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Real Weddings

Lauren describes her New Year’s Eve wedding celebration in downtown Seattle.

The Scene: December 31, 2013, SODO Park in Seattle, WA

We knew a winter wedding was in our future, and with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season what better way to bring 2013 to an end than a New Year’s Eve wedding surrounded by all our family and friends. The warmth of SODO Park was perfect for this event. We wanted all 300 guests in one giant room so they could celebrate every moment with us.

We also wanted the overall feel of the night to be elegant and classic—from twinkly lights and wine bottles placed on tables to the sounds of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong during cocktail hour. We also wanted the night to have the liveliness of a NYE party. Yes, dresses with sequins and sparkles were encouraged! Party hats were passed out, the music never slowed down and neither did the dancing.

Our Invitations: We took up the challenge of making our own invitations because we wanted something personal and one of a kind. The design was inspired by our love for champagne and, of course, the city that we love. We spent countless hours at our good friends’ house printing, cutting, gluing and folding each invitation piece by piece. One might think this was a little over the top, but to us they meant so much more in the end.

The Ceremony: We had Alex’s good friend Robert marry us. Neither one of us wanted a stranger to stand beside us and perform one of the most intimate ceremonies we would ever take part in. It was short, sweet and incredibly special.

My Dress: ‘Allie’ by Olia Zavozina

I went to only two boutiques to find my wedding gown. At the first one I was overwhelmed. I’m a very simple person: I don’t like to dig through racks, I don’t like to be overwhelmed and I’m very indecisive. My second stop was the Nordstrom Wedding Suite in Seattle. I immediately found the dress I had to have. I pulled a few others to try on, but my eye was on the Olia Zavozina ‘Allie’ Duchess Silk Trumpet Gown. It was everything I wanted: clean, sexy and classic. I felt comfortable and that mattered most.

My Wedding Stylist: Kerrene Buford, Nordstrom Downtown Seattle

My stylist, Kerrene, made everything incredibly easy for me. Having found my dress early on in the planning process, I was welcomed back many times to play dress-up and accessorize for the big day. Nordstrom is a one-stop shop for me and that’s what I love about it. From picking out my Vera Wang veil and Givenchy jewelry to finding the perfect sparkly gold kate spade flats, I always had someone there to help make my bridal dreams come true.

Photos by Kate Price Photography

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! E-mail Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details on getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

Anne and Isaac share the inspiration behind their country wedding set on the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Afton, Virginia.

02-nordstrom-real-wedding-stories-Anne-and-IsaacThe Scene: September 21, 2013, in Afton, Virginia

The tradition in my family is to get married in the backyard of the bride’s parents house, which we did. We wanted an outdoor country wedding that was formal in look yet casual in feel. Our colors were grey and coral, though that was not a strict theme. Overall, we were able to achieve our goal. But, a day-long rainstorm on the day of the wedding meant some last-minute changes. We ended up getting married under the tent among the tables and chairs, with 250 guests finding shelter where they could. However, with our bright color scheme and our florist’s bright flower arrangements, the wedding ended up being beautiful, with the green landscape and misty Afton Mountain as a perfect backdrop to our bustling, cozy wedding under the tent. In the end, I actually liked the rainy setting and wouldn’t have changed a thing. It also made for some great pictures.

03-nordstrom-real-wedding-stories-Anne-and-IsaacOn Magic Moments: My favorite part of the wedding was the dancing. We knew we wanted a wedding with lots of dancing, so we went with a funk/soul/motown band from Richmond called Class Act, and they were fabulous. Everyone from my college friends to my grandmother was on the dance floor for most of the night, grooving to “I Want you Back” by Jackson 5 and “This is How We Do It” by Montel Jordan. The focus was definitely on the dance floor, which was exactly what we wanted. Though I may have been a slightly sweaty bride, I was a very happy one!

01-nordstrom-real-wedding-stories-Anne-and-IsaacOn the Dressy Details: My gown was ‘Guindon’ by Hayley Paige. For my hair, I purchased the Cara ‘Blushing Bloom’ Hair Pick in grey to match the sash on my dress. Though my bridesmaids wore grey dresses from J.Crew, their accessory (and gift from me) was an Echo striped shawl in coral, which was our other wedding color.

