The Micro-Wedding DIY Bride
On October 24th, 2017, I married my homie-lover-best friend, Steven Hill. It wasn't a big Gucci Mane/Keyshia Ka'oir to-do by a LOOOOOOOOONG shot. We just drove up the street (literally 3 blocks) to the City Hall and vowed our love to one another in the presence of God and his mama & 'em. :)
(Below I have a wedding gift for you. Read on...)
We've discussed marriage since practically day one of our 4 year courtship but neither of us are the fussy types. Big weddings are beautiful to attend but the thought of planning one for myself gives me hives! And now that we are pregnant, we figured we'd get these nuptials done sooner than later so our bundle of joy will be born into holy matrimony, which was a priority for me. I'm learning through the NY Times article that the "micro-wedding" experience is now a THING and for so many reasons. For some, a big wedding seems like a waste of money, others would just rather use their funds to purchase a house or take a killer honeymoon. For us, it was more of a personality thing---we both have introverted traits---plus being pregnant, I just don't have the energy.
But from the day that we'd applied for our marriage license to the actually wedding day with the judge was only 3 weeks. Yikes! So, first I figured getting a wedding dress to fit my baby bump this last minute would be impossible and decided we'd just do Bride and Groom t-shirts and jeans, keeping it super casual kinda like Teyana Taylor and Iman Shumpert.
But the fact remains that I am what I am, more traditional than I'd like to admit so although I was fine with hubby doing the casual thing, I really wanted a white dress! So I made one! Hey, I didn't graduate from the Fashion Institute of Technology for nothing! LOL
And I figured, why stop at the dress? I'll DIY all of my accessories as well PLUS his Groom t-shirt.
Here is the outcome:
The Shoes: Finding a pair of white shoes that don't make you look like a church usher is a challenge. So eventually, I settled on nude. But to match them into the white dress I would make, I added a pearl button.
Sidebar: Isn't the "I DO" at the bottom of the shoes adorable? It was my "something blue."
The Veil: I wasn't sure if I was going to rock a veil. I knew I really wanted a headpiece across my forehead and I thought that would be plenty. I really hadn't planned to wear a veil at all but while I was at the fabric store I saw some scrap white organza for a couple of dollars and grabbed it "just in case." Once I got home and started going through Pinterest, I saw a few cute ones that would complement a headpiece like mine so I went for it. I glued Swarvoski Crystals onto the fabric to match the "Diamonds and Pearls" theme that was now evolving.
The Flowers: Figuring that because I was eloping and wouldn't have much of a crowd to toss a bouquet to, there was no real need for a bouquet. But a wedding requires flowers in my mind therefore I went with a corsage for myself and a flower barrette for my daughter, both made with silk flowers.
(Barrette I made for Jordan, my daughter)
Once I began making my lace dress, I thought white lace mendhi henna would be amazing on my hands and I embarked on a search for a local henna artist. I found Nadyah Beasley who is based in South Jersey and Philly.
But once I learned that you can't wash your hands with this type of henna and the plan was to get this done the night before my wedding, I knew that would not work. How would I shower before getting dressed? I ditched the henna idea and just went with white lace gloves instead.
I wanted something that didn't try to hide or disguise the baby bump but ultimately because doing so would make me feel like I was wearing a tent. I figure d, "if you've got it, flaunt it!" And made myself a form-fitting, off the shoulder, simple gown that would be easy to wear. I haven't made a dress in YEARS! And when I did last, approximately 5 years ago, it was a leather dress for a client because leather is my specialty. Working in delicate fabrics like lace and satin is so foreign to me, at this point. But I think I did a decent job.
And guess how I mimicked the baby bump on the dressform to drape the dress???!!! I took a wood salad bowl from my kitchen and duct taped it to my dressform. It just so happened to be the same size as my belly! Ha ha!
I was going to order a "Groom" t-shirt from an online shop but I did worry about not getting it on-time because recently something important I ordered got lost in the mail for several weeks and I now had no time to spare. Besides, why buy it when I can make it? With his input, I designed a simple graphic with a font we both agreed upon, an anchor and a crown. Took all of 20 mins. I printed it onto iron-on transfer paper and grabbed a new t-shirt from a pack he'd just purchased and BOOM.
Makeup: Provided by the incredibly talented Pietra Dunmore of RetroChic Beauty. All of the makeup comes from her own line. She was at my place bright and early and did a fantastic job giving me the look I yearned for: minimal makeup with a red lip and lashes. Voila!
This was a really special experience for me; marrying the love of my life in a simple way with a couple of my friends, my child, and his closest family members as our only witnesses.
We have the rest of our lives to wildly celebrate the other joys that will come, but I'm proud that we were confident enough in our own decision to go against the societal standard and just do us.
My wedding gift to you, our wedding playlist on ITunes:
Please leave a comment and let me know if you'd have a micro-wedding...why or why not?