Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Our Wedding - finding the perfect dress

I pretty much always knew what style of dress I wanted for our wedding, even before I started looking I knew that I would want something slightly fitted but also a style that showed off a little skin, as I figured it was the one time I could get away with showing off the figure that I had worked so hard on and before I would gain those all important baby weight lb's! 

When we had first gotten engaged, I worked part time on the weekends at a beautiful bridal boutique in my hometown of Tunbridge Wells, housing designers like Stewart Parvin, Sarah Seven & Charlie Brear, however nothing quite caught my eye, I actually never tried on any dresses whilst working there, as I really wanted my 'bridal experience", so I made it my mission to start scouring other places in the hunt for 'my perfect dress'

"The One"

Wading my way through white, this time at Isabella Grace, another, absolutely stunning bridal boutique where I live, I found myself drawn to vintage lace sheath styles, with the help of the stylist we landed upon an Essense of Australia gown, along with a few others we headed off to the dressing room and I instantly knew I had to try this one first.

From the first minute I popped it on I genuinely felt like it took my breath away, I never thought I would get that feeling as I'm generally not the sort of person over bowled by clothes, but this dress made me feel things I'd never experienced from a piece of clothing before!

Essense of Australia - Style No' D1767

I had fallen in love, however my purse had not, initially I had a budget of around £1000 (preferably under if I could try) and at the time of trying the dress on it was priced around £1650, I knew this wasn't a price I could justify and sadly left it on the rails for another bride to enjoy instead. 

If you know me personally, then you'll know once I set my heart on something I have to have it, this was no exception, I perused other boutiques in the meantime, whilst comparing it to 'the dress' and nothing lived up to it.
I decided to give up the search for a while and just focus my attention elsewhere on our wedding, a year or so passed and I went back to the search.
After working in bridal industry,  I knew after a year designers usually bought out new collections, therefor meaning any previous works would go into sample sales, I decided to contact the boutique I tried the original dress and yes, it had gone into sample sale, but sadly somebody had already purchased it that week at an amazing price of £975, slightly discouraged, but still in the hopes of finding it I decided to have a look on the internet for any other boutiques selling one, eventually I found a lady selling the dress in a size 10, brand new with the tags, in America! 
With shipping costs included it would have cost me £650, I literally couldn't believe my luck, I emailed her instantly and snapped her hand off for it, I felt like the wait had truly been worth it.
Fast forward a week or two later and it arrived, boxed and wrapped in tissue was the dress bag containing 'the one', I couldn't wait to get home from work to try her on.
The minute I stepped through the door I ran straight to our bedroom and popped my feet through, the lace was so soft and delicate, I remember my heart racing and just wanted to look in the mirror to see what I saw the first time I tried it on.
This time I studied every detail of the dress, the vintage cap sleeves, subtle beading, low scoop back and the train.. the train, I didn't realise quite how much I loved it, but I knew it was definitely something special and I was finally wearing it!

I still to this day look at my dress and love it so much,  I'd worked hard on ensuring it fitted me well and after a few hard months of diet and exercise, along with an incredibly talented seamstress, wearing it on our wedding day, I honestly never felt so amazing. 

Now its time for you to find your perfect dress..

I learnt a few things along the way & I feel like after sharing my journey, that it is my duty to share these with you!

  • Keep an open mind

Even though I personally pretty much knew the style I wanted to go for, this isn't always going to mean thats what is going to suit you, I was fortunate enough to have seen many brides go in and out of the fitting room with an idea in there minds and 9 times out of 10 they would walk away with the one style they had said they would never try on.
Bridal gowns are totally different to regular dresses and what you may expect in your head to look good on your particular frame may be the total opposite!
Pick around 5-8 dresses, throw in a wild card or two and you never know what you may fall in love with!

  • Budget
To me this is SO important, its very easy to get carried away when it comes to weddings and you can easily stumble into a trap of spending far much more than you ever intended to.
The best way you ensure you stick to your price bracket is to only try dresses within this, don't be tempted to try a dress you love the look of if its £3000 as you'll probably fall in love with it, they always say you want what you can't have! 
Be totally honest with the stylist and let them know your maximum and that you don't wish to exceed it, in my experience, most boutiques are usually pretty good with this.
You also need to factor alterations into your budget, you may have a separate allowance for this, however a lot of bride-to-be's forget about the need to have the dress fitted to you once you have purchased it.
This can cost anywhere between £100-£400+.
 Of course it depends on the seamstresses individual pricing & the level of detail that is required to alter your dress, generally most dresses will need to be taken in/out up/down for them to fit you well & in some cases you may want to add additional details, i.e buttons, extra material for coverage of an area you may want to hide away, extra support around the boobs, the list goes on, and if you don't add this into the budget of your dress you may be shocked at the final bill, so it is always good to factor this in right from the beginning.
Speak with your stylist about alteration costs once you have chosen your dress but not before you make a final decision and hand over your hard earned money!

  • Timing
One thing I would see a lot of is brides with no concept of time, if you are going to be purchasing your dress via a bridal boutique, these are usually (unless you go down the sample sale route) made to order and designers generally have a lead time around 6-9 months per dress, which means ideally you'll be trying on your dress around a year before your wedding date.
I know this may sound like a crazy length of time but you need to factor a few things into this..
1 - Finding your dress, this could be the first appointment or ten stores later.
2. Designers lead time.
3. Fittings and alterations once the dress has arrived into the boutique from the designer.
This can take around 1-3 visits to get right, you are usually working to the seamstresses/boutiques schedules so if there are other people in line it can take up to 3 months until your dress is completely ready for you to wear on the big day! 
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time so you aren't fretting over something that is one of the most enjoyable parts of planning your wedding. 

  • 'Entourage'

I find this word so funny, it makes you sound like such a diva, but if theres one diva in the room you want it to be you and not your over opinionated third cousin. 
Really think about who's advice means the most to you, the last thing you want is a room full of divided opinions on whether or not you look better in a full ball gown or if baroque lace makes you look like a granny. 
I would suggest taking your Mum/Mother In Law, if this is someone you feel comfortable listening to (we all know what some parents can be like eek!) and 2 of your closest friends or family members.
The advice they give you needs to be valuable and honest but equally these people need to know that ultimately the final decision is yours and you need to feel your best and fully supported by them!
Also, its ok to go it alone, personally my favourite dress experiences were the appointments I went by myself, I totally knew that my decision would be made by me and only me and I didn't want anything else to sway that, and if thats you then go for it, don't feel pressured by friends and family into inviting them if you don't want to! 

  • Your Husband to be
My final tip is to imagine what you want your husband to feel when you walk down the aisle towards him, this is something I really wanted to portray in my dress.
I wanted him to say "wow" and see me in something that took his breath away, that doesn't mean you have to go for something totally out of your comfort zone, if anything I'd say stay true to the person you are, thats who he fell in love with in the first place, but just amp it up a little.
Think of what your favourite part of you, your fiancé loves the most, and maybe play on these areas a little more, if you know he loves your butt maybe go for something with a low back so his eyes are drawn to this area, ultimately this day is about the two of you and the person you want to impress the most is him, so as much as its making the right decision for you its about making him feel included in the little details too!

I really hope you've enjoyed this weeks post, I feel like I've tried to cover as many of the important aspects of finding your dress as possible, however if you have any other questions feel free to leave me a comment below or send me a DM on Instagram: @frankieameliaxo and I'll be more than happy to answer them for you! 

See you on the 20th for the next Wedding Wednesday instalment, 
lots of love Frankie xo


No comments

Post a Comment