Wedding Madness

So my big news this week is–I am engaged!!!  No plans are set in stone yet, but we’re thinking something small in December, so something with a “winter wonderland” sort of theme.  White flowers, sparkles, maybe a fur stole, stuff like that.  (He says I just have to tell him when and where to show up and what to wear, the rest is up to me.  I hope he will not rue those words).

If you have read any of my Risky posts in the past, you probably know what my #1 concern is–the dress.  There are so many inspirations out there, I think it will be hard to narrow it all down!  There are Georgian gowns:

Victorian gowns:

Regency gowns (like these belonging to Princess Charlotte and Betsey Bonaparte):

1920s gowns:

1950s gowns:

Royal gowns (including American royalty like Jackie Kennedy!):

And modern gowns I can’t afford, like this Oscar de la Renta:

I will choose one soon, I’m sure (mainly because there isn’t much time to waffle!), and in the meantime I am pinning these on my Pinterest boards.

What did you wear at your wedding?  What suggestions do you have for me??  (and watch for historical info on rings, bouquets, cakes, etc in the near future…)

About Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Writer (as Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, Amanda Carmack), history geek, yoga enthusiast, pet owner!
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10 years ago

I’m so excited for you!

I think advice from me would b useless since I’m not married. Having watched a lot of people go through it, I’ll offer what they’ve told me: They wish they’d kept it smaller and spent less on the reception and more on what comes after.

Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Very true, Judy! That is what we’re trying to do–I’ve watched too many friends go absolutely bonkers (and get into terrible debt) for weddings and I don’t want to do that. Small but elegant is what I’m going for 🙂

Jane George
Jane George
10 years ago

Wheeeee! I am so very happy for you!!!
I’m sure your small, elegant, winter wonderland wedding will be perfect and beautiful. Please hire a good photographer because I will want to see pics! And it’s all about me, of course.

10 years ago


We did the small (teeny-tiny) wedding thing, and it was wonderful. We had just our parents and my sis as guests, got married on a Monday morning in December in a lovely, relaxed civil ceremony (my sis and father-in-law, who was well into his 70s, found an envelope with “Marriage Certificate” on the outside and did a hilarious spoof set of wedding photos, which they then presented to us). We then all decamped to our absolutely favorite posh restaurant (overlooking Tower Bridge in London) and were waited on by the staff who were wonderful. The whole thing was very reasonable and we saved our money to pay for a new home in a new country. The most expensive thing was the photos – we booked one of the top photographers in London.

I didn’t have a gown. I wore a nice peach suit which was massively reduced in a sale. But I did blow out a bit on nice underwear!…

Honestly, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. We have great memories, we were totally in control of the whole thing (my Mom was a bit miffed, but was happy we didn’t ask her to pay!), and we did exactly what we wanted.

Diane Gaston
10 years ago

I am over the moon for you!!!!!!!! This is such happy happy news.

Besides, I’m obsessed by Say Yes To The Dress. I think you and I should plan a trip to Kleinfelds in NYC….I’m just saying….

i know whatever dress you pick it will be stylish and perfect for you. As will your wedding.

My wedding dress was a Regency dress before I even knew about the Regency

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon
10 years ago

Congratulations Amanda. I’m so happy for you! I can see you in something simple from the Regency or a 1920’s cocktail dress.

Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

LOL Diane! I love love love that show too–though usually I end up yelling at the TV “That is not the dress for you! Don’t do it!!” 🙂

My mom and I did a little dress-looking this weekend and got some ideas. I am going to wear her veil, a beautiful lace-edged mantilla style, so I want something to go with it.

Cara King
10 years ago

Ooh, fun!!!!

I love that 1950s dress — and I think it looks very you. But they’re all great inspirations!

My dress was a big white ball gown, off the rack — it was total love as soon as I tried it on.


Janet Mullany
10 years ago

Oh BIG CONGRATS. I bet, since you’re so tiny, you could find something vintage and fabulous. Otherwise, elope and save yourselves a lot of hassle (and $).

Will the pug be a ring bearer?

Elena Greene
10 years ago

Amanda, I’m so happy for you!!!!!

I think you’d look adorable in a Regency gown but I’m sure whatever you choose will be fantastic.

Going small and elegant is great and I think some couples definitely go overboard. Rich and I had a moderately big do for family reasons but we also tried to make it fun, getting a really good band and picking good wine from local Finger Lakes wineries. Everyone told us it was a great party and we stayed in budget, so I have no regrets.

I got married during the 80s so I had biggish hair and biggish sleeves but fortunately, not so bad as some during that time! I think I looked nice anyway.

Louisa Cornell
10 years ago

Congratulations, Amanda!!! What fabulous news! I think the Victorian or Regency gowns would be perfect for you. And I agree with Jane – hire a terrific photographer so none of us miss a minute of your big day.

I got married in the early 80’s and my gown was a very simple style with lots of embroidery and bead work. The best part was the train. It was cathedral length and had gorgeous embroidery and crystals on it. I also wore a cathedral length veil.

This is such great news and I wish you and your fiance much joy and happiness in the years to come.

10 years ago

Congratulations and much happiness to you and your fiance!

As someone who officiates weddings from time to time I can tell you that the very best weddings are the ones that truly, authentically express the personalities and the values of the bride and groom–regardless of how much money is spent.

Twenty-three years ago we had a small country church wedding (planned in about 3 months) with a cake-and-punch reception. I wore my mother’s classic 1959 wedding dress (I didn’t realize at the time how much angst or money–or unfortunate 80’s fashion–that choice saved me!).

Whatever you do will be wonderful because you are wonderful.

Blessings, RevMelinda

Margaret Evans Porter
10 years ago

Best wishes, Amanda! Exciting news indeed!

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe

Congratulations! We had a wedding at our house 2 weeks ago, and I hope your day is as lovely! I can’t wait to see what you pick out.

10 years ago

I used the charmeuse silk satin underdress from my grandmother’s wedding in 1932 and had a new lace overlay bodice made. The whole thing cost 300 bucks and looked smashing. I say find something vintage and do a mashup/alteration dealie. You’ll get the most amazing quality fabric and construction for hardly any money. Enjoy the hunt!

10 years ago

Amanda, congratulations! What a busy and happy time for you.
I thought I had posted but i think I got carried away pinning the pictures of the wedding dresses.

I am a bit like Diane. My wedding dress was a Regency style before I knew what Regency was.

9 years ago

That first dress is not a weddingdress actually, it’s a Swedish coronation dress, the Swedish wedding dresses of the era were more beautiful, at least in my opinion.