Its been nearly 5 years now since I said "I do" having been plucked, waxed, painted and plaited to within an inch of my life! I can honestly say I loved it! That's not to say there were no stresses, trials and tribulations (the waxing alone wow!) but I never tire of helping other brides and listening to their wows and woes. With this in mind the spirit of the Aurora Blog will be trying to impart some of our wisdomess and share some of the funny stories we hear along the way in an attempt to make our brides and others feel a little less alone - you are not an island we've got your back!
One of my fiercest foes during the wedding planning was one that we see ALL THE TIME in store, THE DRESS WOBBLES! I think I have a fairly unique perspective on this having been in the bridal industry for over 10 years now and I have to say it was no easier for me - practice did not make perfect! Later in the series we will do a specific 'Dress for your Shape / Ignore the Fear' blog but my main overwhelming concern was not wanting the dress I loved.
Sounds weird right? You would think I would know how to do this and get it right - I've done this before I said piece of cake.This is not my first rodeo! I knew what I wanted - the organza princess gown - the Grace Kelly experience if you will. Designers offered me the chance to have them design a gown for me - amaze balls offer I hear you say, and not that I was ungrateful but I had it in store already and just didn't like it??? So how could I get them to make me something that was wrong? And why was it wrong I had known what I wanted all along and never considered that I just wouldn't like it when push came to aisle.
It all boiled down to my shape and the fact that I had never worn bridal gowns before - not properly. They are a different beast to the dresses you wear day in day out to parties, weddings, holidays etc. What I had drawn in my playtime's since I was block fringed little girl was not what I wanted and definitely not what I loved. It wasn't easy to accept. I had my vision and reality didn't match up? I hated pick ups in the skirt so why did the dress I love have them and why was there tulle involved - I hated tulle on me?? This was not my ideal dress and definitely not the one I dreamed of or even slightly googled? So how could it be "the one"?
I had my diva moments around this time - you're allowed by the way! Every bride is allowed to be fussy, allowed to be indecisive, allowed to be as annoying as a tired toddler in Pizza Express! You just have to remember to take wine to the people who you put through the most, your bridal store included!
Try to remain as calm as you can, moaning in general not at people helps! Wine definitely helped (no porn star martinis those days!) and then remembering at the end of the day it was just a dress (albeit a very important one)
During this time you have to listen to your consultant and your store they know what they are doing. This seems like advice I shouldn't need to give but hey I didn't listen to it and I do this for a living so it bares repeating every now and then.
I think my main train of thought here is not to beat yourself up for liking something different, go with the flow. I did and to this day I still wouldn't pick a different dress, I felt amazing in it, I loved it! Accept what you love not what you want is the best motto for life!
Next on my annoying dress phase was having to be OK when not everyone loved my gown. My mum isn't with me anymore and I worried not having that special person with you would make it all harder?
Don't get me wrong it did - there's no one time you miss her craziness more than others but you feel it more keenly at this point in your life. BUT, it doesn't follow that were she here she would have loved my dress as much as I did. My aunt didn't like it the best, my dad didn't, neither did all my bridesmaids but you know who did ultimately like it the most - ME! At the end of the day that's all that matters - you have to have that smile and knowing thought that this is the dress you like the most and the one you want to wear on your wedding day!
Listen to yourself, listen to your family and listen to the help offered to you by your consultant BUT ultimately chose the dress you love when you are in it - not the one you drew as a child or the one your mum/sister/bank manager/beautician liked the most.
If I could only give you with one piece of advice today it is to listen to your heart and use your bridal store's information and experience. Any good store will provide you with time and a trained ear to help you. It won't always feel like the movies - whoever said wedding dress shopping is always easy should be dragged out behind the bins and beaten - it gives unrealistic expectations.
I would love to be able to find THE perfect gown for every bride straight out the gate but life isn't fair like that so use them and their knowledge to get you there.
Unless you hail from the lands across the pond and appear on a Say Yes to the Dress style show remember that you are unlikely to collapse in a puddle of tears as soon as you put a wedding dress on that slightly tickles your fancy. These expectations come straight from our slightly more emotional friends in the USA - we Brits are not as outwardly forthright, we're not used to these outbursts so please don't be upset if you, your guests and consultant don't erupt in an emosh sesh.
It's perfectly normal to pick the dress you like the most not always waiting for the one that sends you running for the tissues. We would love if every bride did this but it just doesn't happen 90% of the time and that's ok! I will tell you though, catch me PMT'ing and stick an emotional Nanna near me and I will cry for you with the smallest provocation - it's always the Nan that gets me!
Lastly do your research which will obviously lead you back to me right? #humble
If it reassures you check what sizes they stock, check the styles they stock, check you will have someone to help you the whole time then get booking those appointment/s.
It doesn't hurt to check out Retail Groups such as the RBA (retail bridal association) these groups check and vet bridal stores recommended by them making sure no one packs up and leaves you in the lurch - for info check out http://www.rbaltd.org.uk/ where you can find a list of where to shop safely.
Its starting to get dark now and a bridal shop at night when quiet is an eerily spooky place so I will leave you to ponder on my musings. Go start up the google machine and get cracking on that research (obvs with me first at www.aurora-bride.com)
Remembering my dress and thinking of all this emotional fun I think I might shoot off and do a spot of ironing (ha!) in my wedding dress this evening! Have fun shopping girls and remember - it might be the most special dress you ever wear but it is only a dress its more important you enjoy the shopping and the journey, do that and it will all fall into place!