Nobody said wedding dress shopping would be so exhausting! Phew!
I spent yesterday on a wedding dress shopping trip in a very busy central London with two of my sisters. Having decided that I couldn’t see myself in a traditional big white wedding dress (despite how stunning some of them are), we started in the big shopping centres. We browsed the designer and evening gown sections of House of Fraser, Selfridges and John Lewis.
I tried on two beautiful gowns in these shops:
1. Beaded Beauty:
I tried on this gorgeous number from Phase Eight in House of Fraser on Oxford Street. Phase Eight actually do a beautiful wedding range at extremely reasonable prices. This dress was amazing, but I didn’t feel that it suited my body shape 100% (it accentuated my love handles). I definitely thought I would keep it in mind as a good back-up dress if nothing else worked out.
2. The Golden Number:
I can’t seem to remember who designed The Golden Number I tried on, but it’s very similar to the one in this photo. It was a fully sequinned, full-length gown, in a mermaid shape, that hugged my whole body. It was beautiful. It was, however very gold and although I knew I didn’t want a white/ivory dress, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go quite that golden and sparkly.
The trouble was, that I had already spotted a dress online that I had a feeling about. I wanted to try it on, so that I can know for sure if it’s not right and can at least eliminate it comfortably and move on. Unfortunately, this dress is not actually stocked/sold officially in the south of the UK. I didn’t let this get in the way of my mission though; I found one independent evening dress shop whose website said they sold dresses made by this designer. This shop was not quite in Central London. In fact, it was a 50 minute bus ride to Finchley, and once you get there, there is nothing but this shop.
Nevertheless, as bridesmaids normally do, my sisters convinced me that it’s not too much trouble and that they were happy to come with me to try on this dress. Off we went, after having to run for the bus. There was much excitement on the way and I couldn’t quite reign in my giddiness. I think they must have got tired of it!
Eventually we got to the shop, and what a shop it was! The man (and there was only one, small and flamboyant man) had hundreds of stunning evening gowns, hiding away on a quiet street in a corner of London. I quickly rummaged through them and pulled out the dress I had in mind. He only had it in navy blue, but it was stunning. The dress was at least two sizes too big and in completely the wrong colour (navy blue), but it didn’t take much convincing for me to try it on in hope that it would help steer my decision.
Once in the changing room, excitedly, I threw off my old jeans and tops and slipped the dress on. It had an intricate working of sequins on the top half, before flowing down in a very soft mermaid shape to a tulle overlay on the skirting, all the way onto the floor. It was clearly too big, but the shop owner swanned over to show me where he would need to take it in and take it up. But when I looked in the mirror, I felt like a princess. It was a beautiful dress and despite the size issue and the fact that it was in a dark blue, I still felt compelled to place an order for it in my size and preferred colour.
When we left the shop, I felt an odd mix of relief and anticipation. I was relieved because I felt the weight of finding the ‘right’ dress lifting off my shoulders – I didn’t actually enjoy the process of looking for a dress to be totally honest. But then I was never one for shopping or trying on lots of different clothes. The anticipation, however, of knowing that I’m going to order my dress was inexplicable. I suddenly got so impatient and wanted to rush home to place the order – it was a very strange feeling and I still can’t really explain it.
That evening though, I placed the magical order for ‘the dress’ and hoped for the best! WOOP!
Note: I realise that I have left out details of this dress. This is deliberate as there will be a post dedicated to the dress to give it the credit it deserves
- The Wedding Dress Search Begins – 18/10/2013
- Wedding Dress Guide Part 1: Introduction