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Summer Wedding Guest Style: Best Dresses to Wear This Season

We were so happy to attend our friends’ wedding over the weekend and to share in their special day. I also always love a great excuse to get dressed up, so I wanted to share with you all what I wore AND give you some other great wedding guest dress options, too.

It’s best to consider the time of day the wedding is and of course, the attire requested. This wedding was in the evening but the sun was still out and the ceremony was outside but covered so I wanted something not too hot but classic and timeless. After looking at many options (that I loved) I finally went with this dress for the night.

Plus, since we go to so many weddings and other events throughout the year, I know this dress will be a fantastic staple dress in my wardrobe. Most of the weddings and events we go to require cocktail attire which is absolutely perfect to me.

It’s always fun to get dressed up for a night and have a night on the town with my hubby 🙂

Shop This Dress —-> HERE!

Looking to get fancy too? Check out some of my other favorite styles (and ALL under $200!):

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Wedding Day Details Pt 2: Style + Fashion

Are you ready to talk all things wedding fashion + style?

While every part of our wedding will always hold a special place in my heart- and truly we were blessed to have an out of this world celebration- I have to admit, I’m SO excited to talk about the fashion!

But let’s save the dress for last…

 

Starting with our groomsmen, we headed to Men’s Wearhouse where the guys found beautiful suits in the Joseph Abound Collection. What was perfect for them was that they were able to be fully customizable, and so Mike- and each of his groomsmen- were fitted exactly to their different body types.

But best of all? They each had their nicknames and jacket linings customized to their liking… giving them each their own personal style!

I definitely had a back + forth struggle trying to pick the bridesmaids colors at first. While I won’t even begin to tell you some of my original ideas (trust me, I’m doing you a favor) I will say that I ended up choosing something that was flattering and timeless for my gorgeous bridesmaids… and thankfully, I don’t think I’ll hate it when I look back 10 years from now! In the end, we went with an Alfred Angelo dress from David’s Bridal, and just look at how beautiful these ladies are…

Oh… our beautiful flower girl.

I knew I wanted the perfect dress for Mackenzie because this day was just as special for her as it was for us. Thankfully, we found it rather easily: I was meeting with Nadine from Who Made the Cake when I saw picture after picture of her adorable daughters in these amazing feather dresses. Nadine raved about Melissa Jane Designs and after looking at her site we knew it was exactly what we were looking for. Of course Mackenzie’s dress- with rhinestones, lace and feathers- was dramatic and beautiful, but when she spun in it for the first time, she thought she was a princess and THAT made it so much better!

Two things I know for sure ladies…

One: no one ever wants to spend the whole night in high heels… and two: moms are always right! My mom had the best idea to provide all of the female guests with “Rescue Flats” that are the most adorably simple flat to keep dancing the night away in. By the end of the night, almost every lady at the party- myself included- had on a pair of them… what a lifesaver!

Speaking of shoes… I’m in LOVE with my wedding day Jimmy Choo’s! I wasn’t 100% sure which brand or designer to go with in the beginning, but I did know it had to be comfortable! Between you + I, my biggest fear was slipping while walking down the aisle, so this was a BIG deal.

I tried on everything from Louboutin’s to Valentino’s, but finally fell in love with my Jimmy Choo’s! Not only did they look fantastic, but truly, they were the most comfortable shoe I tried on all day.

Lucky for me my amazing hair stylist in Houston, Vincent, referred me to his friend Caroline, who was a talented wedding hairstylist. Caroline worked for a company called Blush + Co. (also out of Houston) and their specialty was wedding hair + makeup. I knew I wanted something down- but to the side– and with soft curls that would stay out of my face for most of the night… and Caroline did just that! Then she went on to work her magic for my entire bridal party!

For my makeup, I turned to Alaina from The Color Du Jour, who is super well known on Instagram for her work. Funny enough, she was local, so we met to do the trial run for the big day and I absolutely fell in love with the look she gave me.

