Hooray, it’s nearly the weekend and as this post reaches you I will be watching one of my bestest friends (and one of my two bridesmaids) Amy tie the knot to her lovely other half Noel. I bought myself little pack of Cath Kidston tissues as I know the tears will be flowing (yes that’s right, I’m afraid I’m a crier!), especially if her hen do in Oxford a few months back is anything to go by!
When we left off last time I’d told you all about our venue, photographer, videographer and wedding rings as some of the first and most important things we had ticked off the mammoth wedding to-do list.
Since then we’ve ticked off a couple more items, including one that is pretty darn important – the question of what I’m going to wear!
I looked through A LOT of wedding magazines, probably too many if I’m being honest. It was all the excitement of just being engaged and not really having any clue what I was doing or where to start with wedding planning (I still don’t really know what I’m doing half the time!). I didn’t know that there are literally thousands of different dresses out there until I picked up those first few magazines and started trying to work out what I liked.
That was easier said than done, as I was drawn to different features from different dresses but couldn’t find anything that seemed to “have it all”. But I was pretty sure of what I didn’t want, and when I went to go and try on some wedding dresses for the first time with my mum I went with the list of what I didn’t want firmly in my head.
From A Bit Meh, Really…
My first dress trying experience wasn’t exactly a nightmare but it didn’t exactly fill me with excitement either. The shop was small and had a reasonable selection of dresses, but when we arrived the lady in the shop told me to pick out 4 dresses that I would be able to try during the appointment. As it was my first dress shop I assumed this was pretty normal and got on with choosing. Everything I picked out was quite similar, except for one princess style dress with a mahoosive skirt and lots of layers (an attempt to satisfy my Disney addiction!). I walked out of the (really quite cramped) changing room feeling incredibly self conscious and also really uncomfortable and restricted. I felt huge, awkward and clumsy in all four dresses and although one of them stood out as looking better than the others it was still just a bit…well “meh” really.
…To Totally Amazing!
After that I stopped looking at wedding dresses and focussed on other things for a few months, until I met a lovely lady called Lisa at the same little wedding fair where we found our photographer. After chatting to Lisa about different styles of dresses I started to get excited again, and decided to book an appointment at Anya Bridal Couture.
So back in January I invited my best girlies along to the appointment, and I can honestly say it was one of the best bits of wedding planning so far! It was so much fun, and that is completely down to finding a bridal boutique that made it that way!
We had a two hour appointment, where we had the beautiful barn boutique in the middle of the countryside all to ourselves, and the whole experience was amazing! When we arrived there was a lovely welcome message on a heart-shaped chalkboard, and I was handed a little basket of cute heart shaped pegs and was told to peg the dresses I wanted to try.
Here are some photos of the barn, taken by our photographer Beki Young, who also happens to be really good friends with Lisa from Anya Bridal Couture! It’s so so lovely that I just wish I could go and play in there at weekends – heaven!
This time I went with much more of an open mind, and decided to try on some really different styles to see what suited me. I let my friends and sister peg a few for me too to make sure I had a good selection! One style that I thought would look horrid on me because of my hips (which I hate) was a soft, flowing Grecian looking beauty. I stepped out expecting to be horrified and was actually surprised to see it looked good! Before you get too carried away, that wasn’t THE dress. Although it was beautiful, I just didn’t really feel like a bride in it – but it would be my top pick if I was being whisked away to marry on a tropical beach somewhere!
Happily, I did find MY dress on that visit. It was the one pegged by my friend Amy which I had just breezed past without a second look! Now, my fiancé does actually read these posts, so I’m afraid I can’t reveal much information, apart from the fact that it is the most amazing thing I have ever worn! I felt like me, and was comfortable and could move in it easily (despite it being a size too small!) and I actually like the way my figure looks in it. OK I’m just going to come right out and say it – I look bloody brilliant in it!
Another thing I’m happy to reveal is that it’s also something I would have completely ruled out had I seen it in a magazine in those early stages of planning, and it even combines some of the things I that was adamant I didn’t want. I wanted to order it back in January but so Lisa knew which length I would need, I had to have my shoes.
Shoes Made For Me?
Fortunately for me, I won an employee of the month type thing at work – which bagged me a £25 John Lewis voucher. I put my voucher to good use and bought myself a beautiful pair of Rainbow Club shoes that share my full name (almost, if you substitute the “e” in the middle with an “a”)!
Here they are, Katherine by Rainbow Club (they do also make a style called “Kitty” but they weren’t as pretty!)
They’re quite high, but surprisingly comfortable, and in June I went back to Anya Bridal Couture to try them with my dress. I’m going to confess that I did also try on some more dresses, this time in the same sort of style as my dress, just to compare them with my dress to make sure that I was making the right choice.
It was still perfection, and happily my dress is now ordered and due to arrive in October – hooray!
The Search For THE Dress
So now I’m going to round off this post by going back to my friend Amy who, by the time you’ve read this far, will now be Mrs Goodwin! When Amy was looking for her wedding dress, she did know what she wanted. She walked in to one bridal shop with her mum, tried on one dress in the style she had in her mind and it was perfect for her. She ordered it right then and there, and as far as I’m aware has not had a dress wobble since.
We both had different experiences when searching for our perfect dresses, but the important thing is that we have both found them!
I’m sorry for the wordy post – I’ll make sure I get more visual things for your eyes to enjoy next time, but I thought that dresses, something that a lot of brides care about most (besides their groom of course), deserved a bit more attention!
Just for fun and some more photos, here’s the afternoon tea at Lilly’s in Wickham that we munched on in celebration after my dress was ordered!
Is anyone still looking for their perfect dress? Has anyone else had a simple search like my friend Amy, or has it been a bit trickier? Let’s talk dresses!
P.S. As I’m celebrating at Amy’s wedding today I will be a bit slow initially on the comment front, but will definitely be checking in and replying tomorrow!