As you can probably tell from my last post, shopping for my wedding dress was not a breeze. I had visions of me walking into a certain dress shop that I had been dreaming about visiting even long before I was engaged. I imagined instantly spotting a dress that I loved, trying it on and walking out to show my mum and girlfriends who were obviously all in tears like I had just won an oscar or something. In reality, it was nothing like that!
Said dress shop, which shall remain unnamed, was not so welcoming when I walked in one Saturday afternoon immediately after getting engaged. I was so excited to go book an appointment because almost every weekend when I walked past, I would peep in their window to see beautiful brides twirling in their gowns with a glass of champagne in hand and their friends and family fawning over them! Anyway, I walked in and let’s just say that it was suggested I visit their ‘more suitable’ (aka affordable) sister store at the other end of town. I wasn’t even asked my budget! Heartbroken I went home and had a little moan to Callum who reassured me that we didn’t want to spend our money their anyway. Luckily we now giggle about the whole thing at dinner parties (I was wearing Birkenstocks for goodness sake!)
The other thing I found really tricky was how to coordinate people coming shopping with me. I have the creme de la creme of bridal boutiques a mere 15 minute walk from our house but my mum lives hours away in Lancashire. I desperately wanted her to come to every appointment but it became apparent that would be completely unrealistic! I decided that the best course of action would be to go to appointments, find a shortlist or wait until I have found ‘the one’ and then invite mum for the weekend so we could make a final decision together. In the mean time, I asked Callum’s mum Annie to come with me. I knew she was dying to come but didn’t want to intrude. It was also tough initially because Callum’s younger sister Tilly was upset because she understandably wanted to be the first to go wedding dress shopping with her mum! Luckily it all worked out fine and Annie accompanied me to MANY a bridal appointment. As did Tilly!
My two best friends also being based up north meant that they were only able to come to one appointment with me! Although this upset me at the time, in the end I think it worked out perfectly because now I get to have a photograph capturing their reaction on the morning of the wedding! However Kim and Gabriella, when it is your turn, I am definitely coming dress shopping with you both!
So before We go any further, I have a confession.. There was this one ‘incident’ a long time ago, where I was looking for my year 11 prom outfit. Mum and I had gone to Manchester for the day and I dragged her around every single shop I could find. Literally every single one. Probably towards the later end of the day, we went into Debenhams where there were loads of pretty dresses to pick from! I was convinced that we would find something in here easily. Problem is, Coast, Debut and all the other evening gown designers do not make dresses any smaller than a size 6 which at the time was far too big for me (if only!) The end result was a complete meltdown in the middle of the store fitting rooms. We are talking crying, shouting, full on tantrum. Mum told me she was never going shopping with me ever again! I guess this never bode well for wedding dress shopping. Annie I feel, will read that little anecdote and feel like she can totally relate.. Sorry for not disclosing that earlier Aine! And thanks for not selling me out Mum!
I visited a total of 10 bridal boutiques (with countless additional failed attempts at walk in appointments.) I would wager that I tried on approximately 8-10 dresses at each, meaning that I tried on close to 100 dresses. I was THAT bride! That bride that every consultant hates. The bride that is told she will never find that elusive dress. In the end I would lie about how much I had been dress shopping because I felt embarrassed to admit the extent of my indecisiveness and/or fussiness.
In all honesty, I tried on absolutely tons of beautiful dresses. Most made me feel incredible. Some were show stopping even! I just never got that feeling that everyone talks about. I really wanted to experience that feeling! I took the view that until I felt like I didn’t need to look at any more dresses because none would ever compare, I hadn’t found the dress yet. I think that had I in fact been on Don’t tell the Bride, there would be a good chance I would like the dress Callum chose. It just wouldn’t be MY dress!
By this point in my search, Annie had given up all hope. I was a lost cause! She had said that she wasn’t visiting one more shop with me. Callum frequently questioned if I was striving for perfection which did not exist. Was I being too picky? Should I just pick one even though I wasn’t sure? I felt SO MUCH PRESSURE! Something which I had not anticipated at all.. I got so frustrated as I had a vision in my mind of exactly what I wanted. I eventually stumbled across the dress I imagined online and knew that if I tried on this dress, it would 100% be the one. Unfortunately it was a stunning Lazaro gown, exclusive to Nordstrom, costing $6000 plus tax. I did still try to persuade Callum..
In the end I decided that Pronovias had very similar styles and I needed to find a stockist. Obviously I refused to go to their flagship store and pay £50 for an appointment. So I started googling stockists and as if by magic, House of Snow appeared on my screen. A brand new bridal boutique opening in Bury St Edmunds the very next weekend.. I was sceptical about securing an appointment on their opening weekend (at barely any notice) but I decide to give them a ring anyway. The lovely Harriet answered the phone and told me there was one appointment left for 9am. I am a strong believer in fate and had a great feeling about this place so I snapped it up straight away!
To be continued…
P.S. This evening I am hosting the Groomsmen for a Dinner to talk wedding details! We will also be celebrating Callum’s birthday!!!!! (Although he doesn’t know it yet.)
Happy Birthday Gorgeous. Officially only 3 months to go until the wedding!