The Oyster Wedding Look: Inspirations

While I was planning, I spent so much time describing to you my process with the dress, that I never really shared the rest of my bridal look with you! I figured I’d let you know how I came about my bridal “look.” It’s interesting how, in the planning of this wedding, I drew my inspirations from soooo many different places.

In general, my look evolved quite a bit. Originally, I was thinking to have an outdoor wedding, with a form-fitting lace dress and my hair down with a flower in it. This look is captured pretty well by America Ferrera’s character in Our Family Wedding, actually (well, at least on the cover—savvy readers know that in the actual movie, her hair is up):

Our Family Wedding

photo property of 20th Century Fox

photo from (which has a pretty good & insightful review of the film)

But you know what happened to those plans. We shifted to a formal, black tie wedding, so I changed my look to fit that—and I’m so happy I did!


I initially planned to wear my hair down, but started freaking out about potential humidity or heat ruining it and having my curls fall out (which always happens). I couldn’t deal with the uncertainty of that; also, I really, really love the “classic” bridal hair bun. My hair isn’t quite long enough for that, but I showed my hairdresser some inspiration photos anyway. We contemplated adding a hairpiece, but my hairdresser said I could trust her, and she’d figure it out.

Here’s the inspiration for my hair: something formal, but loose enough to be “romantic.” These photos are from Project Wedding.


photo by Natalie Buketov for Natalie Buketov Bridal Makeup Artistry & Hair Design

photo from


from Project Wedding reader ChildofHope, who did her own hair


This is a pretty contentious issue. I plan to write more about this later, but my time spent trying to find a makeup inspiration was the time I came face-to-face with the lack of ethnic representation in bridal magazines. Sure, I could turn to Essence or something for some photos of black women in beautiful makeup, but that wasn’t the point; and besides, most “celebrity” looks don’t come close to being what I call “bridal.” I wanted something very subtle, not too colorful, and very elegant. Here is what I came up with:


uncredited photo for Entertainment Weekly/; photo from

If you are going to find a celebrity whose makeup you want to emulate, it helps to find someone with a similar skin tone and eye shape to yours. My hairdresser (who is also my makeup artist) thanked me profusely for finding a celebrity who looks, at least on paper, similar enough to realistically imitate.


My accessories were very special to me, especially since, aside from my ring, I only had two of them. My idea was to have a beautiful dress, one pair of spectacular earrings, and some kind of flower. I remember staring at this photo for a long time, and it was a prominent image in my mind when I was finally putting together my wedding look. Except, I wanted the earrings to be larger—I have a larger head!


Photo by Aaron Delesie; featured at Style Me Pretty


I do believe it completes the bridal “look” to wear something on your head. Here we have the bridal veil: the timeless symbol of innocence, the veiling of the bride, the…whatever, I so don’t care about any of that. I wore a veil because it photographs well. Shallow? Maybe. But it’s true; I only thought of a veil after seeing photos like these:


by Christian Oth

darcyandy06 bride

There goes Darcy again (photo by Holger Thoss).

These two are from our photographers, David Wittig Photography:



We originally planned to add some beaded lace to the edge of the veil (as shown in one of my favorite dresses), but the sparkles ended up being too heavy. So we went to my other inspiration, which was this beautiful drop veil worn by Anne Hathaway’s character in Bride Wars. I’ve watched that scene where she walks down the hallway so many times!

Bride Wars

Photo by Claire Folger from her website

© 2008 Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises

This veil is incredibly simple; it just attaches to your hair with a pin. No pleats, no sparkles, and it’s most formal when it’s very, very sheer. You can find beautiful drop veil examples all over Weddingbee… but the most famous “drop veil” bride right now is probably this person.


I had a pair of cute bridal shoes, but during my bridal portrait shoot, they were so unbelievably painful that I ditched them. I spent several weeks trying to find shoes that were in my size, comfortable, and the exact heel height as the first pair (because the dress was already finished by that point, and it was made to go with those original shoes—learn from me, and think of this before you have your dress hemmed!).

It was an arduous search, but it turns out that a pair of black espadrilles in my closet were not only the exact perfect height, but were comfortable enough for all-day wear. However, they are made of straw and canvas and look ridiculous, so there are no photos of them. I changed into a pair of Born brown leather sandals for dancing. You have to do what makes you comfortable!

So there you have it, The Look. After the wedding, I have this whole file folder full of photos, marked “Wedding Beauty & Fashion.” It has been so much fun to compare and contrast this with how I actually looked. With so much time gone by, it’s amazing to me how much time and effort I spent on decisions that seem like no big deal…but it was all worth it!

How did you find your wedding inspirations?


Mrs. Oyster

Wedding Date:
July 2010
The Final Fitting
Twisted Together: Take Me for a Twirl
Add a comment


  1. elephant Bee
    elephant 6339 posts, Bee Keeper @ 10:53 am

    I totally agree with you on having a hard time trying to find “bridal” make up inspiration pictures.

  2. mspony Bee
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 1:02 pm

    I love those veil pictures you posted from your photographer, I can’t wait to see what gorgeous shots they got of you!

  3. snowcone Bee
    snowcone 1141 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:27 pm

    I love seeing others’ inspirations… you composed quite a gorgeous look, head to toe!

  4. earrings Bee
    earrings 2611 posts, Sugar bee @ 6:28 pm

    Beautiful inspiration pics!

  5. ferriswheel Bee
    ferriswheel 356 posts, Helper bee @ 6:53 pm

    This is so interesting, seeing all your “look” inspiration in one place and hearing how you thought through everything. I hear you with the feeling like it’s “no big deal” – and yet, somehow it is quite a big deal! 🙂 And I do hope you write more about ethnic representation in the bridal world because that issue is also a really big deal.

  6. Member
    oatmealpie 155 posts, Blushing bee @ 8:02 pm

    Gorgeous look! And you’re absolutely right about the lack of diversity in bridal magazines. You’d think only skinny white straight girls in their early 20s are allowed to get married. Not so!

    And I can tell just by those two photos that you picked an amazing photographer. The photos of your wedding are going to be beautiful!

  7. Member
    MissMargie 769 posts, Busy bee @ 11:14 pm

    I second Ms. FW about writing more about the lack of minority representation in the bridalsphere. I’m Peruvian American and its something I have struggled with mightily, not just in bridal blog land but my whole life. Can’t wait to see more pics of your wedding O!

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    MsJewel @Brilliance, Guest @ 7:01 pm

    I remember when I got married, I also did a lot of research to look for some unique wedding ideas and inspirations. It also took me a lot of time choosing for my wedding gown, accessories like diamond engagement ring and necklace, cakes, flower arrangements and venue. Reading your blog post reminds me of my wedding preparations.

add a comment

Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors