Real Brides: Abby Stensland

Abby StenslandEvery month we feature one of our blushing brides! Today we’re delighted to share Abby Stensland’s story. She and her husband, Justin, are pictured here. Doesn’t she look gorgeous in the Angelina gown?

So, tell me a little about yourself.
Justin and I are from two different small towns in Iowa. We both went to Iowa State University, but we didn’t meet there. Both of us have different stories of when we first saw each other…I used to bartend at a place called Whiskey River and he says he would come in there with friends and try to talk to me but I wasn’t having it. We were both in Okoboji (a popular summer vacation spot) at the same time one year and his head is actually in one of my photographs in my scrapbooks, although we didn’t find that out until years later. We actually met through a mutual friend that I went to high school with and he worked with…so it seems like it was meant to be after running into each other all those times throughout the years!

How did you hear about SimplyBridal?
I immediately went into wedding planning mode and started looking at all things bridal online after we got engaged. Your facebook page showed up in the right side of my facebook page suggesting I “like” it. I did and I saw the contest that was going on. After looking at your dresses online and seeing how beautiful they were, I decided to enter.

I put up a picture of us, shared it, and asked all my friends and family to share it and “like” it on your page. I really wasn’t holding out hope to win…but thought if I was going to do it, I would do it right! I shared the photo every day, I was certainly that annoying Facebook person who blew up people’s newsfeeds. I was literally like a kid on Christmas morning running down the stairs to check the winners when they were announced…how perfect to have them announced on Christmas morning, by the way! It was such an awesome feeling and all I wanted to do all day was look through the website to pick a dress…
Abby Stensland and Angelina Gown
How did you pick out the dress?
I looked through the website quite a bit before deciding on a dress. I would always come back to the Angelina, but would never decide on it because the large bow scared me. I’m not a girly girl, big bow type of bride, so it made me nervous to order it without seeing it on me. I had my mom and mom-in-law to be look through the website as well as all my bridesmaids and we all decided it had to be the Angelina, and we would just work with the bow when we got the dress in the mail. Getting the dress was such a great feeling! It came all packaged up in a box way smaller than I was expecting since it was vaccuum packed, but it was so neat to unwrap it and try it on. I had measured myself to order it and it came perfectly fitted…I didn’t even need any alterations except for length! We did remove the large bow on the dress, and it was transformed into the perfect dress for me. It fit my body type perfectly, it was girly but not too much, it was just my personality with the unique skirting, and it was very good quality, heavy material.

Tell us a little about your wedding planning process.
Wedding planning is some people’s thing, but I wouldn’t say it was mine. There were certain things that I was excited about (picking the dress being at the top of that list) but for the most part, the details were not important to me. I was never the little girl who planned her wedding in her head when she was younger, I was taught the marriage is much more important than the wedding day. I worked with some wonderful vendors who made the process simple, and actually more fun than I anticipated.

I am a crafty person and Pinterest gave me lots of ideas, so I probably did more handmade aspects than I should have, which added a bit of stress. We made our own centerpieces, table numbers, seating chart, chose all the decorations, colors, food, etc all by ourselves. It was nice to have all the control but we wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help of bridesmaids, friends, and mothers!

The wedding was at a winery in Ames, where we both went to college. We had an outdoor ceremony in the vinyard and then held the reception indoors. No matter how many times I pictured it in my head, I didn’t picture it being as perfect as it actually ended up being. I wouldn’t change one aspect of the entire day, or the process, especially the decision to enter your contest. Ordering a wedding dress online was sort of scary, but the process couldn’t have been easier or turned out better!
Abby Stensland
Any other words of wedded wisdom?
Wedded wisdom? Don’t forget why you’re there. Keep your groom and your own ideas and needs first and don’t let the hubbub of everyone else get in the way. Be sure to take time to look around and realize what’s happening and enjoy all your planning on your big day…it goes by extremely fast! The best thing? Waking up the next day and realizing you pulled it all off, and you’re now married to your best friend. There’s nothing that compares to that feeling…

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