October 12, 2017

The reality of wedding dress shopping…


Until recently, I’d never set foot in a Wedding dress shop (or boutique if you will) and then it all changed with a whoosh of tulle, a whole lot of lace, satin, and beads.

The initial experience for me was a little surreal, I wasn’t sure where to even start looking and I was fearful I’d miss something amongst the rails of endlessly beautiful dresses. I was desperately trying to hold in my inner over excited 5 year old, curious to look at and try everything, whilst my grown-up side knew I had to be sensible.

What surprised me is that there’s a time limit, most of the time you need to book an appointment far in advance and in the first few shops there was no prosecco! As my journey continued I soon realized that the exciting anticipation about exploring a new venue doesn’t ease off at all.

“Life is a party, dress like it” Audrey Hepburn

A small part of me felt like a fraud; almost as if I shouldn’t be there at all and it’s all a strange dream and I’d taken a completely different direction. I also found it hard to accept that my dream of a floaty boho gown, wasn’t actually the right style of dress for me. Despite relentlessly trying, however, it’s a well-known fact we never end up in what we initially expect and I’m no exception to that rule. I only had three definitive ‘NO’s’ and they were 1) No white 2) No meringue 3) No strapless. However, naturally, I tried those styles on because ‘never say never..’.

Over time I ended up visiting 5 different shops, I tried on around 50 dresses, from ‘wild cards’ to ‘I love this on the hanger’ to ‘Oh goodness, I simply cannot move’ and my favourite ‘should the back be THAT open, I can’t wear any underwear?’

“When in doubt, over dress”

I did take a relaxed view and allowed other people to pick out dresses that they felt would be suitable for me, surprisingly the dress I picked was something suggested by someone else. However, these women really do know how to dress people! Another thing to keep in mind, wedding sizing is different is different to normal dress shopping, it’s not rare to try something a few sizes larger or smaller. Amazingly the only dress that fit without alterations was the dress I bought, almost every other dress would have needed adjustments in one place or another. Question, why are wedding dresses so long? Do they think the UK has a national height average of 5’10?

“Life is short, buy the dress..”

I set out with a very clear idea of how much I was comfortable spending on my dream dress, once I started shopping I soon realized this had to increase a little more, which I could accept. So, of course, it makes perfect sense that I went completely and utterly over the budget I’d set for myself. I then cried with tiredness, emotion, and shock that I’d actually spent that amount and was I really worth it? Could my poor bank account cope?

I have my dream dress, I’ll now be spending a lot less on shoes and I just hope that my husband to be is blown away…

Tell me your wedding dress stories or dreams?



P.s – None of these dresses were ‘the one‘…

You might enjoy reading:

*Celebrating our engagement with Biscuiteers Biscuits 

*On not becoming Bridezilla 

9 responses to “The reality of wedding dress shopping…”

  1. I had mine made as I was young & poor & wanted a comfortable dress 😜 If I got married now I would definitely go with something a bit more extravagant.

    All of your “no” dresses look amazing 😀

    • Katie G says:

      Thank you! I set out to buy a very simple, cheaper dress and ended up getting completely drawn in – I didn’t think I was that kind of woman, turns out I am! I bet you looked stunning though, plus you were happy and comfortable so that’s a win!

  2. Helen says:

    As a woman of 5ft11 I loved wedding dress shopping – first time my height was an advantage buying clothes! You definitely know ‘the one when you find it don’t you?

    • Katie G says:

      Hurrah! Yes, I think that 5’10-5’11 is perfect for Wedding dress shopping – I’m all of 5’6 so I was forever trying not to trip up! When I found the one it was blinking amazing, it’s so beautiful!

  3. Steph says:

    I love the no dresses! I was the same. I was adamant I didn’t want big and puffy meringues but when I went in I tried them and actually didn’t mind them. I know what you mean about feeling like a fraud though and I really didn’t have that magical kind of “Don’t tell the bride” fantasy dress shopping experience. I ended up with a beautiful Maggie Sottero dress which I am now debating selling as I can’t think of a reason to keep it.

    • Katie G says:

      Ahhh, I fell in love with a Maggie Sottero dress which was almost but not quite the one! However, with the sheer expense, I can understand the concept of selling it. The whole experience is so surreal, part of me wants to do it again because I loved trying on dresses so much. Now I’m at the point where all I want is to finally wear my dress 🙂

  4. Helen Wyman says:

    Loved reading this, it’s all so true. These are all stunning on you and I bet you’ll look ridiculously gorgeous in ‘the one’.

    I had the same, my dream dress was completely wrong for me and ended up with something I thought I would have hated before trying on! In fact it was lucky number three in the third shop which freaked me out slightly…

    Lots of love xxx

  5. Natasha says:

    Stunning! I love the first and last ones. I hope we get to see ‘the one’ afterwards.
    Natasha | http://www.danceflowlift.com

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