Here’s a recent photo of me at our dear friends Abby and McGregor’s wedding.

You may be wondering how I came up with this outfit or from where the inspiration arrived. Or, you may be saying something like, “Sure, it looks good, but I could never pull it off.” Trust me, I questioned it myself, and had my own nervousness and negative chatter as I was putting this outfit together. But instead of allowing my inner critic to talk me out of it, I ignored her and kept following my inspiration. Here was my process:

So, in deciding what to wear, I was inspired by the bride in a number of ways. Being inspired by her was the beginning of deciding on my theme: Romantic and Fun. She is very much both of those. Themes are important because no matter what you add to the look, you just need to ask the question, “Does it fit the theme?” If not, save it for another great creation. If so, add it to the mix! And feel free to add in as much as you want. You can always refine it later.

One of the first steps in deciding what to include in my outfit was figuring out what type of wedding we were attending and a bit about the guests. It was an outdoor wedding, at the end of the summer and on their homestead farm. Guests were the bride and groom’s immediate family and all of their closest friends. I know the bride really likes my style so that assured me I could pretty much wear whatever my heart desired. If the host likes your unique style, then others will likely appreciate it too. It also means that other guests will probably show up rocking their individual styles as well. And they totally did. There were boys in bowties for days!

The second bit of inspiration was the braided crown. A popular ‘do, but a bit out of my comfort zone, so I hadn’t ever tried it on myself. The braid is a go-to style for the bride and I knew she wouldn’t be wearing a crown on her wedding day, so it was a chance for me to try it in her honor. I actually ended up getting a little assistance from the bride when she needed a way to work through some nerves. Don’t worry! She promised she was excited to have a distraction.

And this is when my inner critic really started chattering. Having yet put on the dress, accessories and a little bit of fun bright makeup, the hair itself looked kind of weird and somehow wrong. It was messy and on its own it seemed out of context. I even asked some of the wedding party for their opinions. Half liked it. The other half thought I should take it down.

Yet, I persisted with my initial vision and kept on creating until the outfit was complete.

My vision included clothes and accessories that were sleek and refined, meaning my hair could, and even maybe should, be a little less than perfect. The earrings matched the flowers in the dress like a charm, as did my Barbie™ pink lipstick. And even though the dress was only $55 at Minx, one of my favorite downtown Asheville boutiques, it was rich in color, texture and fabric.

So once the dress, earrings and lipstick were on, my hair looked imperfectly flawless. Plus, having my hair up, meant that the dress could be seen from all angles; it’s an incredible statement piece all on its own! Speaking of this dress, because of the bright colors and floral pattern, that was probably the last time I will wear it until 2017. Despite its summer look, as a maxi and because of the 3/4 length sleeves, it can easily be worn in the spring and early fall.

And since I love when my husband and I decide on a theme together, he matched me perfectly with a purple top, vintage purple plaid tie, fun glasses, grey slacks and shoes and his off-white vest he wore for our own wedding.

Ultimately, our outfits were a joy to wear and we felt awesome next to the remarkable styles of our friends and the other guests. Lots of dancing and cheer was had. Thanks for giving us a reason to get down and to look good doing it Ab and McGregs!

So, in finding a theme and creating a look, remember at least these three things:

  • Know your event and your crowd;
  • Take risks and trust your vision;
  • And make sure you feel good and have fun!