Hey friends! If you’ve been following my journey along this blog, you may know that I just got married! As I’m having a ball editing my wedding photos (yes. I, the bride, am editing my own wedding photos) and drafting up a series of wedding posts, here is the first one: what I wore on the big day.

This is the fun part! But weirdly also the most stressful part of planning the wedding for me, personally. Growing up, I never had an idea of what I wanted to look like on my wedding day…or even if I wanted to get married period! But I had a general feel in the months leading up to our big day of the essence of the look. I was going for earth child meets Princess Bride meets Mamma Mia meets Helena. And all of the pieces adding up to the look turned out to be exactly what I envisioned in my head!

I wanted the process to come slowly and bit by bit over the six months leading up to our wedding day. But I also wanted the process to be simple and relaxed – just like Alex and my relationship.

There were no bridal magazines to glance through or Pinterest obsessing I went through. I simply allow the ideas and pieces to flow naturally.

Here’s what I wore on my wedding day.

The Dress

Catherine Deane

The dress was an easy decision, not labored; I went to my favorite dress designer’s website (I first discovered her through Instagram), went immediately to the sale section and fell in love with the first dress I laid eyes on: a lace cropped top and a silky hippie-ish 3 tiered skirt. The idea of not being able to re-wear a dress I spent good money on didn’t appeal to me, and I love that I wear this cropped top again! It was $150! I wear cropped tops almost every day, so having a cropped lace iris bodice with a separate skirt felt perfect for me and my personal fashion tastes. Note that these pieces (Iris bodice and Agatha skirt) are no longer available on their site.

Hair and Headpiece

Although Alex and I are very nontraditional with a lot of our decisions in life, I did pay homage to some wedding traditions that are old-fashioned and lovely…like a traditional bridal veil.  When am I ever going to wear a veil again in my life? Never. So, I might as well embrace this whole getting married thing. Plus, as modern and nontraditional as I am, I am also a bit old-fashioned and wanted that timeless signature piece. I love mixing classic with modern. The long Chapel-length “Chelsea Veil Oyster” veil was a whomping $160 by the same designer, Catherine Dean. I suppose I could have shopped around, but I wanted to spend as little time as possible researching for this wedding with all the creative projects, trips and photography business I’ve been consumed with during this time.

I also added some natural pieces to my hair – baby’s breath flowers purchased from good ol’ Trader Joes for $1.99! I was contemplating a simple and elegant baby’s breath flower crown but thought the idea of flowers delicately placed in my soft braids fit my more earthy-natural look I was aiming for.



I bought a bundle of dried lavender and wheat bouquet from a small shop on Etsy (RoseFlower)! It was affordable, classic and timeless. Lavender is my favorite scent, and purple is one of my favorite colors – combine that with my love for all things French and related to France – and it was the perfect wedding bouquet for me! I also got a smaller one for my maid of honor, as well as 25 lavendar pedal toss music sheet cones filled with lavender bits, and french script stamped clothes pins to hold up my black + white developed photograph prints of Alex and me during our year in living in Alexandria. All of it was very French, and we didn’t even know at the time that we would even be moving to France just a few months later! Life is magical, in that way.


I was barefoot for the entirety of the wedding – including the ceremony. Feeling the earth beneath my toes is the best way for me to feel centered and in touch with nature. I’m happiest barefoot, so it worked for me! The only time I put on my sneakers was when we left Alex’s parents house and went to Manhattan for karaoke.


I used the old adage “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” for good luck on our wedding day. I carried with me an old white vintage clutch that was my mothers, a borrowed handkerchief with Paris and the Eiffel Tower etched on it (from my Aunt Nancy), my new delicate gold necklace that I received as a wedding gift from my friend Sian and my grandmother’s favorite blue ring.

Skincare, Makeup, Beauty Routine

My best friend and maid of honor Lexi did my makeup, which was wonderful because I intensely dislike makeup and putting it on myself! I am lucky that my best friend loves makeup and knows exactly how to apply it! I wanted a very natural look but with all the attention to be on my eyes, so I went with my favorite false eyelashes (113 black) to add a bit of oomph. We didn’t use any foundation but a touch of concealer and powder, some peach eye shadow and a pale pink nude lip color.

As for my skin care routine, I used my organic rose hip oil from InstaNatural every day and evening and a blueberry face mask from Eminence every few days leading up to the wedding day. When I got an occasional pimple leading up to the day, I applied some Tea Tree Oil and it dried right up!

As for my hair, I had my hair highlighted golden blonde after a year of neglecting my dishwater blonde roots. I put 6 braids in my hair for a few hours, which gave it a laid-back beachy wave look but I kept it super long as I was going for a “princess bride” meets Sophie from Mamma Mia look. But all very me. 🙂

Eyebrows were waxed at my usual Benefit Brow Bar, and I had a neutral earthy nail color on my hands!

I hope this post serves as an inspiration to you if or when you plan your wedding someday. The biggest takeaway I have is that I just allowed all the pieces to flow in my direction, instead of actively searching, browsing and stressing about the individual wedding pieces. Starting from a place of joy and excitement and then magically finding the right piece or allowing the thought to manifest as opposed to forcing it was a big lesson for me during our wedding planning. I left a lot of these pieces to the very last minute, and it all turned out fine. 

It will all turn out lovely, friend. There is no need to stress about deadlines and there is no need to anxiously research or find the right dress now.  The right piece for you will flow to you when you allow it. Sit back, and watch it unfold before your very eyes.

It will be magical.

What did you wear on your wedding day? Any traditions or special pieces that, looking back on, you are so glad you wore?


What I Wore On My Wedding Day

June 23, 2018


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I'm Helena! As a creative storyteller, I document magical moments through my lens and my pen. A lover of childhood, fairytales and natural light, I'm inspired to share the light around me. I'm the ultimate Disney nerd, and I'm obsessed with cats and expressing my love for the simple joys of slow, daily life.

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Helena Woods is a destination newborn and family photographer based in France and New England and travels worldwide. She is known for her natural light, modern classic, and emotive photography style.