Thursday, 17 September 2009

Dress Stress!

Arguably the most important wedding purchase would be the dress!

After getting engaged in the September I wasted no time in flicking through bridal magazines and designers websites to decide which style of dress i liked... wow there's so much choice! A line, mermaid, full skirt, Sleeves? No Sleeves? Strapless? Oh my gosh it all sounds so confusing. So i did what i usually do in these situations, i put it to the back of my mind and didn't look at wedding dresses again! That was until i came across a thread on a wedding forum where a bride was showing off pictures from her wedding. She had worn the Sassi Holford dress "Hayley". Wow! The dress is absolutely beautiful, I managed to track down a stockist and thought I’d ring up to see whether they had it in stock... they did. "Would you like to book an appointment to try the dress on?" the lady asked. Oh! Do i really want to? It's a bit early isn't it? i thought. My mouth replied for me "Yes!"

So off i went early and excited one Saturday morning with my Mom and best friend and bridesmaid Suzie. The lady in the shop suggested I try on a number of different styles and save the "Hayley" dress until last, so I did. After a few undignified minutes in the changing room standing in my smalls with a lady I’d only just met, i stumbled out of the changing room and looked in the mirror.

People told me I would enjoy this experience, spending the day with my mom and girlfriends prancing around in gorgeous dresses with that princess feeling. I however felt the furthest thing from a princess. All i saw were my hips. Do they really look that big!

Dress after dress my enthusiasm and smile were wilting, shouldn't this be more fun?! Trying to perk myself up I remembered I still hadn't tried on the "Hayley" dress. Surely this beautiful dress would lift my spirits? As I stepped out of the changing room I looked in the mirror with some trepidation. My heart sank. This beautiful dress did nothing for me. The shape of the dress was wrong and I looked like I was 5 years old attending a little girls birthday party dressed in my best.

So I left the dress shop feeling disappointed. Mom and Suzie did their best to try and cheer me up offering words of encouragement, but I couldn't help feeling betrayed by all those things I had read about it being one of the best experiences a girl can have and felt bitter towards those women who had loved the first dress they tried on. Why couldn't that be me?

Over the next few months I searched through more websites and magazines and encouraged myself to try on a number of different styles, none of which suited me. I began to hate trying on wedding dresses. The whole thing was hanging over me, what if I never found my dress, I would be walking down the aisle in my jeans! Even though I still had over a year until the wedding I knew that if I didn't keep searching for the dress I was not going to be able to enjoy the wedding planning.

Whilst browsing the internet one boring afternoon at work I came across the Justin Alexander website, one dress jumped out at me and I promptly emailed the link to my mom. "hmmm I'm not sure I like the colour" was her reply. The dress on the website was shown in the colour "Coffee" but also came in a "Natural" I put the dress to the back of my mind but bookmarked the page.

That Saturday we visited another bridal shop and when trawling through the racks I saw the Justin Alexander dress. I had to try it on! Again we had lined up a number of dresses to try on including a dress by Maggie Sottero. My mom fell in love the moment I stepped out of the changing room, I wasn’t so convinced, something wasn’t right. I tried on the Justin Alexander dress and I loved how it made me feel. The material was light the bodice was gorgeous, my waist looked tiny and I felt really good about it. My mom was still blinded by the colour and the fact that she liked the Maggie Sottero dress, so we left. It wasn’t until we got home that we realized my friend Lauren, who was getting married before me, had actually chosen the Maggie Sottero dress for her wedding. So that one was out!

Throughout the week I kept looking at the Justin Alexander dress and actually started to refer to it as “My Dress” I made my mind up to go and try it on again. So off we all went to the bridal shop, I smiled when I saw it again and couldn’t wait to get it on. This was a good sign. I floated out of the changing room and stood in front of the mirror. Then came the tears! I knew I had found my dress, my mom after seeing how happy I was instantly fell in love with the dress and cried along with me, soon enough all of us were in tears including the sales lady!

After months of searching, disappointment and upset I had found MY dress, the dress I was going to walk down the aisle in, the dress I was going to say “I do” in and the dress I was going to wear on the happiest day of my life.

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