From the age of 11, I had been dreaming about my perfect wedding dress. Of course back then I would have opted for something much larger and much more poofy. My taste has somewhat changed since those days.
As soon as Bradley proposed, I knew exactly what kind of dress I wanted – backless, lacy, subtle and beautiful. The only problem was that every bridal dress shop I went in to just didn’t have what I was looking for. There were plenty of backless dresses, but none of them had single spaghetti straps. They all had thicker straps in order to hold up the heavy, backless dress. They were all stunning but not the one. I was and I still am a firm believer of finding the wedding dress for you.
Eventually my mum and I stumbled into a wedding dress shop in Ampthill, called The Wedding Workshop. We were drawn in by the beautiful yet different dresses in the window. As soon as we entered the shop, the woman working there said that they’re not the average dress shop. They don’t order dresses in, they make them from scratch. My first thought was we can’t afford this, let’s make a quick exit. But she then went on to explain that brides come in and describe their dream dress and then the seamstresses would draw up a sketch. They would then estimate a price and that price would be it. No alteration costs and no other additional costs. She said that dresses could cost anything from £800 on wards, depending on the material and style of dress you wanted.
We booked an appointment for the following week, when I showed her 1000 pictures of the type of wedding dress I wanted. She drew up a sketch and I instantly fell in love. She also let me try on a mock dress that was similar to what I wanted and from then on I just fell deeper and deeper into a pit called ‘I.need.this.dress’.
The price worked out really well considering that my dress was being made from scratch and I didn’t need to worry about paying for anything else. I had several alterations done after the dress was made, like I wanted more lace detailing around the edges of the sweetheart neckline and I wanted a few more daisies on the straps.
I picked up the final finished dress a few days before the wedding and I was beyond happy! My dream dress had come to life.
The dress actually sat a bit looser on my body on the wedding day as I had come down with the flu two weeks beforehand, which meant I lost a fair bit of weight. It wasn’t too noticeable and I was actually thankful in the end as it made walking and sitting down slightly easier (tight dresses are beautiful, yes, but not always functional… just saying).
A tip for any brides-to-be: have someone be around you constantly to fix your veil, train and hair. Pick someone who you know will look for the little details that may come out of place and that could potentially annoy you when looking back through photos. Eddie, our groomsman/my man-of-honour, did that job beautifully.
I bought my veil from the same shop. I was umm-ing and ahh-ing for a really long time about whether to have a veil or not. The prices were beyond off-putting but then I just knew that a veil would complete the backless dress. Plus, my mum is super traditional in that sense so I knew it would make her happy.
I chose a double veil because I wanted to wear it over my face for walking down the isle and I loved how it looked at the back when it was doubled up. There were a few little diamond pieces along the edges of the veil, which was so subtle yet a really pretty touch. I’m so glad I chose to have a veil now – it’s one of my favourite things from the day.
I took it off after the family photos were taken however, as whenever anyone gave me a hug (which was fairly often), it tugged my hair.
To make the dress slightly easier to wear, we decided to have two different ways of holding up the train. I had the strap, as shown above, which just looped around my wrist like a bracelet. And then for the evening, we hooked the train of the dress to the buttons just below my bum. Both ways worked really well and I’m so pleased we thought ahead in that sense.
What I loved about my dress maker was that she added little touches here and there. Do you see the little blue bow on the strap of my dress? That was my something blue.
The only problem I had with the dress was when one of the straps snapped in the car on the way to the church. Thankfully, however, a part of the extra lace detailing I had asked for held it together by a thread! As soon as we arrived at the reception, one of my beautiful bridesmaids (who is fortunately talented in working with a needle and thread) fixed it super quickly and we could all relax.
My biggest tip for anyone looking for their wedding dress is to decide your budget before you start looking. Know exactly what you can and can’t afford. Don’t be disheartened when at first you find nothing you like within your budget. There is a dress out there for you – you’ve just got to keep looking! Don’t settle. You’ll find your dream dress.
Oh and make sure you have an emergency needle and thread at your venue – you just never know, right?
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