No not the man in your life, if you’re reading this you have probably already found him. I’m talking about the dress.
The glue that binds the fairytale together, the icing on the cake, the cherry on top. You get the idea, the dress is important.
It’s the best kept secret of the wedding, everyone wants to know what the bride will be wearing and when you walk down that aisle, the guests aren’t looking at the flowers or your nails, so it has to be right, but how can you be sure?
During my search for ‘the one’ I stumbled upon countless dresses that offered real potential, dresses that I loved, that were flattering, dresses that I stood in for what felt like hours, just admiring, but dresses that I was also more than happy to leave behind.
Another bride-to-be told me to give up on searching for ‘the one’, she said the tears and emotions you see in the movies just doesn’t happen and that you have to get the dress you like and which is best for you.
So, if that is true, why couldn’t I commit to the beautiful dresses I had already tried? They were perfect, they fit all the criteria but I just couldn’t say yes.
Can I ask you a question now, did you give up searching for the one? Is the man your marrying second best? I doubt it, so why should you give up on finding the dress of your dreams.
I continued my search and it took me to London, granted dress shopping on a hangover is never a good idea (tip number 1) and the morning appointment saw me standing on a box in Harrods wearing what can only be described as a tent, joyfully exclaiming ‘It’s perfect, it has pockets’. The wedding party, both eager to please and hideously hungover agreed and the tent was on the list of top 3 dresses. But as the shop assistant pushed for a follow up appointment that niggling feeling returned and doubt creeped into my mind. We left the shop empty handed.
There was something about my next appointment, I’d researched the designers I liked and found the stores that stocked them (tip number 2) and many of the designers led to one store, Blackburn Bridal. It was a bit of a treck there, but it gave us the opportunity to burn off the hangovers and as we sat in a tiny vintage cafe in the bright sunshine something fizzled inside. I tried to suppress the feeling through fear of disappointment but on entering the store it just heightened.
My mum, my best friend Amy and I browsed the dresses, dismissing some shortlisting others.
With five dresses already tried on and no dress found I was no longer hopeful of finding ‘the one’ more finding ‘the one that will do’.
Six down and that was it, the search had to continue but little did I know that the shop assistant was listening closely to every grumble I had about the dresses, from the ‘it’s too baggy here’ to the ‘I want my boobs to look bigger’ and she had, in her mind, found a potential alternative.
So, she arrived at the dressing room curtain clinging a dress that just half an hour ago we’d dismissed for having an ‘ugly belt’.
As the zipper was undone and I stepped inside, feeling the satin on my legs, that feeling came back, the flutter in my stomach but this time it was overwhelming. I hadn’t even looked in the mirror but this dress just felt right.
A nervous giggle escaped my lips as I opened the curtains of the dressing room to hollywood-style shreaks and tears, so loud that the shops other assistant came bowling up the stairs not wanting to miss the moment.
One thing you should know about me is that I don’t tend to get emotional about clothes or material things and my bridesmaid Amy is almost cold-hearted. I’ve hardly ever, in fact never seen tears escape her eyes in the many years i have known her.
So, this dress is and was without a doubt ‘the one’.
So my advice for you in finding your perfect match:
-Find the designers you like then search for a shop that stocks them, it narrows down visits to stores which don’t stock styles you like.
– Yes, you should try different styles but don’t lose sight of what suites you.
– Don’t go dress shopping on a hangover.
– Although it’s great to take pictures of your dress, surf on the memory of the feeling. I had a turbulent time with my dress and pictures never did it justice so made it all the more difficult to remember the love I felt for it.
– Most importantly, trust your instincts.
Here is my dream dress…
And some inspiration for you…