Wedding Recap: Getting Ready

Last night after receiving a disk of images from our wedding from our photographer in the mail, all I wanted to do was blog, blog, blog about our special day.

I’ve been waiting for the pictures for five weeks (not long by wedding photography standards) and have SO much I’ve been longing to share with you!

I’ve decided to break my wedding recap up into a few posts, so let’s get started with post numero uno… the “Getting Ready” post!

002_GettingReadyThose of you who were following my blog on our wedding day know that I wasn’t exactly in top form on the day I was to say “I do.” The Thursday before our big day, I was puking non-stop, and then I woke up the day before our wedding with a crusty pink eye.

A visit to an emergency care clinic informed me that I had pink eye, but my bridesmaid Michaela, who is in her final year of optometry school, said that it looked more like a virus that likely traveled to my eye. I didn’t know viruses could do that, but apparently they’re mobile little buggers. 

Equipped with antibiotic eye drops and anti-nausea medication, I was ready to get married!

I woke up at 6:45 a.m. on the morning of our wedding to give myself time to shower, assemble my bridesmaid gifts and pack a bag for the wedding night. My mom, sister and I met my bridesmaids at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort and Golf Club to get ready at 8 a.m.

We had one lady to do all of our hair and one lady to do all of our make up and rotated around until we were all done. I was second to last for both. 038_GettingReadyHow beautiful is my sister? 035_GettingReady

She gets her beauty from our mama. 😀

As I waited for my turn, I was surprised at just how calm I felt.

I wasn’t nervous. I was ready. Ready to walk down the aisle. Ready to see Ryan. Ready to be married.


I think feeling so sick two days before our wedding and praying to simply be healthy enough to walk down the aisle helped put things into perspective and made me realize that flowers, dresses and logistics are not important in the long run.

I told my family and my bridesmaids that all I wanted was to be physically well enough to walk down the aisle and become Ryan’s wife.

While everyone got their hair and makeup done, we had quite a few friends and family stop by, which was wonderful. I loved having our room open to others and spending such an exciting time with not only my immediate family and my bridesmaids, but some of my best friends from college, my aunts and my grandma as well, was amazing. 

I will forever cherish the time I spent on my wedding day simply talking with my bridesmaids. I’ve known four of my bridesmaids since elementary school and they live several hundred miles away, so having them there to support me meant the world.004_GettingReady

008_GettingReady 010_GettingReadyDuring the time spent getting ready, Ryan and I also exchanged our wedding gifts to each other. Though we didn’t see each other before we walked down the aisle, we had my dad and one of Ryan’s groomsmen deliver the gifts for us. We both surprised each other with a watch! Apparently we were on the same page. (You may see a close-up of my watch here. Love it.)

Before I knew it, my turn with the hair and make up ladies arrived. I was nervous about how it would go, as I wear minimal makeup and didn’t want to feel like a clown. Plus, Ryan prefers me without makeup, and I didn’t want him thinking Bozo was walking down the aisle to become his wife!

Let’s just say that once my makeup was done, I wasn’t overjoyed with the result. I felt a little flustered and went into the bathroom to “fix it.” My bridesmaids and sister did an amazing job of helping me feel a million times better and assured me that I looked like myself. (Note to future brides: Be 100 percent satisfied with your makeup trial or find someone else. If I could go back I actually would have done my own makeup, though it ended up okay in the end.)

It was at the end of the makeup drama that my dad arrived. 019_GettingReadyHe couldn’t have come at a better time.

He made me laugh and told me I looked beautiful. I finally felt beautiful.

My mom, sister, dad and I then shared a private moment in the hall that I’m so grateful our photographer captured. 020_GettingReadyWe were telling my mother how amazing she looked.

If I remember how one person looked on the day of my wedding other than Ryan, it will be my mother. When she walked out in her dress, my sister and I started crying. Tears filled our eyes because we couldn’t help but think about how far she’s come in the past two years in her fight against breast cancer. It was such an overwhelming moment and I will always treasure that memory and the intense gratitude I felt for being able to share my wedding day with my mother.

And then it was time for me to slip into my dress. 012_DetailsI wore an ivory James Clifford strapless gown with a sweetheart neckline. The dress had a scalloped re-embroidered lace bodice with an Empire waistline, matching scalloped lace hemline and a chapel length train. The dress itself had a mermaid silhouette, but I had the hips taken out a bit to give it an A-line shape.

015_Details My “something old” was sewn into my dress. 016_DetailsMy mom and sister surprised me with a piece of my mother’s wedding dress embroidered with my initials and wedding date in baby blue (my “something blue”). My mother sewed it into my dress on the spot.

My “something borrowed” was my sister’s delicate pearl bracelet.  040_GettingReadyMy mom and sister helped me into my gown and I could feel the excitement rush through my body. 009_GettingReadyI was about to get married!!!

After slipping on my blush pink wedding shoes, fastening my veil and and pulling up my garter, I was ready to walk down the aisle.




052_GettingReady To be continued…

(All photos courtesy of the amazing Gina Leigh.)


  1. Sarra says

    I love everything!!!! I love how you and your hubby are always in sync with each other! 🙂 And I LOVE the “something old” sewed into your dress. Just brilliant. You are a gorgeous bride 🙂


  2. Kristina says

    You’re dress is my dream dress. It’s exactly what I have imaged having, so I may have to write down a few things for the future 😉 You looked beautiful and thank you so much for sharing all of these with us.