04-nordstrom-real-wedding-stories-Anne-and-IsaacOn Working with a Wedding Stylist: Nordstrom was the last stop on our wedding dress hunt that day, and we almost cancelled the appointment after finding a dress we liked elsewhere. However, my mom encouraged me to keep the appointment. I saw my dress the moment I entered the wedding suite, and it was the first dress I asked to try on. I ended up with five or six dresses in the dressing room, with Christa, my stylist, helping me try each one on. I was with my mom and my sister, and all of us liked Christa from the start for her honest, down-to-earth attitude. Wedding shops can feel stuffy or snooty, and Christa alleviated that stereotype. I tried on ‘Guindon’ either second or third, and it was the immediate frontrunner. I could tell it was a favorite of all the stylists who were working that day, and it ended up being an easy decision. We bought it right then and there.

Photos by Jack Looney of Charlottesville

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! E-mail Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details on getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

Alison recounts her and Doug’s classic, elegant wedding (with a dash of shabby chic) in southern Illinois wine country.

Doug and I both live in Chicago and met through a mutual friend in 2008. It was a Friday night and once we started talking, we were inseparable. We’ve been together ever since. We go to Lincoln Park Zoo for Zoo Lights every year, and in December 2012, Doug proposed in a quiet area of the zoo under the Christmas lights and made me the happiest woman.

We fell in love with the southern Illinois wine country while driving home after visiting family in Missouri in 2009. We stayed at a couple B&Bs and enjoyed many of the wineries. We always said we’d be back and even then knew it would be a great place to get married.

The Scene: September 7, 2013. St. Joseph Church | Historic Bell Hill Bed & Breakfast, Cobden, IL.

Fast-forward four years, and southern Illinois immediately became part of our vision for our wedding. We found a beautiful B&B called Historic Bell Hill in Cobden. It is an old Victorian house on a 75-acre estate with a barn that predates the Civil War—all overlooking wine country. It was our blank canvas and it spoke to us. Doug is an artist and I am a girl with a vision. We set up a tent and tables in the gardens so guests could enjoy the glorious night. Chandeliers, lanterns, sparkling lights and candles were everywhere. There was a hint of shabby chic in the air but mostly it was classic, romantic elegance.

My Dress: ‘Coco Marie’ by Heidi Elnora

I’m petite, so I didn’t want anything overwhelming. This dress fit my body like a glove. For the ceremony I wore the ‘Addison’ Chantilly lace top by Jenny Yoo over the dress; I had fallen in love with the top even before I found the dress. It wrapped around my waist and I wore my late grandmother’s rhinestone broach on the knot. After the ceremony I removed the top and wore the rose-colored ‘Treasure Sash’ by Olia Zavozina and the ‘Melaney’ ribbon and cluster bib necklace by Nina. I had two totally different looks with the same gown, and guests even asked me if I had changed dresses.

I decided to not wear a veil. The back of the dress was so exquisite I didn’t want to take away from it. My hair was up, and I wore an ivory flower pin by Nina. My heels were Badgley Mischka and my late-night flats were Nina. My bridesmaids wore Monique Lhuillier one-shoulder taffeta dresses in navy with pink Franco Sarto wedges. My girls were beautiful and comfortable.

My Wedding Stylist: Caitlin Ritzema, Nordstrom Michigan Avenue

I went to a couple other bridal salons but came running back to Caitlin. She was amazing during the search for my dress. She found one that looked amazing on me that I never would have picked out on my own. It seemed very simple on the hanger, and I almost said no without even trying it on. But it was the only one that made me say “Wow” when she began to zip me up and add accessories. My sister referred to it as the “Audrey Hepburn dress.” Doug likes my curves, and the dress accentuated them oh so well—sexy in a classy way.

The lace Jenny Yoo bolero was so elegant and complemented the vintage, chic feel of our wedding. It was very important to me to be able to dance all night in my dress, so the change of accessories—switching into the sash for the reception—made for another beautiful look. Caitlin made my experience so comfortable, fun and pressure-free. She helped style my bridesmaids, and every time I went in for an appointment, I felt like I was going to go hang out with my friend. I am very grateful to Caitlin for helping make my special day so beautiful, stress-free and fun.

My Beauty Stylist: Iris Brostowicz, Nordstrom Topanga, Canoga Park, CA

My Beauty Stylist was Iris Brostowicz in the cosmetics department. She was wonderful. She took so much time with me on multiple occasions to make sure I had the right makeup that would look beautiful in person and in photos. She has a background in photography, so she knew exactly how to highlight my best features. I wanted to look like myself, and—after trying on many different colors and products—we found the perfect look for me.

