Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

The Stylist wedding blog: she said yes to the dress


Finding the perfect wedding dress can be emotional, exciting and equally frustrating. It will probably be one of the most important fashion decisions of your life so far. Make it a good one. 

“So, are you having a black wedding dress then?” This is the question I have been asked the most since I’ve been engaged. To put this in to context for you, I only wear black in normal life. The change came about a year ago when I decided that a phase I had been going through of wearing floral print skirts was just not working out for me any more. I needed to go back to my true gothic roots. Also, it’s pretty much impossible to look bad in black. It’s chic, authoritative and timeless, but for a wedding dress…?

Miss Havisham wedding dress

Not even Miss Havisham wore a black wedding dress

A colleague of mine wears clogs and a top that says ‘bacon’ on it (it’s ironic, she’s vegan) to work on a regular basis. Does it mean she will be wearing said bacon top and clogs on her wedding day? Probably not. So no, I wont be wearing black on my wedding day.

I’ve learnt during this process that nothing relating to your normal life applies in a wedding scenario in any way shape or form – £700 for heating in a marquee? Sure! Where do I sign?

I have to say though that, luckily, my search for a wedding dress has been relatively easy. I came across a website called Beyond Bridal before I even got engaged (I know, I know, but a girl can dream, can’t she?). One dress stood out in particular to me, but you can never tell what a dress is like until it’s on you. My maid of honour arranged a consultation with the owner Belinda (who worked as Vivienne Westwood’s specialist corsetiere for over two decades) and in the afternoon organised a dress fitting at a generic wedding dress shop, mainly so we could pretend we were in the film Bridesmaids.


Hoping our dress fitting experience wouldn't end in the same way...

My bridesmaids and I rocked up to the first dress fitting with Belinda and the whole experience from start to finish was excellent and so personal. I tried on three sample dresses and to be honest I really liked all of them. They all suited my figure well and were beautifully made, but when I tried the second one on and my maid of honour cried before I’d even had a chance to look in the mirror – I knew it was the one.

Beyond Bridal Alice Dress

This is not my dress, but the Helena dress from the Beyond Bridal wedding bridal collection

Even though I knew I had found the dress, it all seemed too easy, so we went to the second appointment at the generic bridal shop, ‘just in case’.

I cannot tell you how awful it was. I wish we had never gone. It was like a horrific wedding factory with conveyor belts of worn-out wedding dresses that looked like sad ghosts who somehow knew they would never be part of anyone’s big day.


The sad soulless ghosts of the wedding dresses never able to fulfil their purpose

I picked out six dresses in total and every time I stepped out from behind the curtain I was met with a chorus of blunt ‘no’s' from the bridesmaids. See for yourself, my face says it all. We were chucked out at 5.30pm after just half an hour as the store was closing, despite having paid £25 for the privilege.

bad dress 1

My face says it all...

bad dress 3

If you know me, you'll know this is not for me AT ALL

bad dress 4

Clearly not impressed

Thank GOD we had had the personalised experience at Belinda’s earlier that day. I felt despair, not for myself, but for all other brides who would have to endure this gross soulless experience.

Next week, to try and make it a bit easier for you, I’m giving my rundown of the best alternative bridal shops.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please post your comments below, or on Twitter @stylistmagazine and @natashatomalin, using the hashtag #Stylistweddingblog. 



The Stylist wedding blog: superstition and its sexist undertones


The Stylist wedding blog: the top 10 alternative wedding photographers


H&M announce new collection of beautiful and ethical wedding gowns


The Stylist wedding blog: the ups and downs of finding the right venue


The Stylist wedding blog: bad photography can ruin your day


The top 10 gothic romantic wedding venues in the UK


Beautiful, affordable wedding dresses: Jenny Packham's new collection


The Stylist wedding blog: welcome to my gothic romantic vision


The alarming reason bridesmaids traditionally wear matching dresses



Sarah Jessica Parker unveils her debut jewellery collection

The real-life Carrie Bradshaw designed the pieces herself

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Oct 2016

Whistles is launching a wedding dress collection

And they're all under £699

by Amy Swales
27 Oct 2016

Daily outfit inspiration with our look at the best dressed A-listers

Casual dressing ideas from stylish celebrities

27 Oct 2016

Say hello to succulent manicures: actual tiny plants as nail art

No, really

by Amy Swales
26 Oct 2016

The 2016 Fashion Awards nominations have been announced

... and supermodel sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid will compete for model of the year

by Harriet Hall
26 Oct 2016

Feast your eyes on the new Alexa Chung M&S Archive collection

Get ready to want it all.

by Alexandra Fullerton
26 Oct 2016

The surprising Zara item that is selling out across the globe

It can be yours for just £59

by Sarah Biddlecombe
25 Oct 2016

This clothing range is designed to raise awareness of mental illness

“It’s not a delusion, you are incredible”

by Amy Swales
24 Oct 2016

The Met Gala 2017 theme will bring some serious high-fashion weirdness

Katy Perry and Pharrell Williams are set to host the fashion world’s biggest party.

by Moya Crockett
24 Oct 2016

In memory of Richard Nicoll, one of fashion's brightest talents

by Alexandra Fullerton
22 Oct 2016