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Paddy & Debs: The Dress Hunt.

So, we’re getting married *hurrah*. I’m probably going to need a new dress…

There are a few types of brides-to-be I’ve found; those who know exactly what kind of dress they want, those who think they do but end up with something completely different, and those who have no idea where to start. I’m firmly in the latter camp. I could captain that team, which probably causes a headache for the ever patient assistants in dress shops, whose fixed smiles never seem to fade. God bless them.

Until recently I couldn’t tell you what ‘shape’ I am. There seem to be endless guides online with suggestions on what silhouette would suit particular styles so I genuinely thought that dress shopping would have been easy once I’d found a couple I liked. Paddy politely told me he thought I was ‘hour-glass’ and you know what, he’s right. I’m curvy. Significantly curvier than I was before I moved in with him too.


For the hours of trawling online, I wasn’t getting anywhere with finding a style I thought I would be able to pull off so ditched the online stores and went to my local-ish dress shop armed only with the opinions of my Mum and my most wonderful Nanna. No pre-conceived ideas, no clue what to do and very certainly wearing the wrong kind of underwear. Note to others: wear good pants and a strapless bra.

I tried every style on in the shop and I honestly felt that I could have worn any of them and been quite content. That was however until the lady in the shop asked me if there was something that I wasn’t quite sure about and asked that perhaps if I thought about some of the dresses in a different colour would that change my mind about how I felt about them? Yes. Yes it did.

I found that some of the dresses could, if they were in green or blue, have easily been gorgeous bridesmaids or ball gowns. That was it. As soon as I’d heard that and considered the ‘bridesmaid dress test’ I discounted loads straight away even though they were very beautiful and I wanted them all.

My next outing was with my Mum-in-law-to-be, very wonderful Sue. We had a spare afternoon and decided to pop into the local store on a whim and I was so glad that we did. It was really lovely having Sue with me, and her reaction to the style of dress that I’m now completely in love with was exactly what I needed to convince myself that I’d made the right decision discounting the others.

Surprisingly, what really made the decision was the veil. I had never thought that I’d have one or some sparkly accessories pinned in my hair, but it really does change the way the dress looks.

I had to try to work out what would work with the venue and the entertainment and not cause me to fall over. I’m having a bit of trouble with super high heels at the moment, so that plus a train may be a bit of a disaster, but as Paddy is 6’6’, and I’m only 5’5, I’m going to need some height from heels, or an old-school yellow pages.

For ages, I couldn’t get over the issue of a long dress with a train with our venue, but I’m very lucky to have dressmaker extraordinaire, Janis, at the end of the phone. My Mum’s cousin has been making the most beautiful dresses for years and has so very kindly come to my rescue. All of the issues that I was considering can be fixed if it’s designed and made as a bespoke dress (oh yes!) and how lovely to have someone in the family to make it for me. I’m really quite excited about this, and I’m thrilled that Janis has been so very kind and offered to make it. It’s going to be a lot of fun picking the fabric, design and all the little details. Apparently I am a bit girly after all, fancy that.

I love the thought of lace, and some beading, but nothing too ‘blingy’, but I have quite simple (traditional?) tastes and anything too flashy, alternative or difficult will not work with me. I’m fine with not knowing who the trendiest designers are, what’s fashionable or what you *must* have this season, which I think has made dress shopping easier. I guess the most important thing is that I’m comfortable, look like the bride and feel super special, which I’m sure will be the case.

After the dress is decided upon, the next thing to consider will be the hair décor and jewellery. I’ve seen some gorgeous pieces by local milliner Kate Jones at Milliflorae who recently made Swarovski headpieces for TOWIE’s Leah Wrights’ bridesmaids, but also makes the most amazing designs of hats and tiaras. Super talented!

So, that’s us for this month. Paddy has been banished from the pages as he wants to keep this dress stuff all a surprise, but he’ll be back next month when we’ll hopefully be formally introducing you to the newest member of our family, little Roo…


When trying on dresses the first time, I overheard Mum saying to Nanna, “I never thought she’d…wear a dress like this”, when actually she was probably going to finish the sentence with “ever be getting married”.

Me neither, Mum, but here we are!

Much love,


Author: Fern Godfrey
Fern spends most of her time dreaming about weddings and trying to convince her long-suffering boyfriend to propose. Lucky enough to live in sunny Cornwall, if you need her – you’ll find her at beach.

10 thoughts on “Paddy & Debs: The Dress Hunt.

  1. Yay for dresses, one of my most favourite material things! I too am going down the bespoke dress route – can’t wait to compare notes with you!! I so enjoyed the bridal boutique experiences I had though, and trying on ALL the different styles xx

  2. Thank you for keeping me guessing! It’s one of the few surprises I’m going to get come August and I honestly cannot wait for that first glace up the aisle as you come gliding down, and seeing how beautiful you’ll look.

    (sorry soppy bit done)

  3. Ohhhh such a gorgeous selection of dresses there Debs. Can’t wait to see what you go for.

    I love the idea of a bespoke dress – surely there’s no better feeling than wearing a gown that has been entirely created for you?!? It will fit beautifully as well.

    And how adorable is Roo, there better be more photos next month…

    Fern x

    1. Never in a million years did I think that I’d have a bespoke dress, but it is exciting being able to design it with Janis.

      We’ll get more Roo pics when we pick her up, only 3 weeks to go!

  4. My favourite part during Wedding planning was definitely Wedding dress shopping, wish I could go through all that bit again, so jealous! Enjoy designing your own dress, very exciting!

    PS My dress is actually in your photos above, its the one that is 2nd row from the bottom, the one in the middle and made me feel like an actual Princess! 🙂

  5. I love that your getting a bespoke gown made, I really love the idea and have been considering it for my dress so can’t wait to hear more about it and see the end result! I also have serious puppy envy!! xx

    1. Thanks Sarah, I’m pretty excited too,. It’s well worth considering it, if you can find someone who’ll be able to do it.

      When are you getting married?

      There are a couple of pups left … Do it!

  6. Oh Debs… If I’ve taught you nothing, at the very least it was to wear a strapless bra when you’re wedding dress shopping!

    I can’t wait to see what you’re wearing. No doubt it’ll be stunning… Dress up Debs is my fave. Like the old days in Diane’s office! xx

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