Borris House

A BRIDE'S TWO CENTS by Elizabeth Leese

Emily Post is turning summersaults in her grave.

I didn’t put return addresses on my invitations (or rsvp cards which actually caused mass confusion), I’m not wearing a veil at the wedding, I showed Hunter a picture of my reception dress... you name it and I probably did it the wrong way. But you know what? THE WORLD KEPT TURNING and I was happy. 

As you may note from the time gap between my last post, I have been up to my eyeballs. I’m currently wading in a sea of boxes waiting to be moved into our quaint apartment and we leave this week for Ireland and I’m not even packed. My nerves are oddly calm but I’m aching to share about the wedding!

My sweet Hunter got a sneak peek of the reception dress (pictured above) this week because I was too excited not to share. My photographer, Andrea Simon, nailed it. I am mesmerized by her camera smarts (and generally of just her as a person). We spent the day shooting at the Crescent Hotel in Dallas and to be honest, I might wear a wedding dress every day. People stopped to ask about the dress, they offered friendly advice on marriage, and I even got asked if I was modeling or actually getting married! If I felt like like a million bucks that day, there are no words for how I will feel when the only pair of eyes I care about sees me for the first time in my dress.  

So in a few short days, we are lifting off out of Dallas and heading to our dream wedding on the Emerald Isle. I didn’t get menus or ceremony pamphlet things printed, but I got macaroons! And I have the most incredible family and friends joining us to witness and hold accountable the most important commitment of my life. 

I have had the most fun getting ready for this big day. I made my wedding dress using my mom’s lace and this party jumpsuit with a detachable tulle skirt AND my bridesmaids dresses. I also got to work with the amazing House of Hannah (whom I still have not met, but has charmed my socks off with her impeccable styling taste and Irish accent). July 26th will probably look even more incredible than I can imagine, but if I have any words of wisdom it would be this: Brides, don’t sweat the small stuff. Emily’s ghost is busy haunting me so you’re free to put your elbows on the table and lick the icing off your cake before official cutting time. What matters is that the new role you are about to take on is one you know full-heartedly that you will work for every day. ENJOY your day-- What a thought. Imagine if more brides did that! The perfect dress and the perfect place cards will never bring you the joy that comes from giving your all to a marriage. As my mom always says, the wedding is short and the marriage is long.


photographer: Andrea Simon | dress: Elizabeth Leese | shoes: Sophia Webster | jewelry: Vince Camuto | venue: Crescent Hotel, Dallas | makeup: Christina Finkel | hair color: Michael Goude | reflector holder and dress fluffer: Nicole Votolato | 

ERIN GO BRAGH by Elizabeth Leese

On the 26th of July, I will be marrying my best friend at the Borris House in County Carlow, Ireland. Every last bit of it feels like a dream, but somehow I wake up and I still have a gorgeous ring on my finger and a voicemail from my Irish wedding coordinator bidding me, “All the best, Elizabeth!”

Our decision to have a destination wedding has made our engagement breezy, but our wedding decisions do not come without an explanation. No, neither of us are Irish and no, it won’t be our first time to go. Generally, my answer to the why question is, “Have you seen the place?” The roadsides of Ireland put our gardens to shame, not to mention the people and villages are far more picturesque than one could possibly imagine. Beautiful as it may be, there is much more to consider when a couple chooses to have a destination wedding.

It is obvious in this day and age that weddings are an industry. My industry, in fact. I love everything about them and it’s my dream to make wedding dresses for the rest of my life! But Hunter and I believe the real focus and concern is the marriage, not the wedding. After the glitter and confetti settles, it's going to be about our life together. Like any other little girl, I had always pictured a huge Cinderella wedding in a castle. Now that day is here, and I find myself overwhelmed at the thought of having 200 pairs of eyes on me as I walk down the aisle and recite intimate vows. And because I'm still in college, I do not need to lose my mind planning party favors while also trying to finish math homework. My nervous sweats can only handle so much.

Hunter and I simply asked ourselves what we wanted and this was it! A stress-free, simplistic wedding in a place that was significant to us. "Imagine that," a woman said to me, "actually enjoying your engagement!" I've scrapped all "wedding checklists" and haven't picked up a single bride magazine to confirm traditions or this season's colors. This day will be totally our own. I might not even wear a veil. Having a destination wedding does not come without the sacrifice of family and friends being unable to come, but I know we will always love our decision to have a small wedding. And even though my wedding fantasy looks a little different now, I still get my Cinderella wedding in a castle!