We went with softer pink tones for the eye with a light pink/ nude lip… and it was perfect. On the day of the wedding, she flawlessly glammed up myself, my mother and mother-in-law, all the grandmas and a few bridesmaids- just the way I had envisioned it. Blush + Co. stepped in and perfected the makeup for the rest of the bridal party because again… it was quite a few!

And finally… the dress.

The one thing I had been thinking about since I was a little girl…

The dress that truly makes you a bride…

And what I would be wearing when Mike saw me walking down the aisle for the first time…

 It had to be perfect.

By April of 2015, I knew it was time to start searching and so with an idea already in mind- but totally open to suggestions- I made an appointment at Mia Bridal Couture. Coincidentally my appointment happened to be on the same day as a trunk show for couture designer Alon Livne… and wouldn’t you know every dress I was picking out was from that designer.

Every dress was SO stunning- and exactly the style I was going for.

So I tried on the first dress and just… loved it. Absolutely everything about it, I loved.

My mom and Grandma both kept asking, “but what is the ONE thing you don’t like about this dress?” and honestly I could think of nothing.

But you never buy your first dress right?

So I kept trying on other dresses- gorgeous dresses- but nothing struck me like that very first one. Finally, after going back to it time and time again, I just KNEW it had to be the one.

The detailing, the style… it was all so ME + everything I wanted Mike to see me walking down the aisle in.

My dream dress.

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Wedding Day Details Pt 1: Our Amazing Vendors

 

First comes L O V E, then comes M A R R I A G E…

The story of planning our wedding, all the way up to our actual wedding day is something I have wanted to share for SO LONG! For those nearest and dearest to us, you might have already seen the photos, but I promise this is still chockfull of behind the scenes and unseen pics.

As you all know from the From the Beginning post, we got engaged December 19th (2 days after my birthday!) and from there I took off with the planning process. With football coming to an end- and us headed back to Houston- I knew this was it… FULL BLOWN WEDDING MODE.

I was sooo excited, but first things first… I had to find a wedding planner.

There was so much to do… and I mean, SO much: meet vendors, pick a venue, + of course, find my DREAM wedding dress.

But we weren’t about to do all of that without the most important people in our lives by our side…

26 bridesmaids and groomsmen later we were set!

If you don’t know by now how amazing Pinterest is, then this is officially your introduction… it.is.the.best!

I quickly began ‘pinning’ things on Pinterest: dress inspo, décor, flowers + wedding gifts to give our wedding party. I don’t think you ever realize just how much planning goes into planning your dream wedding until you’re right in the thick of it… but with so many decisions- and so little time- I was on it!

I still remember choosing Todd Events to design + plan our special day. I had heard + seen the amazing events that Todd and his team had planned in the past and they were all absolutely S T U N N I N G!

Of course, first I sent them my favorite Pinterest inspirations…

Then we met to discuss color schemes, floral arrangements, centerpieces + so much more…

And with that I left completely satisfied that they not only understood my vision… but that they would make it even that much better!

The actual ceremony and reception venue turned out to be the second place that we looked at. We needed something that WOW’d us… while also fitting our list of 500 people!!! From the second I walked into The Corinthian, I knew it was the one… and funny enough, it was even on my Pinterest Inspo board : ) It was enormous… it was grand… and it was the perfect place to celebrate our big day!

Next we had to pick out the ever so important Save the Dates + Invites.

Wedding Paper Divas designed EVERYTHING from the save the dates to the invites to even the napkins at the bridal shower and wedding. They knew exactly what I was looking for and perfectly coordinated the tones and fonts to fit our wedding scheme. They were truly a great team to work with!

Next we had to pick photographer(s), caterers, and all of the entertainment!

From the moment I spoke to Martha (of Unique Design Studio) I knew I was going to love her! Known for photographing other NFL weddings, I easily found her beautiful work on social media. As soon as I found my wedding dress, I scheduled my bridal shoot in Miami at a beautiful location she had found.

On the day of our wedding she captured every.single.detail- and I mean everything! The thought and care she put into each moment will help us to treasure those memories for the rest of our lives! Thank you soooo much Martha!

