WEDDING GLAM ON A BUDGET [& INJURY]
Hi Guys! I’m really excited to share this post with you! Mainly because it incorporates so many things I LOVE but also because I received a TON of questions about my look, from dress to hair & makeup glam, all from the wedding we attended this past weekend; Mike’s little sister Melissa got married!! But really, first off, I need to THANK YOU for all of the incredibly flattering comments & interest in my personal style and for loving this look, head to toe, as much as I did! Your support means the world to me!
If you find yourself at a roadblock when trying to figure out what to wear, always put things into your perspective of what you are trying to achieve. Here’s some background on how I went about creating this look… I mean it was for my boyfriend’s little sisters wedding, which in my eyes is part of my FUTURE family, so even though it wasn’t nearly as close or important as picking out a wedding gown, I took the decision seriously; I knew exactly what I was going for. I wanted a timeless, classic and elegant gown, not a cocktail dress – which is surprising for me, because due to my vertically challenged height of 5’2″ – cocktail dresses are my usual go-to wedding attire (I have an insecurity about gowns on my short stature in combination with a big butt and hips, I usually feel gowns make me look shorter, and stubby). No matter how fab the cocktail dress was, it just would not do for this special of an event. When you know pictures are going to last a lifetime, and you plan on being surrounded by them, you want to do your best to keep yourself happy with the look; for me it was a balance of a glamorous, timeless look, standing out amongst the crowd while blending in with the black tie attendees of the special affair; it’s like a delicate dance.
And let me tell you, this was an incredible event! It was one of the most beautiful weddings I have attended, and to put that into perspective for you, there was a three year consecutive span in my life where I attended about 8 weddings a year (luckily it was my ex’s friends mainly, with a few of mine sprinkled in, so I didn’t get stuck with filling the envelope 8 times a year if you know what I’m saying – but that’s a whole other topic that deserves it’s own post, if not it’s own website, ‘wedding etiquette and gifting responsibility’). The main reason it was one of the most beautiful weddings is simple, it was because of the love and sincerity between the two people getting married, Melissa & Michael (her now husband, not my bf – obvi)! I’ve known Melissa for so many years, bascially as long as I’ve known my Mike, therefor I know first hand how great of a person she is. She is like the female version of Mike, loving, big-hearted, family oriented and would do anything she can for the ones she loves, an all around great woman. Together with her new husband, I have no doubt in my mind that they will go on to build a beautiful family of their own with a great foundation of values and morals. So that alone, is enough to top my list of weddings – second to only my own sisters, who happens to be named Melissa too (I know, confusing!). And that folks, is what it’s all about, right? The LOVE and commitment between two people; not the dress, the cake, which song you first danced to or how great your cocktail hour was – don’t get me wrong, ALL of that mentioned matters, AND WAS AMAZING at Melissa’s wedding this past weekend, but anyone can have that given the budget or opportunity, NOT everyone (unfortunately) finds their true love and marries them, the first time around! It was over the top beautiful and perfect in every way possible! The best part for you guys is that you will get to see it ALL play out on Say Yes To The Dress: The Big Day, airing this December! You’ll see these two lovebirds and the wedding they very well deserved celebrating their love and marriage with family and friends! Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Sussman!
Ok back to the look, I managed to put together this glamorous look on a fairly decent budget! Actually, an amazing budget by ONLY really needing to find the dress and using what I already had in my closet! Two of the items do have a heftier price tag, but I will break it all down for you and explain how to get similar if not almost identical items for much less!
One being the shoes, Christian Louboutin – three years ago at the annual CoCo Pari sidewalk sale for more than 70+% OFF! Like I’ve said before, I don’t pay retail (full price) for anything! I was a professional buyer, I know how, when and where to shop on top of my excellent negotiation skills! Also, I typically wear a 35 or 35.5 so they’re usually on sale in boutiques since it’s not the average woman’s shoe size (which is where the bulk of the buy is). These were a 35.5, winner winner chicken dinner.
The second splurge item that was already in my closet is a customized Edie Parker clutch – this is another item I purchased for myself as a gift a few years ago while I was working and brainstorming for the launch of this blog, hence the customized “StyleBae” in script on the clutch. I also ordered it through my former company, so I received a significant employee discount. So there you go, what looks like a splurge was a discounted price, as it will usually be in my case.
The actual dress I wore was not designer, contrary to popular belief and how amazing it looked. You CAN buy great items at an affordable price, you just have to know where to shop and that’s what I’m here for! I got this beautiful gown from HouseOfCB, I’ve received a few things from there in the past and I will say they have never disappointed me, opposed to some other online affordable trendy boutiques (be warned). From my experience with them, everything was great quality, on point with their style (of my selections of course 🙂 ) and at a fair price, on top of FREE two day shipping to the U.S.! I chose the Rosa dark grey silky jersey dress that retails in the $100’s, not too bad huh? Since I’m unable to add this dress into my slideshow below I’ve provided you with links to their site as well as images. Everything else you will find below as usual with all my posts! However, I didn’t stop there, I added in some similar gowns for you to shop at your leisure if you really loved this look!