Special Moments:

Our friends and family are very important to us, and since they were all going to be traveling long distances to be there, we wanted to make it a beautiful, relaxing and unforgettable experience for all. We danced with our guests all night and had the time of our lives. It was more perfect than we could have imagined.


Photos by Julia Noack Photography.

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! E-mail Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details on getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

Sarah recounts her and Will’s Pacific Northwest wedding, complete with friends, family, beautiful memories and her homemade wine!

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The Scene: August 31, 2013, at Evergreen Gardens in Ferndale, WA

Will proposed to me on a perfect summer day in Walla Walla on August 31, 2012. He proposed to me with a stunning Bony Levy ring from Nordstrom, who we also used to make a custom wedding band to go with my engagement ring. When we began planning our wedding, we knew we wanted to relive that beautiful day with our family and friends, so we decided on an outdoor wedding a year to the day that he proposed.

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When we envisioned our day, we saw a day filled with love and fun for our family and friends and a style that reflected us as a couple. I consider myself to be relatively crafty, so making our own decorations and adding lots of little personal touches was a must.

Everything from our invitations to our wine was homemade. Over the last few years, my mom and I have been making homemade wine as a fun hobby. For the wedding, we made six different varietals. Each had a unique label that featured our engagement photos, favorite sayings and our two sweet kitties.

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One of my favorite moments was Will’s and my first look. Getting to see him looking incredibly handsome in his suit and seeing the look on his face when we saw me in my dress for the first time was unforgettable. It was wonderful to be able to steal a few moments out of the day to be with each other and truly feel like we were living in the moment.

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My Wedding Stylist: Katie Crittenden, Nordstrom Downtown Seattle

I had a great experience at the Nordstrom Wedding Suite in downtown Seattle. My stylist did a fabulous job picking up on my style and selected the perfect dress for me. Not only did she help me select the dress, she took fantastic care of all my family. The day was special to me not just because I was selecting my wedding dress, but also because my grandma was able to be there with me.

It was the last truly happy memory I have of her. A week later she was diagnosed with leukemia, and, after a hard-fought battle, she passed away a short month later. I’m forever grateful for the last wonderful day we had together and that she was able to see me in my wedding dress.

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On our big day, I wore a strapless lace gown with a sweetheart neckline by James Clifford. I absolutely loved the romantic beauty of lace. It’s such a soft feminine texture, which went perfectly with our romantic garden wedding theme. My shoes were Kate Spade ivory patent leather pumps with the cutest gold bows.

I didn’t want to wear a veil, because it felt too formal for our wedding, but I still wanted some sort of head piece for the extra glam. A friend suggested I look up Serephine and boy, did I fall in love. Her work is unique and gorgeous and was exactly what I was looking for. The best part about it was Nordstrom had recently started carrying her products in their Wedding Suites.

My favorite accessory was my necklace. It was a locket my grandpa had given to my grandma many years ago. He had it engraved with their initials and put a picture of the two of them inside it. It was such a sweet, special piece to wear and remember them as I was missing them both dearly on our wedding day.

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My bridesmaids wore two different styles of Donna Morgan chiffon strapless dresses from the Wedding Suite. The peachy color was perfect for an outdoor summer wedding. It was fun, fresh and provided a soft contrast to the lush green backdrop in our photos. My stylist and I also picked out simple, classic gold necklaces with a single pearl and gold earrings with two large drop pearls for them to wear. I gave the jewelry to the girls before the wedding as thank-you gifts for being with me on such an important day.

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Even the guys got in on the Nordstrom experience! We purchased Aldo brown leather shoes with some sharp details and polka dot socks for them to wear with their suits. Overall, our experience was incredible, and I’m so grateful for all the help and support my stylist, Katie provided throughout our wedding planning!

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Our wedding day was more perfect than we could have ever envisioned. We were blessed with a gorgeous Northwest summer day and the presence of our amazing family and friends. The day was filled with love, laughter, tears and joyous times.

Photography by Michael Stadler of Stadler Studios.

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! E-mail Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details on getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

February 24, 2014

Real Wedding: Tory & Bryan

College sweethearts Tory and Bryan head to Montana for a beautiful Big Sky wedding.

