The second monthly column from author Lucy Diamond, who is marrying her long-time partner this August…
Less than three months to go before the big day and I can finally say, hand on heart, that it’s all coming together. Two big ones have been ticked off the list in the last week – the invitations and the dress – which feels like major progress to me!
I’m especially pleased to have bought my dress, as I was starting to get a little panicked about it. As a mum, I tend not to spend very much on my clothes – there always seems to be 900 other things to shell out for – so the thought of coughing up hundreds of pounds for one single dress, for one single day, for me made me squirm.
“Have you tried Monsoon?” helpful friends asked. I clicked eagerly through their website. Hoorah! The dresses all looked gorgeous and, at around £200 each, seemed pretty good value. Unfortunately, when I went to try some on, not one of them suited me. The long dresses all swamped me (I am five foot two) and none of the shorter dresses were at all flattering. Also, I was having a bit of a bad hair day, which did not help – every time I looked in the mirror I felt despairing.
I wrote about the whole experience on my blog and received lots of helpful comments. Had I tried ebay? Could I get a dress made? How about scouring the second-hand shops? Approaching fashion students of the nearest college? Had I looked in Coast? etc. Friends offered their advice too – “You’ve got to be able to think ‘I love it’ as soon as you put it on,” I was told. “Anything else – don’t buy it.”
With those words ringing in my ears, I stumbled upon Brides of Bath – a company selling ex-sample and second-hand wedding dresses. The prices were still higher than Monsoon, but I decided to give them a go and booked myself in for an appointment. The whole experience was so much nicer than my previous shopping trip – the company owner Zoe was lovely and I felt very relaxed trying on lots of beautiful dresses under her expert eye. And when I tried on the fifth dress….da-dah! I had my “I love it!” moment.
Reader, I bought it, and not only that, I came home and bought my bridesmaid dresses too. I’m having five little bridesmaids – my two daughters and three nieces, whose ages range from three to eight. I was really impressed by the bridesmaid dresses at Next and snapped up five of these and, because my eldest daughter was hovering excitedly at the computer with me at the time of ordering, five of the tiaras too…
The invitations have been posted, the hen night organised, the disco booked, the cake ordered… I’m starting to realise that it’s all actually going to happen now!
Lucy Diamond’s first novel, Any Way You Want Me, is published by Pan and her second, Over You, is out in August.