Wedding Planning: Dress Shopping #1

The main bonus of a long engagement? Dragging out the dress shopping as long as possible!

 photo Wedding Dress Shopping_zpsdha3d656.pngAt least, that’s what I was thinking at the start of this year. Getting engaged just before Christmas and wanted to try on dresses almost immediately was a very frustrating combination; a lot of boutiques were closed until New Year, and then a lot were only open for their sample sale rather than relaxed appointments. As someone who loves a bargain, I wanted to avoid a sample sale for my first few visits so I wouldn’t be influenced by low prices. I’m in no way saying I wouldn’t buy a ‘sale-rack’ wedding dress, but I wanted to find my dress rather than a close contender that just happened to be reduced.

In the end I decided on my dress pretty quickly. I visited two boutiques, one designer and I put a deposit down at the end of May. Yep, five months after getting engaged and (eager readers may note) several months before setting a date and a massive 2.5 years before the wedding. Oops.

When thinking about my actual wedding, when I knew W was going to propose sometime the dress didn’t really feature too much, and it certainly wasn’t one of the first things I thought about. That said, it was (and still is!) really important to me. I adored how much my mum’s dress suited her and I knew I wanted to find the perfect one for me. Ever since I was little I’d always imagined different dresses. I remember when I was 9 or 10 I was deadset on getting married in a huge princess style dress, complete with glitter. Around the time of the royal wedding I adore Kate’s understated glamorous dress (who didn’t?!). I also knew I wouldn’t have a clue what to go for! I was definitely nervous ahead of my first appointment…

 photo Silver Sixpence Bridal 10_zpsw8jvxnzg.png photo Silver Sixpence Bridal 12_zps7u5wynxq.png photo Silver Sixpence Bridal 2_zpsoraxgbay.png photo Silver Sixpence Bridal 7_zpsedjyqmiv.pngThe first place I visited was Silver Sixpence Bridal near Weedon, Northamptonshire; not too far from my parents home, in a gorgeous little shopping village. We managed to enjoy tea and cake and then had a wonderfully relaxed appointment. We were asked to pick out any number of dresses I fancied trying on – so we went wild. As this was my first time I wanted to try on pretty much every type of dress. Big and princess, tight and slinky. Satin, shiny, sequined, lacy, flowery. Gold, white, ivory and even blush pink. I let both my mum and sister pick out a few bits for me to try on, however there were two dresses that caught my eye from the moment I walked in.

I’ll be honest here – one of them tempted me so, so much. I very nearly said “yes to the dress” there and then. I actually had a few months before my next appointment, so I spent hours searching for a second-hand version as I couldn’t justify the price. Funnily enough, my actual dress is costing £100 more so clearly it wasn’t the one. Charlotte Balbier, you nearly had me though!

 photo Silver Sixpence Bridal 4_zpslsar1hk3.png photo Silver Sixpence Bridal 5_zpsuct9bhfs.pngThe other was gorgeous, though I knew it wasn’t my dress. That dress has, however, led me to my dress and for that I couldn’t be more grateful to Silver Sixpence. Michelle was the perfect assistant, pulling out dresses she thought would suit me, but also respecting my opinions when I really didn’t want to try something. I felt comfortable with her getting me in and out of the dresses (SO much more intimate than I expected!) and she was just the most lovely person to spend a few hours with. Coupled with her absolutely gorgeous styling (all photos in this post are of the boutique, taken from her website with permission) it really was the perfect start to wedding dress shopping. I highly recommend a visit if you can. Oh, and Michelle made a damn good cup of tea too!

Put it this way, I’m definitely booking myself in for an appointment to try on the accessories stocked…

 photo Silver Sixpence Bridal 1_zps1rlbpm1x.png photo Silver Sixpence Bridal 11_zpsejcz4yef.png photo Silver Sixpence Bridal 9_zpsrscrvwm5.pngAnd that was it, my first dress shopping experience. It was terrifying, yet so exciting at the same time. I have to admit I’m a little gutted I’ve found my dress so I can’t go and try more on! I found that I actually suited quite a few of the dress shapes, so it was pretty much up to me to decide what shape to go for – a little scary as I’m not great at making decisions. Obviously you’ll have to wait until 2018 to find out more about my dress, but I’ll be chatting more about wedding dress shopping soon!

Did you ever fantasize about your wedding dress as a child? If you’ve picked yours already, how did your wedding dress shopping go?

Wedding Planning: An Update

It’s been quite a while since I posted anything wedding-y. Unfortunately exams got in the way, I don’t think either of us had room in our brains for churches-and-white-dresses alongside toaster projects and engineering drawings (W) and mortality, mean variance portfolio theory and financial derivatives (me). Then university was over and the planning could start!

 photo Wedding Planning Update 1_zpsyh8qdn2g.jpgIt kicked off with me ordering my dress. Yep, the first thing we did was order the wedding dress, despite having not set a date (other than in our heads), despite not having a church, not having a venue, not having a clue what kind of day we were really having. Ooops. I’m obviously not saying too much about the dress, mainly to keep it from W, but also because I want it to be a surprise to virtually everyone. In fact, only my mum will be coming to fittings from now on, so my lips are sealed! I will be doing a few ‘Dress Shopping’ posts though, so there may well be a few sneaky details slip out there…

Then we had a serious week of wed-min (that’s wedding admin, according to the numerous bridal Facebook groups I’m part of). We picked a week where both sets of parents were away, not because we don’t want to include them, but because we wanted to make sure the big decisions were made just by us. And then we got on with it. We booked up a busy week; three venues and a meeting with the vicar.

It was all surprisingly easy!

 photo Wedding Planning Update 4_zpsyhna7gzm.jpgWe have a strong connection to the church we wanted to get married in through W, so it really was just a case of chatting with the vicar briefly, picking our date, popping it in the diary and filing in a quick form. The most difficult part was me signing it – as a left-hander a fountain pen is pretty alien to me! Apparently that’s something I have to practice before the big day…

I’ll be talking more about the venues we visited in a few weeks, as essentially we visited three very different venues, at very different price-points. I was originally worried that we wouldn’t be able to choose between the three, but there was one which was clearly our favourite. The venue we picked is stunning, but perhaps even more importantly the service we received was fabulous. From quick email replies to genuine interest in ourselves as a couple, we were completely sold.

So, now we have a dress, a church ceremony and a reception venue. And a date of course! The next step will be to look at caterers and photographers (any Midlands-based recommendations would be hugely appreciated!), but with over 25 months to go, we’re lucky we don’t have to rush into any decision making. I’m making the most of all the excitement! We celebrated with an engagement party at the beginning of the month where we announced our date – so the countdown is on until 6 October 2018 – eek!

 photo Wedding Planning Update 3_zpsogx41eb3.jpgOh, and our countdown sign? It makes me cry everytime I look at it – for some reason seeing it in “real life” makes it all the more real. We’re actually getting married!

Do you have anything exciting to look forward to? Any recommendations for wedding planning?