The Scene: August 11, 2013, at BruMar Estate in Bigfork, Montana

Bryan and I met in college in Chico, California, during our very first week of school. After almost seven years as a couple (much of it long distance), I decided to make the move to Montana, where Bryan is from. When we got engaged, we faced the question of where to hold the wedding: Montana or California (I was born and raised in San Jose).

At the time of our engagement, we had been living together for about a year and had absolutely fallen in love with a special town near Glacier National Park called Bigfork. This was one of the places where Bryan took me on my first visit to Montana, and it seemed fitting to hold our wedding in this amazingly beautiful location. Convincing my family took a little work—and a special visit to Montana—but when we all got a chance to visit BruMar Estate, we knew it was the perfect choice.

We came up with our wedding theme by finding a balance between the beautiful Montana outdoors and influences from my California upbringing. Our venue carried much of the natural beauty from the surrounding forest inside to the reception hall. We decided to accent the natural stone floors and fireplace with gunmetal-colored tables and simply designed ivory flower arrangements. I was lucky to have my older sister (and maid of honor) as the designer of much of our wedding decorations. We wanted to convey classic beauty that didn’t clash with the natural beauty around us.

It was important to Bryan to incorporate pheasant tail feathers into the boutonnieres, bouquets and outdoor bistro table arrangements as a memorial to his late father, whom he enjoyed pheasant hunting with as a child. We also wanted to ensure that we all got to have FUN! To kick off the party portion of the evening, the bridal party and father of the bride rocked out to the Kenny Loggins classic “Footloose.” This got all our guests out on the dance floor, and we couldn’t have had any more fun. Our guests also had a chance to play lawn games throughout the evening.

To incorporate some Golden State influence, we had all-California wines available to guests as well as Korbel champagne from northern California. We also named our “his and hers” signature cocktails after the state flowers California poppy and bitterroot. For dinner, we served surf and turf, pairing local Montana beef with a citrus halibut dish that was very Californian.

Bryan and I both felt incredibly lucky to be surrounded by our 100 guests in a location that required travel from many of them. While we had many special moments that day together, our favorite was that we got to spend the first and last dance of the night alone on the dance floor. We will both remember this as truly the best day ever!

My Wedding Stylist: Danielle Oxford, Nordstrom Valley Fair in San Jose, CA

Shortly after Bryan and I got engaged, I made a trip back to the Bay Area to begin dress shopping. After a few appointments, my family and I decided to stop in at the Wedding Suite at the San Jose Nordstrom location. We didn’t have an appointment; we just wanted to see what was available there. Luckily, my style consultant Danielle and another member of the team had about an hour to fill and they were able to squeeze us in! I kept noticing a gown on the rack that was unlike anything I had seen in any magazine or in person. The only problem was, it was too small for me and it could not be reordered. Then serendipity struck! There was another size in the back that I tried on and loved immediately. I was absolutely not expecting to find something I loved that day.

After trying a few more gowns, I went back to this dress and realized it was the perfect one for me. This was a Tadashi Shoji gown covered with lace scallops. It had a chapel-length train and a strapless neckline. What struck me the most about it was how comfortable I felt in it; I felt like myself. It was perfect for our outdoor setting, yet it still felt glamorous. Danielle styled me in my gown and helped me find gorgeous Nina dropped crystal earrings and a cathedral-length single-tier veil. The gown was completed with a custom crystal belt to replace the ribbon included on the dress.

Not only was I able to find my princess moments at the Wedding Suite, but my maid of honor, mother and mother-in-law were all able to find their dresses thanks to Danielle’s help. To complete the look, my father purchased his suit from Nordstrom. It was truly a special experience, and it was so wonderful to have someone looking after our whole family to ensure we all looked as good as we could.

Photography by Shannon Hollman.

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! E-mail Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details on getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

February 12, 2014

Real Wedding: Ariel & David

Rustic meets romantic: Ariel and David’s outdoor wedding in California was beautiful, intimate and unique. Ariel gives us all the details below.

The Scene: September 7th, 2013 in Santa Cruz, CA

Both David and I love being outside, so our vision for our wedding was to create a rustic and elegant garden celebration. My parents’ garden in Santa Cruz had been the site of three weddings before ours, and I had always hoped to get married there.