  3. says

    Drop.dead.GORGEOUS!! So amazing, all of it! Glad you got the little make-up mishap straightened out, too. Professionals really know what they’re doing..but sometimes their work just doesn’t fit your opinion. Ahhh you look so excited!


  4. Sarah Elizabeth says

    What beautiful photographs! I just watched the wedding video you posted – so sweet! You and Ryan seem like you’re great together, and it seems like you had a fantastic day to celebrate that. Your dress – and shoes! – were gorgeous, I love how you did your hair, and your bridesmaids looked fantastic too! Congratulations!!!


  5. Erin says

    Aww yaaaay wedding pictures!! Love them!! I just had to go back and look at mine again….makes happy tears stream down my face everytime 🙂


  6. says

    YAY!! I am so excited we get to enjoy your perfect, wonderful, amazing day through pictures 😀 You look amazing in all of them and it looks like it was such a beautiful wedding!! Congrats again 🙂


  7. says

    Beautiful photos!
    I actually had the same thing happen to me with my makeup on my wedding day. I should have known better, but I had someone else do it for me and I ended up hating it. I’ve been doing my own makeup for years, so I promptly went into the bathroom (after semi-freaking out) and fixed it myself.
    I agree…DEFINITELY know that you’re 100% happy with the makeup BEFORE the big day! 🙂


  8. says

    Wow! Stunning is the only word I can say!
    I’m so nervous at my wedding they will catch me at all my bad angles! lol

    and your sister is ridiculously gorgeous! I’m super jealous!


  9. Teshon says

    Truly beautiful pictures! I’d have to say my favorite is actually the one pre-dress in the tank. And your sister’s eyes are stunning in the makeup pic. Glad everything turned out’


  10. says

    Love, Love, Love! Your sister’s blue eyes are amazing. Your dress is gorgeous. And your shoes – Amazing!

    It’s so wonderful how you took time to cherish your mom on your wedding day. My father passed away before I was even engaged, and I missed him terribly on my wedding day. I was a daddy’s girl, so it was incredibly hard to not have him there to celebrate with us. I love reading about the close bonds you share with your family – family is so precious.


  11. Bb says

    You Looked soo beautiful your wedding was so amazing !! I Will be compulsively reloading your site checking for more wedding pics ! It Must be so fun reliving each part while you write the recaps !


  12. ellie says

    All your photos are gorgeous! I get teary eyed just looking at them. It’s so wonderful how you and Ryan are just perfect together and seem to be on the same page as each other, all the time! You are lucky! 😉
    Congratulations again.


  13. says

    I am so happy you are doing this. You will cherish these memories forever and how awesome that you have a place to relive these memories. Can’t wait to see more!!!!


  14. Steph says

    Julie, your pictures are beautiful, and you my dear are elegant!

    I’m going to be the 20th person to say this, but I love the part of your mom’s dress sewn into your dress. That is unbelievably special


  15. says

    This is my favorite post you’ve ever done! Your photos are absolutely beautiful, as are you 🙂 I wish I had read this at home so I wouldn’t have gotten all teary eyed at work!!


  16. Kimberly says

    Congratulations, Julie! You were a beautiful bride! Thanks for sharing your pics and your special day with us. It is truly a day to treasure, especially when you marry your best friend. I have been reading for a while, but this is my first comment. Keep up the good work 🙂



  17. Leslie says

    You look so beautiful in all of those pictures Julie! I love looking at them! It takes me back to that amazing weekend :).

    ps you know I’m not a fan of that lip stick picture 😉 haha


  18. Samantha says

    Note to self: Your blog has to be off limits to me during the work day. I am pregnant and cry AT EVERYTHING. This bawling at work thing has got to stop!! 🙂

    Love your posts! Looking forward to your other wedding recaps. (Crossing my fingers I can keep my hormones in check long enough to read without crying!!)


  19. Kaella Carr says

    You had me tearing up about your mom!!! My mom is my BEST friend and had a breast cancer “scare” two years ago. I always treasure every single day now. She’s about 15 hours away but I make sure we email a few times a day and chat at least once. It must have meant the world to have her there that day…I’m hoping the same for my big day..someday. I just wanted to say the pictures are gorgeous and I can’t wait to read/see more recaps!! Take Care, Kaella


  20. says

    That 4th shot is one of the most stunningly beautiful photos I have EVER seen. My goodness, Julie, you are so gorgeous – from the inside out. You glow here!!

    Also, love the something old and blue. How creative!!


  21. Laura says

    Do you mind me asking how much your wedding dress was? It is GORGEOUS!!!

    As are your pictures! I was in 3 weddings this past summer and I don’t think any of the pictures turned out as well. You lucked out with an amazing photographer!


  22. Gina Leigh says

    Thank you so much to everyone for the kind words regarding the photography! I really cannot say enough how much of a joy it was for me to photograph Julie and Ryan’s wedding. They are an amazing couple….beautiful on the inside and out! 🙂


  23. Sarah says

    All of your wedding pictures are gorgeous! I would just like to share that when I got married this August, I also had a random virus in my eye a mere 2 days before the wedding. I also did not even know that was possible?!


  24. megan says

    aaww juliee! thank you for sharing these personal photos with us! they are so so beautiful and you and all your fam/friends look amazing! im so happy for you!!


  25. Allison says

    Julie!! I am L.O.V.I.N.G. all of your recap posts!!! I’ve been MIA from reading blogs for the past week (and a half?) or so due to my gradschool finals, but now that they are over I am catching up! SOOO excited to find all of these wonderful posts!!! I am so happy for you and your day was captured beautifully… you are so blessed!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *