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Real Wedding: Livi and Jeremy

Bride: Livi Elliott
Groom: Jeremy Elliott
Wedding date: August 8, 2009
Vera Wang Wedding gown: Whitney* (Luxe Collection)
Boutique purchased: Saks Fifth Avenue, Atlanta, GA
Location: The Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Photographer: Tamara Lackey, Tamara Lackey Studio

Did you have a certain style in mind when you started your dress search?
From the moment I became engaged I dreamt of the perfect wedding gown.  That gown was simple but modern, stylish but traditional, and fit me like a glove.  It had a full a skirt, a sweetheart neckline, and something that made it unique.

How did you choose your gown?
After days of searching online and in stores for ideas, inspiration and dresses I wanted to try, I stumbled upon a photo of the most perfect Vera gown worn by a model.  No style name or number accompanied the gown.  I went to the bridal consultants at Saks in Atlanta and they knew the exact style name.  The dress had to be flown in from another store for me to try. It wasn’t in my budget but it was love at first site.

Did you bring anyone along dress shopping to help make a decision?
My decision was already made with the exception of the Whitney gown not being in my budget.  I selected a few other dresses to try, invited my mom down for her respected opinion, but saved the “best” dress for last.  After trying on the other gowns I went back into the dressing room to put on the Vera Wang.  My mom could hear my giggling in the dressing room and said “oh no.”  When I walked out of the dressing room the “budget” went out the window.

What tips do have for new brides picking out their wedding dress?
I think the most important advice I could give new brides picking out their wedding dress would be when you put on your dress, you need to feel the most beautiful you have ever felt and that you feel like the dress almost transforms you and the way you feel.

How did you accessorize to make your wedding day outfit unique?
My most favorite element of the Whitney gown was the oyster taffeta belt with broach, an accessory in itself.  I added a pair of special earrings, which were my mother’s diamond studs surrounded by a circular swirl diamond jacket that resembled the broach on the belt.  I wore a simple tulle Vera Wang veil that matched the tulle edging on the sweetheart neckline.  I also wore simple, strappy Manolo Blahnik heels in a similar tone as my belt.

What was the inspiration or theme for your wedding?
Having met during college at UNC Chapel Hill we decided what would be a more perfect setting than the historic Carolina Inn.  The overall theme and inspiration for our wedding was Southern charm.  We had a perfect garden ceremony complete with an arch made of magnolia greenery, blue hydrangea and pink ranunculus.  The Southern charm was consistent throughout the reception inside the Inn in the Old Well Ballroom with magnolia garlands and beautifully arranged centerpieces, also of magnolia, blue hydrangea and pink ranunculus.  We served shrimp and grits and guests tossed dried lavender and hydrangea as we exited.

Any other special touches?
We incorporated the color pink into our flowers and the groomsmen wore pink ties all in honor of Jeremy, my husband’s, mother.  She passed away in 2001 after battling breast cancer and we wanted to subtly incorporate the importance of breast cancer awareness into our theme.  The arch we were married beneath was also in honor of his mother and donned with pink ranunculus.

Did your gown style influence any other design elements of the wedding?
I incorporated the beautiful Alençon lace into my simple, yet beautifully designed wedding cake.  I also incorporated the covered buttons that donned the back of dress as the finishing element to each layer of the cake.

What was your favorite part of the day?
My favorite part of the day was my first dance with my husband.  We choreographed a simple waltz for our first dance to Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be” sung by our amazing band and recording artist Jamie McClean Band.  I tossed my Vera Wang veil over my arm, bustled my beautiful train and danced like no one was watching.  My husband and I did get swept away by the music and sang to each other throughout the entire dance.

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* The Whitney dress is no longer available. For alternate styles, please visit our online dress gallery.
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