The shoes were Christian Louboutin Corta Mia flat – YES, you read that right, I said FLAT. I didn’t mislead you with the ‘INJURY‘ blog title here, but I did do a great job at visually concealing it for the wedding! Unfortunately, I severely sprained my ankle about 4 days before the wedding, luckily due to my flexible work and school schedule (more to come on that), I spent those ENTIRE 4 days doing what my recently official nurse of a little sister Michelle advised & then was confirmed to me via a lovely emergency room visit, REST, ICE, COMPRESS, ELEVATE, and I literally did just that, for four entire days. By the time Sunday came around, I was stable enough to bandage up my ankle securely and wear a pair of flats, luxurious ones at that, underneath my beautiful full length dress – without anyone, other than Mike and people who I told knowing about it, noticing! It was a great success, not ONE single social media commenter, even the obsessed trolling haters (biggest fans of all IMO) that look for everything weren’t able to spot it! But in plain sight below, you can see what I was dealing with. Luckily, it was a sprain and wasn’t in a hard cast, also my foot was narrow enough, even with the swelling, to be bandaged up and comfortably able to slap a louboutin on it. However, I am paying for it now, it was a pretty bad sprain, and it’s on the same foot I broke in 3 places and tore multiple ligaments in exactly two years ago, sigh. Reoccurring injuries suck, and I hear ankles are lifelong, so I am doing my best NOW to rest, ice, compress & elevate for as long as physically possible. FUN times!
Regarding the glam, I did my OWN makeup thank-you-very-much. Everything I used I noted below and are included in the slideshow with direct to shop links! The hair situation however I can’t take credit for. My lovely stylist Shannon Wilmot, who not only styles but also colors my hair, did me a huge favor and opened up the salon on a Sunday to help a girl out! I am blessed with very thick hair, so even with all the experience of doing it on my own, with amazing products and tools, I still cannot get it to the level of perfection that the pro’s can, but that’s what they are here for! However, with my hair being as thick and intense as it is, I have to be very careful with who I go to, not many can handle it. There are two people I trust 100% with my hair, one is Shannon and the other is Kat Tengono based out in LA – if you are a fellow heavy maned woman, I HIGHLY suggest these women to you.
Kat can be booked via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shannon works for my all time favorite salon I’ve been a client of for more than 15 years, Gerber Salon located in Keyport NJ. You can book her through their website here or calling 732.888.7575. They carry only the best of products, and that goes to say for their staff as well – LOVE THEM! What I can contribute to the hair part of this recap is the list of ORIBE products Shannon worked her magic with on my never-ending tresses to create effortless beautiful waves. BTW: ORIBE is the ONLY brand of product that touches my hair. Luckily, due to the thickness of my mane, I can go a very long time without washing it, I’ll spare you the TMI details of that as it may offend some of you! haha!
Now to give you the concise look breakdown, head to toe & glam included, here we go:
♥♥♥ Lauren’s look of the day: wedding edition ♥♥♥ #llotd
♥ House of CB Rosa Gown in dark grey – super comfortable, only complaint is be comfortable with probably having to go strapless! The dainty spaghetti straps that come with this continued to pop off all day (and I am small in the bust) so I believe it’s just a malfunction in the manufacturing. Luckily the dress looks even more glam without them, in my opinion. If you order this and are planning on wearing the straps plan on having a seamstress reinforce them (also many substitutions in slideshow below for this dress!)
♥ Edie Parker customized clutch – you can customize your own at her website OR shop this almost identical one here! Suggestion: clutches tend to be expensive, no matter where you go, and when you need one it’s usually for a special occasion, I’d advise going with a neutral color since it’ll go with anything! I linked a beautiful DVF clutch here & in slideshow below!
♥ Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation – duh, if you follow me you know this is my go-to base
♥ Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate in Intensity I – honestly, this is the best thing I’ve discovered for contouring – Mike compliments me every single day on how great my skin looks anytime I wear this (giving you all my secrets here with this one!)
♥ Louboutin matte lip in just nothing – I was pleasantly surprised with this, the color was the perfect nude matte for my complexion and that packaging which I considered tacky at first is quite beautiful and easily spottable in your purse – I actually DID wear in as a necklace on it’s signature ribbon tie and I liked it, but I paired it with a denim and tee shirt look, not for a wedding! It stayed in my clutch!
♥ Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow quad in the golden goddess – these shadows glide on so smoothly and beautifully, I’m boycotting other brands eyeshadows (for now) since I’ve discovered this! Thanks DZ
♥ YSL faux cils mascara in black – the best
♥ Anastasia brow whiz in taupe – always, don’t need to explain
♥ Charlotte Tilbury colour chameleon in champagne diamonds – my bff Daryl introduced me to this brand and the makeup is to DIE for, these are like shadow sticks and effortlessly blend for a touch of color on a day to day look or to amplify an evening look!
♥ Charlotte Tilbury colour chameleon in bronzed garnet – (read above) they also have designated colors based upon your eye color to assist you in choosing the best one to make your eyes pop – I mixed a blue eye and a green eye suggestion even though I have blue eyes, go with what you like – you’re the one wearing it! But their advice helps if you get overwhelmed or feel lost while taking it all in 🙂
♥ Oribe texturizing spray – Shannon used this to help my hair hold the waves, you should see how much it was curled in order to get this natural wave look – I have HEAVY hair
♥ Oribe supershine cream – I use this on the daily, its a does it all for my texture and heaviness of hair
♥ Oribe run through primer – this is the most amazing invention EVER for tangled hair, it literally makes it possible for me to get a comb through my hair after washing it without having to use any bit of leave-in conditioner! I suggest this to ALL blondes as highlights makes your hair super tangled and to anyone that struggles with this in general – you WILL thank me later, it’s that good
As always, all of this plus much more is in the slideshow below, I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did! Don’t forget to tune in to see Melissa & Michael Sussman’s wedding on SYTTD: The Big Day this December!