What Jo Did… Survived The Dress Wobbles.

Lovely RMWers! We have 55 days to go. Yep, LESS THAN TWO MONTHS!
Hope you all had a fantastic Easter. I have just eaten a whole Lindt bunny. All that is left is his red ribbon and I feel ILL!

I know what some of you are thinking… what about the dress wobble?! Well, after the amazing advice and support from you lot after my last post, I emailed Dot, explained my concerns, and got this lovely, wise response…

“… It doesn’t fit you well and will take quite a lot of work to get the fit right – which I can do. However, in my experience, it really comes down to how you feel in the dress…
It is vital that you have confidence in how you look, if you are going to enjoy your day. The last thing you want is to be worrying about whether it makes you look as you want to look…
Come and try it on again and see what your reaction is, then take it from there…and don’t worry – these things have a way of working out for the best!”

What a star! So, I took my friend, Sarah, who a) got married last year and didn’t like her dress, even on the day (FYI, she looked completely amazing) and b) hadn’t seen me in the dress before. MrsA Snr also brought the veil.

Again, I put the dress on and really didn’t like it. Without giving too much away, it has a V-neckline and, as I thought it was too low, Dot had pinned everything ‘up’ to make it higher. This made everything higher – the underarms were rubbing, the waistline was around my ribs etc.

It looked pants, I felt pants, hell, I would have been happier only wearing my pants! Dot mentioned that, at that stage, making a new dress would be easier(!) We settled on a new bodice. I sketched it. She brought out the most brilliant box of patterns (jealous, moi?) and we designed a new top for the dress.
Dot began removing the pins from the front of the dress, leaving the side pins in place. The whole thing dropped down an inch or so. Silence, nervous glances all round; then we all burst out laughing – it looked EXACTLY how it should look! We’d never had just the sides pinned (without the front) and I think the number of people at the previous fitting had resulted in too many opinions and too much pinning, rather than simply letting Dot do her job.

I felt so relieved, but also a teeny bit daft for having moaned for almost my entire last RMW post. I mentioned this to the other lovely Real Brides on FB and they allayed my fears – imagine if I HADN’T moaned, hadn’t bothered to tell Dot, hadn’t gone for the refit. I’d either be wearing something I was unhappy with, or buying a whole new dress 2 ½ months before W-day.

This very long-winded account leads me to say one VERY BIG thank you to all of you for your advice. Oh, and those of you that gave details of your dresses after that post – they all look stunning!!!

So, having sorted the dress wobbles, we were free to spend the Easter holidays completing the long list of wedding jobs that were outstanding…


First up, make up. The aforementioned Sarah is doing my make on W-day and booked me in with a well known brand as the first port of call. I had high hopes but, alas, they were dashed.

You can see from the picture that (apart from the fact I look knackered – last day of term), it looks very, well, ‘meh.’

I wasn’t allowed a) powder over my foundation (I got home and MrA told me I looked very oily!) b) any more mascara c) any more blusher. The eyeshadow made me look like I had mud on my lids and, having said that I needed to be drinking more water (dehydrated skin), the lady later told me I might want to consider fake tan OR A SUN BED!! My flabber was gasted – surely nothing is going to dehydrate my skin more than actually cooking it?! Suffice to say, I purchased nothing and felt a wee bit disheartened.

The Clinique counter beckoned (my usual brand of choice). We booked for the following week…

I had kind of written them off for not being ‘wedding-y’ but I honestly cannot praise Clinique highly enough. Suzie (in the Milton Keynes branch) was utterly lovely. For two hours, she was patient, helpful and completely un-patronising. Interestingly, she matched the foundation to my neck and blended upwards, rather than matching it to my face and telling me I needed a sunbed/fake tan to get my neck to blend in!

This was the end result:

I bought it all! My super W-day kit consists of:

  • Superbalanced Foundation, Blended Face Powder and Iced Lotus Blusher.
  • All About Eyes Concealer (dark circles – GONE!) and Touch Base for Eyes (Gutted I haven’t found this before – my eyeshadow looked exactly the same hours later!)
  • Lilac Truffle Eye Duo (Gorgeous pale lilac all over, with a slight shimmer, then a chocolate shimmery brown to give the daytime-smokey-smouldery-without-being-heavy look I wanted).
  • Grape Quickliner – such a lush colour, picked out by Sarah 😉
  • Woppin’ Watermelon Chubby Stick. Actually looks like a bright pink child’s crayon but is a tinted balm. Not sticky, so my hair/veil won’t get stuck on it, and light enough to not come off when Mr A and I have our ‘I now pronounce you man and wife’ smooch! *goosebumps*

The only thing I didn’t get from Clinique was mascara, simply because I had a Maxfactor voucher. I purchased their new False Lash Effect 24hr in black and can vouch for the fact that it does lengthen, it does volumise, and NOTHING budges it, so I can blub away to my heart’s content!

