What Victoria Did… Drama In A Dress

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Hello lovelies! {waves}

I’ve sort of been saving this one up for you all, as the whole dress shopping humdinger was one of my favourite parts of wedding planning, in part because it was such a bizarre and luxurious thing to try on gowns that you will only wear for one incredible day. Is this what an Oscars experience is like?? I also remembered fondly playing dress up in my Mum’s handmade dress when I was little, she made it herself! Amazing!

After several blissful hours scouring blogworld and trying to get a sense of shapes and styles I liked – I fell head over heels in love with Stephanie Allin’s creations. Not long after getting engaged we had an annual trip planned to Wales as Marathon Man was indulging in his favourite hobby – haring up and down cliff paths, with some like minded nutters, in a Welsh November! (Each to their own). So this time I took the family with me for the trip because I had discovered that Stephanie Allin’s original store was in the Mumbles in Wales, about 20 minutes from where the marathon was! It smacked of fate and I was delighted when I called to make an appointment and found out Stephanie herself would be there that day. It was the most wonderful first dress shopping experience. I had the shop to myself, it was absolutely gorgeous and full of light and air, and I had a wonderful time trying on about 8 different gowns together with accessory heaven.

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It really blew my mind how much the accessorising changed the dress, adding an elegant grey sash suddenly transformed plain strapless into chic statement. I also adored the whispering lace shrugs with deep ‘v’ backs, and liked the idea of taking that off for the evening reception for a different “look”. I can’t thank Stephanie and the girls enough for giving me such a wonderful experience. It was lovely being there with both parents, my Mum getting teary every time I emerged in something new and my Dad diligently taking notes on his iPad!

When I first started looking for styles I liked, I quickly started building up a list of things I didn’t want as that seemed easier to tackle than defining the “one”. No no no strapless. Not a meringue in sight. On the website I loved a big fishtail skirt with a lace top and v back… But on me it looked seven shades of awful and my legs couldn’t move! I tried on some giant amazing taffeta creations for fun, but they just made me want to jump up and down and I felt like I was playing dress up. So I went away with a few ideas that I really liked, some of which were indeed strapless and far more elegant than I’d have thought.

Next I went into Stephanie’s shop in London for Champagne (oooh) and to try on again. I narrowed down my list but still the gowns I loved I had a list of things that I would change/tweak to make them “me”. After obsessing about these details it seemed like that pretty much added up to a different dress altogether! Below are my favourites for your consideration/drooling… Part of me still wants to have a Disney princess moment in Firefly as I cannot TELL you how beautiful and detailed it is in real life in oyster champagne colour. Oh and how I wish wish wish I had the cashola for Pascal to be my evening dress… Its soooo cool with the raised front and netting, and those ribbons do astonishing things to your waist girls… Anyway… {must have one dress, must have one dress}

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I used to live near Beaconsfield, which is near my parents, and remembered driving past the rather beautiful windows of Ellie Sanderson. So for comparison we made an appointment to go in. The girls are fabulous and really good fun and it was such a lovely day, and great to try on a range of gowns from different designers. In my head I was still all for tweaking the Pascal dress into something more “weddingy” (no Mum I won’t have black netting I promise! But then I stepped into a NEVILLE. Oh. NOW I seeeeeee… It was the corseting shape I had been looking for (without knowing it). This was drama in a dress. Fitted with some flaring and some details I’d been looking for. So after lots of grins and thumbs up we handed over the deposit and calmly strolled out (and into the nearest bar to celebrate).

That SHOULD have been the end of my story really. I went back a few months later with the Bridesmaids and my Mum and Dad too, which in hindsight made it a rather crowded day. This was last March… Remember last March when it was hot?? It was a fun day with everyone, but it was a million degrees trying on the dress and I felt bloated and well, all wrong really. Not as calm and perfect as before. I tried to squish these thoughts out of my mind, and was convinced it would all be fine and gorgeous when I was in a calmer headspace…

And then Lolly joined RMW. Yes Lolly I am blaming you.

The launch of the Suzanne Neville new collection HAPPENED and team RMW had A Diamond Day Out. Oh dear… I check out these formerly polka-dotted pages most days and while I see lots of lovely things, nothing has made me have a proper wowzer wobble until this post. And one of the descriptions and pictures made me go “I wanna look like that” !!!! waaaaahh!!!! I parceled these thoughts up until the collection came out in Autumn and then I went to the flagship store in Knightsbridge (wow wow wow). I explained about the dress I had already chosen and then one I was interested in and tried both. ….And that was it, no contest. Sigh….

The first dress does look amazing… If I am standing perfectly still and facing the front (in my head anyway). It’s a perfectly beautiful dress but I kind of felt like a doll, like a cake top wedding doll! I love the corseting but it was so fitted I couldn’t really imagine dancing… or bending or eating! Plus it was strapless despite all my initial misgivings.

