The Wedding Diaries
Why I went wedding dress shopping by myself…
Hi again! And welcome back to The Wedding Diaries! It will come as no surprise that I’m dishing up some realness again. This time, we’re talking about wedding dress shopping.
Now, I’m just like any other mid/late twenties bride. I’ve seen ‘Say Yes To The Dress’, I’ve watched more rom-coms than I care to name and I’ve been bridal shopping with my engaged friends. Those experiences taught me that wedding dress shopping should include the following:
– All my bridal party and significant elders squabbling over a free weekend to head to a local city.
– 5+ fitting appointments where I’d try on 3-5 gowns per shop.
– Days, weeks or more of deliberation, group Whatsapp chats and hour long phone-calls with my mum.
– Lots of tears.
– A tonne of alterations until I found ‘the one’.
Oh, and of course… a HUGE earth shattering moment when I put on said ‘one’.
Am I right?
Well, in all honesty, the thought of being the centre of attention whilst I breathlessly tried on gown after gown in front of my very different and outspoken friends and relatives, sounded awful. I didn’t want to spend ages choosing my dress and I really didn’t want to fall out with anyone or be disheartened by someone else’s opinion.
So, I decided to go it alone (much to my friends and family’s surprise).
Dress; Zinnia from Sophie’s first collection.
I booked an appointment with a young lady called Sophie Rose. Sophie is about the same age as me, she’s a fellow business owner and a relaxed style country girl – just like me. Sophie’s bespoke designs were recommended to me, which also meant I hadn’t spent hours Googling designers and boutiques. I’m not very clued up on designers and I’m never really sure what’s in fashion – so this seemed like a nice easy way to break myself into the bridal realm.
One sunny afternoon I headed to Sophie’s studio. After a cup of tea and some chatting-shop, we went upstairs to her beautiful dressing room and workshop. A simple rail and a beautifully lit room held just a handful of stunning dresses. I’d looked at Sophie’s website and I knew exactly which dress I wanted to try on. Making a beeline for my chosen dress, I was only too happy to strip off behind an antique screen – knowing that no one was there waiting on me. Sophie helped me into the dress and showed me to the mirror. From all the rom-coms I’d seen I was waiting for this MOMENT.
But it didn’t come. The dress was stunning, I looked great, but I didn’t feel anything. Suddenly, I didn’t know what to do and I was utterly confused. Imagine having that feeling in front of your entire family and all your bridesmaids? I dread the thought.
Having Sophie there, with all her wealth of knowledge, meant that I could ask the questions I wanted to. Without feeling stupid or embarrassed, I told Sophie that I didn’t know what was wrong, but I wasn’t sure about the dress. She smiled a knowing smile and we lined up a few more to try on – Sophie advised me to look at a dress that was none of things I said I wanted. I conceded that I’d leave it until last.
Finally, Sophie’s dress choice came around. I had no great hopes – I’d really wrapped my mind around a particular style, and this dress wasn’t it. But then, it happened.
I didn’t break down in tears – I didn’t get butterflies and I didn’t stand there wishing someone else could witness it. I simply stood in front of the mirror full of glee. I looked like a bride, ME, but a bride. Sophie had scanned my body shape from the moment I’d walked in, then she’d chatted to me and deduced my personal style. Classic, simple, no fuss, elegant. This dress was everything I am, rather than everything I thought I wanted.
Which brings me back to solo dress shopping. I walked into Sophie’s world that day with an idea of what I wanted, but no real idea of what I wanted. Had I had the voices, dreams and opinions of anyone else there, how would I have fared? Overwhelmed, anxious, out of touch with the emotion. Perhaps – I can’t say for certain.
But what I do know is, I’m so utterly glad that I went to Sophie, that I went alone and that I went with her choice.
Of course, you’ll have to wait until September to find out anymore…
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Welcome to the Wedding Diaries by Stephanie Powell, a gorgeous part of our editorial team, and the resident Wedding Diaries columnist, humorously tracking the aisle from Miss to Mrs.
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