The land is surrounded by vineyards, and in early September, the flowers were in full bloom. We were gifted with a warm, breezy day. The day unfolded like a dream.

We had many personal elements incorporated into the wedding. For example, my brother Toby came up with a clever idea to hang a huge piece of cream fabric over a branch of an oak tree, creating a natural altar. David proposed to me under an oak tree in Big Sur, so it was a nice reminder of that day.

We found a beautiful heart made of driftwood in an art store and hung it from the center of the branch. Now the heart hangs on the wall in our dining room!

Our “seating chart” also had a story behind it. Early in our relationship, David and I were taking a walk on the beach when I spotted an ocean-polished stone and picked it up. This stone soon became a symbol of comfort for us as our relationship grew; we would pass it back and forth and carry it in our pockets when we weren’t together.

For table assignments at the wedding, we thought it only appropriate to write each guest’s name on a river stone. I’ve had many guests tell me they still have their stones and that they’ve placed them somewhere special in their own homes.

There are so many people who contributed their time, love and energy to making our wedding day bloom in the way that it did. I will be forever grateful especially to my mom, Linda, whose thoughtfulness and thorough planning made the day feel like a seamless dream.

My Look: I wore a lace wedding dress called ‘Cricket’ by Hayley Paige. I vividly remember when I tried on the dress; I instantly knew it was the one for me. It was the way I felt in it. I didn’t want to take it off!

To accent the dress, I wore pearl stud earrings and a pearl-and-diamond pendant by Mikimoto, a long veil and a beautiful bracelet by Lagos.

My bridesmaids wore long chiffon gowns by Amsale in a shade of red that was a pretty contrast against my white dress and the bright bouquets. The groomsmen wore matching bow ties.

My Wedding Stylist: Danielle Oxford, Nordstrom Valley Fair in San Jose, CA

From the moment we found the dress together through the months that followed, as we sized and styled the bridesmaids, found the perfect shoes, earrings, necklace, etc, I felt I could always turn to Danielle for expert advice and compassionate words of wisdom.

Danielle was intuitive, knowing exactly what I needed to go with the dress before I did. In one appointment, she somehow managed to run downstairs to the shoe department and find my wedding shoes before I even knew she had left! This is how Danielle was with everything. She went above and beyond for me. Her thoughtfulness, creativity and talent helped to make my experience as a bride both magical and fun!

Our Favorite Moments: There are more memorable moments than I could ever list here! But a few that come to mind are…

Seeing David for the first time and laughing together, overwhelmed by the joy of the day. My mouth hurt from smiling after five minutes with him.

Walking down the aisle in between my father, Eric, and my stepfather, Ned. I loved seeing the glowing faces of my community, their huge smiles surrounding me with love and support.

David’s nephew, Connor, carrying a sign down the aisle that read, “Here Comes Your Bride, Uncle David.” He was so adorable, surprising David with this.

My 88-year-old grandmother Pat offering advice from her 50-year marriage. “When you have a fight, just take your clothes off!” She made all our guests roar with laughter.

My younger brothers, Toby and Kyle, in their crazy tailored tiger and zebra suits, adding creative, wild spice to the wedding in their own way.

And I’ll never forget singing with my two best friends, Jemila and Natalie. I had written a surprise song for David, which we performed for him and all the guests, and then we had our first dance together.

I’m so grateful to have found David, the love of my life. I can think of no greater gift than that of loving and being loved for who we truly are. Love gives us purpose and makes life worth living.

Photography by Terry Way

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! Email Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details on getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

Mixing tradition with whimsy, Carolyn and David had a modern museum wedding that was uniquely them. See the gorgeous color palette, dinosaur bones (really!) and get more details from Carolyn below.

The Background: David and I met in 2007, but our connection goes back much further. Our first week of college at the University of Kansas, David was sitting at a table with some mutual friends, and I noticed his T-shirt featuring a summer camp—the same camp I had once attended! I walked right up to him to introduce myself. After a year of close friendship, we started dating, and we held our wedding on the weekend of our five-year anniversary.

The Scene: October 6, 2013, at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas

I grew up in Dallas and wanted to hold our wedding there. We visited many venues looking for something modern and unique, and once we stepped inside the Perot Museum, we knew we had found the place for us.

Our color scheme was navy, grey and lilac. (At first, I only wanted navy and grey; that is, until I realized my wedding would be a Dallas Cowboys party!) I loved that the colors were neutral but alluded to the fall season, despite temperatures in the 70s on our wedding day.

