Real Bride Alice: Planning a Wedding During a Pandemic

A bridal party taking a picture.

 

Planning a wedding is not easy, but planning a wedding during a pandemic brought on a new set of challenges for most brides. Real bride, Alice was determined to make the most out of every experience. Discover what made each moment special for Alice and how she saw the positives during unusual circumstances.

Intimate Wedding Proposal…

Before pandemic times, I always thought I’d have my makeup on, and my nails fixed. I wasn’t wearing any makeup that day, but I did my nails the day before out of boredom.

On the day of the proposal, Andrew and I visited my sister and her family in Fort Worth to hang out at her pool. Since it was during the pandemic, we tried our best to practice social distancing and spend most of our time together outdoors. I hadn’t seen my sister, brother-in-law, and two nephews, Ben and Collin, in months which seemed like forever since I used to visit very often.

When we were getting ready to go outside, my 3-year-old nephew brought me an old shoebox. Because I hadn’t seen them much during the pandemic, I thought Ben was showing me new toys inside. When he opened it, I saw a ring box instead. Andrew grabbed the box and gets down on one knee. I was surprised and couldn’t believe it! Of course, I immediately said YES! We FaceTimed my parents shortly after and celebrated the rest of the day at the pool. It was a perfect little quarantine proposal.

Wedding Dress Shopping… 

Wedding dress shopping during a pandemic was something I dreaded—the mask mandate and the limited number of guests put a damper on my wedding planning mood. Who was going to join me to go wedding dress shopping? It was not an essential task, and I completely understood when none of the bridesmaids wanted to come. I didn’t even want to go myself! But, before I knew it, six months had already passed, so I needed to start looking.

Real Bride Alice and her bridesmaids

My wedding dress shopping experience at LuLu’s is something I’ll never forget. I already had high expectations for LuLu’s since that was where my sister found her wedding dress. Of course, I didn’t want to get my hopes up on finding it there, but how cool would that be, right?!

Melissa was the sweetest and very patient. I didn’t have a dream dress that I knew I wanted all along. She took her time with me, narrowing down which styles I liked and didn’t like. I felt so comfortable with her, which was great because it filled the void of not having all my bridesmaids with me.

I was with my sister when she found her dress, and in the end, she was with me when I found mine at Lulu’s. Always a good time at Lulu’s.

Found the One: Morilee 2044…

Melissa at Lulu’s did such a great job picking out dresses that it made it hard to choose. I would tell her what I liked and what I didn’t like about the dress. Each one got better and better until it was the one! Oh, my stars! The dress checked off everything I wanted. Melissa nailed it. I almost wonder if she secretly knew the whole time and just waited for dramatic effect. She’s that good and made it so much fun!

Wedding Theme…

I wanted my theme to be minimal yet elegant. Less is more! Planning a wedding during the pandemic made “less” favorable in case we were only allowed immediate family or a wedding cancellation due to Covid concerns. I didn’t even have any wedding cake tastings. I trusted my florist and went with a bakery she recommended. That first wedding cake bite was a pleasant (and delicious) surprise.

 

Real Bride Alice walking down the aisle

Husband and wife slicing a wedding cake

Favorite Moments…

EVERYTHING. The pandemic makes you realize what is truly important!

It meant so much to see everyone after missing so many special occasions and holidays because of the pandemic. The entire week and day were special to me. If I had to choose one special moment of the big day, I would say it was during the reception. My DJ (and good friend) Chris remembered a specific song I liked. The song does not have vocals, so it is hard to find. Towards the end of the night, there was a surprise for me.

I had to step onto speakers, and I was nervous about what was going to happen next. When I realized what song they were playing, I immediately knew I could let loose for the rest of the night and had no more worries. It wasn’t a song I requested on the wedding playlist, so it was a very thoughtful and awesome surprise! Someone said I was living my best life dancing on those speakers, and I agree!

Sentimental Wedding Details…

I wore my sister’s wedding shoes as something borrowed. Written on the bottom of one of the shoes was her wedding date, and I thought it was sweet of my sister to add my wedding date to the other. My sister and brother-in-law are total “couple goals,” so it was extra special that I got to walk down the aisle with something from their wedding too. I was lucky enough to have all my favorite vendors for my wedding. Every single one of them spoiled me in their own way. I was the luckiest girl and had the best people with me on my wedding day.

 

Real Bride Alice Send off

 

We love hearing from our brides. If you would like to share more about your wedding like real bride Alice – comment below or send a message to our Instagram! We would love to feature your love story! 

