Saying Yes to the Dress

Despite writing about getting back into the swing of wedding planning at the beginning of the year I hit a block – a big white block that is the wedding dress. According to the apps and planners I own I should of technically started searching for my dream dress back in November but I’ve been putting it off. I booked some appointments in January for March 3rd with the genuine intention of just ‘getting it over with.’ I follow hundreds of beautiful dress designers on Instagram and I’ve watched Monty jack up brides countless times on Say Yes To The Dress but I just wasn’t thrilled about finding my ‘the one’.

Don’t get me wrong – I adore the thought of being married to my fella and I’m so very excited to get down that aisle and stand next to him but the pressure that surrounds one dress has made it the only bit of wedding planning I’ve not looked forward too. I’m no supermodel so the fear of nothing fitting, nothing looking nice and that I’d actually just end up looking like a marshmallow have kept me from putting it off for months.

The beast from the east hit our town hard the few days before my designated dress shopping outing so all appointments got cancelled. However one boutique – the one I’ve spent much longer browsing than any other rang to say they were moving Saturday appointments to the Sunday to ensure no-one missed their slot. I didn’t have anything on that day so it just made sense to go down and check it out whilst the snow was rapidly melting.

Sass & Grace is nestled in a little village outside of Winchester. It’s a beautiful little boutique where every appointment is just one bride at a time so you get a lovely personal and private experience. Just what a girl dreading this situation really needed. I ran through the feel of the wedding and any key things I wanted from a dress – to be honest despite staring at dresses non-stop I didn’t really have a checklist I was pretty open minded about what I was going to wear. The only thing I did need was a plainish skirt that my wedding attending dog wouldn’t rip a hole in – priorities!

None of the sample dresses fit me in the sense that they would do up however Sam held and got on every dress making me feel like they did and allowing me to really visualize what I wanted. I didn’t have a heart stopping this it moment but the first dress I tried on meant all the others got compared to it and the second try on with a little cry from my mum made me realise it was the one – so I said Yes to the dress. Not in a ring the bell American way but in a ‘yes I can imagine myself in this on my wedding day’.

I think TV shows and social media make that moment and experience seem like such a huge part of your life. It isn’t it’s one day where you pick a dress that suits your body, your wedding day and your style. It was nowhere near as daunting as I thought it would be but I think a lot of that was due to finding a boutique that was right for me.

If you’re not looking forward to saying yes to the dress I recommend the following:

  • Check out all of the boutiques locally to you’s websites – some of the FAQ pages were quite frankly rude and some of the rules were outrageous in my opinion. If reading a website makes you turn your nose up you probably wouldn’t have the best time in the shop.
  • Check out the styles & dresses on their websites & social media – again there’s no point visiting somewhere that stocks solely lace gowns (I did find one of those) when you want something simpler in design.
  • Ring them and ask all the questions – again I found some bridal shops to come across a little annoyed with all my questions, choose one that has the time to speak to you and make you feel at ease.
  • Shop somewhere that it’s just you and your bridal party – not having anyone else watching or commenting made the experience much lovlier than I had imagined.
  • Finally if you want to be a bride but don’t want a big white dress there are some amazing dresses on the high street. I contemplated my resistance to bridal shopping being that I actually just wanted something simpler which I think in a lot of people’s case it is. For me I did want the big white dress I was just massively overthinking it but if you don’t that’s absolutely fine.

So I have a dress – which feels quite crazy and somehow has set in reality that I’m actually going to be a bride this year. In the weeks following it I’ve well and truly got past the blocker that was the dress. I’ve finished my invite designs, ordered them to be printed, got a short list of bridesmaids dresses & have plans for the rest of the year.


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