My next lesson to learn was just around the corner (literally – you’ll see why later on)! Ever since I had thought about our wedding (way, way before he even proposed) I pictured what kind of dress I would have. “I just want simple” I’d say “I don’t want to spend much” I’d say. I would convince Dan that I wouldn’t be looking for designer, I even convinced myself! I truly believed that for my big day, I would settle with any white dress (as long as it was new). I, WAS, WRONG! I fooled myself so much that I even ordered one from ASOS. Anyone who knows me will know that I love ASOS and they have some amazing Bridal clothing. I can’t find the actual dress that I ordered; however, they do have some amazing stuff on the website. You may not want your wedding dress from there (as I decided I didn’t – ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong if you do either) but there are shoes, underwear garments and loads of accessories so you may want to have a little look. Just click here and it’ll take you to the wedding section. So, as I said, it wasn’t for me. This may sound materialistic and shallow but the fact that it arrived in a bag to the house, when I was on my own was not a good start, it already didn’t feel so special. I tried it on and it wasn’t even white/ivory. I’m not sure why I thought it was in the first place but it had peach undertones and although at this point, I was still sure I wasn’t fussy, I definitely didn’t want a peach wedding dress; some people may, but it’s not for me. I sent the lovely dress back (after spending some time wondering whether I could wear it for any other occasion – ANY EXCUSE) and I kept looking around!! So, of course, I turn to my trusty friend, PINTEREST! The more I looked on Pinterest, the more I realised I was fooling myself. The style I liked WAS special, WAS different and it was only going to be found in a bridal boutique! I also realised quickly that I really wanted the bridal experience!
So, to understand the rest of this blog you need to know about my background with this one shop, ‘Laura May Bridal’. Now, I have heard (and seen) some AMAZING things about this shop from friends and online but what stood out to me the most and made it so tempting to go in, was the window display; it changes so much and I LOVE IT! I look in that window EVERYTIME I drive past and I hate it when I’m passing after hours and I can’t see them anymore as the shutters are down! I have driven by here for the last 10 years and ever since they opened in 2011, I have been gazing in their window.
I don’t know why I ever thought I could get a dress from anywhere else to be honest. So, you can imagine the joy one Sunday, when me and my friend Nic were thinking about what to do and on my Facebook up popped a status on my news feed stating that they had had a cancellation and one appointment available. It would be rude not to, I thought. Well, if I did!! It was the most amazing experience ever, EVER! I wanted something simple and the lady in there was so helpful, getting out dresses that she thought I’d like. I’ll just say, you need to be completely open to dresses you didn’t consider before because that’s when I found my PERFECT dress. It was simple as I had imagined but the neckline and fit were completely different so be open to suggestions! An ‘Enzoani Instanbul’, a dream dress! For those of you who know me well, you’ll know that there’s very little I can do without my mum’s opinion and VERY little I like to do without my mum being there so, I made NO decision that day! I made an appointment to go again, with mum and other bridesmaids (Nic was one) to join me next time. My second time was NOT disappointing. The service was once again impeccable, I felt amazing in anything and everything! I know some people will be thinking “well yeah Kate, they have to sell you something” but I honestly felt like I wasn’t being pushed or pressured into anything, but I was being guided and genuinely complimented! I tried on a few more dresses this time and showed them all my perfect dress. TIP TIME: DON’T wear see-through knickers! Sounds obvious but when I was trying on dresses and the lovely ladies were helping me; I had a 30 second panic where I wondered what I had put on. Thankfully, this was something I did think about before-hand (and yes, I did look on PINTEREST for what was suitable to wear) and, I’d say, go with something you feel comfortable and confident in but something that ISN’T see-through! Anyway, trying, trying, trying and I was then introduced to another dress, a bigger dress (I forget the name of this one, sorry) with a BEAUTIFUL back (I LOVE a good back)!