 

Vendor Team

Photographer: Jonny Ngo Photography @iamjonnyngo

Venue: Zander’s House @zandershouse

Planner: Love and Sparrows @loveandsparrows

Bakery: Paris Bakery @parisbakeryinarlington

Florist: Kim Trang @ktweddingevents

Gown Retailer: LuLu’s Bridal Boutique @lulusbrides

Gown Designer: Morilee @morilee

Makeup & Hair: Q the MUA @qthemua

Music: RLF Society @rlfsociety @skrach_chris

Wedding invitations and stationery: Footprints Invitations @footprintsinvitations

 

Real Sophia Tolli Bride Jessenia & Aaron

Real bride Jessenia wore the perfect timeless dress for her modern wedding! Find out about how she made her dress her own and the moments that made her wedding day special.

The Endearing Proposal

The goal to have Jessenia completely surprised when Aaron proposed was the plan from the start. It made for a long wait for Jessenia, but it was extra special when it came to the day!

“The stars finally aligned on February 23, 2019. Aaron invited his family to come to Dallas and hang out with us at our apartment, which was not out of the ordinary. I did not suspect anything. Aaron called my parents to ask for my hand in marriage. His entire speech was memorized and delivered in perfect Spanish. However, he failed to prepare for the follow-up comments and questions from my mom. All of which were also in Spanish. He says he left the conversation knowing that they approved but not knowing what else he agreed to.

 

man and woman kissing

Aaron and his family prepared a beautiful proposal setting at the apartment resort-style pool surrounded by fountains and water features. A walkway lined with candles and pictures filled with memories with music in the background created a beautiful intimate setup.

Meanwhile, all that was going on downstairs, I was napping on the couch upstairs in our apartment, completely unaware. Aaron called me to meet them all downstairs to eat dinner, play pool and hang out. Little did I know my life was about to change.

A few minutes later, I came downstairs and heard music but thought it was coming from the speakers in the outdoor lounge area. When I saw Aaron standing there surrounded by those candles and pictures, it hit me it was happening, and the first thing that came to my mind was: Omg, finally!!! Wait, I am not wearing any makeup, my nails not manicured, and I have on a huge coat that looks like a blanket, but finally!”

Man & woman standing outsideoutside

Finding the One

Jessenia always dreamt of finding the dress of her dreams and that moment when she knew. She would watch “Say Yes to the Dress” and would cry when brides would find the one! After going to several different stores, she fell in love with dress style 12026 by Sophia Tolli.

“I wanted sleeves, modern, cool-girl vibes, but overall, modest. I also knew one thing: I DO NOT WANT STRAPLESS. When the consultant brought in this Sophia Tolli strapless gown, I immediately was like, no. But I guess I will try it on for fun.

 

 

Man and woman outside

 

I. Felt. Like. A. Bride! Immediately. The curtains opened, and all my sisters and best friend gasped. They said, OMG this is so you! The consultant put a veil on my head, I turned and looked in the mirror, and I saw a bride, not just me wearing a white dress. I cried, and yes, the feeling is real! I could picture myself walking down the aisle to my fiancé. No need to try on anything else. No fear of missing out. So, it just goes to show, you do not immediately dismiss a dress until you try it. Trust your consultant!”

 

Wedding Plans 

“Our theme was modern, clean, minimalist. It was at the Nasher Sculpture Center, and it was supposed to be an outdoor affair. The weather had other plans, so we had to scramble at the last minute to move it indoors. In the end, the weather cooperated, and we had our dinner outside on the terrace. It all turned out amazing!”

Real Bride Jessenia and Aaron holding an umbrella

Special Moments to Remember 

The first look was a special moment to remember between Jessenia and Aaron!

“There is so much anticipation for months leading up to your wedding day. So many decisions to make, and you worry about everything being perfect. I felt like I was holding my breath for so long, and my heart was pounding as I stood behind him, waiting for him to turn around. As soon as we saw each other and said a few private words with just the two of us, I immediately felt a sense of calm and peace. I could breathe! At that moment, nothing else really mattered, the rain, the decor, the flowers. The only thing that mattered was that I was finally marrying the man of my dreams.”

man and woman outside

 

My Signature Style

“My wedding dress was modern, elegant, simple. And I loved it, but I wanted a wow factor too. I had so much time to spare because of Covid. I spent hours on Etsy looking for the perfect add-on to achieve a unique, one-of-a-kind look. I decided on detachable statement sleeves, and added them on after the ceremony and once the veil came off. They were so fun and such a hit! Everyone loved them.”

Real bride wearing Sophia Tolli

 

We love Jessenia’s personal style! Comment down below and tell us what you think!