But newbie… Oh SHE is just magical. I twirled around I went up and down the spiral stairs easily even though it was too long, and I could just….breathe. And it’s beautiful and I really honestly truly can’t believe I get to wear it and hopefully look hopelessly elegant. And I get to try on MY very own one this week!!!!!! The girls in Ellie Sanderson were incredibly helpful and we were able to switch over my order thankfully, and they coped with my three thousand questions. (I think when I said the words “I want to change my wedding dress” my Dad only had to lie down in a dark room for a week or so). And finally… When we changed the order over I was also lucky enough that it was a day that Suzanne was visiting the store. I KNOW. Dress royalty or what.

I got to know Ellie quite well through all my decision drama and I asked her for some of her top tips for those of you yet to start your shopping fun. Her favourite designers without question are Sassi Holford, Suzanne Neville and Jenny Packham – Sassi for a warm hug, Suzanne for a squeeze and Jenny to float over your frame. Here are her sage words!

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Ellie Do your research on line before you visit any shops – decide which designers you like
Visit retailers with a solid trading history and good on line recommendations. Make sure you have a proper consultation – if you are left to pick 6 dresses it’s a good sign the retailer is not really interested in you or styling you.

Think about your figure – know what your best bits are and the bits you want to hide. All good retailers selling top designers should be able to offer bespoke changes to make your gown a “one off” and also a statement of your own style. Think colour – ivory or cream or vintage tones – the right shade of dress can make a massive difference.

Think about texture – bigger frames don’t necessarily suit big heavy patterns or texture. Make sure your retailer offers a good fitting service – this can make or break a good dress.

So there you have it lovelies, my dress dramas and fun. My lesson would be if it’s important to you then ask the question!! You don’t know if you can change your order etc. unless you ask or what you can alter/tweak on a dress to make it perfectly you. (Don’t lie awake wondering for a few months like I did!)

Finally, I just wanted to finish this post by introducing you to Team Girl.

The lovely Miss Romilly, also known as Pom Pom and Bestie since first day of uni when the smell of incense wafted down the corridor. Goodness knows how many bottles of wine and Britney dance-offs have happened since then.

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The extraordinary Miss Alex, who has many many nicknames, none of which I will repeat here apart from that she is and always will be amazingbaseballs and the silly to my billy (this is her horrified that she had ordered a GIANT pie before BM dress shopping)

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And last but not least the divine Miss Sarah, whose nickname was realised when I had to describe her gorgeous flowing locks to the wedding hairdresser…yes ladies and gentlemen please meet the one and only Barbie!

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Much love, hugs and counting down the days!

Miss Vix

xxx

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

12 thoughts on “What Victoria Did… Drama In A Dress

  1. Congratulations of choosing what I am sure is a beautiful stunning dress! Bobby dazzler! Cannot recommend Ellie Sanderson enough – amazingly friendly customer service, delicious dresses and very sage advice. I’m a Sassi girl myself (though sorely tempted by a wonderfully lacey Suzanne), and will be popping along to the Beaconsfield branch to meet and be fitted by the lady herself – eek! E.x.

  2. Suzanne all the way!!! Wearing her on my wedding day was beyond amazing!!!!!!!! (plus you save on underwear due to fabulous corsetry!!!)
    xxx

  3. Oh Miss Vix – I do love your posts!!!
    ‘Yeah I met Stephanie Allin & Suzanne Neville, no biggy’!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I be well jealous right now!!! :-p

    You are going to look amazing on the day (seriously girls, this dress is a stunner! and so are you, lovely) 😀

    Loving the flowery adornments you & your bestie are sporting! That is an immense of flowers girls 🙂

    Oh and eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee 44 days to go!!!!!!! 😀
    How flipping exciting! xxx

  4. Ooooh, how exciting was all that!

    I’ll be off to Ellie Sanderson for my Jenny Packham fitting around June after seeing my dress at the Wedding Show – I even got a massive excitable hug when I chose mine!

  5. Oooops!! SO sorry for causing your dress wobble but it wasn’t really mine it was Suzanne’s fault.

    But alls well that ends well eh?! And I’ve got so many friends that have worn Suzanne and loved her so I think you’ve made the right decision. Can’t wait to see you in all your glory xx

  6. 44 flippin’ days?!

    How’s the rest of the planning going? I feel like I’ve got a rocket up my bum to get things finished off now as been far too laid back to date!

    I love your dress so much, it is so you and your dress shopping advice is very wise and wonderful – you do know when you have found “the” dress I think as it does just feel like you can flounce about in it and be comfortable and not like a cake topper!

    xxx

  7. Ah! 44 Days! That is crazy!

    You got through your drama with a Neville dress in your hands so I think you did well! We all know I am one kidney down because of Suzanne!
    Loving how seriously your BMs take dress shopping! That is one great face of distraught horror and one amazing looking pie!

    Now hurry up these 44 days I want to see you all dressed up and walking down the aisle!!

  8. So sorry I’m late to the party again!

    So glad it all worked out in the end lovely, you’re going to knock their socks off!

    It’s so soooooon, I can’t believe it! Xxx

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