Dem and I got engaged whilst we were travelling in South East Asia. On a beach in Langkawi, candles, sunsets and an unholy amount of fizz – it was pretty special tbh! But wedding planning got put on hold while we found a house, jobs and generally readjusted to life in the UK. So wedding dress appointments weren’t yet on the cards.
Fast forward two years, the venue and photographer are booked, I have Pinterest boards for my Pinterest boards and after falling in love with a 10k designer wedding dress (massive lol) I realised that I needed to get my head out of the clouds and my body into some dresses! Our engagement is documented here if you’d like any more deets on how it all went down…
But where to start? There are so many bridal shops and so many dresses, it can be pretty overwhelming. I had an idea of the style I liked, thanks to the 10k dream dress – cheers Galia Lahav!
So that gave me a starting point in terms of the silhouette but I wanted to try on a range of dresses because you’ve just got to, right? Sorry I know I’m not giving away much here in terms of the styles I’m favouring, just in case Dem has a sneaky peek at this post!
One of the boutiques I initially liked the look of, put me off almost instantly by declaring that no makeup or fake tan products were to be worn, great so I’d be trying on dresses looking like a boiled egg then?!
As well as informing me that I should arrive at the appointment knowing exactly what I want (erm, a dress) understand what wedding dresses suit my body shape (a long white one?), oh and to bring my credit card along to pay in full once my dress was selected. Which to me is like marrying a random guy you’ve just met, you need to do some market research right?!
Did anyone order an Easter egg in a dress?
I had conducted research on what to do before your first fitting, in the way of a panicked tweet asking for help, where I received some great advice like, don’t eat a huge meal the night before and drink lots of water to avoid bloating. Solid advice. That would be if I had read it before I’d eaten a huge plate of pasta, an entire Easter egg and polished off a glass of wine. Rookie error!
When Mum and I stumbled across Helena Fortley online I instantly got such a nice friendly vibe from them. A wedding dress is such a big purchase, you want to make sure you feel as relaxed as possible when searching for “the one” – also you want to feel comfortable with the boutique you choose as realistically they’re going to be seeing you half-naked, so wear nice undies – I guess I’ll know for next time!! I was not well prepared in my 3 for £3 Primark thong – girls you know which ones I mean, if you say you don’t you’re lying!
The lowdown on the first appointment
I had my appointment with a lovely lady called Jo who took a few details from me on my budget, wedding date and location before taking me on a tour of the shop. We discussed what I liked and didn’t like and she brought out a selection of dresses for me to try and let me know that we’d manage to try around 10 dresses in our 1.5-hour appointment.
Once I’d made my selection (with a few slightly more brave choices thrown in) we headed downstairs to try them all on! We had the entire downstairs of the shop to ourselves and mum and Tash got comfy on the sofa while I started to get into my first dress. They had a curtained changing area but I soon gave up on that after the first dress and ended up just whipping everything off in the middle of the room.
Finding the floor
Once I got over my fear of taking someone’s eye out with my nipple piercing (I don’t ever really wear bras so why change a habit of a lifetime) and got the knack of stepping in and out of dresses, I started to really enjoy myself.
We all chatted and giggled the whole way through the appointment, enjoyed cups of tea and everyone found it hilarious when I repeatedly got my foot stuck in the straps of various dresses. Despite being shown the “find the floor method” (find the floor first, then worry about everything else) I can’t even imagine how many times I would have fallen ass over face if I was attempting to try on dresses alone! Jo was really honest and at no point did I feel like I was being sold to.
How do you pick just one dress?
I managed to narrow my extensive selection of dresses down to just four, with my favourite being a tad over budget – of course! I honestly don’t know how you’re supposed to pick just one dress and Dem and I did have that conversation where I floated the idea of a second dress, let’s just say that ship was sunk quicker than the Titanic.
It was so much fun though and I found some gorgeous dresses. I’m going to book a few more appointments over the coming weeks to try on some more dresses but I plan to visit Helena Fortley again to visit my final four!
Some tips for your first wedding dress fitting
- Do your research on boutiques and check out the reviews – you don’t want to feel rushed or stressed, so look for somewhere friendly, with a good range of dresses
- Wear nice underwear (light coloured) as you will need help getting in and out of the dresses and nobody needs to see your Bridget Jones specials
- Don’t eat too much the night before (or ignore all advice and smash through an entire easter egg the night before, the decision is yours)
- Only take a couple of people to your first fitting – if like me you get overwhelmed easily 2 people is more than enough
Have any of you had any great or horrendous wedding dress appointments? I’d love to know so let me know in the comments xo