Saying yes to the dress – a look back

Saying yes to the dress – a look back

10th June 2018 11 By Rachael Stray

Wedding season is well and truly upon us and so I thought it was a good time to share my saying yes to the dress story!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the cult American TV show which now has a version in the UK (and in other countries).

Say Yes to the Dress is a programme which is part bridal story, part fashion makeover and part family therapy session.

It shows brides-to-be saying yes to their dress (aka buying and trying on their wedding dress).

If you haven’t watched it before it’s strangely addictive viewing.

My saying yes to the dress story

Saying “yes to the dress” is a massive deal for any bride, with many visiting numerous shops and websites before they find “the one”.

It wasn’t like that for me at all – I actually accidentally found my dress.

I was working a weekend shift at the newspaper just a week or two after our engagement when a car crashed into a poor lady’s house (thankfully nobody was seriously hurt or killed) late at night.

So I went early the next morning to get pictures and interview the neighbours in a little town called Louth in Lincolnshire.

I was still learning to drive so relied on getting the bus.

On my way back to the bus shelter I passed by an independent bridal boutique where I spotted a gorgeous bridesmaid dress in the window.

With a good half an hour to kill before the bus was due; I decided to pop in for a look.

The friendly owner showed me swatches of the various colours the dress came in and asked if I wanted a quick look at that particular designer’s wedding dresses.

She showed me a handful of gorgeous gowns but my eye was instantly drawn to one particular dress. I didn’t try it on but I knew that was my dress.

Very kindly she let me take the details of the designer and a picture of the dress so I could show my mam.

Fast forward a couple of months and I didn’t actually try dresses on until my birthday in the November.

I went with my mam and nana (leaving my hubby-to-be in a coffee shop with a newspaper and hot chocolate) to a little independent boutique The Wedding Wardrobe just a stone’s throw away from our evening reception venue.

My mam had pre-booked our appointment so we had the undivided attention of the staff and plenty of time to try on dresses.

Lynne the super helpful and genuinely lovely bridal consultant had a quick chat with me about what I had in mind and advised I pick out dresses in a selection of styles to try on as I might actually change my mind.

My mam had saved the picture of “my dress” on her phone and while I was picking out dresses to try on she asked whether they had “my dress”.

Thankfully they had a sample in the stockroom – I couldn’t believe my luck!

I tried the dress on – and even though it didn’t fit – I knew it was the one. I tried the others on just to make sure but we were all in agreement that I’d found my dress.

Lynne slipped some heels on my feet and a tiara on my head so I could feel more like a bride.

I walked around the shop and loved how the dress moved and sounded as I floated around the floor.

I checked I could sit down and dance too – I wanted to wear my dress all day and night so wanted it to be comfortable too.

With my mind made up Lynne took my measurements and placed the order. My dress wouldn’t arrive for at least six months so it was good thing I had left enough time.

I would also need to try the dress on when it arrived in store and see if any alterations would be necessary.

We already knew the dress would be too long so Lynne recommended a local seamstress who she has worked with before and had actually altered the shorter version of my dress previously; so an appointment was provisionally booked.

My dress arrived in May and I arranged to try it on and collect it the evening before my hen do which you can read all about in my how to plen a hen party post.

I then called the seamstress to confirm my alteration appointment.

My wedding dress

My wedding dress Photo: Ed and Maggie Sewell

It felt amazing trying on my actual dress with my wedding shoes.

I did need some alterations as it was too long and because of the neckline I couldn’t wear a bra underneath it, so I definitely needed some protection from the cold (churches are not famously warm venues!) and a few other minor tweaks.

I wore my dress and shoes again while the seamstress measured me and took careful notes. I didn’t want to take it off.

My wedding shoes. Photo: Ed and Maggie Sewell

My wedding shoes. Photo: Ed and Maggie Sewell

Fast forward a couple of weeks and I picked up my altered dress with my mam.

I practiced walking, dancing and sitting to see if I was comfortable and if any extra alterations were needed but no other changes were required and I practically skipped home to my parents house.

My dress was perfect and I had no worries about being cold in the church!

On my wedding day. Photo: Ed and Maggie Sewell

On my wedding day. Photo: Ed and Maggie Sewell

I wore my dress all day and night on our big day and didn’t really want to take it off.

Steve and I during our first dance. Photo: Ed and Maggie Sewell

Steve and I during our first dance. Photo: Ed and Maggie Sewell

I’ve since had my dress cleaned and carefully boxed so I can keep it safe – you never know I might want to wear it again!

My wedding dress in it's new box

My wedding dress in it’s new box

I will share some pearls of wisdom on how to choose your wedding dress in an upcoming blog post – so stay tuned!

Our wonderful wedding pictures were taken by the very talented Ed and Maggie Sewell; you can check out their other work here:

How many shops did you trawl to when shopping for your wedding dress? Did you have something in mind and then completely change your opinion once you started trying dresses on? Let me know in the comments below.

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Other relationship related posts

Here’s my top tips on how to survive a couple’s trip to Ikea

See how I’m upping my romance game in romancing the socks off Valentine’s Day

Here’s the two lessons I’ve learnt after two years of marriage

Find out what we got up to during our mini break to the lovely Lake District.

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