What I’d Wear to My Wedding If I Could Have a Do-Over

I got married five years ago in a dress that I found two weeks before my wedding. I was 23 and living at home; the entire ordeal was essentially a party that my parents were throwing for themselves, but at which I would be the guest of honor. I served exactly no purpose throughout the planning process, but graciously elected to find my dress. It was the single responsibility I maintained. Two weeks before the wedding, my mom marched into my room with a thick-ass folder titled “Leandra’s wedding” and asked when she could see the dress. I had an idea of what I wanted: something delicate and light at the top that would explode into layers and layers of tulle around mid-thigh. I wanted to wear a leather jacket over the dress. There would be a flower crown (It was 2012! This was still a novel idea back then!), and so many gold necklaces. Technically, I did not have a dress yet. I told this to my mom, who proceeded to throw her folder at me, papers flying everywhere. “Fine! You deal with your wedding,” she shrieked, which seemed like such a disproportionate reaction to my response, but I recognize that she’d been busting her ass for months to plan this wedding when all I had to do was find a freaking dress, which I didn’t.

Anyway, I’d been writing Man Repeller for two years and had accrued a large enough cohort of friends who were publicists to feel like I’d be okay, even in spite of the time crunch. I emailed someone at Marchesa and asked what they had in a size four. In return, I received exactly two photo options, so I picked one (beggers can’t be choosers!) and bought it over email. There was a bit of tailoring needed, which we did in about 72 hours, and by the time the “big day” came around, I was not naked.

I didn’t look like MY BEST SELF, but who cares/I wasn’t naked. On this: people are always so shocked when I tell them I didn’t like how I looked at my wedding, that I didn’t care so much about the dress and that I just wanted it to be over with (one good indicator that you’re marrying someone you like is when you’re more excited about the binding contract than you are about the binding dress). But it’s the truth. I look at pictures now and roll my eyes, but I’m also grateful that — you know what? I have a story running next week about the six things I wish I knew when I got married, so I’ll just finish that sentence when I get to writing that. Until then, here are four outfits I would wear to my wedding if I were getting married now.

If I were getting married at a hotel in New York City (which is what I did)

What I'd Wear to My Wedding May 2017 Man Repeller1.0 (8 of 51)

Houghton dress, Rachel Comey blazer, Chanel shoes, Laura Lombardi earrings and necklaces

Isn’t this dress something? I know it might seem like I have massacred it with the introduction of a plaid jacket, but I am who I am — a maximalist at best, and someone deeply disinterested in full looks at worst. I also just love the idea of buying things for your wedding that could be easily worn after the fact. This blazer, for example, by Rachel Comey — not cheap by the regular standards of buying stuff just to have, but a complete and utter deal when you’re buying it for your wedding.

If I were getting married at a hotel in New York City (part II)

What I'd Wear to My Wedding May 2017 Man Repeller1.0 (44 of 51)

Rosie Assoulin skirt, Hanro cami, Veda leather jacket, Chanel shoes, Aurélie Bidermann bracelets

This is basically what I did wear, but the products that I selected in real life were not as smart or meditated. Sure, the dress was beautiful, but it also didn’t really fit me. And the jacket? Made from organza with layers of tulle shooting out of it? What the literal fuck was I thinking? If I could do it again, I’d wear Rosie’s comforter of a skirt with a very plain white tank top (this was the real idea back then, but my mother aggressively vetoed it and I guess I didn’t have the agency not to care). For the ceremony, I’d wear a real leather jacket and add fabric bracelets for color. In real life, I wore atrocious platform Superga sneakers. In fake life, I’d prefer black-and-white Chanel mini heels.

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Fame and Partners dress, Olivia von Halle robe, Stalvey fanny pack, Aquazzura shoes, Gucci glasses, Jennifer Behr headband, Roxanne Assoulin bracelets

My very own Goldie Hawn circa Overboard moment. Or the artist formerly known as Amelia Diamond. But we would fish! This is why I’m wearing a fanny pack; you never know when you might need to dip into it for bait. The robe is great because it’s extravagant without meaning to be.

If I were getting married in the backyard of a Hampton home among rolling hills and peonies and one long table decorated by tea lights

flying georgia may 2017 man repeller

Viva Aviva skirt, Vita Kin blouse, Foundrae necklaces, Assya bracelet in hair, K.Jaques shoes

This is really what I wanted to do — set up a table for 50 people in the backyard of a summer home in Long Island, where you could smell pine emanating from the trees around you. Yes, it would be literal to pair a big white skirt with a peasant blouse, but who cares? It’s your wedding.

I should really renew my vows.

Special thanks to our model Georgia Hilmer, follow her on Instagram @georgiahilmer. Thank you to Genuine Liquorette for hosting us, follow on Instagram @eatgenuine. Shot by Edith Young, styled by Leandra Medine with market assistance by Elizabeth Tamkin.

Leandra M. Cohen

Leandra M. Cohen is the founder of Man Repeller.

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