If you are a LuLu’s real bride and would like to share your story, email hello@lulusbridal.com or direct message us on Instagram. (@lulusbrides)

Take a look at Real Bride Trish wearing Eddy K. 

 

Vendor Team:

Venue: Nasher Sculpture Center

Bakery: La Casita Bakeshop (bridal cake), Bronwen Cakes (grooms cake)

Florist: Luxe Petals

Rentals: Posh Couture Rentals, Center Stage Floors, Mirmir Photo Photobooth

Photography: Laning Photography

Makeup & Hair: Alayza Casey Makeup, Modern Hairstylist

Music: LeForce Entertainment

 

Trendy Wedding Accessories You Need Now

How should you accessorize after you found your dream dress? First off, finding the right pieces that add uniqueness but does not take away from your style can be a little bit of a challenge, but we are here to help! Discover the trendy wedding accessories you need now to transform your wedding attire!

Denim Jacket

A jean jacket is one of the most popular accessory trends you will discover if you are a soon-to-be bride. Bridal jean jackets add a unique and fun element to your dress and create photo-worthy pictures on your big day. It works at a variety of venues and will complement greatly to rustic, boho, and modern themes. A denim jacket can be repurposed to wear at any bridal function and makes for a perfect transition look from ceremony to reception. We love the different customization options that are available when creating an outstanding jacket. We see the use of monograms, patches, pearls, and fringes decorated on this cute accessory.

We love this real bride’s use of paint to highlight her and her bridal party. It was a showstopping piece, and the denim jacket is a fantastic gift for your bridesmaids. We are getting a 90’s vibe with this trend, and we love every bit of it!

 

Statement Veils

A change in wedding dress styles has shifted as Covid-19 evoked a new mindset among individuals. We see the replacement of bold wedding dresses to the gravitation of minimalistic designs and silhouettes instead. Brides are choosing to get that same wow factor of flashy dresses but with statement veils. Also, bold veils make it easy for brides to transform their look but still cater to a more subdued aesthetic for their wedding day.

Group of people at a wedding. Bride is wearing a large veil and a wedding dress.
Photo Credit: Joseph Mark Photography

Bridal Shoes

Shoes are seen as an afterthought when picking out your dress, but you will see wedding heels with intricate details become a focal point in 2021. Your shoe needs to be a factor when developing a look. Plan your shoe or shoes to accommodate comfortability, location, and design aesthetics. Garden venues are seen more than ever since the pandemic creating a rise in block heels as a fabulous choice for outdoor weddings. The incorporation of structured bows, intricate floral motifs, beautiful textures and color, and statement heels are on-trend. We often see brides wear two wedding shoes- one for the ceremony and one for the reception.  For example, this lovely bride included an elegant heel and a sparkly sneaker so she can dance the night away. Here at Lulu’s, we make sure you best dressed from head to toe!

Images of bridal shoes
Photo Credit (Left to Right): Amy Karp Photography, Braden Harris Photography, Courtney Hansen Photography

 

 Bold Headpieces & Earrings

Brides are paying attention to detail when it comes to headpieces and statement earrings. A gorgeous large, beaded hoop or a bold stud will be eye-catching to view on your big day.  However, make sure to style your earrings to be complimentary and not clash with your overall dress style. You and your dress will be the star of your wedding! Headpieces are the perfect accessory for the modern bride. Incorporate a fashionable headband or jeweled hairpiece for a magical appearance. A fabulous pearl headband paired with a structured dress or jumpsuit creates the right amount of soft elegance.

A woman wearing an earring
Photo: Allen Tsai Photography

Floral Bouquet

We are leaving behind wildflowers and gradients from past years. We are looking ahead to monochromatic looks, textural blooms, and expressive colors. Floral bouquets are an essential and complementary aspect that completes your overall style. Brides are holding bouquets that embrace one color but include dimensional shades to create interest. Also, you might notice petite size floral arrangements pop up in more weddings. Smaller size bouquets are functional and very aesthetically pleasing to your bridal look.

Bride holding a white floral bouquet
Photo Credit: John Cain Photography

 

Your wedding dress is a work of art! Why not amplify its beauty with pretty details. Become the centerpiece to your wedding day with trendy, elegant, unique accessories. The next time you are dress shopping think about how you want to accessorize!

 

What accessories are you going to incorporate? Tell us in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real Bride, Trish, in Eddy K

“My experience at LuLu’s Bridal shopping for my wedding gown was incredible! My stylist, Daniella, was knowledgeable, she made the experience fun, and she asked all the right questions. She listened to what I was looking for, and she chose styles that both fit my vision and different options I hadn’t considered.

