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Real Wedding: Jessica and Matthew

Bride: Jessica Shoaff
Groom: Matthew Shoaff
Wedding gown style: Sophia
Boutique purchased: Vera Wang Boston, MA
Wedding date: October 10, 2010
Location: Skaneateles, NY
Photographer: Alice G Patterson Photography

Did you have a certain style in mind when you started your search for a dress?
I knew that I wanted a dress that was classic, timeless, and elegant. I also knew that I wanted something simple – I really wasn’t drawn to anything with beading or lace.

What made you decide on your Vera Wang gown?
I knew well before I was engaged that I wanted a Vera Wang dress and went to Vera Wang on my first day of dress shopping. I was planning to just look as we still hadn’t picked a wedding date or venue. When I tried this dress on it seemed to be exactly what I had been looking for and I ended up buying my dress that day!

Did you bring anyone along dress shopping? If so, did their opinions influence your final decision?
My mom and best friend/ maid of honor came from New York to help me look at dresses. We all immediately loved the Sophia dress once I put it on. We decided that there was no point in looking at other dresses and cancelled the rest of our appointments.

How did you accessorize to make your wedding day outfit unique?
I wanted to keep my look simple – I wore pearl studs and a double stranded pearl bracelet. I also wore a custom made veil.

What was the inspiration or theme for your wedding?
Lakeside vintage, rustic, elegant. We were married in a beautiful, rustic, log chapel that sat right next to the lake that I grew up on. The reception was across the lake at a Country Club that was decidedly not rustic. The vintage and simply elegant decorations at both locations tied the two together.

Did your gown style relate to any other design elements of the wedding (ie. cake, invitations, etc.)?
I think that the dress fit in perfectly with the rest of the wedding, classic timeless feel that fit with other vintage aspects. The buttons on the back of the dress were mimicked on the cake.

What was your favorite part of the day?
It is so hard to pick a favorite part of the day! Aside from actually getting married and being surrounded by people that I love, one of my favorite parts was arriving at our reception on a beautiful antique wooden boat. All of our guests were waiting on the porch of the Country Club, overlooking the lake, and cheering/ waving to us as we pulled in.

What tips do you have for new brides picking out their wedding dress?
Don’t stress out and second guess yourself. I wasn’t worried about finding “THE” dress, I just wanted something that I was happy with and felt good in. Once I found it (on the first day of trying) I stopped looking and didn’t question my decision. Once you find something you are really happy with, stop looking and stick with your decision – otherwise you will drive yourself crazy!

Are there any other anecdotes you would like to share?
My grandparents were not able to attend because my grandfather had recently been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. But they were there in so many ways… and especially in one very unique way. The wedding ring Matthew placed on my finger was the same ring my grandfather placed on my grandmother’s finger 64 years earlier. The fact that the wedding ring perfectly matched my engagement ring was a wonderful coincidence. Matthew and my grandfather purchased the engagement rings 64 years apart, and they were remarkably similar. When my grandmother (who had received a different ring from my grandfather) saw my engagement ring, she pulled out her wedding ring and it matched, and was a perfect fit! I love that my wedding ring has such history and special meaning to it.

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