Wedding dress shopping

Slightly epic post today about my month-long search for The One, no, not The Boy I would spend the rest of my days with, but the dress I would wear for 12 hours (but love every minute of). I booked myself into 4 wedding dress shops in the local area, 4 Saturdays varying support along for the ride, easy right?

I knew what I didn’t want, not strap-less, not one shoulder, not a big fan of lace up backs, should be ivory, I was open to suggestions.

Dress shop no.1 small town, small shop, left alone to put tags on the dresses I liked the look of, advised to find around 5 or 6 and then try them all on. This was perfect as a first visit as it was used to get a feel for what suited me, but there was little advice from the shop staff so I might have been a little disappointed had this been further down the line. The choice was limited but me and mum came away with one for the short list and it felt like a positive start.

Dress shop no.2 next small town along, very small shop, worried I might set fire to myself on the small electric heater next to the changing area. We filled the shop, me, mum, future mum-in-law, 2 bridesmaids and the 6 month old angel of bridesmaid #1. They made me try on a million dresses! I got dress fatigue, but it was great fun and there were a few contenders for the next round, some were strap-less and would have to be altered to have something round the shoulders and I was unsure as to how an altered dress would look.

Dress shop no.3 nearest city, well-known boutique, offered a cup of tea and my helpers got a seat, I had a larger dress area and assistance getting in and out. Slightly perturbed by one of the first questions being; “What is your price range”? Not the most inappropriate thing to ask as they had quite a selection but it would have been nice to browse more rather than being thrust the appropriately priced gowns. Mum and bridesmaid with baby were poorly and the weather was snowy and miserable outside but bridesmaid #2 and mum-in-law soldiered on despite being told off for taking a picture for those absent. Some contenders, more choice, less of an army of strap-less dresses and more of a variety of styles which gave me lots to think about, a beautiful plain satin number particularly caught my eye.

Dress shop no.4 same city, beautiful and warm and welcoming inside, I had my own runway and large dressing area, drinks and sofa for the ladies. An unusual choice from bridesmaid #2 left me in a dilemma up against a dress I had tried on in shop no.1 which was now a serious contender. They were completely different, one lacy the other frilly and modern and suited my straightened hair on the day, how would they suit the venue and the feel of the day and did I see myself in either of them? Yes and no, I liked them both but wasn’t I meant to burst into tears when I found The One?

There had been a dress in a magazine that I thought could be a winner so with that still at the back of my mind I found the closest stockist and made an appointment for the following Saturday in Doncaster. With mum and mum-in-law I clearly had a better idea as to what I wanted because we picked out 3 dresses to try on, much less than the usual 6 or 7. We had the dress from the magazine, a Justin Alexander dress and a lace number. The magazine dress was lovely but didn’t suit to me as I had imagined, the Justin Alexander was beautiful, lace and heavy on detail but also quite heavy so while I was reluctant to take it off I did see myself being uncomfortable in that one. That left the lace Sincerity dress and I didn’t want to take that off, the style suited me, it felt really light and comfortable and my mum cried. I didn’t, but it felt the most right and I was glad I hadn’t jumped with the previous dresses the weekend before. It’s definitely worth investigating that thing that might niggle at you and you wish you’d tried on/been to see/tasted. That’s my dress finding story, anyone want to share theirs, any magical mystery tours and adventures to find The One? Has anyone opted to have a dress altered or even designed their own?

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