I always imagined we would run away to Vegas and let ‘The King’ unite us in matrimonial bliss, then spend the evening necking outrageous cocktails and playing slot machines. What I’d be wearing never really crossed my mind.
So it came as a surprise to everyone, including me, that we ended up arranging our big day around a fairly traditional Registry Office service followed by a meal in a fancy restaurant with a string quartet playing in the corner. It was a compromise we reached when my parents offered us a two week honeymoon in the US, staying in top hotels if we would just stay at home and let them have ‘their big day’!
Doesn’t sound too bad, but with the promises of a once in a lifetime holiday came the condition that my Mum would accompany me to buy the dress.
It turned out Mum and I had very different views on what looks good and how a bride ‘should dress’.
I told her from the start I wanted something in red or black velvet (yes, I was a big old goth!) and as it was a winter wedding a cape would finish off the dramatic look. The capes and dark dresses were soon put to one side though and the ivory and white frocks came at me thick and fast. Each shop was progressively worse than the last, with the shop assistants all agreeing that it was better to stick to something more traditional as I’d look back in the future and regret wearing something too ‘outrageous’!
I never did have that ‘Hallmark’ moment when you put on the perfect dress and the onlookers sniffle into their hankies and nod their heads in absolute approval. For me it was more like… let’s just take this one and get the hell out of here!
Eventually it was another compromise. A dark red velvet bodice with long sleeves and a rather large ivory raw silk skirt and train. No cape, just a silk flower headband and veil. My husband did say I looked beautiful, but added “You should have let me come shopping”, which is a roundabout way of agreeing that this dress just wasn’t me!
I think one of the worst things is how utterly amazing our photos would have been had I chosen a more dramatic dress. They were taken in a graveyard which lent itself perfectly to my original thoughts about the style I wanted. It was more Gone With The Wind than Bride of Frankenstein I’m afraid, and although that might be preferable to most people I guess I’ve always been a bit ‘different’ and it would have been nice if my big day could have reflected that.