Wedding dress · Wedding dress stress · Wedding fashion

Finding the one – 41 weeks to go

Code white people, code white – this is not a drill. I Found the Gown! I said Yes to the Dress! I…have already run out of American TV shows to reference the fact I have My Wedding Dress. That’s right, I found it this very weekend, a mere two weeks after throwing a hissy fit of epic proportions about not finding anything I liked. It’s just like when I was a teenager and stropped around the house because I couldn’t find anything to wear, then five minutes later found a pair of jeans (yes, I used to wear jeans) that I’d forgotten all about at the back of the wardrobe. Or earlier this week when I was off to a conference and stropped around the house because I couldn’t find anything to wear, then five minutes later found a red and black polka dot dress I’d forgotten all about at the back of the wardrobe… how times change, eh?

Before I go any further, speaking of my epic wedding dress-related hissy fit, I would like to thank the wonderful, wonderful ladies who reassured me that I wasn’t alone in finding dress shopping stressful, that I would find something I loved (and even if I didn’t, that was ok) and generally made me feel so much better about it. You girls are fab, and also ace.

My Dress is from Shades of White in St.Ives (the one in Cambridgeshire, we didn’t pop down to Cornwall for the day), where some of the nicest people in the known universe work. And I’m not just saying that because they saved me from a very, very embarassing situation (more on that presently). They were friendly, listened to what I wanted, made suggestions (but didn’t get at all offended if I said no), and made me feel like the most gorgeous girl on the planet (something that has hitherto only happened at Dollie Mixtures, a beauty salon in Hitchin), despite the fact the dresses I was trying on were two sizes to small. And when they said they’d stand behind me and pull the waist in, they did it properly. Oh, it was a joy.

So, what happened when I met My Dress. It wasn’t looking good; after trying on one with tonnes of lace that made me look like I was hiding in a net curtain, a mermaid style that made me feel like I was in my Lovely Mum’s dressing up box again (ie small and a bit chubby) and one with a bardot neckline, which had the curious effect of making me look sort of…square, I was feeling a bit disheartened. Then, I tried on a dress that looked a bit like one I tried on a few weeks ago, and teetered on the brink of falling in love with it. “But can it have sleeves?” I asked (my familiar refrain). “Of course!” they cried, and ran me through some options, which I rather liked. This dress was the favourite to win, but I was still on the fence, and asked to see a Maggie Sottero I had my eye on. While that was being fetched, I was handed a bolero to try on, and I knew (a bit like when I nearly knocked over my coffee the second time The Boy and I met up, and I knew I really, really, really fancied him). It was My Dress. The Maggie Sottero perched on a hanger in the dressing room for a while, then made its way sadly back to its rack.

No, I didn’t cry (but I didn’t cry when The Boy proposed either, something he still feels shortchanged about). I think I’m one of those people who only tends to cry when I’m sad (yes, this extends to Doctor Who episodes). And at cute puppy videos on YouTube. My Lovely Mum cried, but whether it was out of joy or sheer relief that she doesn’t have to watch me try on any more dresses, I still can’t be sure.

I knew it was the one for me when I didn’t want to try anything else on, and couldn’t stop looking at myself in the mirror (something that I’ve really not been that keen on in previous dresses). It’s what I thought I wanted, but at the same time completely different. I don’t want to spoil the surprise (so much so I’m considering a social media ban when it comes to dress photos during our wedding. I like being the centre of attention and don’t want the evening guests to have seen the dress before they arrive. I know, I’m high maintenance. And a bit of a twat. But hey, at least I embrace it, right?).

I know The Boy is an avid reader of this blog (because I make him), so I will simply say it’s a Justin Alexander dress and I never, ever wanted to take it off. Despite the fact it wouldn’t do up, and wearing it outside the shop would have involved flashing my stomach-holding-in pants to anyone unfortunate enough to walk behind me.

Which leads me to my embarrassing situation. When the assistant finally dragged me out of My Dress, I went to put my (boring) normal clothes on, and discovered that in all my excitement, I’d broken the zip on the dress I’d been wearing when I walked in. Completely broken it – I couldn’t do it up, my sister couldn’t do it up, my auntie offered me a safety pin from her bag (on an unrelated note, how organised is my auntie?!) and I considered asking the shop if I could borrow one of their changing room curtains to fashion into some sort of toga. Just before I could freak out about getting to my car without flashing the good people of St.Ives, the assistant took the dress to the shop’s seamstress, who fixed the zip in about five minutes flat – see, some of the nicest people in the known universe. And I am a clumsy, clumsy fool.

And now I’ve got the dress (well, I will have in a mere five months), there’s not much else to do for this wedding, right?


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