What Alex Did……. Dress Becomes Her

Good afternoon people,

Adam here, just to say its a monumental day at RMW Towers as we welcome the first of our new Real Brides to these spotty pages – take it away Alex you modern elegant thing you…

Modern Elegance

Hello you lovely lovely bunch *waves*! I am so excited to be writing my first post and I apologise in advance for any absurd rambling and for the excessive exclamation marks I will probably use. I also am liable to use lengthy sentences and Yorkshire terminology, because that is where I am from you see.

I may as well start by sharing with you the massive trauma I have just been through, caused by trying to find my dream dress (I may potentially be being a tad dramarama from here).

I started off by making three appointments at lovely bridal shops, varying in size and dress designers. I was hoping that within these appointments I would find the holy grail of wedding frocks and I would skip home pleased as punch with myself that I found it so swiftly and stress freely. I wanted lace, I wanted sleeves, I wanted slinky sassy skirt and another look for the evening. That’s not really how it panned out to be honest and I ended up with a second lot of appointments.

52 Dresses

By now I seem to have gained a very un-nerving sense of ‘comfortability’ (I’m pretty sure that’s not a word) at whipping my kecks off in front of new people (and getting over some of my body hang ups in the process). Anyway, moving swiftly on, I soon realised that I was not one of the lucky ones who tries on a gown and just immediately realises it’s ‘the one’. I am more the sort of girl who will try on a lot of dresses (ahem, 52 to be exact) and find “the ones”. Yes, turns out I am pretty fickle when it comes to gorgeous gowns, and lordy were there some gorgeous ones.

I will henceforth share with you a list of designers whose dresses I tried on and deliberated over in turn. I started with Stewart Parvin, followed by Blue by Enzoani, Charlotte Balbier, Dizzy Lizzy, Essense, Augusta Jones, Chanticleer, Paloma Blanca, Veromia, Maggie Sottero, and a few that the shops had designed. Then it happened. No I still didn’t find ‘the one’, but I did find the designer who was going to make ‘the one’.One of the boutiques I visited had a Suzanne Neville dress, now I had never ventured into Suzanne Neville stockists as I always assumed they would be way out of my price range (yes I tried on some Stewie P’s, but that was more for funsies). So I bobbed on the dress I saw hiding in the background, and immediately felt a bit special. It was the way the dress pulled me into a glam looking egg timer is what did it for me more than anything. It was after I had decided I needed me some more of these dresses that the kind lady told me who the designer was; and that she only had that one in stock and how eye wateringly much it was over my blimming budget!!

So I left the shop with me mum, feeling a whole mixture of emotions really. I was so excited I had found a designer who would no doubt have lots more dresses I would love, and dresses that would really suit my figure. On the other hand there were my issues with the budget that I wanted to stick to.

My budget really was an issue because that first Suzanne Neville I tried was so much more than I had wanted to spend on a dress, or say a second car! I am very careful with my money and panic about spending it because for a long long time I had none, zilch, nada. So whilst it is completely each bride’s choice how much to spend on their dress, I personally had extreme anxieties about the cost spiralling out of control. It didn’t help that it was the one dress my mum bawled like a baby at, which was what I had wanted all along and hadn’t achieved with the other dresses.

So, I got home and it was really big thinking cap time. I chatted to Mr M at length about it, who was always all for me getting the dress I wanted regardless of cost. I then had a little chat with chocolate bear too cos you know, she always helps me with big decisions whilst we are out walking (erm, yes this is my dog but she is wise beyond her years).

Road Trip

I decided to email the Suzanne Neville website and see when I would be able to get an appointment at their Cheshire store (a store not too far from us was clearly a sign from beyond that I needed one of her dresses). Two days later I ended up in her boutique, glass of champagne in hand sifting through a gorgeous lot of dresses! My mum and sister came along for the day as we love a good road trip and day out – just us three. It was such an amazing experience, having the entire store exclusively for you, having a bottle of champagne (yes a full one, yes there was a tipsy mum and sister) and such lovely ladies to put you at ease every step of the way.

Now I don’t know if this happens to everyone, but I still didn’t get that “the one” feeling, and I don’t know if I ever would. But you can only look at so many dresses before they merge into one big white haze. And I knew I wanted to stop obsessively looking at dresses and just get one and be done with it. I knew I had found the designer that would really accentuate my curves in all the right places and make me feel really bride like. So I knew I wasn’t leaving the shop without one, it was just a case of trying to pick which one I liked best. It came down to two dresses, and in the end we decided to mix the two together with a bit from a third one thrown in for good measure. And there it was my dress…in my head of course because it wasn’t actually just one dress just yet. I get to go back and have Suzanne herself fit my toile, nip tuck and pin me in right good to get that egg timer look I love. And then presto it should be ready a few weeks after that.

