Here at dapperQ, we get hundreds of reader inquiries regarding wedding attire. While it’s easy for us to write about options, I personally prefer to give you real world visual examples of what other dapperQs are wearing to weddings. In my research, I came across a site that has quickly become by “go-to” referral source where I send readers for inspiration: A Bicycle Built for Two.
The wedding of Lauren and Rachel is just one of many that you’ll find featured on the site. I think that their wedding serves as a prime example of how to do dapper without being stuffy. So, I asked Lauren and Rachel to share with our readers a bit about their love story and style.
Rachel is a 24-year-old graduate student studying public health and health administration. Her sights are set on a career in Oriental Medicine and integrative pain management. Lauren is a 32-year-old musician (French horn) and higher education administrator. She is well on her way to finishing her doctorate in brass pedagogy at Jacobs School of Music. They currently live in Indianapolis, IN with their cuddly cats, Blue and Eliza, and dangerously cute dog, Moe.
The Love Story
Lauren (in the suit) and I (in the dress) met at the local bagel shop in Bloomington, IN, where we both worked. She was 27 and I was 19. I remember being so nervous when I first met her, because I thought she was so fly. She thought my nerves meant I didn’t like her. Au contraire, mes amis. We spent the next few months flirting, becoming each other’s best friend, and then finally, she asked me on our first date. She came up with one of those ridiculously cute lists of 10 reasons why I should go on a date with her. The rest is history.
We had discussed marriage previously, but when I faced some health issues, I knew there was no one else I wanted to have by my side. Through all the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, Lauren has been my constant, unwavering source of love, support, and balance. After deciding we were ready to take the next step, Lauren “proposed” to me with a ring pop and a list of 10 reasons why she loves me. A total keeper.
On May 21, 2012, five years to the day after our first date, we were married in a ceremony at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park, officiated by our best friend Brent. It was the only day it rained during our entire trip, and it poured all day long. We had a big party for our amazing friends and family back in Bloomington. It was wonderful.
My version is pretty much the same as Rachel’s. I remember when we met at the shop, I thought she was super cute. I decided to give her a smile and a hello. As Rach said, by the look she gave me, I figured she wasn’t interested; but, after a bit, we ended up chatting and flirting for and hanging out. After a while, I decided it was time to ask her out. When I did, we were on the phone and she was playing a little ‘hard to get’ – she put me on hold while she ‘thought about it and brushed her teeth’. I was on hold for for quite a while so I thought it would be really cute to persuade her with a list of 10 reasons why she should go out with me, and it worked! We ended up going to dinner and the few things I remember is: 1. she looked amazing on our date, and 2. how easily we got a long and how easy it was to talk to her. I have to say, probably the best date I’ve ever been on. She’s a keeper.
When we discussed marriage we had pretty much decided that we were going to go through with it, but, being the hopeless romantic that I am, I was at a gas station and saw a ring pop and thought it would be cool to keep the 10 list thing and give her the ring pop with the list. Our ceremony was great and we had a lot of help from our photographer, Catherine Hunsberger, on picking a place that would be rain friendly. I was a little discouraged by the rain and none of the places that we picked were covered. Catherine was awesome and suggested the Bethesda Terrace, which Rachel had actually seen in some other wedding photos and wanted the wedding to be there but didn’t know where it was. It worked out perfectly.
The Wedding Attire
My [Rachel’s] style goes back and forth between feminine and androgynous. I did know that I wanted to wear a dress for our wedding. Unlike many other ladies out there, I have never spent any time thinking about my dream wedding or pinning items to Pinterest, so when it came time to start planning our perfect day, I was kind of at a loss for where to begin. Neither of us wanted to go traditional black and white. I knew I didn’t want a full-length dress, and I knew I wanted some kind of fun print. I also knew I didn’t want to spend a fortune. I found my dress, a Von Vonni wrap-style dress, on HauteLook.com for $40, a far cry from a fortune. I wore this dress for both our ceremony and the party, wrapped two different ways, which made for two completely different looks.
Lauren’s suit was a bit more complicated. Well-made suits for women are hard to find, (as I’m sure any dapper lady reading this probably knows), especially for shorter women with hips. After some searching, we pieced together a suit from J.Crew: the 1035 jacket in Super 120s ($230; the heather flannel matched my dress perfectly), and their Paley pant in Super 120s, ($118). The Paley pant has a slim leg and shorter inseam, making it perfect for Lauren’s hipster desires. Another hard find: a flattering button-down shirt, especially one with French cuffs. Our new secret (and we’ll be hard-pressed to buy another button-down from anyone else again), is Hawes & Curtis in London. They make amazing shirts (about $52/shirt or $105 for 3). Lauren wore one of the Hipster Women’s shirts for the ceremony, and of course, she looked amazing. Her steampunk cufflinks came from Etsy through Leslie Shields’ store ($27.00), which were one of our favorite finds. The tie was an awesome find at TJ Maxx ($20).
For our shoes and other jewelry, we wanted to tie together our outfits in some way. Simultaneously, we wanted the celebration of our wedding to give back to other people in the process. We raised over $500 for and walked in the NYC Aids Walk the day before our ceremony, we each bought a cute pair of TOMS ($44-$54/pair), and I found us matching bicycle jewelry made by artists in Kenya (earrings for me and a pin for Lauren’s boutonnière for about $13 total) at Global Gifts, a local, fair trade gift shop.