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…?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.