We always love featuring beautiful weddings on the Dainty Jewell's Blog, and today's wedding is positively stunning! The bright, bold colors and vivid details of Brook and Ethan's wedding made for a special day for this couple. We are honored to feature Brook Miller and her gorgeous wedding day!
SI: Brook, how would you describe your wedding decor/theme/vibe?
BM: I think the best way to describe our wedding would be bright, colorful, and chic. I went back and forth so many times on the color palette, but I ultimately decided that I wanted a wedding full of color. It felt like it was the most fitting for us as a couple.
SI: What are some of your favorite or special memories of your wedding day?
BM: We had a couple of hours to get dressed at the Air BnB on the morning of the wedding. I loved being able to spend quality time with some of my closest friends. My oldest niece also stayed with us, and just having her there made the morning so special.
I think my favorite moment during the ceremony was right after communion. We had our immediate family come up and pray over us as my uncle played/sang The Blessing. I know so many people use this song, but I think it was so fitting for us as we step into a new season of life. Everyone in the congregation joined in on the prayer, and it lasted longer than we initially planned. We all lingered in the presence of God and sang together towards the end of the prayer. It really was such a sweet moment for Ethan and me. I’m getting tears in my eyes just thinking about it.
SI: Were there any funny moments or things that didn't go according to plan?
BM: Ethan and I decided to take communion instead of lighting a unity candle. Unfortunately, I forgot to buy bread and didn't realize it until we were on our way to the venue. I remembered my mom had bought the bridesmaids a sandwich platter from Subway, so I figured we could just use the bread from that. I'm not sure why, but I didn't think the tray was full of assembled sandwiches; I thought we would have all of the bread, meat, condiments, etc. to make our own sandwiches. It was only during our ceremony that I realized I was wrong. When we opened the bread up, we saw the bright red juice stain from a tomato that had been on the pre-made sandwich. We still laugh about it.
FLIES! Yes, the flies. We had our ceremony indoors, and never thought we would have any issues with bugs. Boy, were we wrong. We did not see a SINGLE fly until the ceremony was happening. Out of nowhere, there were several flies all at the altar. At one point, they landed right on Ethan's youth pastor's head while he was speaking. During our vows, another one tried to fly in my ear. It really was wild.
SI: How did you find the perfect wedding dress?
BM: This is actually a long/funny story that involves making myself sick and laying on the floor in the Denver Airport for several hours.
I love wearing fun clothes on a regular basis, so I knew I wanted a dress that had the same feel. Before getting engaged, I was looking on Pinterest at wedding dresses to see if I could get any ideas of what I wanted. As I was scrolling, I found the absolute perfect dress. It wasn't linked to a website, so I assumed it may be an old picture that was circulating. The dress was in a smoky grey color, but I hoped it would be possible to find something similar in ivory. I think I searched for weeks on Pinterest until I realized the initial dress I saw was still available to purchase. When it came time to actually go wedding dress shopping, I searched high and low for a bridal store that had this specific dress in store. The designer of the dress is based in South Africa, but I was able to find a few places in the U.S. that had it in their store. Thankfully, there was one in Austin so my mom and I didn't have to travel too far to try it on.
Before my dress appointment in Austin, I realized several brides that wore this dress made modifications to it (adding sleeves, changing the neckline, etc.). I ended up contacting the designer and found out it was possible to change the bodice of the dress for modesty purposes. This was a huge plus because the dress originally had spaghetti straps and a low neckline. I knew I was going to love this dress before I tried it on, but it was just confirmed at the appointment. It was perfect AND the train was detachable... so I didn't have to have a bustle (something I am personally not a fan of). By the end of the appointment, we got an estimated total of the dress with the modifications and it was significantly higher than what I got from another store that carried the dress. So, back to the drawing board.
I knew this was the dress I wanted, but I had to figure out how I could fly to the other bridal store in Utah to get it. Thankfully, I have some of the best friends and they volunteered to fly with me from STL to Salt Lake City just so I could visit Alta Moda Bridal. We bought the cheapest flights we could on Spirit and Frontier and packed all of our stuff in a personal bag. We even stayed in a sketchy airport hotel to try and cut the cost of the trip. We roughed it, but had a blast!
