With being a bride comes the biggest fashion commitment you’ll ever make in your life; thee dress.
I haven’t set foot in a bridal shop as a bride. The last time I was in a bridal shop I was doing work experience at university, working with a company who produced the fashion shows at many of the large wedding exhibitions. My favourite dress was a white, Swarovski-clad corseted, sweetheart neckline, princess meringue showstopper. Oh, how things have changed.
A day of bridal appointments touring different boutiques and trying on various styles and silhouettes is as exciting to me as gauging my own eyes out with a spoon. The idea of wearing something costing three month’s salary that I can’t walk in, dance in, breathe in, eat in or go to the toilet for twelve hours does not appeal to me, no matter how good I might look wearing it. Sloans has two flights of stairs to contend with and I’d rather not look like I’m leading a penguin parade.
I’ve had a good hunt around online looking for inspiration – Monsoon, Phase Eight and now ASOS all have bridal ranges and there are some beautiful dresses, but I’ve not seen anything that I thought was ‘me’. The only brand I’ve looked it and could possibly imagine myself wearing is BHLDN, the bridal sister company of Anthropologie, but ordering a dress from the states is just too much of a risk for my liking.
What does the bride who doesn’t like wedding dresses do? She goes to the lovely Wendy at Flossy and Dossy to have something bespoke made! Criteria - simple, unfussy, comfortable, relatively casual and relaxed, not too big, not too fitted but I don’t want to look like a sack of spuds either, must have straps, no lace, no bling and no appliques. I’m a dream.
Your wedding is one of the few excuses you’ll have in your lifetime to have a dress made just for you, to your specifications. If anyone can do it, Wendy can! She is a dressmaking superstar: Wendy is very much about creating something that you feel special in but also comfortable wearing. The first time I met her at a wedding fayre and oogled over her sample dresses I knew that when the time came I’d ask her to make my wedding dress. All of Wendy’s dresses are handmade and fitted from scratch; she has a small collection you can choose from and customise, or you can opt for a bespoke design. Wendy guides you through the design and fabric of your dress, and directs you to her suppliers so you can order samples, especially useful if you’re thinking of veering away from the traditional white or ivory.
Our wedding is 6 months away next week (aaaaaaahhhhh!) and I’ll have a mock-up of my silhouette by the end of the month with my actual dress following not too long afterwards. For a lot of brides the idea of not seeing their dress until a few months before their wedding is probably unthinkable given that most boutiques require you to order your dress a minimum of 6 months before your big day. It absolutely takes the stress out of it for me knowing that it’s in safe hands and I don’t need to try on lots of dresses in a desperate search to find something remotely like what’s in my head.