My $27 Wedding Dress


My elopement was really the first of three planned weddings. The second is in Maharashtra, India, in traditional Hindu style with my husband’s family. The third is in our home in Minneapolis, with close friends and family and a ceremony incorporating my parents and children, who are not able to go to India, and traditions from my Finnish-American culture. The legal wedding was to give a cemented memory for the kids to witness that we are “officially” family, and to expedite legal conveniences related to traveling internationally. The intention was for it to be brief, unfussy and inexpensive, and relative to any other wedding parties, it was. It was also surprisingly emotional and meaningful. We were pleased with the 10-minute script Reverend Amy performed for us at the Minneapolis Central Library under the historic arch of the Special Collections room. Two of my closest friends signed as witnesses, and they doubled as a photographer and a last-minute problem-solver. My parents joined by video call.

My dress: Gal Meets Glam via Nordstrom Rack (clearance $27)
Hat: Vintage via Finds on Broadway years ago + tulle from JoAnn Fabrics ($3)
Shoes: Franco Sarto via Nordstrom Rack ($49)
Flowers: Trader Joe’s ($8)
Earrings: pearls from JoAnn Fabrics ($2) + already owned turquoise from Target
Clutch (held rings): already owned from Target

My husband has had that suit and white shirt for several years.
Bowtie: Luther Pike Seattle Bowties in Sage ($10)
Shoes: Cole Haan via Nordstrom Rack ($120)

Flower girl dress: POMPdeLUX handed down from cousin
Cardigan: already owned Harper Canyon
Tights: already owned Tucker + Tate
Headband: unknown (gifted)
Shoes: rose gold Cat & Jack flats from Target ($5)

Ring bearer suit jacket: Crewcuts (J. Crew Factory sale for $25)
Black pants: Isaac Mizrahi via Nordstrom Rack ($22)
White button-down: Polarn O. Pyret (past season markdown $20) [similar]
Bowtie: Silk Velvet Bowties in Turquoise ($12)
Shoes: HC Davis via Nordstrom Rack ($25) [similar]

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI love coordinating outfits, and enjoy the thrill of a thrift challenge, so I spent weeks gathering each piece for the four of us. The kids will re-wear their outfits for the May wedding. My dress was the most hunted for, as I knew I would be wearing a sari in India and a more formal dress in May, but I still wanted to feel “bridal” for the civil ceremony. Basically, I scoured Nordstrom Rack four different times until it popped up. The quality is impressive and it is the perfect mix of romanticism and restraint I had in mind. I knew it would be below zero and so I wore my vintage wool pillbox hat (aka my Easter hat) and I bobby-pinned on a piece of tulle to make it a birdcage veil bridal hat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe bowties wouldn’t stay right, my daughter’s shoes were too big, I trimmed my son’s hair around the ears with dull scissors that morning…but those are the funny reminders to not take our looks too seriously, right? Overall, I think the coordination worked beautifully for us and even the library tones and flowers. And nothing matters more than those goofy newlywed smiles.

All photos thanks to Orion Rainwater.

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I'm Anna, and I love to create and recognize beauty at home and in heart. I share inspiring interiors and my Finnish-American lifestyle in Minneapolis, MN.

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