Confessions of a bride-to-be: What you want is probably not what you’ll like

Hello everyone!

Wow, it’s been quite a while since my last post. I suppose I haven’t really done much wedmin recently. I know there are a few bits I need to organise – a marquee….ermmm, is that it?! That’s exciting if it is the only thing left to organise! I’m am slightly nervous about our singer for the celebration. She doesn’t want us to pay a deposit – which I’m guessing is more to cover her back so if she gets a better offer she can pull out. I probably should find someone else instead but I don’t want to! I really like her music and she was pretty reasonably priced. Again, this could work against us though as she would definitely sack us off if she got a bigger gig (and more money!) elsewhere.

Anyway! I’m going off on a tangent again like usual! Last month I did do just one thing weddingy – I went to try on wedding dresses in a proper wedding dress shop!

Confession #11: What you want is probably not what you’ll like

I had been told this sooooo many times and, as anyone who knows me can vouch for, I am very stubborn. If I set my mind on something then it has to be done exactly how I picture it in my head and if it doesn’t then, oh dear. I remember the first time I cooked for Craig’s parents. I was really panicking about it and had decided, instead of simply buying some garlic bread to have with our spag bol, I was going to cook it from scratch. I’d found a recipe for a cheese stuffed focaccia, as Craig’s Dad doesn’t really like garlic. I made the dough, kneaded it, waited for it to prove, stuffed it with cheese, waited for it to prove again and, finally, popped it in the oven. When it came out of the oven, the bread had swollen. Instead of it being flat and looking just how it had on the pictures online, it resembled a balloon and I was devastated. Craig said it looked amazing and really yum but, no, for me it wasn’t good enough. I got so angry that I chucked it on the floor, the cheese spurted out and in my frustration I accidentally walked through a splodge of cheese, had to furiously hop all the way through the kitchen, front room, hallway and out into my car, straight to Morrison’s to buy some cheesy bread - all without saying a word and Craig trying not to laugh!

Anyway, I was adamant about the style of dress I wanted. I had pictured a spaghetti strap dress with a tight upper half and floaty bottom half. I had already ordered several from online and hadn’t liked them. I didn’t like the shape I looked in them. I am bigger on my bottom half and because of the pouffe from the floaty bottom halves of these dresses, in my eyes, it just accentuated that. It was Terri, my brother’s girlfriend, who suggested I go to a wedding shop to just try lots of different styles on. It didn’t mean I had to buy one from there but at least there would be a huge selection that I could try on, and try things outside of my comfort zone, without having to spend money on them and spend time sending things back! I should also say that by this point, I had actually already ordered one online and had kept it. It wasn’t too expensive and I liked it on. I thought I’d keep it and if something else popped up then I could always sell it and it wouldn’t be the end of the world; and if something else didn’t pop up, then at least I had a dress to fall back on. I can’t say I was 100% sold on it but it was pretty and I felt it suited the occasion of our wedding day. I agreed with Terri and thought going to a shop was a really good idea.

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Anyway, I booked an appointment and invited mine and Craig’s Mums and Terri, to come to the shop with me. Upon arrival, the lady in the shop, who didn’t introduce herself at all, or ask me my name, asked me to pick out three dresses to try on. She then shoved me in a changing room and told me to undress. The night before this appointment, I had been very tearful. I was not looking forward to it at all. The whole wedding is planned around my need to not be the centre of attention and I knew that this experience was going to consist of lots of eyes on me and my body being on show. I was bloody nervous and didn’t want to do it. So at this point, I had been shoved in a changing room, told to undress to my underwear and just stand and wait for a lady to appear to dress me. The longer I stood and waited, the more and more anxious I became. It ended up in me bursting into tears and not being able to get control of myself back. She came into the dressing room, saw me in this state and left again to get some tissues. She then pulled me into the first dress which was two sizes smaller than I am. I know this is normal protocol but, my gosh, it makes you feel like shit! When I was already super nervous of coming out of the changing room, having to stand on a block with mirrors covering the three walls around me, with my guests sitting on chairs lined up in front of the block to stare at me and to analyse how I looked; having to come out in a dress where my bum wasn’t in it and the zip was undone all the way down the back, did nothing to help the emotional state I was already in. I did it though. I stood there and I held back a fresh batch of tears. I got straight back into the changing room and cried again.


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The shop assistant asked me what the matter was. I told her that I don’t really like myself and my body shape. I told her that I just wanted to go to Vegas and get married by Elvis. That I didn’t want to walk down an aisle with everyone looking at me. She thrust another tissue my way and pulled me out of the dress so I was left standing in my underwear again. She brought in another of my choices and asked me what other shops I had been to. At this point I told her that this was my first fitting and she sort of paused and realised that perhaps she had approached this in the wrong way. Anyway, she pulled me into the dress and sent me back out to the dreaded block. Our Mum’s and Terri were absolutely gorgeous and told me I looked wonderful, but dress after dress, I couldn’t feel it. Each time I got back into the changing room, the lady would laugh at my wide hips and big bum and the struggle we were having every time to pull them into the dresses. I felt worse and worse. Eventually, I tried on a dress and, actually, I quite liked it. I went out in it and Terri got tearful. I could see my mum and Craig’s mum liked it too. I didn’t like the detail on it – it was too fussy for me – but I did like the style and how it shaped my body. Using this dress as a compass, we found two more, which were a little less fussy, but a similar shape. I liked both of them on.

By this point I was exhausted. I asked her for the price of these two dress. This was the point she asked me what my budget was. I told her and she laughed. The two dresses I had tried on were £1300 and £1500. I could also see the look on my mum’s face. I don’t think she had quite realised how much wedding dresses were and I think she quickly understood why I was looking online at ASOS instead! I got dressed and we headed back to the car. When we got home, Mum got me some Spanx out and I tried on the dress I had already ordered and kept. It looked so much nicer than the ones we had tried on in the shop. The train was shorter, it was less of a big deal and it was so much more me. The dress fitted absolutely perfectly – perhaps just slightly a little large when wearing the Spanx! We decided to order the size down. It arrived a few days later and fit! It is a little tight at the moment but I could wear it as it is if I didn’t lose weight either.  This dress cost me £225. I will only be wearing it for a maximum of 3 hours so I feel like this amount is the limit I could justify on spending on a dress. I feel just as nice in this one as I did in the £1500 one. And this one isn’t spaghetti straps with a floaty bottom. It is different altogether but it suits me so much more.

Sorry for the rawness of this post. I absolutely hated my dress fitting experience but I don’t think that was helped by the member of staff who helped us. One of my closest friends went a few days after me, to a totally different shop (she lives down in Bournemouth), and said she absolutely loved the experience and that she had found her dress straight away – it was the first one she tried on! Another friend had been a few days before and she felt a bit like me, that it felt horrible to be paraded out to everyone in a dress that didn’t fit and all of your friends still being absolute sweethearts and saying you look stunning, while feel like a complete idiot! But she too found her dress.

I’d be so intrigued to hear other people’s stories. Did I just have a really horrible experience because the member of staff was a bit too brutal for me? I so wish I could redo it all and go somewhere a little bit more friendly next time! Or maybe it was just because of my insecurities and I’d be the same wherever I went? I will never know!

Sending love to you all,

Emma