Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Wedding Wednesday No.3 - The Dress!

Last time I was going to tell you about the dress and got side-tracked by shoes (as so often happens with me!), but the time has come.

I knew from the outset that I didn’t want your run of the mill dress (think white, princess style and sparkly – well that just isn’t me) I’m short so long dresses just drown me, also, I like to be individual – I don’t want to wear something a hundred other brides around the country are wearing. I’ve always loved the idea of having a vintage dress (I adore the style and silhouettes of the 50s) but because usually you only find vintage stuff in teeny tiny sizes I didn’t think it would be an option for me. So the search started.

My first experience of trying on dresses was at the National Wedding Show at the NEC, I’d gone with 2 of my bridesmaids and another friend who is getting married soon and hadn’t really expected to try anything on, but I found a couple of dresses that met my wish list (basically anything not full length – shorter styles seem to be in this year luckily!) so I thought I’d have a go, I was also convinced to try a couple of longer dresses but none of them wowed me and my thoughts about having a shorter dress were confirmed.

I also visited a ‘conventional’ bridal shop ( with 2 of my bridesmaids (the other 2 than the ones I went to Birmingham with) where the girls were really helpful and I tried on about 5 dresses. One of the dresses was lovely and just what I wanted – strapless, tea-length and very simple – I went away confident that it could be the one. However, I still wanted to look at some vintage dresses so made a couple of appointments in London and headed up there with my Mum for a look.

I made 2 appointments, the first was OK, as I knew they would be the dresses were mostly in very small sizes so I could only try on a couple and the girl was pretty unhelpful as far as suggesting dresses that would suit me or even those that might fit so I spent quite some time aimlessly looking at the 2 racks of dresses not really knowing what to do. Before the appointment I had also received a very lengthy email from the establishment letting me know what I could and couldn’t do – it sounded very stern! Eventually we left and I wasn’t feeling too inclined to return for another try at a later date.

The second appointment was a complete contrast, we opened the door to the little shop (Fur Coat No Knickers) and were immediately in awe of all the beautiful things on display – dresses, accessories and sparkly things dotted every surface – it was like an Alladin’s Cave of vintage wedding awesome-ness. The girl behind the counter greeted us with a smile and immediately dashed off to get us some champagne – I like this kind of welcome! We spent a few minutes perusing the splendour before being whisked behind the curtain for dress-up time…

The Fur Coat No Knickers Shop

They’d already picked out all of the dresses they had in my size and was told that I should try ALL of them on whether I thought they were of interest or not, so I did! First I was given a waist nipper and layered petticoat to lay the right foundations and then after a bit of cooing over my shoes it was time for the dresses. Oh the dresses…

They were all so beautiful and definitely not your average wedding dress, there was silk, lace, sleeves, strapless, broderie anglaise, sequins and so much more and I tried them all. Some of them were definitely not me but there was one that definitely was. On the hanger it didn’t look like much but when I put it on it came to life, it fit me like a glove, was the perfect length and the colour was gorgeous. Some alterations were suggested to make it even more gorgeous and I was sold. The deposit was paid and I had a dress! Woop Woop!!

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