by: Lauren

As I explained in the post about my wedding dress ordeal, the first thing a girl does when she gets engaged is looks at wedding dresses in magazines. Well, with my findings, a large percentage of these dresses we see in magazines are most likely out of many of our price ranges. $5000 for a dress is absurd when it’s half of your budget. It’s ridiculous even when it’s a quarter of of your budget! Especially in “times like these”.
So, I’m going to only post dresses that are within a normal price range. I won’t be posting those gorgeous Jim Hjelm dresses that I fell in love with the first time I opened a bridal magazine, or the Monique Lhullier dresses that they show on “Say Yes to the Dress”. But yes, we can still drool over them.

So, without further ado, here are a few affordable dresses by affordable designers:

{Update: Bridal Warehouse is letting brides name their price on In Stock and Sample wedding dresses! Check them out HERE!}

Beach and Outdoor Weddings

Something flowy, soft, and comfortable would be ideal for a wedding on the beach or outside.

Wedding Dresses You Can Afford to Look At: Beach and Outdoor Weddings via TheELD.com

There are so many types of wedding dresses, and so many more designers! If you need any help looking for a style of dress or a designer, let me know and I’d be more than happy to help out!



by: Lauren

When you get engaged, what’s the first thing you do? Buy bridal magazines! And of course the magazines are filled with pages and pages of advertisements for wedding dresses. And you mark the pages you want, go the websites and drool, and start dreaming of your wedding dress.
When choosing your dress, the number ONE rule is: DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

  • Look at all the different designers and styles.
  • Go and try some on, with NO intentions of buying at all.
  • Know what style and fabric you like.

Well, I made a huge mistake. I did look at what I liked. I knew what style I liked. I knew I wanted lace. But I didn’t buy it. I bought something different than what I had been looking for. It was the first time trying on dresses, and the first store I went to. I went to another store, didn’t find what I wanted, and went back and got the dress. I was rushed due to other people’s schedule constraints. I wanted my wedding dress.

Don’t get caught up in the moment!

I now tell all of my friends that they are NOT allowed to buy a dress on the first day of looking. So now I’m sharing that advice with all of you.

I should have known, my mom should have known, my sister should have known. Maybe if my best friend had been there, she would have known. When buying a SHIRT, I have to search all of the stores in the mall before buying it. We should have known.
5 months after purchasing the dress and 3 months of the dress sitting in the dress shop, I became very upset. I could not walk down the aisle and be married in the dress I had. It just wasn’t me. I thought about it for months. I tried to convince myself that it was fine, that I did like it. It sounds awful, but it happens all too often to other brides.

So, I went on a covert mission-to a different bridal shop by myself. I tried on dresses in their “Boutique” section of the store (aka cheaper than the $5000 dresses), and found 2 dresses I loved so much better than the one I had.
Then I brought my sister there. She loved it. My wonderful husband (then fiance of course) saw how upset I was and said it was okay to put the dress on our credit card so my parents wouldn’t have to buy another dress. He hadn’t even seen the first dress or the new dress. What a keeper.
So I told my mom. She was NOT happy. She didn’t speak to me for a few days, and I finally convinced her that I really wanted her to see it before I purchased it. So she did. She convinced ME to keep looking, since the dress I had found wasn’t PERFECT.

Well, I didn’t get THAT dress, but a whirlwind of going to stores within a 120 mile radius began. I knew the brand I wanted, and it had to be lace. When I wasn’t completely in love with anything, I went to the designer’s website that I frequented pretty much every day, and wrote down all of the style numbers of the dresses I liked. I then emailed and called stores that were further than a one hour drive, and asked them how many of those styles they had.
Having done my research, my mom drove down to Bonita Springs (2.5 hour drive) with me one Thursday morning. We walked into the small store and dresses just lined the walls. It was amazing how much they fit in a tiny store! I probably tried on 20 dresses, and we were there for 3 hours. The dress I ended up getting wasn’t even on the rack- they had just received it the day before, and it came straight out of the box. Thankfully, for this reason, we were able to take it home with us that day.

The Story of My Wedding Dress: Dont Do This! via TheELD.com

I was so blessed that my mom was agreeable with this whole ordeal, and she did admit that my new dress was so much better than the first one. And yes, I’m still absolutely in love with it. I’m planning on wearing it for our 10 year anniversary. That’s the plan anyways.

The moral of this story is: Don’t buy a dress the first day you look!



by: Lauren

Kristen of LanierStar Photography sent over these gorgeous photos of JJ and Kelly’s Jacksonville wedding. Kristen seems like such an amazing person, and I’ve only been emailing her for about a week! Looking through her website, reading what she wrote, I’m reminded of why I’m doing this blog- so I can help people find a wonderful and caring photographer like Kristen to capture their one and only wedding day!
She did a great job in capturing the personalities of the couple, which to me is the most important thing in wedding pictures. Oh, and the lighting that she had from the sunset- it just made everything all the more beautiful! The wedding looks like it was so much fun, and the shots that she got of the reception make you feel like you are there-or at least make you want to BE there!

Real Wedding: LanierStar Photography via TheELD.comReal Wedding: LanierStar Photography via TheELD.comReal Wedding: LanierStar Photography via TheELD.comReal Wedding: LanierStar Photography via TheELD.comReal Wedding: LanierStar Photography via TheELD.comReal Wedding: LanierStar Photography via TheELD.comReal Wedding: LanierStar Photography via TheELD.comReal Wedding: LanierStar Photography via TheELD.comReal Wedding: LanierStar Photography via TheELD.com
Huge thanks to Kristen for sending these pictures! Can’t wait to see more from you!

*All photos by LanierStar Photography
*LanierStar Blog



by: Lauren

Brides who are searching for wedding inspiration right now will be having their weddings coming up this Fall and the Winter. Therefore, I’m going to be posting more color palettes and inspiration boards for the upcoming seasons to help these brides create the vision of their weddings! {And I’ll also be dreaming about what these seasons are like, since they don’t exist in Florida} But don’t worry, you’ll still be seeing bright spring and summer palettes as well!

I’m helping a friend with her October wedding, and I made this for her to help her put her ideas together. From what she’s told me, she wants it to be “Casual Elegant”. The ceremony will be outside at a country club, and the reception will be held indoors. It should be beautiful in Florida at that time of year! The pumpkins in the center were her main inspiration, so I centered everything else around those. She wants to have some candles in Mason Jars, and I personally love Mason Jars. So many things can be done with them!

Hopefully this board will help her put her ideas together and give her new inspiration too!

Inspiration Board: Rustic Autumn via TheELD.com

Row 1: Mason Jar candles from Dallas Wedding Venues; Bouquet from TheKnot; Mantle Decor from Michael Thunen; Bouquet from Shelley’s Floral; Wheat wreath from Martha Stewart

Row 2: Centerpiece from High Hopes Gardens; Glittered Pumpkins from Martha Stewart; Cider Station from Brides.com
Row 3: Mason Jar candles from The Inspired Room; Pumpkin centerpiece from TheKnot;
Mason Jar drink dispensers from Intimate Weddings; Escort card pumpkins from TheKnot; Ring pillow from Martha Stewart Weddings

If you have a color palette or theme, or are developing a vision of your wedding, but you just can’t quite put it all together, let me know, and I’ll be more than happy to put together an inspiration board for you!