Weekend Adventures & Re-Wearing My Wedding Reception Dress!

Good morning!

Matt and I spent the weekend up in the Poconos in Pennsylvania for the wedding of one of his college buddies. On the drive up on Friday, I discovered that we would be going nearly right through Carlisle, PA, where my undergrad alma mater Dickinson College is! Clearly we had to stop for a trip down memory lane. 🙂

Dickinson is a small (I think ~3,000 students total), private, liberal arts college; I graduated in 2004 and sadly hadn’t been back for a visit since 2005! A lot of my friends made it back a few years ago for our 5 year reunion but I missed it due to a wedding. I’m hoping to make it back next summer for our 10th (whoa!).

In the meantime, it was so fun to be back on campus again. Our first stop was lunch in Carlisle at Back Door Café, one of my old favorites that was across from my apartment senior year.

They have awesome tuna salad – I got the 1/2 sandwich + salad combo. The tuna salad sandwich came on a super soft and thick piece of honey wheat bread – so good.

After lunch, we spent about an hour walking around campus so I could reminisce. Matt has been to Dickinson before, too – his best friend from high school went there (which is how we later met) so he came to visit a couple times. Weird to think that we were both there at the same time but didn’t know each other!

Campus was looking lovely – it was a really nice day to walk around. It’s funny – maybe it’s because I just spent a couple years at UNC (which is huge), or maybe it’s because it’s been so long and everything is bigger in our minds, but campus was so much smaller than I remembered! Weird how that happens.

This is beautiful Old West – everyone walks in the doors at convocation freshman year, and then out the doors at graduation. Those steps are scary in heels! 🙂

It was such a fun trip down memory lane to be on campus. It made me really miss all my college friends and my time there! Looking forward to returning next summer.

After our Carlisle adventures, we continued to the Poconos for the wedding! We were staying at a pretty mountain resort type gated community in a shared home with some of Matt’s college buddies. On Saturday before the wedding, we got in a little tennis – glad we thought to bring our racquets!

Post-tennis, we spent some time chilling in the indoor pool and hot tub! Hot tubs are the greatest.

Saturday evening was the wedding! It was really pretty – outside and on a lake. Although it was COLD up in the mountains – felt like November, not September!

Guess what I wore to the wedding? You already know if you follow me on Instagram, but, do you guys remember how I said I was going to have the short white lace dress I wore at the end of my wedding reception dyed so I could wear it again? Well, here it is, now in navy blue! 🙂

Here’s what it used to look like – it’s from Nicole Miller, and it was basically a mini-version of my real wedding dress.

I changed into it for the last hour or so of our wedding reception for dancing. Here it was in action last fall at our wedding (which you can read more about, if you’re interested, on my wedding page):

Above photos credited to Ben Powell Photography

Originally, I asked the dress shop where I got my real wedding dress about dyeing the dress, but they didn’t think they could do it without shrinking the dress, which would have been a fail since it was already pretty tight. Instead, we decided to try putting in a new lining and seeing how that looked. The lining was navy blue and it looked really pretty, but it was still too bridal, I thought, to be wearing to other weddings since the top layer was all still white lace. After some searching online and reading reviews, I decided to gamble and send my dress to Intimate Dyeing up in NH to see what they could do with it. They warned me that it might shrink a little but that it should be fine. The main issue was just that if any part of the dress was polyester, it wouldn’t dye. Originally I wanted to have the dress dyed black, but they discovered that the navy blue lining we’d put in was polyester and wouldn’t dye, so we decided to dye the lace blue to match instead.

The dyeing was mostly a big success, with the only problem being that the white straps didn’t dye (although they turned a pretty steely gray color, which looks nice with the blue). The big problem, though, was that some of the stitching had randomly stayed white, which made the dress look kind of weird and unfinished.

Luckily, I had a stroke of brilliance and bought a navy blue fabric pen and painstakingly colored all the stitching navy blue to match. It worked! You couldn’t even tell when I was done.

And as for the issue of the gray straps, I found a ribbon at JoAnn Fabrics that matched nicely and tied it on as a sash so that the straps didn’t seem out of place. Et voila! A totally new looking dress.

I’m so excited that I now have this to wear again and again! Not only because it’s pretty and unique, but of course for the sentimental value, too. 🙂 If you’re looking to have something dyed, I’d definitely recommend Intimate Dyeing – they did a great job and had really good customer service letting me know the risks/updates on the dress dyeing process as they did it, too.

A few of you have been asking what I use to do my hair on Instagram, so I wanted to recommend two great products I purchased recently. The first is this awesome blow dryer. I finally bought it a few months ago when my old one (which was literally from the early 90’s) caput. I did a ton of research before I bought a new one and the one I settled on is AMAZING – lightweight but really powerful and gets your hair nice and smooth. Reasonably priced, too. Would definitely recommend it! I use it with a round brush to smooth out my hair. To finish off the look, I use this rotating curling iron to curl a few of the pieces around my face. I learned this trick from Gina and I love how it looks. Adds some nice and bouncy volume! That curling iron is really awesome, too – love that it rotates. I’ve lent it to friends and they’ve all raved about it as well.

Anyway! A big congrats to Rob & Noelle! It was so fun to celebrate them and great to meet some of Matt’s college buddies, too.

Matt and I hightailed it out of PA in the early morning on Sunday because I had to be back for some serious marathon training – last night I ran 17 miles, my longest distance yet! I’ll be back with a recap tomorrow. 🙂

Hope you all had great weekends, too!

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