Okay guys – here they are! Our WEDDING PICS are LIVE! I’m taking you through a play-by-play of one of the best days of my life and explaining why I made the decisions that I did. First and foremost, I need to thank Rebecca Davidson photography for these insanely beautiful images, for preserving the most special day of my life so far, and for being so kind and gracious while doing it.
For anyone who doesn’t know, Mike and I got married June 29th in Grand Cayman. We had always been fairly certain that we wanted to have a destination wedding – Mike’s oldest brother got married in Hawaii several years back, and it’s a trip we still talk about. We loved the idea that the wedding could be an experience with some of the people you love most, so we decided to go that route. That being said, there’s a lot to consider when planning a destination wedding and there are absolutely pros and cons. I wrote an entire blog post about it here. It wound up being an excellent fit for us.
If you do decide on a destination wedding, get yourself a travel planner like Linda Mitchell from Luxury Destination Travel. She was the first vendor we hired. Admittedly, we were uncertain at first: we were hyper aware of the giant money-suck that is the wedding industry, and we were leery to start signing contracts from the jump. I can tell you (and this is a commission-free endorsement, people), that Linda made our entire process so much more streamlined.
She helped us to secure an AMAZING rate with my dream venue – the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, she booked everyone’s travel, and she kept us apprised of RSVP’s and numbers. It was so helpful to have someone who could walk your guests through the logistics of attending your destination wedding – once less thing for us to handle.
On to my dress. I wore Reem Acra, and I was able to do so thanks to Glamour Closet. I started my gown search by going into Google and looking for “wedding dress sample sales” and stumbled upon Glamour Closet. They have locations in NY, Chicago, LA and San Francisco. It’s like shopping at Marshall’s – whatever inventory they have is what they have, but the dresses are selling at hugely discounted prices.
I called them and told them I was interested in coming in and asked for details, and the sales woman warned me: be prepared to buy your wedding dress today. If you fall in love with something, it may not be here the next time you’re in. I brushed her off, thinking to myself, “don’t be crazy. I’m not buying the first wedding dress I see.” Then, I proceeded to buy the first wedding dress I saw. And it was everything.
My shoes are Jewel by Badgley Mischka [come in four colors and under $150!]
My garter was a set and only $8!My something blue was my grandma’s blue bead.
Oh, the bridesmaids dresses. Initially, I had no intention of buying from David’s Bridal. It felt cliche and overdone. But I never realized how hard it would be trying to fit a single dress to a varied group of women (how naive of me) who are spread out all over the states. David’s Bridal truly simplified this process and offered dresses in every price range. Not to mention, their stores are conveniently located ALL over! I wanted the process to be as easy as possible for girls who were already giving so much to be at my wedding.
flower girl dress [under $56 – I was SHOCKED at how expensive these can get!]
I chose two bridesmaid dresses and let each girl pick their fav. I went with PETAL as the color, but it seriously comes in 44 other colors.
you guys, I was SHOCKED at how much belts cost. easily $100, more than likely upwards of $200. any guesses at to what this one cost me?
under $16. and you can shop it here.
for my gifts to my bridesmaids, I made them each a bag that included these robes, a bracelet (that they then wore to the wedding), jeweled flip-flops, a face mask, and a luggage tag! I know everyone usually buys floral robes for bridesmaids, but I personally hate satin, and I wanted to give gifts that my friends could use again. I have a floral satin robe and I never touch it – I much prefer the jersey material I went with. It seemed more appropriate for every day use, but the lace keeps it fun and feminine.
my beach bag was from Michael’s and was seasonal, but found something comparable here!
shop the robes here [under $22!]
shop similar flip-flops here [buy one, get one 50% off!]
I gave a Givenchy bracelet – shop Givenchy jewelry here! They make gorgeous pieces that are perfect for weddings and easy to re-wear.
shop the luggage tag here.
we hadn’t planned on doing a first look, but we decided to pull up our pictures before the ceremony so that we didn’t melt off all of our good looks. it only made sense that mike and I would see each other alone before adding the bridal party. I’m so glad we had this time together. it was so special.
my mom’s dress is Marchesa Notte from farfetch. insane how quickly the colors turnover – hers is sold out, but here it is in another color palette. Marchesa makes perfectly “beachy elegant” pieces. How good looking are my parents? I mean.
end caps on the rows of chairs.
anyone else feel like their dad walking them down was super surreal?
our place card holders are from wedding favors unlimited (they have great prices!) We also bought extra seashells (not place card holders) from the DOLLAR STORE!! for extra table garnish. worked perfectly.
this table was very important to me. I wanted to honor the people in our lives who have passed. my grandparents were all extremely special to me, and I so missed having them at my wedding. whenever we’d say “I love you” to my grandma, she always responded, “I love you MORE!” my little cousin, in all of her 14 year old youtube calligraphy genius, made the sign – an homage both to my family’s love of the Beatles and my grandma’s go-to phrase.
we opted for a “spoon wall” of tiny desserts in place of a traditional wedding cake!
the pasta bar was to. die. for.
in Lebanese culture, extravagant dessert tables are everything at weddings. as I’ve said before, I really wanted this wedding to reflect me and mike: our personalities, our values, and our cultures. my aunt flew in six different types of sweets from Lebanon, including these adorable bride and groom cookies.
the bride and groom seen here was actually my grandparents wedding cake topper from 70 years ago. insane. these trinket boxes were also flown in from Lebanon – they each contained a piece of chocolate.
marzipan is a traditional wedding dessert in Lebanon. they’re bordering Jordanian (candy coated) almonds.
our wedding favors were also from Lebanon – cheese/dip spreaders and tags from Etsy that said “SPREAD THE LOVE!”
my two favorite guys.
my dad is not an overtly emotional person. I initially asked him if he had any preferences as to what we danced to, and he brushed it off. Since he didn’t give me a response, I chose Michael Ruble’s rendition of “Daddy’s Little Girl.” Then, one day, my dad sent me a link to an Arabic song, wherein a father is singing about his daughter getting married and leaving him (a bit of a depressing lyric, but appropriate). I immediately loved it. It once again brought in culture, and that my dad had sourced it made it even more special. it’s an up tempo song, so we performed traditional arabic dancing to the sound of cheers and clapping. it was amazing.
so grateful for my forever dance partner.