My Dress & How It Became Mine

I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend. This Saturday was one of the highlights of my year – the annual day at the races with my best friends. It was fantastic and boozy as usual – today has been a struggle to say the least! Today I’ll be writing about The Dress!

Initially I found the prospect of trying on wedding dresses an exciting one. I was looking forward to the swooning, my mum crying and the glasses of champagne.
One shop gave me a cup of tea and that was as far as any refreshments went!

In total I visited four dress shops. Each having been either recommended or relatively local to me. It was a useful and enjoyable experience but i was also completely out of my comfort zone. The service was great in all, but quite different. One assistant cried when I put one dress on and in another shop the assistant could barely crack a smile.

Each shop had its own vibe, some were going into sale while I visited and were in total chaos, some had too many brides in trying on dresses and one was even closed just because I was there on an appointment.

Each boutique will have its own rules. Most don’t want you taking photographs. I totally understand this. Photographs of you wearing a dress either far to big or far too small for you with the wrong underwear on is not helpful.

After much deliberation and finding two dresses that I’d fallen in love with I was in a total quandary. They were the most expensive dresses I’d tried on and very fortunately for me my parents offered to buy my dream dress for me with the proviso that we’d sell the dress after the wedding. Many dresses still fetch quite a price second hand one boutique informed me. I deliberated long and hard.

The prospect of wearing an expensive dress that would have to be sold just didn’t sit right with me. Mainly because I didn’t want the pressure of knowing any damage sustained to the dress would ultimately lower the price I’d get for it. I decided against my dream dress and went back to looking for something else. I trudged the internet looking for dresses. I looked at other designers and even high street such as J.Crew. I kept dreaming of my dream dresses (which were practically identical and by the same designer). So I looked online, knowing that brides sold dresses after their weddings. I was really surprised with the quantity of dresses for sale on pre loved wedding dress sites. I quickly found a previous seasons version of my dress being sold by a girl who was practically my doppelgänger. She lived a few miles from me so I called her and went to see her and her dress. It was fabulous, but it just didn’t quite fit the way the dream one had…the search continued. I must say though that I was surprised by how lovely the experience of trying on another brides dress was. Initially I thought I’d feel weird and couldn’t imagine how I’d feel if I was the woman watching another bride try on the dress I got married in. It was brilliant in actuality. She was so lovely and I really felt her happiness and not a glimpse of reluctance. There was something refreshing about being in her company rather than being just another woman being man handled into a dress.

A few weeks later I was with my mum. We decided to have another look on the Internet. There it was. My dress. In my size. Unworn. Unaltered. It was a Sunday evening so I could only email asking for more details – a very lovely lady called Amy called me back first thing Monday morning. She was from Stamford Bridal Rooms. The dress was a sample that had been hardly tried on. It was about half the price. It was mine.

It arrived the following day via courier. We shut the dog out of the living room, put a sheet down on the floor and propped the full length mirror up against the door. I put it on and fell in love. My mum shed a tear and I knew it was perfect. It now lives at my parents and I occasionally get it out to try on and look lovingly at it.

So what that I didn’t buy my dress from a boutique!? For me that wasn’t the way it worked. For most it does. I would never have let my parents fork out thousands for a dress and I wouldn’t be happy knowing we’d have to sell the dress. It’s a personal choice, just like the process of buying a dress. You do it your way. Don’t worry about what’s ‘traditional’ or if it’s not the norm. You’ll know, trust me!

Try and enjoy dress shopping. It shouldn’t be stressful and don’t let others rain on your parade! You’ll get there eventually!

V xx

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