our wedding: alicia gets ready

we are married! the cardwell’s est. november first, 2015. it was a beautiful swirl of a day. when they say it flies by, they are not kidding.

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let’s get straight to it. the girly stuff.

hair: i went with my favorite style for my long hair: the soft curl. & i went with my favorite hair stylist, renee ellison. ironically (or whatever) renee has been my friend since middle school. she’s done my hair for such events as my 8th grade dance, my senior prom, & now my wedding day. (plus all the colors & cuts in between!) she’s the best – she eased my anxiety from the start – it took her no time at all to blow dry my hair & curl it. loved the simplicity.

make-up: i’ve known for a few years that i would be doing my own make up for my wedding day. i love make up – i watch beauty gurus on youtube on the reg. make up doesn’t intimidate me like hair does. sooooo – i figured since i wouldn’t be spending the money on a make-up artist for my wedding day – that meant only one thing: a major trip to sephora (whoooohooo) i will tell you now – this is one of the most exciting yet expensive trips i’ve ever made to a sephora in my life. after this one trip, i instantly became like a gold VIP club member with all the points to buy the entire store. that’s how much money i spent. but it was worth it. i’ve used all the make up i bought for my wedding day in the weeks after. it’s practical stuff that can be used daily. my inspiration was this bridal video by beauty guru jaclyn hill. i followed her tutorial step-by-step. not joking. i bought every single item mentioned & did every step (even the make-up brushes!! #allin) i practiced for weeks leading up to my wedding. my only regret? i started my make up with only 30 minutes left to get ready. DO NOT DO THIS. ladies, maybe you’re like i was & you think if you do your make up too early, it will suddenly disappear off your face. no. it’s a lie. do your make up as early as possible. the benefits? you’re all gorgeous & stuff for when the photog shows up to take “get ready” pics. also, you don’t feel rushed to the very end. of course, if you’re having a pro do your make up, you have much less to worry about. so really, this applies to those brave girls ready to take on the make up challenge full force. start early. get it done & enjoy the rest of your time to get ready. use the last thirty minutes to do touch ups to your make up (the videographer & photographer can get shots of this & NO ONE WILL KNOW THE DIFFFERENCE.) lessons learned. but i loved doing my own make up & i love that i still have all the products to use on the daily.

crown: fresh wheat + fresh lavender + fresh rosemary handcrafted by brookie.

dress: oh the dress. the thing most loved but likely very confusing, all at the same time. i wore a BLUE dress. why in the world did i do this? well, it came about naturally, i promise you that. most of you know, grant & i got engaged august 29, 2015. we decided on august 30 that we wanted to get married as soon as possible. we first landed on october 25 but it really wasn’t working out so our second choice was sunday, november first. that’s a 62 day engagement, y’all. i’ve never been the kinda girl that likes shopping with other people – it stresses me out. i’m a huge people pleaser & have a hard time really picking things i love. instead, i tend to please the people i’m with & i buy things i really don’t like. it would be totally self-destructive if i gathered up all my girlfriends & took a trip to a dress shop to try on dresses in front of tons of people. i would crumble. so instead, i opted for the online option. i spent my entire day off looking at etsy.com, bhldn.com, tradsey.com . . . long story short – i found the dress of my dreams & it completely fell through. i cried. then i picked the second dress of dreams & that fell through. grant promised i could wear pajamas, it wouldn’t matter to him. after THREE fails with the same company, i started looking for anything & everything to order. my wedding was in 50 something days & i honestly had no dress. i stumbled onto nordstrom.com & found the blue beauty you see in all the pictures. i bought it. to be safe, i also bought a standard, beautiful white lace dress from bhldn.com. they both arrived & i tried them on. i hated the white one. & i LOVED the blue one. my bridesmaids were super supportive & affirming — so i went with it. it was forgiving (i didn’t have a year to work-out & get that perfect bod šŸ˜‰ ) it was blue (hellooooo) it was autumn-y (yasssss) & it was unique (story of my life). so that’s how the blue was born. i don’t regret it for a second. i had it altered at the bottom by a local seamstress for like $5. she was a gem.

shoes: sooooo, about that hem. i overshot the length of the hem on the bottom of the dress. i didn’t like the way the dress looked with shoes AT ALL. i didn’t realize this, however, until two days before the wedding. i had bought some flats from target that i really thought were the winners, but the night before my wedding, i decided to go barefoot. best decision ever. it ended up being a warm day & i had spent $45 on my pedi so i thought – why not show those toesies off – haha. but seriously, who cares. it was perfect for me.

nails: shellac fingernails + toes

jewelry: good ol charming charlies. i went with the rose gold look – so simple & elegant.

BRIDAL SUITE:

food: my sweet friend bonita made us girls some refreshments. i really encourage you to have snacks in your get ready room. especially light foods. you think you’re not hungry but you are – so EAT!

decorations: i stole this idea from my friend rachael from her recent wedding. she had decorated the hotel room we were getting ready in & it was perfect. it really sent the tone for the day. ps: if you don’t have a calming, relaxing place to get ready, i totally recommend booking a hotel room. it really worked out for us – one of the best decisions i made for the wedding. we used springhill suites in prince frederick. the costumer service was astonishing. really spoke volumes & put my mind at ease.

bridesmaid gifts: i wanted to get the girls something they could use & have forever & ever. i bought prints from katygirl designs on etsy.com. each print was unique to their personalities. the frames were adorable & from michaels crafts.

i think that’s it! i hope you’re inspired to do something unique, simple & totally YOU for your wedding. all the really amazing pictures you see below were from my photographer LA. she was a breath of fresh air. when i say i had anxiety on my wedding day – i was not kidding, y’all. Lindsay Anne was professional & encouraging all in one. i’ve loved her organic style from the moment i laid eyes on her instagram. the rest of the pics are from my iphone!

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6 thoughts on “our wedding: alicia gets ready

  1. I loved everything you chose for the wedding including your dress. It was perfect!! Love you so much, Mom

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