It did end up being even more than the price I had in mind, which meant the champagne definitely helped me out, but in the end it’s only money. Money Mr M and I have worked hard for and can save up again when we need to. And yes, I didn’t want to be someone who spends that much on a dress, but I didn’t set out to. I just found dress shopping really difficult and probably tried too many on and lost too much sleep and was just glad to find something I knew would be perfect on the day.

By Terry

I also found out in that same lovely day in Cheshire, that my face practically melts when Darphin cleanser comes near it, even though it was the one for sensitive skin. As soon as the lady in Space NK used it on me my whole face felt as if it was on fire. I sat quietly thinking, this is normal right? It was more my mum and sister falling about laughing and the shop lady getting a bowl of water and cotton wool that gave it away. Lucky for me, the blusher I was buying I had tried on pre face explosion and I knew it was a winner.

My face definitely did NOT warrant blusher on it following the cleanser experience…I had more than a bright red glow already. But I was rather pleased with my NARS purchases, and By Terry which I have never used/heard of before but is rather genioso! It is created by the lady who invented Touch Éclat; she set her own business up. Has anyone used By Terry before, I feel I am rather late to her party?

Just out of interest, did any of you lovelies struggle with the dress or did you find ‘the one’ straight away? Did you end up going massively over your budget or did you stick to your guns?

Anyway, I finish this post with a little picture of me and my wise owl Chocolate bear as I can’t possibly show you a photo of the dress (mainly because it doesn’t exist yet) and because she is a big part of our lives and will be part of yours too during my Real Brides posts.

Lots of love,

Alex (and Chocolate bear) xx

Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

51 thoughts on “What Alex Did……. Dress Becomes Her

  1. Hurrah, Alex! So pleased to see your writing. I didn’t find The One either. I don’t believe in The One, rather a lot of Very Very Lovely Ones, of which you can pick one (or mix n match, as you did). And it sounds like your SN beauty will be captivating!

    And hell yes to the egg timer body. The minute I put a proper designer corset on my mouth dropped open. If I had the discipline I would wear one Every Day. Breathing is overrated.

  2. This really strikes a chord with me. When we first got engaged, I definitely was absolutely happy with spending a minimal amount on a dress, something pretty from the high street and that would be fine. Turns out I have a lot of demons to contend with there. I happened upon a bridal boutique in my hometown and found myself in a beautiful dress by Sottero, seriously weighing up what my priorities were for the big day! Turns out, I wanted to spend a little more…

    To cut a long story short, after 37 dresses, had found maybe 5 that could be The One. My wise Mother cleared up the teary confusion in my mind just the other day, and I managed to make a decision. It might not be The One. It might not even be The Two, but I think I might grow to love it and there’s no doubting it’s a stunning dress.

    I think there’s so much pressure to find The One that we get completely obsessed with waiting for that tingly feeling and tears etc, when we just have to be realistic and understand that we will probably come across many that are very special. We just have to make up our own minds which one we want to spend that special day with. “Just like men”, my Wise Mum said…

  3. I also didn’t find The One (as some of you may know!!) – you aren’t alone Alex!!

    For me, a bit like you, I kept coming back to one designer, and in the end it was the designer that was ‘The One’ as opposed to the dress.

    That said, I’ve just had my final fitting and now, a year after trying on far too many dresses, I can confirm that is The One. There were tears and everything.


  4. Hi Alex – you are not alone!!

    I had a surprisingly similar dress experience to yours. I tried on around 50 dresses by at least 10 different designers. In the end I was so fed up with the stress of not finding the ‘one’ that I went back into Ellie Sanderson’s boutique as I was NOT going to leave without a dress!!! I also went over budget too! But hey what’s money when you can now sleep soundly and stop searching the entire country for the right dress!! I still don’t think that my dress is the ‘one’ but I like it and I’m sure that my H2B will too.

    p.s. I’m loving Chocolate bear!! We have a golden lab called Charlie bear!! Over the past year and half he has put up with all the proposal plans from my partner and dress dilemmas from me – poor thing!! Xx

  5. Oh Alexy, Alexy Alex (as you shall now be known). I am so pleased you have found – or at least shall have – your beautiful dress.

    I found my dress, which still makes mumma go weak at the knees when we talk about it, quite by accident. Also in a blow-the-budget shop and she was tucked away in the back all nearly discontinued, grubby and too small. But I loved her and I *think* she loves me, curvy bits and all.

    Can’t wait to see you and your gorgeous dress.

    Rachel (who also wants a chocolate bear) xxx

  6. Yep I was a 55 dresses girl *rolleyes*. I agree that there are lots of amazing dresses although I only had 2 on my ‘wouldn’t care if I wore either one’ list but mine just pipped it at the final post and it was under budget! Wahoo.

