Shelli of Hairscapades writes:
On December 12th, I tied the knot with my love at a ceremony and reception aboard the Explorer of Seas port-side in Bayonne, NJ. To be honest, I always imagined that I’d elope. I never dreamed of my wedding day nor had I any desire or interest in planning a big, elaborate wedding. Add to that the facts that I’m the consummate procrastinator who hates planning anything and am also super
cheap frugal, and you might understand my lack of motivation in setting a wedding date despite being engaged for almost a year and a half. But, with 42 knocking on the door, 2 years since our engagement fast-approaching, and a desire to have children, we knew it was time to get this thing done.
So, about 3 months ago, we decided on a wedding date and honeymoon trip. At about 70 days out, we decided on doing the ceremony and reception onboard our cruise ship prior to embarking … then kicking all of our guests off and sailing into the sunset on a 10 day honeymoon to the Caribbean. LOL!! Royal Romance took care of a lot of stuff like the venue (obviously ;)), the officiant, the photographer, the reception menu, the cake, the flowers, and the coordination of events. Then, with a lot of help and far too many purchases on Amazon and Etsy, Wei and I took care of the rest with LOTS of assistance from my two sisters and bestie.
Now, although I said I never dreamed of my wedding day, there were four things that were important to me: my dress, my bouquet, the locale, and great pics. I always imagined a flowy, romantic dress a la a Greek goddess or woodland fairy/nymph. I always wanted calla lilies. I always wanted to get married on a beach. And I always wanted beautiful pictures to capture it all! Three (and a half?) out of four ain’t bad, right? LOL!!
So, my dress was a custom ivory and sand silk wedding gown designed by Arlinda McIntosh for Sofistafunk the Skirt Company. I had no desire to spend hours in stores trying on tons of dresses. So, I figured, why not contact my designer friend Arlinda?!? I went online and started googling “Greek goddess” wedding gowns and came across this gorgeous Gladiator dress by Australian designer Anna Campell. I showed Arlinda some pics and we set about designing my look with some definitive Sofistafunk flavor thrown into the mix.With this whole natural hair blogging thing, how I was going to wear my tresses had also become a priority! So, of course I had to reach out to my stylist Tameeka McNeil-Johnson aka Jaded Tresses. Initially, I had settled on a winding braid style on straightened hair that I had been eye-balling for a year. But, when the trial of that hairstyle produced less than stellar results due to my fine, layered strands, I went back to the drawing board. I quickly identified a goddess-like curly updo as my hairstyle of choice and fell in love with it. The big bonus was that I was going to wear my hair in a natural style, not straightened, for my wedding day! My newly coined “Braid n’ Twist n’ Curl” was the perfect foundation for the style. Tameeka made a few custom, henna red colored clip-in extensions to add some dimension and contrast to the updo. Then, we used an old piece of trim that I had picked up a couple of years ago as a double headband to complete the look. The final look was totally me (and I knew Wei would approve as he likes when my hair is up and off of my face :)).
Invitations, peacock feathers, shoes, shoes clips, jewelry, make-up, hair accessories, favors, guest book, jumping broom, cake topper, family dinner … wedding planning … even small wedding planning … is a lot of work!! Whew! And they weren’t kidding when they said you’ll probably spend 2x your intended budget! DANG!! LOL! Did everything go perfectly? No. There was some confusion with the check-in process, it was freezing, my nose started to run on my make-up, and I had no tissues. There was no iron in the stateroom, so my sister had to use a hair dryer to try to get the wrinkles out of the bottom of my gown the best she could, but there were still some left. We couldn’t find the cake topper, but discovered it in the room with me when my sister was looking for her cell phone. I forgot to put on my Batman garter belt!! Nooooooo!!!! There was a looongggg intercom announcement over part of the ceremony, and our officiant was stumbling over her words and at one point said “Partners in crime … uh life.” :/ LOL!!! But, at the end of the day, we didn’t break the bank, I felt like a princess, we got to celebrate this important day with our close family and friends, and we got great pics to capture it all (and as long as the pics look like everything was fabulous, that’s all that really matters, right ;)? LOL!!). So, yeah. It was worth it and I’d do it all again!!
(See more pics from our wedding “album” here)