What Katie Did……The Bridal “Wiggle”

The shoes were my first wedding purchase post engagement. And what a purchase they were! Of the shiny red sole variety and with heels of skyscraper heights, I was so wrapped up in these delightful little beauties (and the boy was so wrapped up in the cost 😉 ) I forgot that oh, yes, I would need a dress to go with them!

That’s where I became slightly stuck. I wouldn’t say that I was dreading dress shopping, but a supermodel I ain’t…unless supermodels are of the 5” 4 and a half variety (yes, that half IS important) and actually have curves.

So to say I was slightly apprehensive about the dress experience/ordeal/extravaganza/hell(feel free to delete as appropriate) would be fair.

You see, for me, shoes are always going to make a girl look fabulous (and me halfway to model heights), whereas any type of clothing can run the risk of causing upset when you, or more to the point – when I, look in the mirror.

I avoid jumpsuits, harem pants, and any form of shorts at all costs – they have all reduced me to tears…of laughter. Imagine a less orange umpalumpa and you get the picture.

It was my mum who persuaded me to go, and so began the search for my dress. I honestly can’t say that I knew what I wanted, I only knew what I didn’t want: nothing Jordan-esque, nothing bling-y, nothing that makes me look like I’m in Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, and my most important criteria……not to look like a ‘Bog Standard Bride’- a saying that has actually become my mantra, much to the amusement of shop assistants, and much to the bemusement of my dear mum.

And so the dress trying commenced. A line, princess, fishtail, short, long, slinky, hideous, lace, strapless, halter neck; I actually think I have tried on every type of dress there is.

I’ve been near naked, poked, prodded, and up close and pretty personal, to more sales assistants in Yorkshire than I want to remember. Not exactly my idea of heaven, particularly when my less than small backside had to do the undignified wiggle into far too many dresses.

Ahh yes, the ‘bridal wiggle’… such a new phrase for me, but so commonly used. I bet there aren’t many wedding photographers that have captured that endearing moment.

Anyway, I digress.

I’ve read far too many times about girls trying on half a dozen of dresses, and they instantly know when they have found The One. Cue – a teary bride, a crying mum, fanfares rejoicing, champagne corks popping, fireworks exploding and £ signs in the sales assistant’s eyes. After all that’s what happens, right?


It actually took me four months, about 50 dresses, eight dress shops, an encounter with the dress designer herself, and trying on every other dress in her range for me to realise that actually I had found The One in the very first shop. Yep, it was that magic sixth dress. It would seem that not only me, but also my mum, is missing that emotional gene that made us miss My One.

The Nearly “The One” Ones

Clockwise from top left:

Jesus Peiro – A designer I hadn’t heard of… but, the dress had pockets. I LOVE pockets. However, they weren’t enough to win me over – I just wasn’t sure it was ‘wow’ enough on me.
Ian Stuart – One of mum’s favourites, and surprisingly one of mine. Off the hanger, I wasn’t so sure, but on… I loved it. Such a stunning dress.
Sassi Holford – Before I tried on any dresses, I thought that she would be the designer for me. Beautiful dresses, but not one of them suited me – at the time I was so disappointed!
Pronovias – I loved almost all of the Pronovias dresses that I tried on – so dramatic, yet at the same time, somehow understated. Surprisingly flattering too, which is always a good thing!

I can explain my mum’s reaction. You see, she is quite clearly an Ian Stuart bride and would have loved for me to have been one. I actually had visions of gliding (in my dreams!) out of the changing room to see my dear mum with one on, she loves them that much. Stunning dresses, yes, but they just aren’t me. But my reaction, well, it’s somewhat baffling.

You see, I cry at everything. The latest T-Mobile advert, Batman: The Dark Knight, Spooks, The Cube, Russell Brand’s autobiographies, I’m not exaggerating. I’m seriously going to need help come our wedding day when I hear my entrance music – I can’t even hear it now without welling up. My mascara doesn’t stand a chance!

I can only put it down to one thing. I love clothes too much. And, yes, I’ll admit it – I buy clothes too often, much to my delight and the boy’s dismay.

Wedding dress, work dress or party dress, it’s still a dress. Yes, possibly the most beautiful, glamorous and expensive dress that I will ever wear, but it’s still a type of clothing that I will always buy, therefore I have no need for an emotional reaction. Until I see my bank balance that is!

At least I can’t be accused of being impulsive. Thoughtful, composed and somewhat methodical was my approach – all of which are the exact opposite to how I usually live my life – and you know what, I’ve not had one single dress wobble yet. Promise.

I might be still holding out for mum’s emotional moment, but you can’t have everything. She had just better have onions at the ready and a pair of tweezers in her pocket come the big day.

Love Katie ‘who will have to let you guess the dress designer in case the boy reads this’


Author: Charlotte O’Shea
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.