**HELPFUL TIP ALERT** I have always wondered why, in photos taken with a flash, my face looks lighter than my body, despite me wearing foundation. Well, it’s to do with having SPF in my moisturiser/foundation. The flash bounces off it, thus giving the dreaded facial ‘glare.’ If only I’d know before, there’d be less photos of me looking like Caspar the Friendly Ghost’s head on Jodie Marsh’s body (in colour, I mean, not size or shape!)

Food Glorious Food

Next up, our food tasting. This was a very surreal experience for me as Lemon Zest are my old company. I have done many, many tastings in my time, but always on the ‘other’ side of the table – the side where you want to eat the food but can’t!

Now, I may be biased, but the food was INCREDIBLE. Beautifully presented (and I know it will look the same when reproduced 160 times over – they always manage it!), seasoned to perfection, and served with an exact explanation about what was what. I’m not going to give away the menu (some things need to be kept a surprise for our guests!), but I am 100% certain that I will not be a bride who doesn’t eat anything at the wedding breakfast. I am also 100% certain that they will ensure that we have the most perfect food and slick service by friendly staff.

It all felt a bit more real after that!

We went straight from there to our cheese tasting. (HEAVEN!) And then on to John Lewis to ‘zap’ our gift list, where we were given complimentary coffee and cake… Probably the yummiest day ever!

Floral Fun

One thing that Mr A left me to sort on my own was flowers 🙂 Part of the reason for getting married in June is that it’s smack bang in the middle of peony season. The wonderful Emma from Emma Walker Flowers is one of those amazing talents who can listen to your garbled ideas and instantly ‘get’ what it is you’re trying to achieve. I first met Em when working at Blenheim Palace, when she created some beautiful arrangements for a client and ensured that they went to a hospice afterwards, rather than going in the bin. She is a floral genius and it is SO exciting to now be working with her on our wedding! Again, I don’t want to give too much away, but my bouquet will be something like this:

The bridesmaids will have hydrangeas or sweet peas tied with coral ribbon to match the waistband on their dresses:

Decor Delights

For the wedding breakfast, our table will include lots of vintage items (or ‘tat’ as my father will say). The theme/names are another secret, but this is what we have collected so far…

I may have to hire these bits out, along with the teacups, after the wedding so I can justify keeping it all!

…And Finally!

So, once again, I have used up my word count without telling you everything I had hoped to. I’m sure Charlotte and Adam won’t mind if I quickly whizz through the other things we’ve done in pictures…!

Delicious turquoise water glasses hired from Top Table Hire (amazing company, with some FABULOUS hire equipment) a must visit, especially if you are having a marquee wedding along with Festival Hire, from whom we have hired our cutlery, crockery and chairs:

The invites are OUT! I have a little squeal of excitement when the post arrives each morning. Thank you for all your advice on the wording for the dress code. We went for ‘Smart suits and fancy frocks. Ladies: Fabulous millinery encouraged’ 🙂

We had a little production line going, with me stamping the names, Mr A sealing the envelopes and back to me for addressing (Yes, I have the neater handwriting!) Huge thanks to Jenny O for the AMAZING stamps – they have had many compliments!

Seriously though, people, HOW MUCH for a first class stamp these days?!

The suits have been chosen; navy blue morning suit, looks FAB! And MrA, along with both Dads, has a shiny new pair of shoes 🙂 My MoH and I also spent an awesome day shopping in Birmingham with the mini bridesmaids! They were SO excited, even though they kept having to go back to shops we’d already been to, take everything off and try on dozens of dresses. We absolutely loved these pretty rose print dresses from Monsoon:

But, with the bigger bridesmaids having patterned dresses, we opted for these simpler, but equally pretty dresses from Zara. A steal at £25.00 and completely adorable when coupled with flower hair garlands from Accessorize (and minus the tights!!).

My wedding ring has been ordered from the ever-helpful Serendipity Diamonds (eeeeeek!!):

The hymns and readings have FINALLY been decided.

Weather balloons have been sourced through the fantastic Qualatex.

The amazing Roger Goodgroves (marrying our lovely Shirley in TWO DAYS!!) has offered to take the photographs in our photo booth 🙂

Small jam jars and little bottles have been sourced through JBConline (for the favours).

The Prosecco has been chosen, thanks to a very boozy evening filed with A LOT of Italian food…

And lastly, Lois and Vicky, two of my awesome BMs, gave me the most fantastic hen weekend, along with 11 other friends.

It started like this on the Friday night journey to the Peak District:

On the Saturday morning:

Absolutely brilliant!

