Awe and Wonder

Photography by Dan Austin
Makeup by Perry L. Oakley Makeup Artistry
Florals by Lasater Flowers
Hair by Giselle Oliveras of Venue Salon
Location: Venue 650
Models: Thalia Alonso – Modern muse, Amber Bruch, Greta Knower

Preparing for the big day comes with some big decisions — including finding the perfect dress. Here’s some inspiration to help nail your ideal bridal look, and spark awe and wonder for that moment down the aisle. 

I can’t imagine a better way to spend a lovely spring morning than playing with beautiful gowns from Angelique Bridal Boutique in the sunshine-soaked outdoor space at Venue 650. When gorgeous Gretta strolled into the garden in a modern geometric design for our first shot of the day, I thought about the buzz of anticipation that fills the crowd at a wedding, and the awe and wonder of catching the first glimpse of a bride in her gown when she enters. It’s always my favorite moment. My own wedding was more than a decade ago, but I still remember the butterflies that came with finding the perfect dress for our beachside ceremony and the way I felt when I put it on that day. There’s something so special — and unforgettable — about selecting what to wear to one of life’s biggest milestone events. 

There are endless ways for a bride to express her unique style on her big day, and choosing the dress is one of the most exciting parts of the planning process. It can also be overwhelming, so shop at a bridal boutique with a curated selection of gowns and an experienced stylist to make the process infinitely easier and more enjoyable. Bring a handful of people who know you best and whose opinions you trust, pop the bubbly, and have fun playing dress-up with a variety of gowns until you find “the one” that makes your heart sing. 

Whether you want to make an understatedly elegant statement with a sleek and simple silhouette or a grand entrance in a bold ballgown, the magic happens in the details: glinting crystals and tiny hand-sewn beads encrusting a bodice; a swatch of classic lace reimagined as a delicate strap; subtle prints intricately embroidered into layers of tulle; dynamic 3-D blooms or feathers that pop off the gown adding texture and movement; or sparkling stunners that catch the light and throw dreamy disco ball shimmers. 

Speaking of details, I love the idea of having fun with accessories to personalize a bridal look and take it to the next level. Bring your color palette and theme into play with a pop of color in a shoe, floral hairpiece, statement earrings, or unexpected piece of outerwear. Honor the memory of a loved one by incorporating a sentimental piece of vintage jewelry. Or trust a professional seamstress to add a part of your mother and/or grandmother’s wedding dress to yours, making it a one-of-a-kind piece celebrating a legacy of love. 

Getting your bridal look just right is one of the best style adventures you’ll tackle in your lifetime, but remember: bridal trends will change and the memories and photos of carefully selected details will fade, but no matter which gown you choose or what accessory you don down the aisle, it’s all about the magical moment of meeting your partner at the altar, sharing your vows with each other, and celebrating your love. When I fondly recall the day I married my husband all those years ago, I think of one of my favorite quotes by Walt Whitman: “We were together; I forget the rest.”

It can also be overwhelming, so shop at a bridal boutique with a curated selection of gowns and an experienced stylist to make the process infinitely easier and more enjoyable.

A bold bouquet with lots of texture gives a playful vibe to a modern bridal look. The featured bouquet’s colorful assortment of garden roses, pincushion protea, and hot pink palm fronds pop against the delicate detail of the gown.