My first wedding dress shopping experience was back in April, to say I had mixed emotions about the experience would be a complete understatement. As a bit of an introvert the thought of firstly getting down to my underwear in front of a complete stranger is horrifying and secondly parading around a shop and standing in front of mirrors with multiple on lookers is definitely not my cup of tea. However as lover of all things fashion the idea of finally getting my hands on some amazing dresses and looking at all the different styles and fabrics made me feel like a kid in a candy shop.
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My best friend was coming over for a visit so I booked a few appointments with bridal shops in town and mentally prepared myself for the experience ahead. I had seen a dress liked in a magazine but due to cost had ruled it out from the get go. One thing I obviously knew before starting to look for my dress but was not quite prepared for each time I asked, was just how much the dresses cost. Beautiful, yes; but serious money. 90% of the dresses I tried on cost more than my car... Yes, you heard me correctly! Before taking the plunge I Googled (this was the level of my anxiety before hitting the shops that I actually Googled) tips for wedding dress shopping, which led me to choose white underwear and obviously no tan was in sight before going off to my bridal appointments.
Each shop was different to the rest. The first told me to pick out the dresses I liked and hang them in the fitting room. The second I hadn't booked an appointment for but they let me try one dress that they carried to the fitting room. The third gave me tags to put on the dresses I liked and they then escorted me to the fitting rooms. I went in with an open mind, although I had an idea of the type of dress I wanted. All the shop assistants were very polite and told me I looked great in everything, when clearly I did not. Although I thought they were all very sweet, for someone as stressy as me this was more of hiderance than help! I needed a straight answer... The exception came when I tried on a 1950's short style; we all agreed that was not for me as I stared back at what looked like a sugar plum fairy version of myself.
I have to say dress shopping is not like film depictions, you get hot and bothered trying on dress after dress, you forget what the first one even looked like after the third, and you stress out as you realise there is no such thing as 'the one' because you can't decide between five. After a day of shopping and dragging my friend along after me, I was exhausted and disappointed that no dresses had lived up to the dream dress.
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After she left I thought I thought I'd just see if I could track down the dress from the magazine; maybe if I could try it on I could rule it out and it would stop clouding my judgement. After searching online I found it, so a couple of weeks later I took a road trip to the bridal shop where the magazine dress was stocked. Mr llandmakeup dutifully tagged a long to keep me company, and patiently (or not so patiently) waited in the car while I nervously went into the shop. While there I thought I would make the most of my time (I had travelled to get there) and tried on five dresses, leaving the magazine dress till last. There was one other I really liked but I knew it was too pricey. When it came to the magazine dress I tried it on and... In all honesty I now can't remember what I thought, but I must have liked it because I threw caution to the wind and brought it!
I've still got fittings to come, and I'm looking forward to them so that I can try on my dress again. Wedding dress shopping is more insane and fun then you could ever imagine! My advice; take one trusted friend and trust your own judgement. Pick something you love, and not what you think others expect you to wear; it's your day! Have fun and relax... I need to take my own advice on this one!
If your married or getting married let me know your wedding dress experiences, I'd love to hear them!