Back to the house for some pampering (faaaaabulous facial!) and a MAMMOTH afternoon tea (including these amazing biccies, made by Mr A’s sister, Kate, to match our wedding invites!!):

Followed by the caterers arriving to cook us three yummy courses for dinner, and a game involving A LOT of loo roll…

An EPIC weekend, and not a plastic willy in sight. Thank you, beautiful ladies!

See you soon for my FINAL pre-wedding post!


MrsA-to-be xx

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

27 thoughts on “What Jo Did… Survived The Dress Wobbles.

  1. Jo, jo, jo. I am having serious make up envy!!! The Clinique make over looks stunning and weddingy!

    Cracking up here, my little flower girl has that monsoon dress!!! I loved the print (fits the theme).

    Food sounds yummy, we have our tasting soon. And 55 days, holy smokes! We are still in triple figures, boo.

    And yey for gorgeous dress, I am so glad you are happy. Dot sounds like an angel x x x

  2. Jo – this actually made me a bit teary!! So glad you have sorted your dress – you are going to look beautiful and i cant wait to see what you do with the venue – I adore all the vintage finds!

    And your hen weekend sounds soooo cool! I would love to do horse riding!

    Rachie xo

    PS: Make envy over here too!
    PPS: How cool are those biscuits? So stylish!

  3. Jo – this is all amazing! Great to see some of the bits that we hadnt yet had a sneaky peek at! 🙂

    So that must mean I am 56 days to go now? Blinking heck vera, where has the time gone??

    Oh and I am so nervous about doing my own makeup at the moment… think I need another lesson (Chanel Foundation is yet to be purchased… Nars Orgasm bought last week… so pretty!! Mac Lipstick in Speed Dial – gorgeous colour, but not sure if its going to last…)

    Dot does indeed sound like an angel and just so glad you are all sorted now! I’ve got to try and persuade my seamstress that I really really do want the train shortened to as much as possible! I didnt even realise mine had one! (buying sample sale dresses… you dont take in all the details hey!)

  4. Awww, the clinique make up piccie looks lovely, definitley the right way to go!! I was going to have mine done in store but had wobbles and booked a make up artist recently, although am yet to have my trial!

    49 days to go for me, and loved reading your post to find out what your doing in the same time scales!! 🙂 xx

  5. Ooooooh, posts like these make me so excited about being at the 55 day countdown! I’m more at the 375 day countdown… boo. Sounds like it’s all coming together though! The Clinique make-over looks fab, I LOVE the turquoise water glasses and the bmaids dresses are seriously cute. (I do need to go and find out what weather balloons are though- I have no idea…) xx

  6. The clinique make over looks wonderful. You look stunning!! I’m still deliberating with make up (bought a lot of Bobbi Brown and Chanel stuff already) but it’s a great excuse to keep buying more fab products and experimenting. What am I going to do when I can no longer use the wedding as an excuse?!!!!! 😉

  7. Hi Jo – very excited for you we are at the 100 day mark next week! Can I ask what Prosecco you have chosen? We just spent the whole of Easter sampling for our welcome drink but haven’t found any we like. X

  8. love the make up! you look beautiful!
    I too chose June as the month to marry so that I could have peonies! Just fessed up to Neil about that! Only 53 days for me now, still feel like there is so much to do! xxx

  9. Jo- your post really made me chuckle! I am so pleased you have got your dress sorted, it really does sound like everything is coming together! Really cant wait to see the pics of the big day! (not that I am wishing the time that is remaining away!!!) x

  10. Looking good! Your failed trial wasn’t at the MAC counter in Debenhams was it? I swear they are the rudest, most unhelpful and unknowledgeable make up ‘artists’ i’ve ever met in the MK store. I live in dorset and the MAC counter in Bournemouth is just full of goddesses but whenever I visit my parents in MK and need to stock up on make up they are just terrible Shame, it ruins the brand image.

    That’s so funny about the dress too!!

  11. Hey Lovely,

    LOVING the blog as always. I can confirm it was the most delightful, civilised hen weekend *ever*. Though I did do some serious over-eating…. that lunch was epic!!

    Looking forward to the last blog and of course, the day itself.


  12. Hello Lovelies! Just realised how ridiculously long my post is! And how BIG that first picture of me is – hope nobody was eating their supper when that popped up!

    @Kelly, my wedding twin – are you surprised we liked the same flowergirl dresses?! I actually thought of you in the shop!

    @Rachie – we’re a right teary bunch at the moment, aren’t we? Aren’t those biccies amzing – she is soo bloody clever and patient! I couldn’t believe it when she opened the tin. They match our invites. Awesomeness!