  7. To be honest Alex I never really thought I would find ONE but instead would be torn by different options (never decisive)… because looking around I loved slinky lacy numbers, short 50s and more traditional ball gown styles. But then I went shopping as there was definately one I felt happiest in. I had the BIGGEST SMILE on my face and swishing swishing skirt like a kid. But alas, the dress that I found had a price tag that made me go ‘no way!’ and so the hunt continued for another dress which I liked but could afford. Seems like maybe I had found the one because I kept comparing them to this other one. Fortunately, I was very very lucky because my dress was in the designers sample sale with nearly 70% off… But would I have bought it if it hadnt?!? I still dont know… I was just very lucky I guess.
    Great to hear that you are happy with your decision! 🙂

  8. Glad you finally found your dress. I was the other way really. I got talked into trying dresses on one day when I was just having a little look at the national wedding show. The 3rd dress was the one (my mum was paying for my dress and with all my looking through magazines at dresses I liked she cringed at the price but with this one she said it didn’t matter about price, it was clearly the one) I did then look round the whole rest of the show to see if there was anything else I liked but I compared each and every one to my dress and nothing compared. For me Ian Stuart was “The One” designer, I could wear a different one of his dresses every day and never get bored, but my dress is the one I wanted to spend my big day with 🙂

    Now off to have a look at By Terry 😀

  9. Oh and my dress was about twice what my mum originally said was the budget. It’s only money, you can’t take it with you when you go 😉

  10. Hello Alex – great post! Really looking forward to hearing all your updates and seeing more of chocolate bear who is well cute!

    I can totally understand your fickle feelings. I was so gutted that I hadn’t felt an overwhelming pull to one particular dress that i’d tried on (they all look good right? They’re bloody WEDDINGDRESSES!). SoI had a panic purchase and bought me a frock (in the sale, totally opposite my style and which doesn’t fit) that I now have no love for whatsoever.

    I just feel wrong in it and like a BIG looser for buying it. So I did the wrong thing, and didn’t take my time and really think over what I wanted. So you have inspired me to go out again and look not only at the dresses but at the designers and the bits and bobs of different dresses that I like and go for a dress that I lurve!


  11. I wasn’t expecting t find ‘the one’… to be honest, the whole dress buying experience left me a bit cold (I’m not a particularly excitable person, but I felt sort of duty bound to at least pretend to get a little bit outwardly gushy with the girl in the dress shop, which made me feel a bit silly really!)

    Anyway, I digress: I tried on a load of dresses, my mum cried a little bit at one of them and insisted I bought it, and in spite of it being over budget and me not exactly having a love at first sight moment or anything, in this case mums do know best, as slowly slowly, i grew to love it (and kept sneaking online to look at pictures of it) and I know it was the dress for me

    I’m pretty convinced that the girls who know their dress is ‘the one’ at first glance are fewer and farrer betweener than you’d imagine!

  12. Yeay Alex!! You are my Yorkshire twin I feel. (I’m a Leeds lass born and bred!).
    So glad you eventually found the dress of your dreams! Suzanne Neville is amazing!!
    I actually found my dress relatively easily, a gorgeous Ellis Jessica rabbit dress. However I’ve had a nightmare with aftersales care. The dress arrived, it didn’t fit. Was told it could be let out and not to worry. 7 months later at the first fitting found out it couldn’t be altered (tears). Que drama and diva strop! After a bit of a rant a new one was ordered and arrived a few days later (v stressful!). It is now with the seamstress and I never have to go to that dress shop again! It almost ruined how it felt about the dress (I cried on the phone for hours to my mum). Sorry this has gone a little bit off subject but I can’t be the only one who has had a horrific experience can I?.
    Can’t wait to read more of your posts Alex!!

  13. Great first post, Alex! Can’t wait to hear more about your planning process!

    I am in the midst of hunting for the perfect dress and even having already had ‘the one’ experience I’m still undecided. I’m not sure exactly how many dresses I’ve tried on in total, but I’ve been to Blackburn Bridal, Harrods, Temperley, Sassi Holford, Suzanne Neville, David Fieldan, the Vintage Wedding Dress Company, The Wedding Wardrobe, Jenny Peckhem and Morgan Davies. So, let’s see… trying on an average of 6 dresses at each of these places brings me to an estimated total of 60 dresses! Of these 60, I have cried and squealed with joy over 1, a beautiful, lacey Sassi Holford number. I walked away from the shop so relieved that I’d finally found my dress, but then made the terrible mistake of mulling over the price for a few weeks before commiting to a deposit – cue instant overwhelming feelings of guilt! I’m now convinced that the only way I can justify spending that much is to visit every dress shop in London in order to rule out all other dresses – or, perhaps I will surprise myself and find one that surpasses my lovely Sassi!

