As much as I’d like to tell you I’ve been extremely pro-active in the wedding planning department in the past month, I am not entirely convinced that I wasn’t stress-eating Ben & Jerry’s in a corner whilst my mum and Maid of Honour, Meg organised me. That’s right, Meg is someone I have this month who I didn’t have last month. Hurrah!
Here’s something else I have this month that I didn’t have last month – night terrors. Night terrors of the walking-down-the-aisle-and-falling-off-a-cliff variety. (Anyone wanna take that one?) Luckily, Meg is a list person.
You know when you first join a gym and you have to fill out ten pages of irritating questions about yourself like they wanna date you before they let you in to their #fitfam? Or when the end of January comes around and you still haven’t done your tax return because omg 30 pages? Well Meg lives for those moments. She was my unofficial PA when we were at school and let’s just say I didn’t colour code my locker myself.
It was no surprise then when less than 24 hours after I asked her to be my Maid of Honour, she sent me a list of important dates, including a reminder to start dress shopping and book some wedding shows for us to go to.
So, much like the time I took her advice when we were 16 and she subtly suggested I do some GCSE maths revision instead of spending all my time writing poetry for my MSN name, this month I booked my first ever wedding dress appointment for me, my mum and my lovely granny.
According to Brides magazine, your wedding dress can take anywhere from 6 – 9 months to be made to fit you, so early appointments are vital if you’re anything like me and take ten years to find an outfit for any event. This event being kind of a big deal, it was definitely a good idea to start with a full year ahead of us.
My Mum booked me an appointment at the Pronovias flagship store on New Bond Street, a firm that opened it’s doors in Barcelona and specialises in lace and high-quality silk fabrics. Their Spanish roots are unavoidable and it’s easy to see why so many brides flock to their doors looking for their dream dress. From the moment we stepped inside they were welcoming, friendly and professional.
We had a glass of champagne each and a private area, which we settled into after we went through their lookbooks and decided on some dresses to try. Since I had never tried on a wedding dress before, Hanna thought it was best to try a bit of everything since we didn’t know what suited me. She was obviously very knowledgable and made me feel really comfortable – even when horror struck and we couldn’t get my bum into a fishtail gown. There are typically six styles of dress, and she was adamant that I try one from each collection just in case something surprised me.
By the end of the appointment Hanna had identified the best shape for my body (v neck with a drop waist) and gave me all the information about the dress I liked best – she wasn’t pushy or intimidating and wanted me to go away and think about everything. It was a lovely first experience. Since we wanted to enjoy the moment as a family we didn’t take any photos with my camera, but mum snapped a few iPhone pics.
FYI – none of these dresses are The One, and I’ve already warned Tom to steer clear of this post.
The first dress we tried on was a full-on lace design with a pretty V neck and a long train. It was beautiful, graceful and pretty perfect for a barn wedding.
The only thing I wasn’t sure about was the tan-coloured underlay that sat beneath the lace, which gave it that off-white colour. I loved the neckline and the flattering waist of this dress but I have my heart set on lace sleeves and this didn’t feel like it was The One.
The next one we tried on was all tulle rather than lace and my god was it dreamy! The subtle lace embroidery on the skirt is exactly what I want – unfortunately it had a high neckline and just didn’t sit right. Whilst I wouldn’t say it didn’t suit me, I just didn’t feel like it was doing anything for me above the waist. I wasn’t all that keen on the back either.
Next up we tried strapless, which I was 99% sure I didn’t want but Hanna suggested I try it anyway. It was nice but felt very generic. I suppose you could say it’s timeless rather than generic, because it’s exactly the kind of dress I typically associate with brides and weddings.
I thought the belt was cute and the lace and train were beautiful! Even though it was strapless it came with this sweet little lace jacket that turned it into an off-the-shoulder number. Again, it was a stunning dress but it wasn’t for me.
Since I liked the idea of tulle for the skirt but didn’t like the neckline of the previous one, we tried a similar style with a V-neck instead and a keyhole back. Again, I was blown away by the fairy-tale feel but no-one was crying, so it wasn’t The One.
It was however the BIGGEST dress I’ve ever worn in my entire life – it was like stepping into a meringue when Hanna helped me into it.
As overwhelming as it was trying on wedding dresses, Hanna was so helpful for the entire appointment and made us feel really relaxed. I can’t thank her enough for her style advice and recommendations! Whilst I was disappointed not to get that magic feeling you’re supposed to have when you find The Dress, I am optimistic that my next trip will be even better.
With one year to go until the big day, I’m feeling super excited to start finding key suppliers and making those big style decisions! I’ve promised Meg I’ll keep the secret Ben & Jerry’s consumption to a minimum. As always, I’ll keep you posted!