Happy Friday people! I hope you enjoyed my first tentative steps towards telling our wedding story; next stop – The dress hunt!
After the tears of joy, the calling everyone we knew and the general “oh my god-ing” after Gareth popped the question, the first thing on my agenda was the dress! The very next day at work I was logging onto my computer and typing ‘wedding dresses‘ into Google.
At the beginning this will be a very daunting task. There are a million and one dress designers out there and a hundred billion squillion dresses to choose from. Now, I’m not going to write an article telling you that you need to order your dress 6 months before your wedding, or that you need to take into account that your dress will set the tone for the whole day blah blah blah – as you can go and find all that boring information on every other wedding planning website. What I’m aiming to do is pass on a few things I learnt from my own dress buying experience:
The boring bit is the budget, but you really do need to work out how much you have to spend before you fall in love with a custom made Vera Wang that you just can’t afford. However saying that, and this is something I heavily promote on RnR Bride (and actually in my everyday life!) if you want something that badly there is always a way; does that make me sound like a spoilt brat? I hope not because what I mean is, if you were totally in love with “that” dress, you could always get a similar design made for example.
Look at as many dresses as you can (online, in magazines or in store) to get an idea of the styles you like, however – and this is the important part – do not rule anything out and try loads on! I was adamant from the beginning that I didnâ’t want a strapless dress. I was under the impression that big boobs + strapless = disaster. Yet when I found out that dresses with straps/sleeves were rarer than I first thought (this was 2 years ago mind, fashions have now changed and strapped/sleeved dresses are a lot easier to find – I was just so ahead of the times!) I was forced to try on some strapless styles, and what do you know, some of them actually looked pretty good!
Despite what Sex and the City or Friends may tell you, buying off the rack is not a cardinal sin. If you order a dress through a good bridal shop they will still alter it to fit you.
Think outside the box – Monsoon do an awesome and affordable range of wedding dresses, and Oxfam and Barnardos have specialist wedding dress shops stocking second hand dresses. We actually went to a friend’s wedding last October and she got her dress from Barnardos, it was so gorgeous!
Don’t feel like a terrible bride if you don’t instantly know your dress is the ‘one’. I first tried it on in a bridal shop in London with my maid of honour, Carly. It wasn’t a magical “oh my god this is my dress!” It was more like “hum…well this is the first dress I didn’t absolutely hate” I found it really difficult to make a final decision on the dress, and my mind was only made up when the woman in the shop said my other choice of dress was a much more popular style, and that they don’t sell many of ‘my’ dress it made the decision for me! There was no way I wanted something the same as everybody else!
Similarly, don’t feel cheated if your Mum/maid of honour/the lady in the shop doesn’t cry. No one cried at me when I put a dress on – but on the day they all really let it all go, and that’s what counts!
Customise! – This is your dress; decorate it (and yourself) how you want! I’m talking neon pink earrings, bunny ears and converse trainers (or whatever floats your boat!) don’t be a ‘typical’ or ‘classic’ bride…how very boring.
If you are going for a ‘traditional-esque’ wedding dress – and by that I mean a dress you would buy in a wedding dress shop, as apposed to something completely unbridal, I would highly recommend buying it from a reputable bridal store or getting it made by a seamstress that you have met face to face. What I’m saying is, if your dream dress is £1000 in the shop and only £100 on mycheapweddingdress.com there is probably a reason for it. Think cheap copies made of cheap material by cheap labour. Not nice.
Finally, and if you take nothing else away from my rambling, take away this – it is your dress… and probably the most important dress you will ever wear in your life (well, as important as any dress can be!). If you don’t like what you see in the mirror when you’ve got that white dress on then walk away from the bridal shop and straight into your favourite boutique/charity shop/high street shop. I can not even begin to describe some of the amazing, weird and wonderful wedding dresses I’ve featured over at Rock’n Roll Bride – some of them have to be seen to be believed! Just wear what you want – It is your day after all!
Feeling uninspired? Come check out some of my favourite wedding Rock n Roll dresses that I’ve featured recently.