    It hasn’t been an easy process, especially for someone as indecisive as me, but it’s good to hear I’m not alone! I hope I’ll manage to stop looking before the whole dress searching process starts to feel like a chore. Anyway, good luck in finding ‘the one’ to those of you who haven’t found it yet – it’s out there somewhere! 🙂

  14. Alex, I read “glam looking egg timer” and promptly spat water over my keyboard. Not good.

    Very excited to see a new, shiny Real Bride and her post and your writing rocks 🙂

    I had the opposite experience to you though, tried on English and Asian wedding dresses and once I’d found mine, I knew immediately that it was indeed ‘The One’ – which is what it was called all the way up to my wedding day. But I know that it could have been so much different and harder and I’m grateful that I got such a fab, easy decision-making experience…and in terms of budget I completely blew mine. But on the day it was so completely worth it. You will look and feel so amazing. Promise.


    PS. I dont have a chocolate bear, but I do have a chunky monkey – dog that is as opposed to actual monkey!

  15. Hi Alex *waves*

    I had exactly the same feelings as you – I tried on a few dresses and am IN LOVE with my vintage number from the lovely ladies at FCNK, but as a regular dress wearer, I appraised the whole experience in the same way as I usually choose clothes: does it suit me? does it flatter? could I *really* wear it all day? etc…there was no bursting into tears and no drama, I just thought “hmm, I like this, it looks good but maybe I’ve got it wrong because there *isn’t* any drama…?!”

    But since then, I’ve worked out that the less drama the better, so it’s all good (I hope…!)

    Hope all your planning is going well – can’t wait to read more! xx

  16. This post is so lovely…. and i had near enough the same experience. I am pretty level headed and thought that people who fell in love with dresses were a little of the crazy sought. So i had my budget in mind and headed to a few of my local boutiques. Didnt find anything there… so then i went to the near by cities and then even to London. I must have tried on at least 60 dresses and everyone had something that wasn’t quite right.

    Then i saw a picture of an Ian Stuart dress in a magazine… i thought it looked qwirky and a little different (2 of my many must haves!). I found out that one of my local boutiques i had been to before actually stocked it. I booked an appointment and to my surprise when i got there and saw the dress hanging up my first reaction was… thats hideous! Anyway my mother insisted i try it on because things always look different on. As im practically naked in the changing room with the assitant helping me into the dress i am looking down at it and still telling my mum that it was too over the top and had too much sparkle… anyway its nearly on now i might aswel show her. The assistant has laced me up good and proper (i can hardly breath at this point) and she opens the curtain to a full wall of mirror.

    I gasp.
    My mum gasps.
    Then i cry.. “its the one”!!!!!!

    Then i look at the price tag.. DOUBLE my budget. I was devastated. i went home trying to justify that amount of money on a dress that i would only wear for one day and it would sit in a box for the rest of its life. I spoke to Mr A and he said i should do what ever makes me happy (safe answer since he knows im a finance freak and getting a good bargain makes me happy). Any way i then decided i could justify the purchace if i sold it after my wedding. And i was happy with this decision because it would make someone else who may not have enough money to buy an Ian Stuart dress, a very happy lady.

    On the actual day of my wedding it rained and rained and rained and rained. I didnt want to stop doing what i wanted to do so i still walked outside and on the grass to have photos taken and things. I new at this point my dress would get totally ruined but i didnt care. Selling it was obvioulsy not an option any more but i was so happy that i felt so good in my dress the money didnt matter any more.

    My advice for any bride to be is just do what you need to do. If you find “the one” you have to get it otherwise you will always be thinking of it and you will not be happy with just a safe option. You will always remember your wedding dress and it will be one of your most important purchases in your life!

    Although my dress whas a lot of money and to be honest we couldnt really afford it, i do not regret one penny of it. I felt so special and so happy.


  17. Lovely post Alex, can’t wait to read more about this wedding (and the dress as it develops!).

    I’m not sure I believe in ‘the one’ either. I dragged my poor sisters (and bridesmaid) round two whole cities worth of dress shops before I concluded that I’d been looking for something that just didn’t exist. There had even been tears from the sisters and that still didn’t do it for me.

    Then, one ridiculously hungover day in Glasgow as I explained to the lovely girl that I was a tad delicate and probably wouldn’t try anything on, that’s when I spotted my dress – totally unlike everything I’d tried on until that point. I tried it on (miracle dress, it provided a momentary hangover cure) and bought it there and then.

    That all may sound very much like I found ‘the one’ but I still have my doubts, I’m just lucky enough to have two sisters to keep slapping me back into place when I go gazing at the Maggie Sottero website (soooo pretty!).

