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.

28 thoughts on “What Katie Did……The Bridal “Wiggle”

  1. LOVED this post. Made me smile the whole way through. Ooh I so want to know which dress you went for? All those on the shortlist are so different.

    I felt exactly the same about my dress experience. xx

  2. I love hearing about other people’s dress searches and more so when they are very like mine!

    I ended up goin to 10 shops on 4 different days and tried on around 45 dresses {mostly because I wanted to make sure I had seen / tried everything & i loved dress shopping} only to go back and get the 8th dress i tried on on the second shop on my first day shopping!

    So glad you found your dress and cant wait to see which designer is it!

    p.s mine was that Sassi Holford one in the picture above, I loved it, and me or my mum didnt cry either!

  3. Oh Katie, I am currently drying my tears of laughter. I love how you bought the shoes first – my kind of gal!
    I’m also tres intrigued about your final dress choice. xoxo

  4. This sounds very familiar (no shorts, no harems,less-orange oompaloompa- are we doppelgangers?) – also the ‘trying on loads of hmmmm dresses before realising the one you LIKED was in the 1st shop.

    My wedding dress was the simplist, most economical (ie it was the cheapest) and it looked fab when I tried it on, but like the foolish girl in a rom-com I thought ‘it can’t be that simple, there must be MORE out there’… so off I went stretching my budget, being pinched and prodded into corsetry and tripping over trains- until my mum and sis pointed out the simple ‘white evening gown’ I’d tried on day one fitted the best and I ‘moved elegantly’ in it. And I went back to my first dress. I’m glad I tried all the others though, as I am 100% secure I chose the best dress for me out of all the ones I tried.

  5. Its a “she”. I’m having four guesses at Stephanie, Suzanne, Sassi and Jenny. So basically I’ve covered most of the market of the cost of your other options.

    I was convinced that I would be a Suzanne Manhattan girl. It looked relatively straight. It was simple but looked oh so expensive in that material and the corsetry looked amazing. I tried it on and oh what a mistake.

    Big Mistake. HUGE.

    I now realise that the style of dress I thought I would love, look awful on me. That A-Line makes me look like a normal bride. I don’t look anything special.

    The best moment in the bridal shop when the woman said “you’re a perfect hourglass”. 34, 26″, 34. She said “its so very very rare we see that”. And it was the first time in my whole life I have ever felt amazing in any item of clothing. I was literally glowing. Beam glow beam glow. Smiiiilllle.

    Needless to say I found my dress 😉

  6. man, that ian stuart number is a.mazing! if the one you picked looks even better than that you must have something be-yooo-tiful!

    r.now x x x

  7. Ooooh the Jesus one is sooooo pretty! I’m with Hearnea and Mahj- I wanna know which one you’ve picked…sure you will look amazing in whatever it is XX

  8. Does that Jesus Peiro one have pockets? I can imagine a bride shuffling down the aisle, hands in pockets, then reaching into one to answer a ringing phone!

    So many women I’ve spoken to were unsure about their dress because there were no tears, no fireworks – it was almost as if they WEREN’T in an American rom-com….

    Being a lesbian couple, we had to shop for two which was an absolute nightmare. Tears were shed, but none in joy or amazement – two bridezillas is double trouble!

    I can’t wait to see which one you chose!

    Mina x

  9. Wow!

    I though I was the only girl in the worls to be having a wedding dress nightmare. I can relate to everything you have written!

    I’ve still not found ‘the one’ and with only 6 months until my wedding I’m starting to panic a wee bit!


  10. I am with you on the tears Katie – I cry at everything at the moment.. even reading on the train. I have the fear that I’m going to completely crumble in tears down the isle… how undignified!

    Re. the dress hunt, tears or no tears, if it felt right, it is!

    I’m thinking Ritva….! 😉

  11. Reading this post was like reading about my own dress trials! Coupled with the fact that my Christmas present was an IOU for Louboutins… I can’t wait to go shopping for them – much more exciting than dress shopping for me.

    Can’t wait to find out what dress Katie’s gone for, if it’s the same as mine it will be too scary / weird! x

  12. I know what you all mean, I’m as excited about everyones dresses as I would be craining my neck when the bride appears.

    We’re a little community.

    Whoop whoop

  13. Dear Katie

    I think you are my english twin! I have TODAY talked with a good friend of mine about finding the one… Can’t wait, but trying on 50 oh dear lord, that sounds like a good work out 🙂
    Will look forward to see what dress you eventuallu chose
    xxx Celina

  14. Oh be assured I will not need the onions or tweezers … I go emotional just thinking of the your wedding day. You will look so beautiful and stunning … the dress is the one xxx

  15. Hey ladies,

    Thank you for all of your lovely comments (especially you mum 🙂 )…. I can’t believe how much intrigue I’ve caused!!! I think I’ll keep the dress a surprise, but I will say that one of you has guessed the designer, and all of the other guesses, I tried on dresses by them too!!

    Mahj – feel chuffed that you found my post amusing… and it was always going to be the shoes first (they’re always going to make a girl feel fabulous!!)

    joeyD – do not panic about your dress search, you will find it, promise. Are there any that keep sneaking into your head?? You’ve probably done this, but try literally anything, I was very surprised at what suited me!

    Also, thank you for all of your reassurance about trying on dresses – I had to admit, I thought I would have THAT MOMENT. I think the media, films, television etc have made us all believe that we will get that feeling. Some people might, some people won’t – but either way, it doesn’t stop the dress from being any less special, or any less right!!

    Lots of love


  16. Hey Katie!

    Great post as always and hello Katie’s mummy!

    (My mum reads too – maybe you guys can *wave*)

    I didn’t cry either. Maybe it’s not the done thing 😉


  17. My mum didn’t cry! My chief bridesmaid even offered to stick a in in her side!! The things friends will do for you eh!?! 🙂
    Lovely post Katie!!!

  18. I’m so glad i read this post!
    I ordered my wedding dress at the end of last year and it won’t be in the shop till March. I never had a ‘this is the one’ moment, more of a ‘well im sure it will be perfect when i put the whole look together’ moment. And so with my moms tears and my sisters encouragment i ordered the dress.
    I’m pleased to hear im not the only bride to be who hasnt cried whislt trying ‘the’ dress on but is more exited about the wedding shoes instead, because my oh my my shoes’es are b.e.a.utiful!!

  19. Love this post!

    I tried on more than 100 dresses before I finally put a deposit down on the one.

    I found the one in my 5th shop, then went to one more, before finally going to Quello to try it on with my bridesmaids and mum.

    My mum didn’t cry, and that’s one of the reason’s she cites for why it is not the one for me.

    I just knew though, so dress bought and now onto the shoes. Whoohoo! xx

  20. AH! I can’t TELL you how happy this post has made me – I went dress shopping for the first time on Saturday and think I’ve found “the one” without any tears or tantrums! Beeeaaaaautiful vintage number, mother is coming to see it on Thursday but I too feel like I *have* to go at least one other place to “have a look”. Looking forward to looking, but I’m looking forward to going back to try on the first dress even more!

    Can’t WAIT to see the final “one” – sure you’ll look absolutely stunning! Thanks again for the post, you have actually saved me from a four-day panic (I was up on Sunday morning at 8am and couldn’t get back to sleep from the “have I chosen the right one” panics…!!)


  21. Beautiful Jesus Peiro wedding dress 2041 – you say you are selling it. Please let me know size, condition and price please. Congratulations and every happiness!

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