Romantic & Modern Ocean Wedding
Our #MZBride of the week is the absolutely beautiful Allison Fulenwider Walsh who got married in our Elli gown. Surrounded by their friends & Family, the couple held their gorgeous wedding where Allison grew up and spent all of her summers, the American Yacht Club. In the following interview, Allison shares with us how she started planning her wedding journey and will give you her exclusive tips!
How did you start planning your wedding? What were the first steps?
My husband and I got engaged in November 2019 on a trek in Tanzania. We hiked Mount Kilimanjaro together and then relaxed for a few days in Zanzibar which is where Spencer proposed. We were moving to San Francisco from Boston in January so made the most of some time off before our move. We knew we wanted to wait a bit to get settled in our new city and focus on our new jobs to start planning, so took our time, and then COVID hit. We picked a date in August 2021 when we were hopeful everything would be back to normal (which of course it wasn't!). We decided to get married in my hometown in Rye, New York, to be closer to many of our family and friends. Our first steps were to pick a venue, band, and photographer, which we were able to finalize about 12-15 months before the wedding. We fell in love with the vocalists in the band at Ripcord, and received an excellent referral from a friend to our photographer. I grew up spending summers at the venue we chose, American Yacht Club. My husband and I met on the Georgetown University swimming team so picking American Yacht Club as our venue, where I first learned to swim, felt full circle for us. We also loved the idea of being on the water for our ceremony and the amazing outdoor dance terrace at the venue.
How did you know your dress was 'the one’?
I was first introduced to Mira Zwillinger dresses at Marina Morrison in San Francisco, and fell in love with the detail and intricacies of the dresses. I then saw pictures of the Elli on the Mira Zwillinger website, and immediately fell in love. I was on the hunt to find somewhere to try it on, and even traveled to New York to visit Mark Ingram with my mom where they had the dress!
I tried on so many other dresses but kept coming back to and comparing it to the Elli, and it was so hard to compete!
I love that Mira dresses are handmade and can be customized, and that Mira Zwillinger is a company led by two incredible women.
I was a little anxious about how it would turn out since the body was custom but I put my trust in the Mira team and they over delivered. I felt so beautiful the whole evening. There were even small details such as having the petals flow to the bottom of the gown that were not in the original Elli dress that they incorporated perfectly.
How did you find working with the bridal store team?
Sandra at Mark Ingram was incredible. Mark Ingram carries an amazing line of Mira Zwillinger dresses and does such a nice job representing the brand. They were also so patient with me and flexible. I loved the french bustle they incorporated into my dress. I stayed in my dress the whole wedding - it was too beautiful to change into an after party dress!
3 advices that you would give to our future brides?
1. Take a breather after your engagement and soak it all in. There can be a lot of pressure to start planning and securing a venue right away, but it's so important to enjoy that special time with your partner. 2. Invest in your dress if you fall in love! Wedding planning is all about trade offs. I opted to invest in a Mira gown and as an offset, incorporated other DIY elements and took on some other aspects of planning myself to save in other places. 3. Take wedding dance lessons! It's 5 built in date nights with your partner leading up to your wedding, and can be so fun. We booked our lessons on weekend evenings so we could go to dinner together afterwards. My husband was reluctant at first, but he ended up loving the lessons. We had so much fun during our first dance - we were able to just be ourselves and enjoy it, surrounded by all of our friends and family.
What was your wedding theme?
Modern white romance with ocean hues. Most of our wedding was outdoors and it was summertime - we used lots of greenery, white florals, candles, and light blue accents throughout.