One of our brides-to-be, Jenny Hanson, was kind enough to give us her perspective on buying a wedding dress – through the brides eyes. Thank you Jenny for your kind contribution. Jenny wrote:
A girl who says she has never thought about her wedding is lying. She may not have thought about the finer details but she has thought about it.
I have always known I wanted to be married and that I would want a non religious ceremony but I didn’t think I had a clue about the finer details.
How wrong I was…. here’s how it goes.
Four and a half years ago I was working in Dubai and enjoying a night at the balmy and ever so slightly glamorous Rooftop Bar at The Royal Mirage. I met a Welshman called Leigh and we ended up drinking two bottles of Shiraz. It was undoubtedly one of the best nights of my life. He was over on holiday for a week visiting his brother. We ended up spending every day that week together. I cried when he left. We Skyped often and spoke every day and six weeks later I left the UAE and moved to Wales to be with him. We shared an apartment on the water’s edge before getting a house together.
Four years later on a cold but gloriously sunny day in Cardiff he took me back to the water’s edge under the balcony of the apartment we first shared together and asked me if I would be his wife. I cried.
Shortly after this we packed up our worlds and moved to Melbourne. We booked the wedding before we left – Friday September 7th 2012 in Cardiff, Wales – his homeland. It made the move easier knowing we had such a wonderful event planned – a special time to share with our friends and family.
Leigh and I have always been organised and to a degree a little regimented with a mutual love for routine and structure. I am grateful for this because it turns out planning a wedding on the other side of the world requires somewhat of a military approach to planning and presents challenges. But it’s ok – a spreadsheet for this and a spreadsheet for that helps keep everything in perspective.
Reverting back to my original point about the finer details… turns out for years I have been storing inside my head a wedding box – and when Leigh proposed I subconsciously opened this box and discovered it contained the entire contents of my dream day. No exaggeration. The colour scheme, the menu for the wedding breakfast, the bridesmaid’s dresses, how I pictured Leigh to look, smart in a charcoal grey suit with crisp white shirt and silver grey tie… but there wasn’t a clear image of my dress…all I knew was that I did not want to look like a meringue.
So time passed quickly and I’m six months away from D Day. My Mum had said from the moment we announced we were to wed, that she would like to buy me my dress.
Me and my Mum have lived in separate countries since I was 17 years old – regardless of this we have remained very close. We speak most days, text pretty much every day and I value her opinion above pretty much everybody else I know. So early February she flew to Melbourne to take me shopping… we had three appointments booked and they were nicely spaced apart to accommodate wine before each shop! So off we went to appointment number one… a 10am at Bacinni & Hill. We were a little early so we walked past the shop to grab a coffee – stopping only to drool over a dress in the window – a little Grecian like, a healthy amount of bling and certainly nothing I’d ever a) go for and b) look good in…..
Buzzing from our coffee fix we stepped into the shop – for someone like me walking into a shop stocked entirely of dresses and nothing else (apart from accessories to go with said dresses) is beyond daunting. I knew what I didn’t want and conveyed that to the assistant. So whilst I went off and got changed in the rooms, she went off and picked some options… she returned and handed me ‘contestant number 1’… – a little Grecian like, a healthy amount of bling and certainly nothing I’d ever a) go for and b) look good in…..
From the moment I put the dress on and felt the silk georgette glide over my skin….I knew. The bling was clear to see but not a bit “Big fat Gypsy Wedding”, the way it moved when I moved made me look like I was gliding, the fitted waist and ruching showed off my good bits and covered the not so good… in a nutshell I felt like a princess.
Historically I am an impulse shopper. So there was a part of me which wanted to sign on the dotted line right there and then. Mum quickly unearthed the sensible voice in my head and reminded me the right thing to do would be to continue on to the other appointments and then decide from there. So that’s exactly what we did….Mariana Hardwick failed to impress as did another. But how can this be when their gowns are so special? Because in my head I had my dress picked… a little Grecian like, a healthy amount of bling and certainly nothing I’d ever a) go for and b) look good in…..
So we returned to Bacinni & Hill and the same assistant from earlier came bounding over to me…if I was on the cusp of a hefty sale I am pretty sure I’d have a spring in my step too. She took ‘the’ dress off the model in the window and we returned to the changing rooms to try it on one more time. It felt even better the second time round only this time round I cried. I’ll be honest – I am a softy and I cry often at anything remotely slushy. Last week whilst laying in bed I spent half an hour on YouTube watching a whole host of marriage proposals – I wasn’t howling but I did well up on more than one occasion – even at the over the top American ones! So tears were no great surprise but they were welcomed, as were my Mum’s. As a moment it was beyond special although it lasted just minutes I will treasure it forever. We both knew this would be the dress I would marry the love of my life in. All I could think of when I stood facing the mirror was what Leigh would think if he saw me in ‘my’ dress.
We did the ‘admin’ and they took measurements and then I took my Mum for a drink – a glass of champagne. Sat in the sunshine with a head full of thoughts, all I kept saying was “wow, that’s that then”.