    My latest drama is shoes… oh the shoes!!! xx

  18. Oh dress drama is fun though!
    Alex your dress will be the one and better than that, it will be the only one as yours is custom-made for you!!! How ruddy exciting!!!
    As for me it was all a bit underwhelming, my Mum pulled a weird face and there was no tears. But I know it’s the dress I will wear and I and everyone else will love it!
    But if budget wasn’t an issue I would DEFINITELY want an Oscar De La Renta dress!!!! Oh I would die for one of those!!!! But alas it’s not to be…
    Oh and yes money is just money and no you can’t take it with you. But you also can’t spend it if you haven’t got it, maybe that’s how I stuck to budget, it fact under budget.

  19. Yay Alex – blimmin’ loving Chocolate Bear. Sigh, I need a dog so badly, they’re the best listeners!
    I love reading people’s dress stories. I went vintage, I love it, it is literally an only one (!) but I occasionally get this niggling feeling that I’ve missed out on the boutique/designer experience…..so I shall have to live through others’. I for one cannot WAIT to see your SN BESPOKE wonder…eek, how exciting! x

  20. Alex, your ‘more than I’d want to spend on a second car’ view made me laugh out loud – as I find myself marvelling fairly often that my dress is costing more than my car (please note that I am no ferrari driving moneybags, my car was very very cheap, but still, it’s a bit of a gobsmacker!).

    BUT it’s only just over half the price of my yearly ‘travel on the stinky train and tube’ costs and I figure I’ll get much more enjoyment out of my bee-yoo-tiful dress in a few short hours than I do over several months of having my face jammed in someone’s armpit whilst a smartly dressed businessman ‘accidentally’ rubs up against my leg.

    Whoops, I fear I may have wandered slightly off topic…….

    I’m sure your dress will be worth every penny!

  21. Hi ladies! You all make me feel super special and I am so glad you identify with it.
    And Mrs Brammall eeek your a MRS! Excitement galore here! Hope your day was fantastical!

    I am at work so can’t write too much but thank you so much for all your comments, I will read them to Chocolate bear when I get in, she will love it! xxx

  22. Lovely to have you here Alex!

    I wonder at the true percentage of brides who do actually have a “The One” moment, in the traditional sense. I did fall in love with mine, but I still had moments where I wondered whether I’d made the right decision.

    And I never had the brainmelter of a wedding dress shop experience to boggle my brain with. Surely we’re not mentally wired to look at more than, say 15 white/ivory dresses and be able to make a judgement at one time? Isn’t there some actual scientific rule about buying perfume that says you are only physically able to smell 6 before they all blur into one?


  23. Hi Alex,

    This has really hit a cord with me. I am in the process of buying a dress at the moment. I have found “the one” but it is EIGHT times my budget!!

    I’ll admit, my original budget was low (e300/£250/$400). A few trips to bridal shops and a short, sharp lesson in the facts of married life and the road to getting there, I realised my budget was fine for a nice white cocktail dress, but probably too low for the type of wedding dress I was looking for. So I had a little chat to H2B and the budget went up, (a lot! – e1500/£1300/$2000). But I was thinking “its only money”, “I have it in the budget”, “you can’t take it with you” and hey, “I’m worth it!”. New budget in my sky-rocket I went back to tackle the bridal shops.

    On my return to the bridal shops I had a much better idea of what I was looking for. I wanted a short, 1950’s style, with some lace, but I wanted it to be a new dress – so retro rather than vintage! Unfortunately, despite wearing this style for much of my adult life, it turns out I don’t really have the body for it! In the few designers specialising in these sorts of dresses in Dublin (very few) I was firmly informed that my torso was too short and my legs are too long and my “unfortunately modern” body shape simply didn’t suit vintage styles….. I just had to laugh – or else I would still be crying over the experience.

    So I went home from the second round of bridal visits and again had really drawn a blank! I began to consider getting something made, or even making it myself – but hadn’t really a clue of what to make so I just randomly sketched ideas and absent-mindedly cruised through wedding blogs – a little bit lost in a sea of tulle and silk.

    And then it happened.
    Sitting there is a blog about short dresses was my baby.
    Naomi Neoh’s Camilla.
    It is everything I ever dreamed about.

    A few frantic clicks and one manic phone call later, I had an appointment in their only stocklist in Ireland, located on the other side of the island, who were getting the dress shipped in for me from London. So certain was I that this would be the one, I rang my 4 bridesmaids and my Mum to make sure they could come with me.

    Then, a day later, I thought … “I wonder how much that dress cost…”.
    Well! Sweet divine. It was more than my motorbike. It was more than our honeymoon budget. It was more than the new bathroom we need. It was EIGHT times my original budget – nearly twice my revised budget.

