Searching For My Autumn Wedding Dress

Our November wedding date is drawing ever closer, and it’s officially time to do something that I’ve been dreaming of ever since I was a little girl.

I’m talking, of course, about choosing my wedding dress.

As any bride-to-be knows, the search for the perfect gown is a process worthy of an entire style squad. Most of us, however, are armed only with our Pinterest boards and a vague idea of what we’re looking for. 

I thought it might be fun to document everything in a diary-style format here on my website, as I want to remember as much as possible about the whole process. After all, I’m only planning to get married once.

So, are you ready? Let’s go shopping together!

Planning

29th February 2020

Now that we’ve officially set a date, it’s time to throw myself into the hunt for the dress of my dreams.

Of course, my wedding dress is definitely not the most important part of the day – despite what most bridal websites will tell you!

I don’t particularly enjoy being the centre of attention. If I’m honest, the thought of everyone looking at me as I walk down the aisle is slightly terrifying! So my ideal dress is simply something that will make me feel confident and beautiful, despite any nervous butterflies in my stomach.

I gathered my initial ideas into a simple moodboard, which helped me to notice any common themes and styles. It quickly became obvious that I was looking for a very specific type of dress!

NEW WEDDING DRESS

As you can see, I have a pretty clear idea of what I want.

I love the look of long sleeves, particularly for a wedding set in the colder months. Paired with a high neckline and a hint of lace, it’s a recipe for my dream dress.

I’ve always been drawn to the boho-style wedding dresses floating around on Pinterest, with huge drapey sleeves and a more relaxed fit. But the more I thought about it, the more I feel that those dresses will date fairly quickly. I don’t want to look back at my wedding photos and wish that I had been a little more subtle in my style choices.

As a result I’ve decided to opt for a more classic dress, with hints of the bohemian style that I love. I also want something fairly modest, as I don’t show a lot of skin in my day-to-day life.

After hours of planning and researching, I think it’s finally time to hit the shops!

Shopping

March 5th 2020

As my family live in New Zealand, I wasn’t able to go dress shopping with my mum. Luckily I absolutely love my future mother-in-law, and she was kind enough to accompany me into London to try on a handful of wedding gowns.

Our first stop was Bridal Rogue Gallery, a cute little boutique near Baker Street station. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but the staff made me feel very welcome.

I had emailed ahead and special-ordered a specific dress to try on, as it perfectly fit my style and requirements. The store did charge me a fee to do this, so keep that in mind if you’re as picky as I am!

I tried on a few different styles, just to be sure that I was definitely heading in the right direction. I’m so glad that I did, as it gave me a great idea of what I definitely don’t want in a dress – some were too beachy, some were too stiff and one was so incredibly heavy that I had visions of slowly dragging myself down the aisle!

It was definitely a surreal moment when I first saw myself in the mirror, particularly when the assistant pinned a veil to my hair. I almost felt like a little girl again, dressing up and pretending to be a bride. There was no hint of tears though, which surprised me! I’m usually a pretty emotional person, but I think I was just focused on the task at hand.

IMG_3168

The dress that I had special-ordered was beautiful, but I just didn’t get that feeling that it was the one. So, the hunt continues!

Note: Can I just say how incredibly exhausting it is to try on wedding dresses? It sounds ridiculous, but it really drained me. There are an overwhelming number of options, an assistant who is constantly seeing you half-naked and the slight anxiety that comes with preparing to part with a large amount of money. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work!

Purchasing

January 21st 2021

I wrote the above in early 2020, just before the pandemic hit. COVID-19 was definitely on my radar, but I naively assumed that it would disappear as quickly as it had arrived. How wrong I was!

As a result, we had to postpone our wedding day. With a heavy heart I cancelled all my upcoming wedding dress appointments, and resigned myself to the fact that our big day will likely look very different to what we had originally planned.

Thankfully I’m much more interested in the actual ‘marriage’ aspect, rather than the wedding day itself. But no matter what happens, I still need a dress!

Now that visiting bridal boutiques is out of the question, I’ve decided to take the plunge and do something that I never thought I would do… order my wedding dress online!

After some intensive research and internet sleuthing, I’ve settled on a stunning dress from Wear Your Love. The fabric samples arrived quickly and are absolutely beautiful, which along with their friendly customer service has made me feel more relaxed about purchasing a dress that I’ve never seen.

As a bonus, the dress is much less expensive than what I had originally budgeted for. In fact, it’s half the price!

Now all that’s left is for Elliott to take my measurements (easier said than done after a December of over-indulgence!) and hit that ‘Buy’ button. I’ll report back in a few months, when I should have my dream dress in my hands.

Celebrating

September 7th 2021

It’s here! My handmade, one-of-a-kind wedding dress is finally here!

I have to admit, I was a little nervous to open the box when it first arrived. So many thoughts were swirling around my head: ‘What if it doesn’t fit? What if the quality is terrible? What if I’ve been completely ripped off?’

But as soon as I lifted the lid, all my worries dissipated. There in front of me was the most beautiful wedding dress I had ever seen. It was exactly what I wanted – quite literally, the dress of my dreams. I tried it on straight away in front of my bedroom mirror and it fit like a glove, a testament to Elliott’s precise measuring skills.

And yes, I cried. I guess that’s how you know it’s the one.

One of the things I love most about my dress is how incredibly comfortable it is. The fabric is soft and stretchy, light enough to move around comfortably but with the slight heaviness of high-quality material. I couldn’t be happier with it!

And just like that, the search is over. From what I’ve seen online my dress hunt was shorter and easier than most bride-to-be’s, likely due to the fact that I knew exactly what I wanted.

So, do I have any tips for you? Of course I do.

Creating a moodboard at the beginning of the process was incredibly helpful, as it allowed me to gather my thoughts and narrow down my options. Taking the season and overall style of the wedding into consideration was also an effective technique, as I think a strapless bodice on a chilly autumn day may have looked a little out of place. I specifically chose the shade of ivory and the lace pattern on my dress to match the rustic theme of our wedding day, as I believe those little details play a huge role in creating a special and unique aesthetic.

I also spent hours scouring Pinterest and what must have been hundreds of bridal websites, so a large amount of patience is most definitely required if you’re as serious about your wedding dress as I was.

While I’m pleased with my decision to order my dress online, I’m grateful that I had the chance to visit a traditional wedding dress boutique before the world went into lockdown. I think I would have been a little sad to have missed out on that experience!

But ultimately, I wouldn’t have chosen any other dress.

Without the chaos and unpredictability of the pandemic, I may never have been brave enough to order my wedding dress online. So in a way, I’m grateful that my hand was forced. It goes without saying that I would recommend Wear Your Love to anyone searching for a beautiful wedding gown. The process was simple and easy to understand, their customer service is fantastic and of course the dress exceeded every single one of my expectations.

I’m so glad I decided to write this post in a diary-style format, as it suited the process perfectly and will be so much fun to read back over in years to come. I had no idea what to expect when I first began the search for my dream wedding dress (and I certainly didn’t expect that I would be forced to postpone my wedding for an entire year!) but of course, it all worked out exactly the way it was supposed to.

After all this build-up and anticipation, I’m sure you’re just dying to see the dress! However I’m afraid you’re going to have to wait until November, as I can’t risk Elliott stumbling upon this post and spoiling the surprise. But I promise you, it will be worth the wait.

It’s now less than one month until I officially become a wife, and I couldn’t be more excited!

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