We also knew we wanted to have a videographer, and so for that we went with Alex + Whitney from Sculpting With Time. We first met them at Kyle Field (Texas A + M’s home field) where they perfectly captured us running crazy with Mackenzie around the stadium… as well as on my Grandparents’ beautiful ranch another time. If they could capture those moments- especially, in the place where we fell in love- we knew they could capture our wedding day too… and WOW did they deliver! Not only are they an inspirational couple to be around and work with in general, but they produced a gorgeous 15-minute wedding film that we will always have to relive that incredible day… hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Ashli + Mike Evans | Feature Film from Sculpting With Time Productions

For our cakes… yes cakes… we went with Nadine Moon from Who Made the Cake (what a great name btw!) in Houston. Nadine effortlessly took my “want list” of cream colors, pearls and lace detailing and turned it into a masterpiece.

While she whipped up her design, my mom, grandma and best friend, Breanna, + I tasted all the different flavors she had to offer. When I say it was hard to choose… I MEAN IT! Everything was so delicious, but eventually we knew the one that was right for us!

As a surprise, I had a custom Groom’s Cake made but the initial design part was a bit…. challenging. Mike has so many hobbies and likes, but in the end we went with a Harry Potter Groom’s Cake with each tier designated to a different house at Hogwart’s!

If you know Mike then you know that Harry Potter is his absolute favorite movie series of all time- and yes he knows ALL 8 word for word! Forget going toe to toe with him over sports, he likes a good Harry Potter challenge and usually wins every time! Needless to say… the cake was a major hit!

Knowing we would want endless memories of the night, we hired a photo booth company to capture all of the fun + excitement with our family and friends.

 

Entertainment was a whole other ball game. We needed the party to start… and never stop! We ended up going with 3 different forms of entertainment: Our orchestra, Divisi Strings welcomed our guests before the ceremony. Next, our incredible wedding singer Trace Kennedey, a well-known singer from the X Factor, sang the most perfect rendition of our wedding song ‘Thinking Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran.

And finally, to keep the dance floor hot all night, we had DJ Steve Nice, from the popular Houston radio station 97.9 The Box. From start to finish, it was literally music to our ears!

With only a few things left, we quickly found our rehearsal dinner spot and caterers.

As soon as Mike heard caterers, he was all about it! I mean what kind of guy wouldn’t want to go try all kinds of amazing food, right? With so many guests and different food preferences, it was SO hard to narrow it down. In the end, we went with Jackson and Company Catering and chose 4 different food stations so there was something for everyone! From the freshest seafood bar to beef and potatoes to a pasta station… NO ONE went home hungry that night!

Finally, it was about where to hold the rehearsal dinner the night before. JW Marriot Houston Downtown Hotel was more than gracious to host our sit down dinner, where we spent the night telling stories, laughing and friends and family sending us wishes for love + happiness.

Later that night, we extended the invitation to our other out of town guests to enjoy a casino and open bar with us, also at JW Marriot. That evening- and the following day after the wedding (which was also Valentine’s Day)- we stayed in the Presidential Suite at the JW. They also gifted us blushing newlyweds with a complimentary couple’s massage… it was the BEST way to start our first day being married.

I even pulled off a few surprises throughout the night…

Such as a video game truck for Mike and his groomsmen for the morning of the wedding! They LOVE video games so I knew this would be the perfect gift for them… and I have to say, IT WAS A HIT!

Then for added entertainment for our guests, we hired a caricature artist from Best Entertainers to sketch pictures of our guests all night long.


Not only was it fun… but it was the perfect souvenir for them to remember the night.

Finally, if you grew up in Texas, then you would know (and I mean… if you know, YOU KNOW) that Whataburger was always one of the go-to fast food spots- especially for late nights after Northgate!

Whenever we head home to Texas, Whataburger is usually one of our first stops, so it was only right that we brought something we love so much to all of our guests after a late night of partying and dancing!

The surprises may have been fun for everyone to see, eat and experience… but I loved being able to watch them all enjoy it even more I think. There’s no better way to thank your loved ones for the continuous support and love than injecting some added fun into the night!

Well, that’s that… everything from start to finish.

My next post will be ALL things wedding style and chic… and yes… that means the dress!