Wedding dress shopping really excited me. As a big lover of fashion and a huge admirer of my bride’s wedding dress choices, I was super hyped for the experience.
I began by booking appointments at local wedding dress shops and places that I had been recommended. The appointments started out fun and I brought a few different friends and family members along to enjoy each experience. I felt like a princess in each gown but every time I tried one on, I knew they weren’t right for my day. I started to wonder why I felt like this.
As time went on I realised I was getting more and more frustrated, the shops that I was searching just didn’t offer the kind of style that I saw in my head. I had countless photos saved of whimsical tulle gowns with quirky boho details and soft draping, but I just couldn’t figure out where I could find this style in the UK. I started researching into wedding dress shops, but found that their stock changed so often that their websites rarely showed their current styles.
Eventually, after much online trawling, I came across Heritage Brides. A shop on the grounds of Hatfield House which looked like a boho bride paradise from their website. I started to feel hopeful!
This time I only invited my mum along to the appointment and we were greeted by the lovely owner Sam. She took me around the rails of lace, tulle and satin, telling me a little about each designer and pulling out a few dresses to see my reaction. After a while, we headed for the dressing room with a few options she had chosen for me. In other shops I had been allowed to choose what dresses I wanted try on, which meant I ended up trying on dresses for the sake of it, but here Sam picked for me which made the choices far more focused.
Over the course of dress shopping I had tried on far too many dress shapes and lost all sense of what I was looking for. I loved the fishtail gowns but I wasn’t sure if they would fit my wedding day vibe. I loved low back gowns but I also loved off the shoulder gowns and I knew I couldn’t have both! I had too many options available to me and I am so glad that Sam was there to help guide me into the right choice.
One of the styles I had saved on Pinterest and Instagram again and again (before I even started shopping!) was a tulle bardot-sleeve dress. Sam pulled one out for me that looked exactly like my inspiration images, so I simply had to try it on. It was a stunning Wtoo by Watters tulle gown in a soft ivory, which we tried on with a Tiadora belt.
I really did love it and it suited me, but was it the one? I wasn’t sure.
You’d think there would be that miracle hallelujah moment where I knew that this was the dress for me and everyone cried, but I’m going to be honest with you here, that didn’t happen for me.
I was so unsure about the dress because I didn’t have that miracle moment, and I feel we almost put too much pressure on ourselves to find this ‘perfect dress’ when nothing in life is ever perfect. At the end of the day, a wedding day is all about the little pieces coming together to create the most incredible day, and not solely about the dress and how you look. I knew this style would flatter me in photos, suit a flower crown, be light enough for the summer and suit the whimsical, carefree vibe that I was going for. And I FELT GOOD IN IT! There will always be something that you would maybe change if you had the opportunity, or maybe you feel tempted to try on JUST one more dress from the rack… but in that moment I stopped and thought “this dress is enough for me” and I bought it there and then.
Each time I went back for subsequent fittings, I loved it more and more. Turns out I’m just one of those people, things take time to grow on me.
It just goes to show that you don’t have to fall in love with your dress straight away to know it’s the one for you. Remember to stay true to your vision of your day and you’ll make the right decision.