My bridesmaids wore long dresses by Donna Morgan called ‘Laura’ in the color ‘Midnight’, accented by rose and hydrangea bouquets in shades of lilac.

We chose to hold the ceremony in the museum’s romantic Gems and Minerals Hall, which boasts an 8-foot purple geode as the centerpiece. Lilac flowers and soft, romantic drapery set the mood.

After the ceremony, our guests moved into what I called “the Dinosaurs Hall” to enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres surrounded by massive dinosaur fossils.

For our reception, guests went down to the lobby of the museum and were greeted by the Dallas skyline, dancing water molecules suspended from the ceiling and, of course, more dinosaurs. Delicious meals were served from Wolfgang Puck Catering, starting with a haricots vert salad with confit tomatoes, followed by a sweet pea agnolotti. Guests chose from slow-braised short ribs, organic chicken breast and almond-crusted salmon.

My Look: I wore a Nouvelle Amsale tulle ballgown. I wanted to look traditional with a fun twist. I also wanted a gown that was actually comfortable and something I could dance in! I loved the comfortable shape and the fabric, and that the beaded belt was built in.

I wore my grandmother’s earrings for my something old and my now sister-in-law’s beaded comb for my something borrowed! Since navy was part of my color scheme, it was a perfect chance to snag the kate spade new york ‘charm’ shoes in navy glitter for my something blue.

My Wedding Stylist: Sarah at the Dallas NorthPark Center Wedding Suite

For my first appointment with Sarah, I brought a few pictures of dresses I liked, but before I even pulled them out, my gown was hanging there waiting for me! There were so many beautiful dresses to try, but this one fit the whimsical feel of my venue and I just felt right in it.

Sarah made my experience painless from purchase through fittings and alterations up to the week of the wedding. By the end, the team at Nordstrom had met almost my entire family! Everyone was so helpful and kind.

Our Special Moments: After a festive hora, we danced the night away with our guests to the music of the Motion Band. We finished the night off with vanilla cake with whipped cream and strawberry filling and, of course, a to-go candy bar on the way out.

The wedding was a whirlwind and we had a ridiculously good time!

Photos by Perez Photography

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! Email Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details on getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

We’re a bit obsessed with the sweet, unique Southern wedding of Hillary and Jordan–and impressed with their quick planning and easy-going style! Read on for the story from Hillary.

The Proposal: Jordan and I have always been a bit nontraditional. We started dating after college and 6 months later decided to pick up and move across the country together from our hometown of Mobile, Alabama to Seattle. Two years later, Jordan proposed to me on a perfect fall Seattle morning at our home, and then we escaped to the San Juan Islands for the weekend and didn’t tell a soul what just happened! We loved basking in the secret of it all.

When we started to plan the wedding, we quickly became overwhelmed with all the choices. Should we get married in Seattle or back home? Should it be a big wedding or an intimate gathering? Should we elope?

One afternoon, both of us feeling stressed out, we went on a bike ride and the funniest thing happened. Jordan half-joked that we should just get married in a few weeks, when we we’re going to be at home for Thanksgiving. That sounded tempting. Totally “us”: spontaneous, casual and a little offbeat. So that’s exactly what we did! We planned a wedding in three weeks, from across the country. And it was perfect.

The Scene:  November 23, 2013, Washington Square in Mobile, Alabama

Because of the short timeline, we didn’t really have a “theme” or “look” for the wedding. Jordan and I just tried to be true to what we really wanted and trusted that it would look amazing.

The ceremony was held in Washington Square, a historic park in our old neighborhood. It’s centered around an old fountain and surrounded by giant, twisted live oaks. It is the epitome of Southern romance.

The wedding itself was very intimate, just close family and friends and therefore we skipped having a wedding party. I walked down aisle with my Dad to a live bluegrass band and a very close friend of ours officiated (on extremely short notice too!)

Jordan and I wrote the ceremony together, incorporating humor, heartfelt honesty and love.

The reception was held at a cute little house we rented a few blocks away from the park. We ate ourselves sick with delicious Alabama barbeque, Southern pies and desserts, and then danced to bluegrass music until late in the night.

My Look: I wore a short, fit & flare dress from Ted Baker London. My shoes were the Halogen Katrina Bootie in teal. And at the end of the night, once it got a little chilly, I topped it off with a Trouvé leather jacket in navy blue.

