Finding your wedding dress is rite of passage in every bride-to-be’s life. Whether you’ve played dress-up as a child or haven’t thought twice about your big day, there’s something special that happens when you slip on that white dress for the very first time. It makes everything seem a bit more real and it sets the whole tone of the big day. After sifting through tens of ‘maybes’ and hundreds of ‘possibles’ there’s an element of finding The One that’s as monumental as finding The One you’re going to marry!
I’ve had so many people message me on Instagram and ask how the wedding plans are going and if I’m going to be blogging about the process. I haven’t been holding out on you on all when it comes to wedding plans, the truth is I haven’t really done much (this is why)! It’s been a slow burner and I really need to get going with it.
But one thing that I am very excited to tell you is that I’ve found my wedding dress! It’s currently having alterations and I should be receiving a call to say that it’s ready in the next few weeks. The process wasn’t as straight-forward as I was expecting and I wanted to share a few home truths about finding your wedding dress that I wish I’d known before…
MYTH #1 FINDING ‘THE ONE’
This has to be the most irritating myth for brides-to-be and rom coms have a lot to answer for. We’ve all seen the moment where the curtain is drawn and there she is – a vision in white tulle. Cue gasps and tears from her mum and bridesmaids, champagne in hands, sunken into a white sofa as they all nod in agreement. This is it. This is The One. Before you know it the bride wells up, fanning herself uncontrollably and they all burst into applause. Please.
Maybe this is exactly how it happened for you and that’s lovely but for the majority of us, that moment never comes and what people don’t tell us is – it’s OK! I felt a lot of pressure finding my wedding dress, because of the industry that I’m in and my love of fashion, I found a lot of people saying things like “I can’t wait to see what you choose” and “ I bet it’s going to be something really fashion-y” when in reality I had no idea what kind of dress I envisioned myself in. As a result, I put off wedding dress shopping for a really long time. Imagine, me, NOT wanting to go shopping!
Looking at Pinterest I felt overwhelmed by all of the different styles and how many that I thought could be The One. Was I a Boho Bride? A Couture Bride? A Classic Bride? Nope, I was a Stressed Bride. Every dress I tried on, I liked. It was pretty, I looked OK in it and I could see myself getting married in it. Was it The One? I have no idea. Shop assistants and my bridesmaids would look at me with eyebrows raised and an expectation I just couldn’t meet. These dresses from Grace Loves Lace are stunning – perfectly made, flawlessly flattering and everything I was hoping they would be. But I didn’t get a feeling of The One. Yet the experience was relaxed, fun and set in the most Instagrammable space imaginable! The sales advisors were sweet and helpful and gave me the best experience of all the boutiques I’d visited in both London and Paris.
When I found my wedding dress, there was no butterfly feeling or wave of euphoria. I felt comfortable, I loved the design, it’s completely fitting for the location and I (think) Toff will like it and that’s what made my overall decision. It was logical and practical with a hint of emotion but I don’t think that would make a very interesting rom com!
MYTH #2 IT SHOULD BE ONE OF A KIND
From Bride Wars to Friends, wearing ‘off the rack’ has always been deemed a nuptial no-no but in reality, wearing custom or a creation you’ve designed yourself is very rare. Not only is it incredibly expensive, it’s also not necessary. It all comes down to personal preference but if it’s not feasible to create a one-off, you shouldn’t feel any less excited. As with fashion outlets, bridal boutiques also stock seasonally meaning that finding your wedding dress that’s different from everyone else is more likely.
To be completely honest, I did consider collaborating with a bridal brand to create something unique for me but after talking to different outlets, I realised that you can, to an extent, do this for off the rack. As much as I love my wedding dress, I have asked the retailer to make some amendments – fill in a bit here, shorten this, lengthen that and they’re more than happy to do so. My advice if you’re struggling to find a dress you’re 100% happy with, find a dress that you would love if it had a few tweaks and either ask the retailer to make the changes or find a really good seamstress to do them for you – it will save you hundreds if not thousands of pounds.
MYTH #3 IT WILL BE THE MOST PERFECT EXPERIENCE
There’s a preconceived notion that we have this perfect day when it comes to finding your wedding dress. We gather our family and friends together for a girly day, sipping champagne, gossiping about the wedding and helping to find the bride her perfect dress. As a result, anything less than this will have us throwing a bridal hissy fit faster than you can say ‘I do’. But it doesn’t always work that way.
Firstly, getting people together is a nightmare. We’re all busy and maybe not all of your bridesmaids want to be dragged to 5 wedding dress shops with a hangover! They may not be overly helpful or your mum will do nothing but moan about the price – it all happens. Sure, it’s not ideal and it makes everything 100 x more stressful but it all comes down to our expectations. Of course we want to be happy and excited for the process but be mindful that sometimes it may be a little too much pressure to put on these details.
MYTH #4 YOU SHOULD LOOK FLAWLESS FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT
Er look at my hair in these photos. Yep, I missed the memo on this one because I got caught in the rain, was running 15 minutes late for my appointment and was worrying about a looming deadline. Flawless is not the word I would use to describe this look. But this is a little myth I have heard doing the rounds on the bride-to-be circuit just to give us something else to think and worry about!
If it helps you to do your hair and make-up roughly how you’d like it for the day then great, you do you, but generally, it really doesn’t matter. When you put on that dress the only thing you’re going to be looking at is the cut, the materials, how it feels, will you be warm/cold etc, not how your tousled hair has now gone flat.
MYTH #5 YOU SHOULD TRY ON EXPENSIVE GOWNS FOR FUN
No, no, no! It seems fun, I get that, we all want to see what it’s like to have an endless budget but there’s nothing more heart-breaking than falling in love with a dress that’s completely out of your league. Believe me, I know! When I went wedding dress shopping, I specifically told the sales assistant not to bring me anything over my budget, just to eliminate temptation.
DRESS # 1 INCA
DRESS #2 ALEXANDRA
DRESS #3 SUKI
DRESS # 4 PALOMA