    Then I did a stupid thing. I told nobody and went to the bridal appointment anyway. The dress was so beautiful. It fit like a glove. I looked so beautiful. (Some might even say hot!). For the first time in this whole wedding process my 4 bridesmaids and mother all agreed it was perfect.

    And then I revealed the price.

    It really put a downer on an otherwise magical day. It was a very quiet journey back home.

    So here I sit. 6 months later. It is still the dress of my dreams. But I really don’t know what to do about it. H2B says I should buy it. Two of them if I want! My Mum winces every time I bring up the topic and says I should “follow my heart” (her advice has never been top notch, she cares about me far too much – a little tough love is what I need!!). My bridesmaids are divided 50/50 ranging from “No way – think of the kitchen units or holiday you could get for that” to “You work so hard, and you are making everything else in the wedding yourself, would you not spoil yourself?”.

    So I am probably over-sharing at this stage – some days I think “Yes!” other days “No!” ….. and most days “dunno”, and I am rapidly running out of days at this stage!!

  24. I too thought about just getting something from monsoon but I accidentally found ‘the one’ in a very expensive shop fell in love and bought it. I convinced myself that anything other than ‘the one’ would lead to a disappointing feeling in my gut on the day. Now that I’m married I have to say on the day I could have been wearing anything and it wouldn’t have mattered. I regret spending so much as I now realise it didn’t make any difference to my day. As soon as I saw Jp my heart melted and I realised nothing else mattered but him and me loving each other forever.

  25. I think I am approximately a 40 dress girl (so far). I thought I’d found “the one” – beautiful Garbo by Charlotte Balbier, I booked an appointment one afternoon a couple of weeks ago to go back with the intention of buying, but also went to one other shop in the morning to try a few others on “just to be sure”. WELL! The first few were lovely, but not amazing. Then I was hit by the dilemma of trying two other dresses that felt sooo amazing and perfect. Went back to the original shop, tried on the first dress, and surprise surprise it was no longer the one! Now I’m stuck with the tricky task of deciding which of the other two I like the most. But at least it means I get to try them both on again!

    Really enjoyed reading your first post by the way!

  26. Cathy – I love that dress…. Could you find a good dress maker?? (That is the dress that eveery time I see it I get dress wobbles about my own… because its what I always thought I wanted) But you know what – as Jules says, in the big grand huge scheme of things… it is just a dress that you are going to wear for a few hours. You want it to be flattering etc but ultimately, its not the be all and all.

    Money hey… its a pain in the ass sometimes!

    But if you do need to to try and do the justification thing – just think ‘ill definately be able to sell this afterwards’ 😉

  27. I found ‘the one’, she was £1800 and there was just no way my budget could stretch to her. I still look at pictures on the internet sometimes <--- tragic admission BUT, I liked my dress when I bought her (£675), I liked her a lot when I had my first fitting and I loved her when I finally wore her. It was a bit like being torn between two men - one who's exciting and adventurous, who you fall in love with instantly but is a bit of a tosser in the end and one who's lovely and steady and reliable and a bit of a slow burner. (I married my slow burning chap too) So, don't be too sad if you can't afford 'the one'. There'll be another one who'll treat you nice 😉

  28. I know that this is really sensible and boring but I was on a tight budget and decided to start out not trying anything on that was over my budget, with a plan to look at more expensive ones only if I didn’t find anything within what I hoped to spend. I was very lucky and found ‘the one’ at a price I was happy to pay. I’m sure if I’d looked at more expensive ones there would have been one I’d have loved more…but that one would have had a bit of guilt attached too! That said if you’ve found ‘the one’ already I absolutely think you need to go for it regardless of the price as your wedding is not the day to make do with second best. You can save the money somewhere else in your budget…its the only time in your life you can completely justify spending crazy money on a dress you’ll only wear once so you may as well enjoy it! x

  29. Hi Alex,
    I am so pleased to hear that someone else had pretty much the same experience as myself! I was thinking I was the only one.
    Everyone I know said you’ll know when you find ‘the one’, but I never really got that feeling, and I probably tried on as many dresses as you, I even went to Vera Wang but I just wasn’t feeling it.
    In the end I had to give into the fact that it wasn’t going to happen, I could have gone on forever and like you just wanted to get it over with.
    The dress I did go for is beautiful and I am very pleased with it, but I don’t think it is the only dress for me, I know there are others out there! xxx

  30. Alex!
    Yey your from Yorkshire! I too have a Chocolate Bear!
    It took me a very long time, proper 52 dresses aswell, then I found a picture on this website of a real wedding and knew it was the one! Got the nearest bridal stockist to order it in for me to try and yes, yes, yes got the feeling! My sil2b said they couldn’t shut me up I was so excited, I even grabbed the pretend bouquet and proceeded to walk up and down the shop!
    So glad you got yours sorted in the end! Can’t wait to see pics and hear all about your big day 😀

  31. I definitely did not realise immediately that I had found “the one”.

    Well, I did, but then on second viewing I decided it wasn’t (mainly due to the ‘meh’ reaction from my bridesmaids)

    Then I found lots and lots that could be “the one”, but weren’t…

    Then I found one that could be “the one” but by then I had so many dresses flying around in my head that I couldn’t make a decision.