My Wedding Stylist: Sarah Walton, Downtown Seattle Wedding Suite

With my wedding now only a few weeks away, my girlfriend made me an emergency appointment at the Nordstrom Wedding Suite to look for dresses. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to find my dress there, with my crazy short timeline and all. However, Sarah was incredible and gave me confidence right away. She listened to the whole story of how the wedding came to be, asked me my likes and dislikes and then assured me that we could find something I would love.

She had pulled a few dresses before I arrived, and the first dress on the rack was the Ted Baker. I thought, “This isn’t what I had in mind.” But once I was zipped in and buttoned up, I couldn’t believe it. It was THE dress. I loved that it was short and I could move around in it. The feather detail is as delicate as lace, but more unexpected, and it felt vaguely Southern.

Now that I had the dress, I needed shoes, and I started to have a little vision of what I wanted. I needed a seriously cool shoe to contrast the sweetness of the dress. When Sarah found the teal booties, it was love at first sight.

As the final ‘pièce de résistance’, I told Sarah that I wanted a little jacket to throw over my dress at the end of the night. I’d had my eye on a Trouve jacket for a while, and I thought, when is a better time to splurge and buy a navy blue leather jacket? Even with a last minute order and alterations, Sarah made it happen again.

I felt so amazing in my outfit and love that I have both the jacket and shoes that I can wear again!

Our Favorite Moments: Our day turned out to be everything we wanted in a wedding: close friends and family, good music, tasty food and lots of laughter. We could not have pulled off that crazy idea without the support of our family and friends. It was so touching that everyone immediately got on board with our plan and found ways to help make it happen.

Photography by Mikey Zeff

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! Email Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details on getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

January 14, 2014

Real Wedding: Bree & Trey

Bree and Trey’s city wedding sounds like our kind of party: great food, great music, great people! Read on for the story of the day—and the dress—as told by Bree.

The Scene: November 9, 2013, at Petterino’s Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois

Trey and I knew right away that there were only two things that we cared about for our wedding. First, we wanted to make sure that the entire focus was on our love for one another. Second, we wanted to have the party of the century, complete with great food and a night full of dancing!

The only venue we looked at was Petterino’s Restaurant in the Theater District in Chicago. There was a grand staircase in the middle of the lobby; we knew immediately that it was the perfect venue and that we wanted to have our ceremony on the staircase.

Our wedding came together pretty seamlessly. Trey and I decided in the beginning that we didn’t particularly care about things like centerpieces, flowers or a conventional wedding cake.

Instead, we opted for Mad Libs on the tables that our guests could fill out, a brooch bouquet made by my mother and cupcakes of all different flavors, along with a small chocolate peanut butter cake for us to cut. We each have a sister, so in place of having a traditional bridal party, they stood up with us as we exchanged our vows.

There were a few key things that we could pinpoint as being our favorite parts of the evening. Although we were the ones who thought of having our ceremony on the staircase, we had no idea what a great idea it would actually end up being. We were physically surrounded by love during our entire ceremony, and it was so special to us. It was a really intimate experience that we will remember forever.

Second, we wrote our own vows. The promises we made to each other will be with us for every moment of our life together.

Lastly, my best friend had the idea that, in lieu of a unity candle, we could have each of our family members write us three letters apiece, which we’ll get to read after one month, one year and five years of marriage. Each family member placed his or her letters in boxes during the ceremony. We’ll keep these letters forever; they will always be near and dear to us.

My Look: I wore the Jenny Yoo ‘Monarch’ gown with a crystal sash and big sparkly chandelier earrings, which were my “something borrowed.” When I had originally tried the dress on, my first thought was that it was a perfect look… and my second thought was that it felt like I was wearing pajamas! This dress made me feel more beautiful than ever on my wedding night, but it was so comfortable that I was able to dance the night away without stopping!

My Wedding Stylist: Amie Kesler, Michigan Avenue Wedding Suite

I have to admit: At the time, dress-shopping was the part of wedding planning that I was least excited about. After all, I could have married Trey in a potato sack, for all I cared!

The week before my appointment, Amie and I had a conversation about what my wedding was going to look like, what my street style was and what I wanted out of a wedding dress. When my group and I arrived at the Wedding Suite, there were about 13 dresses lined up for me. I tried on the first one and didn’t really react. I informed Amie right away: “I’m not going to have a moment, so please don’t wait for one. I’m just not that kind of girl.”