I scheduled my appointment for Tuesday morning so we would have some time to explore after. We were so excited to visit the store and see all of the unique dresses they have in stock. From the moment we got there, everyone was so kind! They even gave us a phone charger when my friend's phone died from FaceTiming my family. During that appointment, I tried on several dresses to make sure I really wanted the dress I came for. I honestly didn't think anything could change my mind until they put me in a gown called Victory. It was beautiful. It had beads, tons of layers, and looked perfect with big puffy sleeves. I was now stuck trying to choose between the original gown (Kahlo) and Victory. I'm one of the most indecisive people I know, so this was an extremely difficult decision. After talking to my sister and mom, I ended up going with the Victory gown (not the one I came there for). I think we were all shocked, but I signed the contract and put my initials by the line that read "Final Sale."
As soon as we left the bridal store I felt like a tidal wave of regret flooded over me. After looking through all of the side-by-side pictures of both dresses, I felt like I made a huge mistake. I talked to my friends about it all day and they kept reassuring me that the dress I chose was perfect...but deep down I knew that I made the wrong decision. So much so, that I made myself sick that evening and threw up multiple times. Gross, I know.
Our flight left super early the next morning, so we had to catch the shuttle at 4:00 am. I still felt sick on the way to the airport. In total, I think I threw up 5-6 times by the time we got to the Denver airport. I’m not 100% sure the tacos I had the night before didn’t play a factor, but I know the stress of the wedding dress also had my stomach in knots. Our layover in Denver was almost 9 hours (downside of buying the cheapest flight). For the first few hours, I laid on the floor in hopes that the nausea would pass. After I felt a little better, I called my mom and almost cried in the middle of the airport. She also reassured me that I bought the right dress. I still wasn’t convinced.
Eventually, we boarded our flight back to STL. The next day we all went back to work (we worked together at the time), and everyone asked if I found my dress. I honestly didn’t want to talk about it because I wasn’t convinced that I made the right decision. Finally, after talking to my now husband about it for hours, I decided that I would email the bridal store in the morning if I still felt the same way.
The next morning, I woke up stressed about it again. I mustered up the courage and basically begged them to let me switch back to the Kahlo gown (the original dress). I knew they had no obligation to switch the dress because I signed the agreement about my purchase being final sale. My friends and I said a prayer before I clicked send. And guess what? They let me change my order! It was a miracle! They were also so kind about it. It really was such a blessing. I will forever be grateful for the ladies at Alta Moda Bridal!
By the time I placed the order for my dress, it was early March and delivery was expected to be the first week of August. I knew I would need minor alterations after receiving the gown, so I prayed there were no delays. I received an email from Alta Moda Bridal at the beginning of August, and they let me know my dress had arrived (YAY!). I didn’t want to spend the money flying all the way to SLC again, so we did a video call instead. When we got on the call, my heart sank. The sleeves were not at all what I had asked for. They looked really bad. After a lot of back and forth with the designer, we decided it would be best to send the dress back to South Africa so they could remake them.
By the time we got the dress back, it was just shy of 3 weeks from the wedding and it still needed a few alterations. Thankfully, we found an AMAZING seamstress near my parents house and she worked her magic. I ended up getting my dress back just over one week from our wedding day. Talk about STRESSED.
Ultimately, the dress turned out perfect and I am so thankful I found it!
SI: Any advice you have for future brides?
BM: As a Type A bride, it’s ironic that I am giving this advice… but don’t stress so much over the small things. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in wedding planning that you forget to enjoy this season with your fiancé. Also, don’t procrastinate. There were outside factors that led to me putting off wedding projects, but it made the last month of planning so stressful. We were engaged for 9 months (more than most people), and I had plenty of time to get everything done. I just didn’t utilize all the time I had, so it made our last few weeks a nightmare (seriously, I think I cried once a day).
Let’s be honest, weddings are so expensive. In my hunt for how to cut wedding costs, I found a blog that talked about picking the 3 most important items for your wedding. Once you decide the 3 most important items (i.e., dress, venue, photographer, etc.), find ways to cut costs in the other areas (hello DIY projects). Also, do what you want with your wedding decor. Try not to worry about what other people might think about your wedding when making decisions. All that matters is that you like it.
SI: Anything else in particular that you'd like to share about your wedding or your love story?
BM: Our wedding day was absolutely perfect and we loved celebrating with all of our friends and family! We know how much of a sacrifice it was for many of our guests to attend our wedding, and we are just so thankful they were able to join us. September 29, 2023 truly was one of the best days of our lives, and we are so thankful for God’s timing and faithfulness as we jump into this new season together.
SI: Who was your photographer?
BM: George Tshuma took our engagement and wedding pictures. He is absolutely incredible to work with! I would highly recommend him to any bride that is looking for a photographer! You can find him at http://www.infallibleproofs.co