I am delighted to introduce the very lovely Jessica Brown, who is the Showbiz Editor at the Daily Star, one of the top-selling newspapers in the UK. She got engaged the day before New Year’s Eve in 2011 to her boyfriend of two years, James. She has been interviewing celebrities and attending showbiz and fashion events for over ten years.
We will be following Jessica’s story in the lead-up to her big day, continuing with part 3 – shopping for the dream wedding dress…
Shopping for a wedding dress is definitely one of the best bits of planning a wedding.
My three bridesmaids live miles apart in Surrey, Notting Hill and Cheshire, which meant I went wedding dress shopping with each of them, one by one. Three brilliant Saturday afternoons, trying on stunning dresses and then having the obligatory bottle of fizz after wards.
No-one gave me any advice on shopping for “the perfect dress”. So I just Googled Wedding Dress shops in my area and off we went. Within a month I’d visited 11 wedding dress shops.
I must have tried on five dresses in each shop, so in total I had 55 different dresses to think about and as it turned out 52 dresses I didn’t really want.
In hindsight I wish I’d thought about the process in advance.
My advice to anyone going dress shopping is buy a stack of wedding magazines and look at all the dresses thoroughly first. Really think about what you like and what you definitely don’t like. I didn’t do this, so I had no idea what styles I preferred or even what designers were out there.
Trying on wedding dresses can be really confusing…especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Each dress you try on looks amazing, such is the very nature of beautiful, figure-hugging wedding gowns. It’s like trying to choose between a cute litter of adorable, fluffy puppies. They’re all gorgeous.
Some bridal shop owners use a hard sell, which puts you under further pressure. A few told me I needed to “hurry up and buy” as I was running out of time. Which, with seven months to go I thought was slightly unnecessary.
I started to get a bit disheartened with dress shopping, especially as everyone has an elaborate wedding dress anecdote to share.
I bumped into a fellow bride and told her I was having a few problems finding my perfect dress. She smugly told me: “I brought the first dress I tried on, it was perfect. I don’t understand these girls who try on stacks of dresses. They’re obviously just too picky.”
Er, awkward moment, I just smiled and nodded my head in agreement.
Other words of wisdom given to me from past brides included: “You’ll know when you’ve found the perfect dress, it’ll just make sense and feel amazing.”
“It has to feel perfect and special. It’s the most important thing you’ll ever wear.”
“When you find ‘the one’, the dress will wear you and not the other way around. You’ll look in the mirror and see the dress before you see yourself.”
At this point I felt like I running to the top of a mountain and releasing an almighty scream. It’s safe to say, I’m not the kind of person who believes much of the above. Yes I want to look beautiful in my wedding dress and yes I hope I do. But all that nonsense about it wearing me, I can’t really stomach that.
Anyway to cut a long story short, I didn’t have a dress-epiphany moment. I just tossed a coin. Sorry if that offends any one. I narrowed it down to two dresses, one I think my dad would like and one I think my fiancé Jimmy would like.
I asked my Dad what dress he could see me walking down the aisle next to him in and he said, “One like Pippa Middleton’s”. We all know what dress he means.
He said he liked the flowing stream of buttons down the satin back (and like most men on the planet no doubt Pippa’s pert derrière).
I also asked Jimmy what dress he’d like and he said: “Something classy, but also something that shows off your boobs and bum.” Typical bloke answer.
That saw the end of my third option – the floaty, bohemian Claire Pettibone Queen Anne’s Lace dress.
So I had two dresses to choose from… a stylish Paloma Blanca and a French, whimsical Cymbeline. I sat at home in my London flat alone and tossed a coin. It landed Heads. I called Jimmy, who was working away on a project in Birmingham, and asked him to get a coin out his pocket and toss it. Luckily, he never asked me why – I don’t think he would have done it otherwise. It landed Heads side up. So, the final decision was left in the hands of fate.
Finally, after 11 wedding dress shops and 55 different, but equally gorgeous gowns, I had chosen my dress.
I phoned my mum and told her the news, she never asked how I came to my decision. She happily phoned the shop in London and paid for it. Thanks mum.
All I need to think about now is shoes, underwear, veil or no veil, how to wear my hair, accessories… and so the shopping continues.
This time I will be armed with ideas from wedding magazines.