This month our bride begins the search for her dream dress.
Supposedly, the bride’s dress is the most important aspect of a wedding day. Not the eternal love or buffet that costs approximately £50million a head – no, it’s the big white frock that gets everybody talking. So, no pressure when it comes to actually picking one. But, how do you choose?
I began my search by buying 15 bridal magazines, each filled with dresses by different designers. I saw none that I liked, and, after a while they all began to look the same, while the miserable models wearing them looked like they were recent divorcees rather than celebrating the happiest day of their lives.
Magazines discarded, I enlisted the help of Pinterest and bridal websites to aid my search. This proved slightly more fruitful, with me finding a few gowns I liked the style of, but clearly, I didn’t know what any of these dresses would look like on.
When I began looking for stockists, I found that for some I’d need to book a trip across the world (not a major problem, but, you know, I’m saving for a wedding), or the dresses were literally so last year, so there was no hope of finding them in a bridal boutique without the aid of a time machine.
Maybe I needed something more visual to help? I began watching all manner of trashy TV shows in the hope they’d give me some inspiration. As every evening turned into a marathon of I Found the Gown, Say Yes to the Dress and Don’t Tell the Bride, I could see my fiancée rapidly regretting the decision to propose, longing for nights watching football rather than women crying because they’d tried on 50 dresses and none of them had the right crystal to lace ratio.
I decided that perhaps the best thing to do would be to go and see some real life dresses, rather than staring at them on a screen, so, with no clue what I was looking for or what I was doing, I dragged my mother, mother-in-law-to-be and bridesmaid to a local dress shop. I’ve heard that ‘the one’ does exist, but from what I could see, there were lots of ones, in a variety of colours, styles and lengths and I had no idea what to do.
The owner of the shop – a patient woman used to dealing with clueless brides like me, encouraged me to be open-minded and try on a range of different dresses. I rifled through the collections, carefully avoiding anything with lace, sparkle or a train, because weeks of research had taught me that these weren’t things I wanted.
Naturally, after parading up and down in dress after dress, the one I fell in love with was, of course, a huge, lacy affair with a chapel length train and enough sequins to supply a Christmas card factory. Before shooting my arms up in the air and declaring “I’ve found the gown!” I thought it would be worth checking the price tag. Suddenly my dreams were dashed. At three times the wedding budget (damn those sequins), I definitely hadn’t found the elusive ‘one’, but rather, one very expensive dress. I left even more confused than before. Not only am I open to even more dress styles than I thought, I also discovered I have very expensive taste. Perhaps it’s time for me to cancel the Sky subscription and save some pennies (and my fiancées sanity) in order to say yes to the dress…