Hi! I'm Sarah Kolis, a custom couture wedding dress designer based in Michigan but serving the whole midwest. I love creating custom gowns and alterations for clients and I have a special love for vintage fashion. Thanks for stopping by!
June 18th, 2022 was quite the day to remember for Rachel and Andrew! At Sojourn Resort in Gaylord, Michigan, the couple were surrounded by many friends and family eager to witness the marriage of these two wonderful people. The bride says, “I wish I could relive this entire day all over again!”
The couple met at the University of Akron in Ohio, and began dating shortly after in 2017. They quickly became pup parents to Maizey and this friendly girl even made her own appearance at their wedding! Rachel and Andrew both truly exude happiness and consistently support to those around them. They have such wonderful hearts that their friends and family are lucky to have around!
I was so thrilled when Rachel asked me to be her bridesmaid last summer, and was even more excited when she asked me to alter her gown and custom make her veil! It is truly an honor to have a best friend trust me in this way! Alterations included taking in the waist area, taking in the front neckline, shortening the straps, adding hook/eyes at each back button, a hem, and bustle! She chose the Over/American bustle, which I believe was a smart choice as the fabric blended smoothly in this way and showed off the beautiful lace scattered around her hem.
The gown is originally from La Jeune Mariee in Columbus, Ohio. Rachel says, “Choose a dress that makes you feel amazing and comfortable. A lot of times women feel that they need to lose weight to fit in their wedding dress or to look good on their wedding day and it is so not true. My BIGGEST advice is to choose a dress you feel 100% you in!”
When Rachel put on her gown, it was so fun for all the girls to see her whole final look, and it was STUNNING! I was so fortunate to have seen her gown ahead of time 😉 but there is nothing quite like seeing the whole complete look on her actual day, she was just glowing and so beautiful!!
The veil we chose to design was a simple cathedral length light ivory style to not distract from the details in the dress itself, but also had a beautiful billowy quality to it. We were able to perfectly match the gown in color and also in length to perfectly extend just beyond the train of the gown.
When getting her alterations done, Rachel said: “My alterations with Sarah felt so comfortable. Sarah is such a professional and treats you so amazingly. I was a little worried because I ordered my dress larger than normal and Sarah whipped out her wizard like sewing hands and made me look like such a show stopper. The best thing about Sarah is that when you tell her something is bothering you about your dress, she listens. She wants to make you feel like the prettiest person on the planet and she won’t stop altering until you are satisfied. I was so amazed with her talent and felt like a show stopper on my day. With the veil on (that Sarah made) I felt like an actual princess bride.” As a friend and her seamstress at the same time, I felt so incredibly happy to have been a part of her wedding day in this way!
Getting ready on the wedding day, Rachel was quite exhausted from a light sleep, and felt nervous and anxious but her bridesmaids kept her calm as they “blasted music, drank champagne, laughed, cried, and danced!!!” Everyone was all ready to go when photographer Abby Rose came and we were all able to take lots of fun photos with plenty of time. In my opinion watching as a bridesmaid, Abby was absolutely phenomenal as a wedding photographer, she was so quick to lift her camera up and snap those in-between moments that are so precious!! Not to mention, Rachel’s wedding photo gallery turned out so beautiful!!! Honestly, one of the best I have ever seen!
When Andrew saw Rachel for the first time on the wedding day, he was “absolutely starstruck with emotion”. He said, “I couldn’t even believe that this day had finally come . Rachel looked absolutely stunning beyond words. I was in awe that the woman of my dreams would become my wife in just a matter of a few hours.” So sweet!
When it comes to wedding planning, Rachel greatly advises to get a day of coordinator! She says their decorator, Robin Benson, was amazing as she was able to bring her whole vision to life.
As family is so important to the couple, Rachel says, “Our parents were our back bone during the entire wedding process. They played the role of so many parts to make everything happen, and they did it with such ease. Our moms were therapists, wedding planners, CEO of weddings, and all around bad asses. Our dads were our hype. They kept everything cool, calm and collected and made sure everyone had an absolute blast.” A true family affair, Rachel’s older brother, Eric Aepelbacher, was their very own officiant!
The reception was full of energy! The weather could not have been more beautiful. All of Rachel and Andrew’s closest family and friends were dancing and talking and purely enjoying their time with one another. To top it all off, the bride jumped in the lake at the end of the night! A spontaneous decision, and so fun!
When asking Rachel what she would change if she could do it all over again, she says “absolutely nothing. As cliché as it sounds, it quite literally was the most perfect day of our lives. If we both got to choose one moment to live over and over again, it would be the entire wedding weekend.”
Congrats to the newlyweds! I wish you a lifetime of happiness and love!
Venue: Sojourn Lakeside Resort, Gaylord
Bride: Rachel Aepelbacher
Groom: Andrew Hauser
Photographer: Abby Rose Photography
Decorator: Robin Benson
Florist: Bloom Floral Design
Gown: La Jeune Mariee
Gown Alterations: Sarah Kolis Couture Gowns
I can’t wait to hear all about your love story and the vision you have for your big day.
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