the details.

I love hearing about the details from other people’s weddings, so I thought I would share mine. Because the details were delicious to put together.

The Dress

Before I got engaged, I thought I would wear a pink dress. For real. I did. And I’m kind of bummed I didn’t. Because that would have been pretty awesome, right?

(Anita Graham- love adore xo)

In April (I got engaged in August, so maybe a little premature), I sent my mom a picture of this dress:

Wondering if they made it in white. She clearly forgot about this, because when I got engaged, she sent me the same dress at 2 a.m. with the subject line: DO THEY MAKE IT IN WHITE????????? LOVE THIS.

Turns out they do, and I bought that girl.

Don’t you love Grandma in the background?

I had originally thought I would wear something Carolyn Bessette Kennedy-esque. A sheath dress, something with a plunging neckline, sexy without being inappropriate for church. I even tried some on when my dress went awry back in March.

But I’m so glad I stuck it out with this gal. I can’t imagine marrying Chris in anything else. I know he liked it (I think? Honey? Comments are to the right if you want to chime in), but there wasn’t that moment of “Wow, I really love the work they did on the bodice there- really nice choice, honey. Is that all tulle? Wow.” I know this now, but probably didn’t know it then: he would have been delighted if I showed up in a paper bag. The dress was not important. He really, really likes me.

(final fitting at reem acra)

My dress had a skirt overlay that we added to give it more fullness, plus a rhinestone belt. I like to say this makes it custom Reem Acra, but that makes me sound obnoxious and like a liar. So let’s just say I added some pretty things.

Switch It Change It Rearrange It

I didn’t expect to change. I bought this dress to wear to our after party (to which I ended up wearing- wait for it- a BATHROBE and pajamas) and had it hanging in our hotel suite. But when the clock struck ten o’clock, I knew I would never last another two hours in my tulley girl. So the amazing beautiful gorgeous angel of my life, Hannah at Belle Haven, rushed to our hotel, stole this little number out of our room, and I changed in the upstairs suite.

The dress is Parker and I got it the week before the wedding at Singer 22. They’ve since sold out, but you can get it at ShopBop. Or just come over and borrow it! She’s so comfy!

I LOVE this picture. This is my cousin Rose and I. She was OBSESSED with this dress and told me she liked it better than my wedding dress.

Also, a word on changing: Everyone and their mother has an opinion of this. It’s because it has to do with something most people consider sacred (a wedding dress) and bucking against tradition (ch-ch-ch-changin’). We talked about this a lot, my gals and I, and I thought that I would feel too sad to be changing out of my wedding dress- the one time in yo lyf that you get to wear it. I did not feel that way. At ten, I felt like I had rode that ride. I wanted to change into something a little more sexy and a lot more fun. And I wanted to tear it up on the dance floor with my new husband. Which I guess I could only do looking like a back-up dancer from Gladys Knight and the Pips? I’m happy I changed and don’t regret it for a second.

Shoes, etc.

I wore a pair of Jimmy Choo Mary Janes. Here’s the picture Brian snapped of them before I got dressed:

My mom INSISTED on having doubles of everything. She bought these Tory Burch flats the week of the wedding in case something happened to my shoes. Something did happen: I wanted to wear flats half-way through because these are so beautiful. I adore these little gals and wear them all the time. I think it’s a good idea to have a Plan B- even if you love your shoes and are super comfortable in them, just get a back-up pair and save the receipt. What’s the harm?

For jewels and gems, I wore the earrings my mom and dad gave me when I graduated high school. I actually have them on right now. I didn’t wear a necklace, but took the chain from my grandpa’s pocket watch and wrapped it around my wrist as a bracelet. I also wore my grandma’s diamond watch (a gift from my grandpa) and the bracelets my mom wears everyday. You can kind of see it all here:

(photo  by brian hatton)

The Suit

Chris wore a pretty freaking amazing black Hugo Boss suit, a Brooks Brothers white shirt, a deep plum tie, and my dad’s cufflinks. He wore a gardenia as a boutonniere, since they remind us both of growing up in Miami (y’all, gardenias are HARD: they discolor quickly and we had to do a bout swap with him half-way through the night).

(photos by brian hatton)

I’m sorry, what?! You gotta stop it. You are killing me.

I just want to share this with someone: last night Chris and I went out to dinner (we had both been traveling and needed a drink) and when we were seated to our table, Chris led the way and I was walking behind him. A girl pointed at him and said to her friend: “Did you see that guy? He is so HOT.” (I am proceeding to giggle profusely). Her friend says: “Oh my GOD. He is SO hot.” And then I giggled through my margarita. ‘Cause that’s my husband, y’all! I tricked him into marrying me and now that guy I liked in sophomore year English tucks me in and makes me tea every night.

