I’m getting married in September and began planning after Christmas, reasoning that nine months is plenty of time to organise a wedding – it’s no different to organising a big party, surely? I really couldn’t see what all the stereotypical wedding panic was about until I began to think about THE DRESS.
I began my search by buying several wedding magazines, as I’d been advised to look in advance at styles and shapes to help me make my decision. This put me into a mild state of panic as:
a) My shape is so different to the average model I was none the wiser about what would suit me and was left feeling a major gym regime was necessary.
b) None of the dresses featured that appealed to me were within my budget of £500-£1000…I’ve got expensive taste!
I gave up on the magazines and arranged to meet with my three bridesmaids one Saturday to go and look at some frocks. I rang round several renowned bridal shops in London the previous fortnight to make an appointment. The responses ranged from friendly to downright rude, but all agreed on one thing – there was no way I could make an appointment at such short notice. I also couldn’t go and look at the stock without an appointment and a couple of the shops also told me they could not accommodate our ‘large’ party of four people. My budget was apparently extremely limited, and mention of my wedding date also inevitably prompted sharp intakes of breath as several informed me that nine months is not long enough to order and fit a single wedding dress.
By this stage I was in such panic that, after failing to negotiate a tripling of the dress budget or a postponement with my long-suffering fiancé, I was expecting to go down the aisle in a potato sack.
I decided to ring some alternatives up outside the capital and finally made an appointment at Wed In Style in Luton. After a relaxed phone conversation where I was told I was welcome any time but would get more personal service with an appointment, I headed up there at the weekend with my bridesmaid.
We were ushered into a beautiful shop and left to our own devices to pick our favourite dresses from the rails. I tried on every conceivable style in my own time, with no pressure to buy and genuinely honest advice about what worked best for my figure and the theme of our wedding. They had dresses to suit every budget and I’m excited and relieved to say that I have found a beautiful, stylish gown by Marisa that is comfortably within budget. I can also confirm after conversations with the owner that most European designed dresses can be ordered and fitted within twelve weeks rather than eight months!
Dress shopping does not have to drive you into a panic or into extravagance, but sadly it seems that the vast sums of money involved in the wedding industry have blinded some retailers to the importance of good customer service. Choosing your dress should be one of the most pleasurable parts of planning a wedding so I’m really glad I spent the time to find a retailer who made the day into a special experience.