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Real Wedding: Michelle and Christian

Bride: Michelle Riach Andersen
Groom: Christian Andersen
Wedding gown style/name: Deirdre
Boutique purchased: Vera Wang Flagship Store NYC
Wedding date: September 4, 2010
Location : Solbakken II, Stewartstown, Pennsylvania
Photographer: Shane Carpenter

Did you have a certain style in mind when you started your search for a dress?
I wanted something simple, light, and unique. It sounds straight-forward, but in a world of crystal encrusted dresses, it was very difficult to find!

What made you decide on your Vera Wang gown?
When I tried on Deirdre, it just seemed to embody everything I love — intricacy and simplicity in perfect harmony. 

Did you bring anyone along dress shopping? If so, did their opinions influence your final decision?
I had a huge group; my mother, father, mother-in-law, sister, and three bridesmaids. I found that, despite what I’ve heard about large groups, they helped the process along and amplified my feelings on each dress, so that when I found the right one, it was a truly joyous experience. 

How did you accessorize to make your wedding day outfit unique?
I wore my great-grandmother’s gold watch and bangles and teal stillettos.

What was the inspiration or theme for your wedding?
Elegant farm.

Did your gown style relate to any other design elements of the wedding?
More so than esthetics, it mirrored the ideology, the unfinished edges of each layer of tissue organza reminded me of the rough beauty of our surroundings.

What was your favorite part of the day?
Kissing my husband! 

What tips do you have for new brides picking out their wedding dress?
There are so many dresses out there, hold out until you find the one that makes you feel like yourself. My entire family fell in love with my dress the second we saw it. I had two more appointments and we immediately cancelled them, I could think of nothing but Deidre!

Are there any other anecdotes you would like to share?
We chose to get married where we began our relationship and were engaged, Christian’s family’s farm in Stewartstown, PA, only a few miles from the town where I spent my childhood. We spent the 10 months of our engagement renovating the century-old barn on the property as well as the surrounding grounds. With the help of some contractors, we reinforced the structure, cleaned out all of the cobwebs, and fixed the human-sized holes in the floor. The result was more than what we had dreamed, a rustic combination of elegance and history. 

We were married by Christian’s godfather, an Episcopal Reverend, who also married Christian’s parents 32 years earlier. Our ceremony was a melding of the traditional Episcopal marriage ceremony with Jewish traditions. We stood under a Chuppah, which we built together with the help of my parents, signed a Ketubah (the Jewish marriage contract) and Christian successfully broke the glass at the end of the ceremony to bless our marriage.

To be considered for inclusion in the Real Weddings section of Vera Unveiled, click here.

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