I was trying so hard to make a decision and ultimately, as much I hated it, this decision was mine and although I had amazing advice from the others, they couldn’t tell me which one as only I could decide this time! We took pictures of both dresses and went for coffee! I flicked through the pictures time and time again but then suddenly I realised, each time I flicked through the ‘Enzoani Instanbul’ (the beautiful lace one), I smiled, a weird smile and had funny feelings. Everyone then admitted it was their favourite too! I then text a picture to my gorgeous bridesmaids who couldn’t be with me China (my shoe guru) and Nia (who was in New Zealand but in my heart from the beginning and I couldn’t have done this process so stress-free if it wasn’t for her)! I didn’t hesitate; I called ‘Laura May Bridal’ up and asked them to put that dress on order.
From that day on, I honestly didn’t regret it one bit.
One thing I will recommend though is that you try and decide ASAP if you want accessories (especially a jacket)! Unfortunately, closer to the time, my skin decided it wasn’t going to play ball for the wedding and I developed really bad skin on my chest and for a sweetheart neckline, this is NOT cool! Any jacket I ordered would take too long to come back before the wedding. The lovely ladies in Laura May had said she could try and sort something for me but advised I asked my seamstress if she could do something for me. I was very lucky, my lovely seamstress, Delyth (who is from Carmarthen and if you click here it should take you to her Facebook page) was able to make one for me, which was AMAZING and PERFECT! On that note, another little tip for you, book the seamstress as soon as you can after ordering the dress! I tried booking mine when the dress had come in and EVERYONE was full in Cardiff! I mean, EVERYONE and I called nearly 10 different ones! However, I am a big believer that everything happens for a reason and I think I was MEANT to leave it late so that I could be led (by my beautiful bridesmaid, Andrea) to my lovely seamstress in Carmarthen. She was amazing, she listened to everything I wanted and nothing was a problem! I felt 100% at ease leaving my dress with her! Another tip – don’t forget to wear the knickers you are intending to wear on the day to the seamstresses as you need to make sure they look good. Silly thing to say you may think HOWEVER, the knickers I decided to wear tucked me in, only very slightly BUT you have to make sure the dress fits perfectly and these could make a real difference. I’m not wearing tuck-me-ins you may say but, that doesn’t necessarily matter. If you have a detailed back, low back of tighter dress, you need to make sure the knickers can’t be seen at the bottom of the back of the dress PLUS that there’s no VPL (visible panty line); VERY important!!!! Oh and also, take your shoes. I left the decision on shoes to the last minute (literally, the VERY last minute, I had my photographer help me on the day – I wasn’t stressed though) but if you are a stressy soul, this isn’t recommended! They were a gorgeous pair of ‘Faith’ shoes, non-traditional but VERY me! Plus, I can wear them again, yippee! Although I didn’t know THE shoes when I was with the seamstress, I knew the heel height so took a pair with me so the dress could be shortened! Also VERY important! Another VERY important thing is to take a trusty bridesmaid to help you in and out of the dress, Carly helped me and I couldn’t have done it without her, top ‘dress-putter-onner’ was Carly!
I think that’s it! My dress journey wrapped up in one blog. I feel this is a very long blog so I apologise if you have got to the end and it’s now your bedtime (I hope not as this might mean you missed ‘The Bake Off’ – SOOOO sorry if you have, don’t hate me). I think it’s an important process though and I needed to give it my FULL attention and give you all the details necessary!
The last thing I will say about the dress is, do not panic if you try it on after collecting it and worry that you don’t love it as much as everyone is making out that they love theirs. I fell in love with mine on the day of the wedding in a way I don’t think I could ever explain. Yes I loved it in the shop and yes I knew it was the one for me but after the seamstress has made the alterations I slowly started to love it more and more and then when the Big Day came (yes it needs capital letters), I NEVER wanted to take it off. It is, and always be, my favourite item of clothing I have ever worn and will ever wear. Not necessarily because of the type of material, the back of it, the label it had, the front of it, the jacket (although all this did help) but because of the lovely memories I have of being in it; during process leading up to and on the day itself. Also because my mum said I looked perfect in it and she couldn’t imagine me in any other dress!
It made me feel like a model (yes I am bragging, I wanted to say princess but that just wasn’t cutting it) and that’s what your dress should do wherever it’s from and however much it costs, you’ll know when it’s right for you! Thank you to everyone that was a part of this process and all the compliments I have had about it! I will forever be grateful!
I will now leave you to (hopefully) enjoy the ‘Bake Off’ and to dream of THAT dress!
Happy Wednesday people!