The very last dress in the line was the ‘Monarch’ gown by Jenny Yoo. Amie showed us that it was a convertible gown and there were actually 18 different ways to tie the straps. She tied them a certain way and added some accessories, and then the strangest thing happened… I actually had a moment! I never thought I’d be emotional about a piece of clothing, but it happened! I could never thank Amie enough.

On top of finding the dress, I really appreciated how laid-back the entire experience was. It was just what I needed!

Our Favorite Moments: Our wedding night was a total blast! From start to finish, every moment was beyond perfect. I know that a lot of people say that, but we promise it’s the truth!

The ceremony was extremely meaningful. The food was great (at least we heard it was—we actually didn’t get to eat anything!). The photo booth was a big hit. The DJ played music that had people on the dance floor all night. The late-night appetizers (pigs in a blanket and buffalo chicken meatballs!) were well received and perfectly timed.

There was just a feeling of love and happiness throughout the entire night that we will remember forever. It was perfect.

Photos by Jill Tiongco Photography

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! Email Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details on getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a free appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

January 7, 2014

Real Wedding: Haley & T.J.

Haley and T.J.’s wedding didn’t go exactly as planned, but it turned out to be incredibly beautiful and special. Read on for this sweet couple’s story of weathering the storm.

Our Story: T.J. proposed on May 26 at the legendary Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado. I was there working out around 5:30am when he showed up and popped the question. The setting was perfect, with a stunning view of Denver and the sun just beginning to rise. I don’t even remember saying yes because I was crying so much!

T.J. is in the Marine Corps and was set to leave for training in Virginia in just under four months. We decided that getting married before he left was important to us, so the planning happened very quickly!

The Scene: September 14, 2013, at a family residence in Denver, Colorado

From early on, our vision of the wedding was an intimate outdoor event, one where we could really enjoy the company of our guests and each other. For T.J. and me, fun was by far our number one priority! If there were good people, good drinks and good music, we would be happy.

We decided that my grandparents’ home was a perfect location. It sits in the Rockies, with the Colorado River running through the backyard. It is so breathtakingly beautiful that we could keep the decor very simple.

We planned a few rustic touches like a wooden arbor for the ceremony backdrop and farm tables that complemented the setting. The flowers were where we wanted the color to pop, and they could not have been more beautiful.

The weather in Colorado is usually good in September—not too wet and with generally mild temperatures. However, it happened that a 100-year flood came on the week of our wedding. It rained every day, which is so uncommon for Colorado. By Thursday morning it was clear there was no way we could have the wedding in my grandparents’ backyard. With broken hearts, we searched frantically for a new venue.

Luckily, my aunt and uncle own a gorgeous home in Denver with a tennis court in the backyard. We decided to do it there and put a big white tent over the court. It ended up being so beautiful!

We contacted every guest and vendor, and by Friday morning things came together. Our families worked so hard for us and made the transition to the new venue smooth. We will never be able to repay them for their efforts in making the day perfect!

My Look: I wore the “Pearl” gown by Hayley Paige. I would have never seen myself in this dress! It had an asymmetrical layered skirt and strapless sweetheart neckline, which I accessorized with a pearl necklace and a veil.

My Wedding Stylist: Audrey Moon, Nordstrom Wedding Suite Park Meadows

My stylist, Audrey, was so amazing at helping me find a gown that I felt absolutely perfect in. She and I had exchanged a few emails before my appointment, and she had dresses ready when I arrived. I had a big crowd with me that day; I come from a family of very opinionated and powerful women, and Audrey was accommodating and patient throughout the appointment!

I tried on a variety of short dresses before she talked me into trying on this gown. I had always dreamed of wearing a short dress, but man, did that change the minute I put that dress on! I was immediately brought to tears. It was only the fourth dress I tried on, and I knew it was the one. My entourage agreed, and we ordered it that day.

Our Special Moments: Throughout the night, we took countless pictures in the photo booth and danced with our friends and family for hours. We even got to spend time with our puppy on the dance floor, although we’re not sure he enjoyed that as much as we did!

T.J. and I fell so much more in love that day. Our love can weather any storm!

Photos by Caitlin Alysse Photography

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! Email Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details on getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.