your photos, I’m sure you were a beautiful bride!

  7. olivia

    Beautiful beautiful beautiful!!!! All the details sound amazing. So happy for you!

  8. So beautiful! My sister also wore a JCrew bridesmaid dress (but long) for her wedding, then got the same dress but short and in a pretty red to wear to her West Coast family gathering for everyone who couldn’t fly out for the wedding. Love your jewelry and what a sweet homage to your grandmothers!

  9. I bet you’ll look stunning! I love the dress, and I can’t wait to see what the finished look is like. Congratulations again!

  10. Cara

    I love following along on this special journey, and seeing how each of your choices are so suited to you and your special day ~ so thank you! I adore your whole ensemble because it was put together with thought, love, and special history and meaning. 🙂

  11. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. All of your picks are so beautiful! Both of your Grandmas seem to have had amazing style. It’s wonderful that you’ll be able to have something from each of them on your big day.

  12. Amanda

    I hope we’ll get to see photos! I’ve really loved following along with your wedding posts!

  13. Your grandmother had such exquisite taste! That dress is stunning! One of the hardest things about getting married in NZ is that we have such limited access to cheap, yet gorgeous gowns. I still did find my precious dress but it was a lot more expensive than I had expected initially – I’m glad you got such a great deal. I hope you post photos when you are back of how the whole thing looked together – gorgeous I bet!

  14. Nicky

    Hi. I came across your website two days ago and I absolutely LOVE it! I am so inspired and energized by what you say. So much wisdom, common sense, creativity and love that can do approach. So refreshing and encouraging! I really like the idea of your wedding design and celebration and look forward to reading more about it. It sounds so wonderful. Many congratulations!

  15. Liesl

    This is all just…ParisianPerfect Jess!

    Winging some WickedWedding JOY your way 😉 xx

  16. Anna

    Congrats Jess! I am sure you looked stunning on your wedding day. Every piece you picked out looked lovely. I can’t wait to see pics of you with everything on.

  17. Anja

    What a lovely dress and the shoes and accessories are a dream! It looks beautiful together and I believe you were a wonderful bride! My best friend is also getting married in a short white dress and will be wearing blue shoes, such a fun way to work the “something blue”
    Congrats to both of you once again!


  18. Jenny

    Just beautiful, Jess! I actually wore a bridesmaid dress too! Long, ivory Vera Wang – $230. I wore green shoes dyed to match my bouquet! So I love seeing when other brides wear colored shoes too, it’s so fun and a personal touch. Your accessories were perfect! Gorgeous!

  19. Lauren

    I am loving your elopement details! This looks like an amazing wedding day outfit. You must’ve looked gorgeous. I must confess, you are living my dream right now with an elopement to Paris. How wonderful to be in such an amazing city with the one you love without all the overwhelming details (and expense!) of a wedding. It sounds perfect.

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