I’d had the 8th of September in my diary since I paid the deposit on my wedding dress in April. Back then it seemed like a date that would never get here, even if I had downloaded a fancy ‘countdown app’ so that I could tell you at any given moment how many hours, minutes and seconds it would be until I found out if I actually hated my dress after all and was too fat for it.
When you shop for (new) wedding dresses, you’re inevitably trying on samples from which your ‘real dress’ will be ordered and custom made to your dress size, before being tailored beyond that to make it as close to perfect as possible. So if you’re a size 12 and a half, you are actually allowed to be a size 12 and a half for once. More clothes should fit like wedding dresses.
I was lucky in that I was the sample size in Pronovias (that’s not me showing off that I’m a size 6, sample size in wedding dress boutiques are much more average than what we consider sample size in fashion PR – I am basically saying “HELLO I AM DISTINCTLY AVERAGE”) so when I initially looked at dresses, I was able to see them on me fitting pretty darn near perfectly. I didn’t realise how lucky that made me til I saw smaller brides having to look at their reflection with bulldog clips running down their backs or larger brides having to ‘use their imagination’. The tighter mermaid styles didn’t zip over my big bum – or if they did then I looked like a comedy illustration – so I dismissed these when perhaps I wouldn’t have if they’d fitted during the initial search. But to be honest, I think no matter what would have happened size-wise I’d have chosen the dress I went on to order. Because I love it and it’s a bit silly and it’s GREAT.
That being said though, I found myself in a panic as yesterday’s fitting appointment approached. I don’t know what it was. The knowledge I couldn’t change the dress if I did indeed suddenly hate it? The fact I hadn’t lost anywhere near as much weight as I had planned to? The fact that the one person in the world who I want to say “nice dress hun, great choice” isn’t allowed to see the ruddy thing til I’m walking down the aisle? It was probably a mix of all of that, plus a general sense of worry that I’d shoved the wrong bra in my handbag.
The one thing that has annoyed me BEYOND BELIEF during the wedding planning process is that if you have even the tiniest moment of insecurity and Google it (obvs never a good idea to let Google diagnose you but bear with me), you’ll be met with a barrage of forum posts and ‘advice columns’ that basically imply that any sort of doubt equals cold feet equals divorced by year three equals OH MY GOD RUN.
I haven’t felt massively stressed during the wedding planning, but I want to share that I have had definite moments of oh-god-I-might-need-to-do-a-sick. Because to make out that I *haven’t* had nightmares about turning up at the wedding with wet hair and no make-up or panics that our wedding will be rubbish would simply be a disservice to other brides-to-be.
I have been pretty ‘on it’ with the planning process and have tackled this wedding as I do my job: get shit done, make sure it’s good, get back to watching telly and eating crisps. And when the wedding comes around and everyone enjoys it I will take FULL CREDIT for the fact it’s been a great day, because deep down I am a show off. But there have been moments of panic and it’s not fair to people who are *in* that state of panic and Googling “is it ok to be nervous about my wedding?” to feel as if they’re making a massive error. There’s a pretty huge difference in being concerned that you’re marrying a monster (or even just someone you don’t truly love) and simply being worried that the wedding won’t be as good as so-and-so’s or that you’ll have a tummy ache on the day and do a Bridesmaids.
I’ve never doubted my upcoming marriage, but I have worried at times about the wedding. That being said – albeit speaking as a non-expert on these matters – I am pretty certain some level of worry is far more normal than none. If nothing else, it’s just a bloody expensive day. I worry about buying the expensive bread at Sainsbury’s, when I’m spending thousands of pounds on what is essentially a glorified party I should put some level of concern into it – especially when so much of that money isn’t even mine. And what other occasions are you in such spotlight style attention? It would be weird to not have the odd worry that something isn’t done/confirmed/going to arrive.
I definitely worried more in the beginning when OMG NOTHING IS PLANNED whereas now it’s more just a case of paying people (love that bit) and waiting for it all to come together on the day. It feels like we’re getting to the good part now and there’s nothing really left to fuss over. It’s a great feeling to get to this home stretch.
But up until yesterday I still had the niggling doubt in the back of my mind that I wouldn’t be happy when I saw myself in the dress again, despite being thrilled when I saw myself in it in April.
Maybe it was tied into weight loss, so many people have said to me “if you can’t use your wedding day as motivation to lose weight then you never will” and they’ve meant it kindly, I think, but it has sometimes made me feel like I should have spent way more time dieting and exercising than I have. Call me old fashioned, but I want to look vaguely like myself on my wedding day. I have lost just under a stone so it’s not like I haven’t done anything, but I may be one of the only women who quit the gym when they got engaged rather than joined one. I thought it made sense to save the money I was spending on my gym subscription (which is BEYOND ludicrous in Chelsea) and put it into our matrimonial home, but I suppose I could have just kept on exercising and been an absolute bore about the whole thing.
Who’d be a woman eh? Thinking losing A STONE isn’t ‘enough’ for a wedding? Ghastly stuff.
Luckily when I got to Pronovias yesterday, the dress fitted. I wasn’t looking at my non-VB arms, I was looking at the most beautiful dress in the world. On me. Which I will wear to marry someone I really fancy.
I had a moment of self-congratulation for choosing a style which draws attention to my good bits and laughs in the face of the bad. It’s the dress I’d have imagined getting married in when I was younger – traditional, classic, church-appropriate, Spanishly lovely and just a tad more regal than my social standing realistically requires. It also makes me laugh and made my bridesmaids say “that is so YOU”, which is exactly what I was after.
The fitting process was extremely easy, it was mostly about pinning up the skirt (I am wearing flats on the day) and making the bodice as flush to my body as possible. I thought it fitted perfectly as soon as I tried it on, but when I saw it pinned I realised how ‘wow’ it could look.
And now I don’t see it again til October 9th!
It’s in this bag.
I love it.
You can find all my other wedding posts here.