After trying on several dresses in a style of what I originally thought I wanted, she encouraged me to try on one dress in particular she pulled for me that was a different style and color (champagne and ivory). I knew before the dress was fully zipped up that it was my dress! My stylist pulled a veil for me to try on with it, and once my mom started tearing up, we knew I did not need to try on any more dresses.

I felt beautiful and confident in my gown on our wedding day.  I cherished every moment in the dress and didn’t want to take it off! The dress fit my wedding day vision perfectly for our romantic and classic fall wedding. It has the most gorgeous lace and beading detail that made the dress so unique.”

We are completely obsessed with Trish’s Eddy K gown! She made the most beautiful LuLu’s Bride.

Take a look at her stunning wedding day photos below:

Real Bride, Trish 1

Real Bride, Trish 2

Real Bride, Trish 3

Real Bride, Trish 4

Vendors:

Venue: Gleneagles Country Club

Flowers: Root + Bloom Floral Design

Photography: Lily Hayes

Event styling/coordinator: @the.design.co

Hair: Monica with Memorable Occasions & Hair Design

Makeup: Beauty by Taylor Kizer

Dress Designer: Eddy K at LuLu’s Bridal

Real Bride, Anna, in Mikaella

Real Bride, Anna, in Mikaella

“I recently got married in the dress of my dreams (and veil!)” says #LuLusBride, Anna.

 

 

“Our wedding was an absolute dream, and I couldn’t have been more in love with my dress! Lulu’s was the most stress-free, wonderful process! In all honesty, I didn’t think I would like my dress when it was on the hanger. I wasn’t convinced at all. Then I put it on, saw my family’s reactions, and then got a good look at myself in the mirror. It was truly that “bridal moment” that everyone always talks about! I just knew it was the dress of my dreams that I wanted to marry the man of my dreams in. I still look back at the pictures and videos from that day and am so thankful that I chose Lulu’s. “

 

Take a peek at Anna’s gorgeous big day! We may be biased, but her wedding day look is perfection in our book!

 

 

Photographer: Savannah Peterson Photographer

Venue: Bella Sera Ranch (Palestine, TX)

Florist: La Tee Da Flowers (Tyler, TX)

Hair and Makeup Artist: Hair and Makeup by Edie

Choosing Your Wedding Day Music

Deciding on the music for your wedding day can be a lot of fun. But it can also be daunting! Your music choices set the tone for the day, from ceremony prelude to the last dance at your reception and every key moment in between. Here are a few points to consider when making your selections.

Your ceremony music may be dictated, in part, by the venue in which you marry. Many houses of worship have guidelines requiring your music be religious or classic instrumental in nature. Be sure to check with your contact at your ceremony venue to ensure your choices meet any requirements.

Next, you’ll want to consider the style/theme of your event – classic/traditional, modern, eccentric, whimsical, etc. A garden wedding with a boho chic vibe would be the perfect setting to have the bride enter to something like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” strummed on an acoustic guitar, whereas a formal church or hotel ballroom ceremony may lend itself more to the bride walking in to “Trumpet Voluntary” played by a string quartet. But it is your wedding! Take time to do some research and brainstorm with your musicians if you want something a little more unique than the standard wedding repertoire.

After the ceremony, the real fun begins! The pressure is off as you are now Mr. and Mrs., and it’s time to party! For reception music, you’ll want to start with your cocktail hour if you’re having one. Again, the goal of the music is not only entertainment but to set the mood. Jazz or big band favorites are a great way to go during the cocktail hour. You want the mood to be festive but your guests aren’t ready to cut loose. Consider the same approach for mealtime, especially if you’re having a seated dinner. Guests do not want to have to compete with high energy dance music to have a conversation.

Another fun consideration: do you want to incorporate any meaningful song – do you have an “our song”, is there a song that is a theme of your relationship or is there a song that is special to your families? Including songs that have personal significance is a great way to personalize your wedding and make it more memorable for you and your fiancé. You can do this for your ceremony or reception of course, and this is the best way to choose songs for your special dances such as your first dance and the father/daughter and mother/son dances.

Dinner is over and it is time to dance! Want to have the dance floor packed? Then please do consider your guests! Will Grandma be on the floor throwing down to Sexyback or would that give her a heart attack? You may adore Newgrass, but will your guests get it – and can you dance to it?! You can easily have a wide variety of music played to appeal to most of your guests, and any seasoned band leader or disc jockey can help you plan that out. Hire talented, experienced professionals, whether a band or DJ and trust their expertise and opinions!!!