    SO, I took 3 weeks off. (And during those three weeks my Mum was diagnosed with leukaemia – not a fun time)

    Then I went back and tried the one that could be “the one” and decided it was going to be “the one” and got it! (Under-budget too – winner)

    Then, many months later I went for my first fitting and flapped because I didn’t think it was “the one” after all and maybe I had just got it because I had felt under pressure to get a dress and Mum was ill and everyone said I HAD to get one before Christmas or it wouldn’t be ready…

    Then I had my final fitting, saw myself in my beautiful dress (that fitted!) and realised it was “the one” after all…


  32. PS My Mum is in remission, will be there to enjoy the wedding, and although she would tell you that the most important thing is that she has hair and doesn’t look like a cancer patient in the photos, in reality the most important thing is that I have my Mum there on the most special day of my life.

    I’m so going to cry.

  33. Sorry, ignore the previous PS!

    PS My Mum is in remission, will be there to enjoy the wedding, and although she would tell you that the most important thing is that she has hair and won’t look like a cancer patient in the photos, in reality the most important thing is that I have my Mum there on the most special day of my life.

    I’m so going to cry.

  34. Ugh! Don’t talk about dresses…I feel your not finding “the one” pain! Why do some people find it so easy and for others it’s tough!!

    Keep these great posts coming!

  35. Loved reading this post Alex! I THINK I have found the One but to be honest if I had an unlimited pots of funds I would probably keep looking! Mine was bang on budget which I think helped me decide, especially as it was mum’s hard earned cash that put the deposit down. I am convinced I will be much happier on the day in a dress I don’t feel guilty about than one I would. And let’s face it the vast majority of wedding dresses are all gorgeous! xx

  36. Awesome first post Alex – you’ve set the bar high for the rest of us! 🙂
    Penny, I’d also be very interested to know how many people have a ‘the one’ moment. I didn’t, but I (and my best friend) both loved it, and now every time I look at my dress I love it a little bit more.
    As mine came from a sample sale, I reckon your updates will let me vicariously experience having a bespoke dress made. And by none other than SN! The first dress I ever tried was ‘Maiden’ by her, but I think I’d hyped it up too much in my head beforehand and it wasn’t meant to be.
    Can’t wait to hear more about it (and the rest of the wedding!)
    MrsA-to-be xxx

    PS: Hellooooooooooo Mrs Bramall! Hope married life is treating you well!

  37. Hi there, great post alex! I feel so excited to say it but…I think I found my dress today. It’s everything I think I want in a W day dress, cut, style, fabric, detail…but unfortunately it’s only available in th US :-(. Of course I can order it, quite easily, but I feel as though I’d be cheating myself out of the whole trying on sesh. Not to mention my v excited mum would probably have a breakdown if she thought I was buying my dress online. Im also worried about alterations, needing to get the dress steamed due to creasing in transit…But I think I’m in love with her, by bhldn taffeta, French revolution-esque, beige, empire line, scoop-necked beauty. Did I mention my W day is one year from today…is this a sign??

  38. Congrats on your first post Alex!

    I guess I sort of found ‘the One’ but found the experience a little blighted by the overbearing dress shop ladies who were difficult at times. They will definitely be getting an anonymous ‘letter of advice’ after the wedding! I was obedient and stayed pretty open-minded about styles, but over the years have obviously built up a reasonable idea of what I like and what suits. Guess what, ended up with a frock in the style I had wanted all along! Thank heavens it suits me! Your dress sounds amazing – and a great idea to blend features of different dresses to make something that makes you feel good. Can’t wait to see the pics eventually!

    Another issue – the mother/daughter relationship! Must be so tough for girls who don’t have their mums. But it isn’t all hugs and tears of pride for everyone even if they do still have their mums. My mum and I have a slightly bizarre relationship I admit – she is very critical, never minces her words and it shocks me a little every time! As a result I kind of wish I hadn’t taken her with me. Wedding frock shopping is that one time in your life when you need total support and even outright gushing if possibe – or at least more of the ‘I prefer that one on you’ rather than ‘You look awful in that one’! Ok I admit it, Bridezilla-esque, I wanted to induce tears and it just didn’t happen! My lovely bridesmaids would have been a safer bet!