    @Abi – Haha, had forgotten that you had the same train trouble as me 😉 Mine seems to get longer every time I put the ruddy dress on! Will defo have to change for the first dance! Your make up selection sounds amazers – glad I’m not the only one who can’t resist using stuff before the big day. In fact, Mr A has just left for his stag so I might try it all out tonight 🙂

    @Charlotte – when I realised that all my make up was from one place, I thought about how good you are at picking the best bits from each range. I have to confess I lost patience, thus putting all le oeufs in one basket! Unlike you and Abi, I am a make up novice/creature of comfort 😉 Can’t wait to see you either 🙂

    @Faye – please copy! Then post some pics! they’re adorable (and only £38 too!)

    @Claire – thanks darl – such a ruddy relief!!

    @Emma – 49 days!!!! Soooo exciting. Am worried about getting stuff done once I go back to school though. Last leg of my teacher training, so very busy indeed. Hope your make up trial goes well – I’m sure it’ll be fab if you’ve one with a pro 🙂

    @Gary Trotter – Oooh, what’s your blog called? I’m guessing you’re from a stationery company?! We’re just working on our evening invites (bit late!) and orders of service and I’m lost!!

    @Sama – Ahhhh, I remember those ‘we’ve got over a year to go’ days like they were yesterday! They’ll go very fast – enjoy them!! Are you doing anything nice next week for your one-year-til-our-wedding-versary? 🙂 Weather balloons are the big round ones. Type it into the RMW search bar and click on ‘Once Upon A Cornish Fairytale pt 2’ and you’ll see them. (I know I sound like a weirdo, but that was one of my fave RMW weddings EVER!)

    @Victoria – I think you can use the excuse of wanting to remember/recreate your wedding look as a way of getting more make up. Or find a friend who is getting married so you can do it vicariously through her!!

    @ Laura – YAY for almost being in double figures 🙂 What a great way to spend your Easter. Frustrating not to find a nice one. We tasted one that I swear was actually fizzy sherry. Our wine and prosecco has been imported direct from Italy, so I’m not sure how available it is here. It is Montagner Treviso Brut, but I just Googled it to no avail. If you let me know your email address, I’ll send you a better picture of the label if that helps. We also had a lovely rose Prosecco at our engagement party, from the Co-op! (usually £10 but often on a half price deal). Fantinel is also good. Hope you find one you like soon! If in doubt, make it into Kir Royales 🙂

    @ Amy – Thank you lovely 🙂 Hurrah for peonies! Hope you enjoyed your hen do – you looked fab!

    @ Tory – I hope everything comes together! I have to admit that I am worried about forgetting something huge! I think the fact that I used to do it for a living is making me more worried than I would be otherwise – how daft would I look if I forget to arrange something AT MY OWN WEDDING?! 😉

    @ Francesca – Do you know, I always look at that MAC counter and am put off by the sheer amount of make up they wear!! I actually went to John Lewis, to another company, but am glad I gave MAC at Debenhams a wide berth. Have you been in there recently? There counter has expanded – it takes up most of the front of the shop!

  13. Oh lordie lovely Jo you look so stunning in both pics but the Clinique one makes you look model like, so beautiful!! I love all your bits and bobs and am so happy you got over wobbles, I can’t wait for your wedding!!!! Gorgeous flower girls, how cute! I wish to snaffle all your hen do biccys now! Big love gorgeous xxxx

  14. @ Gemma – Ha ha, I’m still full from that lunch! Shame we didn’t get a picture of the Matt-Lucas’-sister-from-Bridesmaids lookalike to share on RMW!

    @ Jenny Lane – Lovely girl, you are too kind. If my skin looks as good as yours after your Laura Mercier make over, I’ll be a happy camper.
    Ahhhh, those biccies – I have two left. I’d post them to you if stamps didn’t cost so ruddy much 😉

  15. Love it again Jo! What an amazing record these blogs will make! Love tracking the progress & being so involved at every step of the way. Still in awe of Kate’s biscuits. She’s v talented!

  16. Jo! You are so beautiful I can’t wait to see your dress and you on the day…your gonna knock em dead love!

    Fab post and my have you been busy….well done! I kinda want that load of stuff on the shelves just to have like that in my house somewhere…love it!

    Not long to go now then for you…woohoo!xx

  17. I think you must live near me! I checked out toptable hire and was surprised to see it is only in Woodford Halse about 6 miles from me! I love the turqoise glasses but just can’t decide if they fit in with my rustic theme! eeek x

  18. Hi Clare! Where do you live? And where is your wedding?
    I’ve been in love with those glasses for years. We don’t really have a colour scheme, so they were easy to slot in… I’m sure you can make it work 😉

  19. Hey Sophie,
    My neighbour made these for us (and designed them). Mr A’s mum drew the peony and she did everything else. Have a look at my previous post for another picture.

    You can contact her at: https://www.newboldodes.com/ ebsite is a bot out of date, but she will send you some samples if you call her – tell her you’ve seen the invite on here and she’ll know what you mean 🙂

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