Another great brain to pick would be that of your wedding planner! Don’t have one yet? Weddings by StarDust has a wonderful team of Certified Wedding Planners that can help you with every detail for your wedding day! Click here to schedule a complimentary consultation!

Trend Alert: Bridal Blues

Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

The “something blue” aspect of the traditional Old English rhyme symbolizes love, purity and fidelity. You have decided you definitely want to incorporate the “something blue” tradition but you’re not necessarily into the garter thing or don’t want to be as bold as wearing blue shoes. How about painting your toenails blue?

Blue nail polish is still all the rage – why not paint your toe nails with blue polish to bring in the ubiquitous something blue?! We love the incredible assortment of blue nail polishes out there. Check out some of the gorgeous shades!

Borrowed and Blue from Essie
Larimar from Oscar de la Renta
Ocean Blue from Sonia Kashuk
Yoga-ta Get This Blue from OPI
Blue Satin from Chanel
No matter what shade of blue you’re into, you are sure to find the perfect hue for your something blue toes!

Trend Alert: Herbal Cocktails

Hallelujah! Spring has finally sprung and it’s put us in the mood for light and refreshing cocktails! So, if you’re still pondering a signature drink for your wedding reception or cocktail hour, consider this fabulous trend: herbal cocktails.

Sweet and savory married in a delicious beverage…we’re hard-pressed to think of anything more luscious! Whether they’re infused, muddled or just a snipped sprig added for an unexpected garnish, herbs can make a fabulous and unique impact on spring and summer cocktails! Quench your thirst for something fresh with these gorgeous temptations:

Watermelon Basil Margarita
Cilantro Cooler (made with vodka)
Raspberry Thyme Tom Collins (love that mason jar!)
Peach Rosemary Spritzers (works with red or white wine)
Apple Thyme Martinis
Raspberry Basil Cocktail (with vodka and Prosecco)
Lavender Champagne – simple, elegant and delicious!
Cardamom Rose Cocktail (made with gin)
A richly colored twist on a classic: Blackberry Mint Julep
Pear Rosemary Cocktail (made with vodka)

Collaborate with your catering manager or bartender to design a perfect cocktail for your big event! They will know what is in season and can recommend divine flavor pairings that will complement the rest of your wedding day menu! Cheers!

Remember to Breathe: Stress Relief for the Bride

We hear you – wedding planning can be stressful. It shouldn’t be, but somewhere between attending numerous vendor meetings, navigating family dynamics and making dozens of decisions, you realize you need a break. Now! Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to combat stress during what should be a wonderfully joyful time in your life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Probably one of the most overlooked – and the most difficult, if you’re looking at your to-do list – is to get plenty of rest. Lack of sleep can be a stress magnifier and often, people getting too little sleep are more prone to irritability and less likely to be able to handle things as they don’t go according to plan. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. That’s a tall order, to be sure, but even making an effort to go to bed an hour earlier each night will contribute to you feeling more rested overall and help you stave off a little stress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eating more healthfully is another way to keep stress at bay. When you don’t eat healthy meals regularly, your blood sugar can be all over the place and that can lead to crankiness. Without the proper fuel, your mind doesn’t function at its peak performance, and you can be easily distracted. An obvious bonus side effect of eating healthy is that you’ll look even more fantastic on your wedding day!

 

Exercise is another excellent way to kick stress to the curb! There are so many options out there: running, yoga, Crossfit®, cycling, Pilates, Zumba®, swimming or barre, just to name a few! No matter which form of movement you enjoy, just getting a moderate amount of exercise a few times a week can really help relieve your stress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three ways it does this is to increase endorphins (your body’s own feel-good chemicals), distract you from what seemed so stressful in the first place and boost your mood! Again, the added bonus is that you’ll look awesome in your bridal gown!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And we cannot forget massage, a surefire way to loosen those knots in your neck, back and shoulders. Massage can be a great stress reliever by helping you unwind and loosen tight muscles. Consider a day at the spa to help rejuvenate you. Or even better, schedule a couple’s massage for you and your fiancé – and declare that date a wedding-discussion-free zone. Taking a little breather from wedding planning every now and then can be just the ticket to refreshing you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, if going solo while planning your wedding is proving to be too much, get help! Just like you would not consider tackling serious legal or financial tasks without an attorney or a financial planner, you might not want to take on wedding planning without an expert by your side.  Ready to enlist some backup? Learn more by scheduling a free consultation with one of our certified wedding planners today! Call us at 972.781.1619 to schedule an appointment or fill out this form on our website.

sources: for more info on stress relief and sleep, visit the Mayo Clinic’s and the National Sleep Foundation’swebsites.