    Wishing you all the best and looking forward to your next adventures….xxx

  39. Budget, what budget. That went out the window the minute I started to try on dresses. Completely sucked into the moment and also here in Australia they are expensive. Nearly paid a small fortune to have one made and designed just for me but managed to find one at a more reasonable price.

    Is it the one – that is open for debate. At my first fitting I had my first bridezilla moment and hated it. Fingers crossed for the next fitting in a weeks time as it’s too late to change my mind with 1 month to go.

    I think every bride needs a dog to tell them their wedding woes. I have 2 that are forced to listen on regular occasions. I don’t think the boy dog is that impressed bless him.

    Look forward to hearing about the rest of the planning.

  40. I know exactly what you mean about ‘the big white haze’, glad you found a designer that you liked and mixing and matching her designs means you’ll have something that’s more individual to you. Can’t wait to see you in the dress with that nipped in waist! xxx

  41. Ahh Suzanne Neville!
    I totally did the same thing and despite purchasing a dress early in the search as I got fed up of looking, I then decided to try another shop and there was the amazingly structured dress I’d been searching for!! I have now decided to scrap the other dress- beautiful but not enough!!- and am off to try some corseted dresses on at Chandrika Thomas in London this weekend and have ‘Adore’ by SN in mind when I’m trying them on. Money was a worry but I’ve decided now- I’m only doing this once so I’m going to feel amazing when I do it!!

  42. With a 6 month engagement I knew that finding “the one” with so little time to look would be stressful.
    I decided early on that I would have a Jenny Packham after seeing an old school friend’s wedding pics and deciding that JP dresses were amazing. I then discovered how much JP wedding dresses cost – argh!! I just couldn’t bring myself to spend a small fortune on my dress. I then set about hunting down a sample and was lucky enough to find one (albeit 200 miles away) at a quarter of the RRP. I made an appointment, drove the 200 miles and promptly bought it even though it was 3 dress sizes too big! After many more trying on sessions over the weeks that ensued, I decided that this dress in fact wasn’t for me 🙁
    With only 4 months til the wedding, I went on the hunt for “the one”. With my mum in Spain and my chief bridesmaid at the other end of the country, I actually found it on my ownsome after trying on only 5 others in the same day. I am very very indecisive and think if I had been to lots of appointments and tried on lots of dresses it would have made the decision really hard. I was a bit scared as I had only my judgement but it made me feel special and was very “me”. I had so many compliments on the day – it was a Pronovias from the current collection called Adonis x

  43. @Louise – it’ definitely a sign :o) BHLDN dresses are totally amazers, an their collections are divine! Bit of a long shot, but could you plan the ultimate trip to the US with your mum?!??
    Alternatively, I think all the fittings can kind of take the place of the actually dress hunting if you make them special – take your mum, some bubbly, and explainto the seamtress beforehand what you’re trying to achieve. xxx

  44. Now I do hope that Chocolate Bear will be making a regular appearance in your posts? Will she be attending the wedding? Bet she’s a keen canape-eater (if maybe not a discerning one)!

  45. If I averaged trying 4 dresses per shop, I tried on over 100 dresses. So I definitely know your pain, Alex!

    But I chose my dress last week and am super happy with it, so alls well that ends well.

    And you only get to do it once- might as well make a meal out of it!

    G xx

  46. Hi Alex, I also guess I tried on about 50 dresses and still didn’t feel like I found the one. I was very happy with the dress I did pick though and felt special wearing it. I tried to be very restrained since my budget for a dress was relatively low, I just wouldn’t allow myself to look at the mega expensive dresses. I tell you, there are so many gorgoues Jenny Packhams out there but I’m glad I saved the pennies instead for an amazing honeymoon. I guess it just depends what your priorities are xx

  47. Ahh Alex, I’m sooooo happy for you that you found your perfect dress even though you had to go through some pain to get there. In a way I think that makes it even more special because you know that you’ve tried on every style, in a variety of price ranges etc and THIS is the one that did it for you. Because of that you will feel brilliant on your wedding day and that will shine through you.

    My experience was very different from yours but I’ll keep it a secret for now as its the subject of a (later) Real Bride post on my part 🙂

    Enjoy every single fitting, every glass of champers, every single bit of shop ladies fawning over you. You’re worth it! (oh yeah, and milk it for all its worth too hehe)

  48. Enjoyed your post, thanks! I actually only tried one on – I wasn’t even looking but there it was in Liberty at 90% off… couldn’t say no. Sorry that sounds a bit smug but I have a figure which is almost impossible to dress so it was very exciting! Still needs a lot of alterations though…

  49. Hah…sounds all very familiar…started off with a Stuart Parvin (looked awful)…went on to try about 40 more on…never really sure if I found the one, spent way more than I planned, but my gorgeous Suzanne Neville has arrived in store and I now can’t wait to wear it in 32 days time!

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