Bridal Portraits at The Carolina Inn

in , by Mackenzie Elaine Wasilick, August 30, 2020
I went back and forth for quite some time on whether or not I actually wanted to do bridal portraits. My practical side was battling with itself: did it make more sense to put that money into another budget item or did it make more sense to have an option to do a trial run on my hair, makeup, and dress fitting? It's not entirely surprising that the portraits won out - I've always loved getting dressed up.

I'm an avid bargain shopper and the thought of sending thousands of dollars on a dress for one day seemed simply insane. In the beginning, I explored the idea of designing my own custom dress with Anomalie. I loved the idea of the opportunity to be unique at a fraction of the cost. But then I went shopping at Coastal Knot in Raleigh, NC and after only a few others, we found "the" dress. At first, I wasn't sure if this was the dress for me. I'm more rational than emotional so I wasn't expecting any tears, but I could name at least three other people I know that have worn this dress. It checked A LOT of boxes for me: simple, clean, structured, train, no sweetheart neckline. But I really did not want to be a strapless bride and I wanted to be a little more unique, so when we added the off-the-shoulder straps (my favorite neckline of all time), I was sold! (The exact style is Allure Couture #9514). I love the simplicity of it and especially love the structure, the horsehair trim really gives the edge the ruffle impact I was vying for. I finished off the look with a custom 170 inch veil by Lamnhi Bridals and then incorporated my favorite color, a deep emerald green with my accessories. 

Something old... At my bridal shower, my Aunt Beth gifted me the most gorgeous emerald and diamond ring that was remastered out of pieces her husband (my uncle) gas given her throughout their long and happy marriage. I also wore a gold charm bracelet that my father had created for my mother when they were together - each charm symbolizes a significant event in their lives, many of which pertaining to my brother and I. 

Something new... I chose my emerald earrings from Rait London - I found this newly established, female-owned small business on Instagram. My velvet green Manolo Blahniks came from Savannah's - my mother and I had been eyeing them and we were able to score them on sale around Christmastime. 

Something borrowed... My Aunt Beth has let me borrow a gold and emerald bracelet that coordinates with my other selected pieces for this day.

Something blue... This one obviously didn't fit the green theme, so my seamstress, Olga, sewed a beautiful little pendant she found into the underside of the train. She truly is the MVP of this whole look because we sized up on the dress order and then I lost a significant amount of weight before the wedding. She was able to do basically rework the entire dress in a two-day fitting spree.

I chose The Carolina Inn for my portraits. It has that perfect southern feel and has ample options of both inside and outside backdrops. When I was a wedding planner, the overwhelming majority of the weddings I planned took place at the Inn. I have many fond memories there while I learned so much about the event industry and about myself. The town of Chapel Hill is also special to Andrew and I as it is the town we got engaged in - here's the story on that.

Last, but certainly not least, is Becca Rizzo. Our rockstar photographer that I feel so lucky to have on our vendor team! She is insanely talented and so passionate about her business and her clients. 

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