Our Rings

My engagement ring is Chris’ great-great-grandma’s. It’s over one hundred years old and the most precious gift I’ve ever been given.  Chris gave me an infinity ring as my wedding band and we chose a platinum band with slight etched detail for him. His ring has an inscription that I lost sleep over, along with our anniversary, 10.13.

(photo by brian hatton)

The bands and my engagement ring setting are from Haniken Jewelers in New York. If you ever need anything jewelry wise, those are the kids to go to. It’s a family run business, and has been for the past fifty years. They are just wonderful.

The Girls and The Boys

The bridesmaids wore full length black dresses of their choosing. I asked them to pick something with a sweetheart neckline, and oh my goodness did they deliver. Everyone thought they looked positively stunning. The bridesmaids dresses were one of the big hits of the night! My girls have such good style.

The maids of honor chose dresses without a sweetheart neckline, which looked perfect. Everyone also happened to choose a different fabric, so that variation ended up being a big stunner as well.

So beautiful.

The boys wore their own black suits, white shirts, and blue Tommy Hilfinger ties.

Graham and Lauren, being beautiful.

This was definitely an element I thought SO much about, and I’m in love with the way it turned out. I adore this picture and everyone in it.

(photo by brian hatton)

Other Details

We decided on all white hydrangeas with long, spinning vines in mercury glass vases. Each arrangement was slightly different, which I loved. We searched high and low for the perfect vase and complimentary votives (my stepmom is a PRO- she even timed the burn rate for each candle in the votive to see which would last longer) before deciding on these, which we scooped up in the flower district in New York. Now we have about a bajillion mercury glass votives in both of our homes. So, if you need mercury glass…holla atcha girl.

(photo by brian hatton)

I designed our day-of paper goods with the help of Courtney from Swiss Cottage Designs and Heather from Perch Paper Co. I loved the water color calligraphy Heather designed, and had her create a few key phrases that we could use on our ceremony program, menu, drink list, and the thank you note Chris and I wrote for our guests.

(photo by brian hatton)

My stepmom was the HERO of the tables (really- she was just amazing) and I wanted to do SOMETHING that would be a surprise even to her. I knew I wanted to write some kind of a thank you note, and Chris nixed the idea of me writing an individual thank you note to each guest (but I did write something small in everyone’s escort card!). So this is what we came up with, and I really loved it.


These were our escort cards (you can see the sneaky note I wrote in ours, which I didn’t think anyone would see but us):

(photo by brian hatton)

Those were completely done by Heather from Perch Paper, who is a goddess. I love her.

Our guest book was a polaroid camera situation. I typed up the instructions and people went to TOWN. It was seriously one of my favorite things we did- the book is on our coffee table and we look at it often. The pictures are hilarious.

(photos by brian hatton)

Chris chose our cake: a black forest scrumptious three layer cake with white flowers (chosen by me) and polka dot piping (also chosen by me). You can see the candles my stepmom made in the corner of that photograph; she covered over 200 candles in different metallic papers with pearls, crystals, and ribbons. It added such a gorgeous layer of detail to the wedding- I loved this and have them all over our apartment now.

(photo by brian hatton)

This was my favorite detail. In May, I collected wedding photographs of our aunts and uncles, parents, grandparents, and married siblings. My dad is one of nine and my mama is Italian…so we had our work cut out for us. There were about thirty photos total, and my stepmom HAND CUT all of the mats and placed them in mercury glass frames. This was a huge, big ol’ project, but it was so worth it.

We had gardenias and hydrangeas on this table, along with the couples’ names in Heather’s watercolor calligraphy. We weren’t the first people to be married, and we won’t be the last. It was important to include our entire families…and I just loved working with them on the photos. It was very special.

(photos by brian hatton)

When I get the pictures from our invitations, I will share those too.

This was so fun to put together! I hope you enjoyed it a quarter as much as I loved writing it.

Have a lovely Saturday, y’all. xo

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4 thoughts on “the details.

  1. Carmela says:

    Thanks for sharing the details about your awesome wedding! I learned a few things that I didn’t know about the planning and details. Your attention to details was quite obvious and so sentimental and sweet! Glad you had some help from the “professionals” and your mom and stepmom….the wedding photos of family members was a unique touch that just shows how important family reallly is! Keep those words coming…can’t wait till the next one! Love you both!

  2. Lisa says:

    Dani, I know you are the quintessential planner. I remember when you made a big whiteboard with all your college choices with deadlines and specific requirements for each school. I love to rewind the details of your wedding journey with you in print .
    Much love ,

  3. Nikki says:

    Love every detail! I have also purchased a reem acra dress and would love to know what style of overlay you bought?


    • hellodallau says:

      Hi Nikki! Thank you! The overlay was a tulle skirt they had in the New York Flagship store. We sewed a belt into the lining to make it look flush. Congratulations on your wedding!!

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