Tell us about your dress! What drew you to this look?
I first saw the Mae gown after stumbling upon Chantel Lauren's Instagram page. I was seriously considering one of their other dresses and completely overlooked Mae on my first trip to Serendipity Bridal in Austin. I absolutely loved Mae's unforgettable look, but I didn't think I belonged in a dress like that. The model seemed so much cooler and edgier than I was, so I admired the gown from afar for a couple weeks never daring to dream that this not white wedding dress could be the dress for me. I tell other peoples' stories for a living so it wasn't long before I fell as hard for the gown's story as I had for its stunning image. Mae is handmade and hand-painted by a husband and wife with Austin roots. I was able to customize mine with subtle streaks of gold to highlight the golden tones in our overall wedding design. A one-of-a-kind wedding dress? Yes, please!
Was this the dress you initially what you thought you’d be wearing?
This dress was nothing like the dress I thought I wanted! I tried to keep my mind and options open throughout the entire process but I never in a million years dreamed I'd get married in a wedding dress that was anything but white. I was on the hunt for a simple, sleek, long-sleeved gown but couldn't find what I had dreamed up in my mind anywhere. Every dress I tried on that checked most of my boxes left me feeling underwhelmed and a little discouraged.
What feeling did you have when you knew it was the dress for you?
I knew Mae was the gown for me when I didn't want to take it off! I'd already been to three bridal salons and tried on at least 30 dresses but none of them made me feel as happy, confident and comfortable as the Mae gown did. I don't think there's a way you're "supposed" to feel when you find your dress. Everybody is different and it's important to remember that. I didn't cry. My mom didn't cry. None of my bridesmaids were there because I haphazardly stopped by Serendipity Bridal unannounced, curious and skeptical to see what this dress looked like on me. Still, I was (and still am) endlessly happy that I found and chose this dress. I wouldn't change a single thing.
Do you have any advice for future brides during their planning process?
Regularly set aside time for you and your fiance to do something --anything-- together other than wedding planning. This wedding is not in control of your lives! You are. It's so easy to get overwhelmed and somehow ahead of yourselves and behind schedule at the same time. Everything is going to be fine. Everything will get done. Whatever doesn't get done probably wasn't that important in the first place.
When it comes to dress advice specifically-- do yourself a favor and stop looking at wedding dresses after you pick your dress. I'd heard tales of people who thought they found their perfect dress but then another dress caught their eye and it was all downhill from there. Unless you have the budget to buy two wedding dresses, unfollow everyone and everything that isn't going to serve you well. I even un-followed Chantel Lauren on Instagram because I knew they had a new line coming out and I didn't trust myself not to fall in love with more of their beautiful designs. Once you commit, don't leave room for wedding dress doubt or unnecessary stress in your life!
Enjoy this time! It's so incredibly special, but what they say is true-- the best is yet to come :)
Film Lab: Photovision Prints
Photographer: Brittany Jean Photography
Florist: Remi + Gold
Hair: Simply Mandy
Makeup: Nisa Nicole
Dress: Chantel Lauren Designs via
Venue: Barr Mansion