While nudity is certainly the preferred mode for celebrating a wedding, we decided to conduct that part of the celebration in private and to wear clothing to our wedding and reception. We were pretty traditional in our choices.
Laurel wore a white dress. Going into the wedding, Laurel was pretty wary of the whole ‘wedding dress’ experience, and was pretty set against the idea of a ‘fancy’ or expensive dress. She did some sleuthing online and ordered a couple of very simple dresses from J. Crew to try on at home. Just after Christmas last year, Laurel and I went to Arizona with her mom and sister Jennie to visit her aunt and uncle. While we were there, we talked Laurel into all going out together to look for dresses, eventually convincing her that since we were all going together it would be fun and not totally gross or idiotic. We went to Nordstrom’s just before they closed, and a really kind saleswoman helped Laurel try on a few dresses. Even though none of them fit her very well (she was too slender for just about anything they had in stock), she looked stunning in everything–most spectacularly so in a simple, floor length Nicole Miller dress.
The saleswoman told us that Nordstrom’s had just decided to carry a new line of wedding dresses, and that these dresses were being phased out. After checking their computerized inventory, she told us that Nordstrom’s still had exactly one of the dresses we liked in Laurel’s size, that it was a floor model, and that we could order it, but that they’d need to ship it off to have it cleaned up a little first. That’s what we did. They accidentally shipped it to Laurel before cleaning it, but she was able to get it cleaned and taken care of in time to be married in the dress. And she wore that dress well. Perfectly well.
On her feet, Laurel bought a pair of simple white shoes with very modest heels. She found them on the sale rack at Cornblooms, a nearby shoe boutique. The were made by Sacha London (I think the model is known as Alpha).
I wore a black tuxedo suit, purchased from the Men’s Wearhouse. They had a deal on where you bought one of something and got a second free. I had been wanting to get a nice blue suit for some time, so I bought a vested navy blue suitat full price and got the tuxedo for free. I thought that silver paired nicely with my suit, so I chose to wear silver as the complementary color–picking out a silver vest, tie, and pocket square. I would have liked to buy the tuxedo vest so that I owned the whole tux ensemble, but the one I liked was rental only, so I rented the vest and bought the tie (which let me have the pocket square for free). I bought a formal dress shirt I liked (and got another, less formal one thrown in). For the cuff links I wore a very simple silver pair that I had found at an antique mall in Fort Atkinson for a dollar a couple of months before the wedding.
I took both suits to be tailored–the alterations took about 3 weeks, and needed to be done twice on one of the suits, but I was really pleased with the fit once all the alterations had been made.
I wore my own shoes–I can’t remember where I got them, but I like them. I planned to polish them myself, but didn’t plan things out very well–I got all dressed and ready and then realized that if I were to polish my shoes, it would be wise to change out of my formal wear. Will, Laurel’s sister Erin’s boyfriend, volunteered to polish them for me, which he did marvelously (he’s in the Navy).
All told, we spent just under $1500 on wedding clothing, split almost equally between the two of us. I feel like I got the slightly better deal, since I have a full three piece suit that can be worn repeatedly in the years to come, as well as a very nice tuxedo, which, while it probably won’t be frequently useful to me, will probably be worn more often in the next several years than Laurel’s wedding dress. This was one part of the experience that wasn’t super personalized for us–we didn’t shop at special boutiques or ‘buy local,’ nor did we do much to customize our clothing from the way it came ‘off the rack.’ In both cases, our priority was quality for price–and both of us I think felt pleased with the cost, appearance, and quality of the things we wore to our marriage.