Good afternoon everyone, and welcome along to another Ask The Experts post. Today I am thrilled to...
Good Afternoon! How are you all? The weeks just seem to be flying by now and the wedding season is in full flow! Today we are back with our weekly dose of Diary of a Boho Bride and I am very happy to bring Fay and Graeme to the blog. This is Fay’s first entry to the blog and it’s FULL of great information about dress searching, honestly you need to read this if you are about to start looking for your dream dress. If you want to hear all about Faye and Greame’s wedding plans you can find them HERE
It has been almost six months since we got engaged and I cannot believe how quickly it has passed. We are both feeling a little bit smug about how organised we have been so far with most of the big things booked including the venue and caterer. I imagine our wedding planning will start to calm down for the rest of the year – we’re lucky to be part of a number of friends’ weddings this summer which has shifted our focus. I am in the process of planning a festival hen-do for one of my best friends and we are Tuscany-bound for a friend’s wedding in July (we can’t wait)! All of these are great for wedding inspiration.
With just over a year until the big day, there is really only one thing that I am thinking about… the dress! I am a clothes fiend and did the typical ‘newly engaged girl’ thing and bought a stack of wedding magazines within days of having the ring on my finger. However, rather than being filled with delight at the thought of getting to choose what will probably the best dress I ever wear, I started to panic. It seemed like the magazines had endless pages of meringues and strapless ball gowns, which I’m sure look great on a lot of people, but they’re just not very ‘me’.
After the initial panic I decided to do some research and look at what kind of wedding dress shops there are in Manchester. I thought it made sense to stay local for future fittings and I was relieved to discover the range of different shops that exist nearby. There is an amazing mix of shops from the most traditional to the truly unique.
Image Source – Kate Halfpenny
I have been lucky enough to visit Jean Jackson Couture’s Northern Quarter studio on two occasions. This boutique has the most amazing array of dresses with accessories to die for (see picture of Incredible Native American Headdress). I felt like I was 5 years old and playing dress-up again! They are also the only UK stockists of the Australian designer Anna Campbell whose dresses are truly beautiful (seriously, get on Pinterest and gawp at them). There is one particular Jean Jackson dress that I have fallen in love with, although I’m currently torn between this and another dress at the White Closet in Didsbury (who have also been fantastic and have a great selection of Boho style dresses).
Image Source – Anna Campbell
I have basically spent the last two months immersing myself in the wonderful world of wedding dresses and feel that I have picked up some pretty handy tips along the way. I hope some of these might be of use to other brides landed with the daunting job of finding ‘the dress’! Here we go…
It is easy to be wowed by an amazing dress that isn’t necessarily ‘you’.
There have been some dresses that are so completely gorgeous that I’ve struggled to see beyond the dress – but don’t let the sparkle dazzle you!
Don’t eat a three course meal before dress shopping.
I ate an Italian meal of pasta and deep fried cheese before one appointment. I really hated how I looked in every dress because I felt so bloated and uncomfortable!
Do your research on which shops you want to visit.
I researched every shop carefully before booking an appointment to make sure they had the right style of dresses. Early on, I had an inkling that one particular shop didn’t stock the type of dresses I was looking for, but I booked it anyway. My gut instinct was right and it was a waste of an hour.
Don’t spend too much time idolising dresses you have found on Pinterest.
I saw one particular dress on Pinterest and managed to track down its only UK supplier. I had spent so much time obsessing over it that when I tried it on, it was a huge disappointment.
Do take your groom into consideration – a high fashion bride might not be at the top of his agenda.
Graeme is terrified that I’m going to choose some Carry Bradshaw-esque feathered number (he is probably going to freak when he sees the pictures of the couture feathered wedding dress styled with a Native American Headdress), but I genuinely am taking him into consideration when choosing my wedding dress. In fact my Mum and Bridesmaids are probably sick of me saying: ‘What if Graeme doesn’t like it?’
Faye’s Own Image
Faye’s Own Image
Keep in touch with any dress shops that stock a dress you are interested in.
At one of my first appointments, I witnessed a girl being told that the dress she had come to try on for the second time had been sold in a sample sale (disaster)! If you think you might be interested in a dress, keep in regular contact with the stockist so they know you are keen.
Take your venue and wedding style into consideration.
Although I don’t picture myself in a full skirted affair, I have been very open to trying on different styles. However, I keep reminding myself that a large skirt in a cosy teepee with an open fire probably isn’t the best idea.
Wedding dress sizes seem to be much smaller than normal.
I was actually commended in one store for fitting into a dress; I cannot tell you how small some of them are (I nearly cried on the day I ate a massive bowl of pasta)! Just keep reminding yourself they are often sample sizes worn by 6ft tall models.
If a shop has lots of accessories, try them on; they can turn the dress into an outfit.
The best shops I have visited are the ones with loads of accessories to play with. Before I started looking at dresses, I was adamant that I didn’t want a veil, but now I love them!
Be prepared to never have that ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ moment.
Let’s be honest, we have all watched the bride and her family crying when they find ‘the one’, but I haven’t shed a single tear throughout the process so far. Perhaps it’s because I’m quite a practical person, but I’m starting to think I will never have that moment. There are so many amazing dresses out there and I’ve realised that I will probably find lots of dresses that I love. Maybe ‘the one’ is still out there and I will ball my eyes out with the best of them…