Hi there, today I have another wedding update. I had my first dress fitting with the fantastic JoanneFleming last week. What a treat!
But now that I have decided on who and how I am getting my dream dress I thought I should share my experience of making my choice.
Here's my recipe for a perfect wedding dress:
Take one picky girl,
Add one helpful but not quite right shop visit,
Mix with some very stale vintage,
And a sprinkle of wedding fairs,
Bake for two months with a very rude eBay seller and a Chinese Counterfeit,
Top of with some forum research,
And serve with a flair of local designer!
I knew from the moment I was engaged that I would want a fit and flair vintage 1950s style dress. I had watched enough Don't Tell the Bride to know that I liked very few of the typical shaped wedding dresses. One of the designer dresses I liked from magazines was the Rosealba by Stephanie Allin however it seemed a dress like this would cost around £2000! Far above my budget... but served as great inspiration for my subsequent searches.
So on one Sunday some time ago I decided to go wedding dress shopping with my maid of honour. Unfortunately no-one had told us that wedding dress shops are rarely open on Sundays or that you typically need appointments to go inside - It would seem browsing isn't something wedding dress shops allow.
We eventually happened into OZone of Brighton and I tried on several dresses some long, some short and while they were very helpful they just didn't have the kind of dress I wanted. They offered to make changes to an existing dress design so that it would be more like what I wanted and advised me on a quote- for £1600!!! I felt it was just too much for an adapted designer dress...
Furthermore after a few wedding fairs it was clear that finding a short dress may be expensive and this pushed me to dabble in trying to find a vintage dress.
Months of eBay watching and vintage trawling occurred. But being a size 12-14 meant that I found very few genuine vintage dresses as they were just too small - especially the good quality ones. I decided to risk buying a dress on eBay on a whim, mainly because it was £35 and I thought It may be worth it. The dress was photographed badly and listed as '80s does 50s', unfortunately when it arrived it was exactly that. A sort of net lace fabric with an off white lining and it was quite a bit too big. It wasn't terrible, it just wasn't quite what I wanted. So back on eBay it went, I managed to sell it for £50 so I did make a small profit. However I'm fairly confident this was for a royal wedding party as the buyer 'needed the item delivered by Friday the 29th of April'...
|1980s does 1950s vintage lace wedding dress|
I then experimented with vintage replicas like those found on Dolly Couture. I have to say that some of these look gorgeous! And I was very tempted but worries of import tax and shipping costs kept me from buying. So when a dress that looked like one by Dolly Couture appeared on eBay in my size I decided to buy- for £100.
|Dolly Couture The Beverlywood and The Cambridge|
When the dress arrived it was nice but it was clearly a fake version of the dress as it lacked labels etc. while i was impressed with the fabric some I the finishing was very cheap and there was what looked like a spot to blood under a pin tuck on the bodice. Of course I was not happy with this at all and asked to rerun the dress. I was very rudely dismissed by the seller who accused me of damaging the dress so I could return it - can you imagine how angry I was at that! During the months that followed there was much to-ing and fri-ing but I did eventually manage to get my money back. It was, however, a very surprising experience for me and was the first real eBay trouble I have had as a buyer.
After all this I decided to go back to basics and went trawling through forums about wedding dresses and came across someone recommending Jo Fleming’s designs. After looking on her website I saw styles that I really liked and made an appointment to visit the studio. After another visit to try on a studio sample gown I was in love and knew what I wanted I was just worried about price.
I have been fortunate enough that my mother has been able to help me out with the price but lets just say I am getting a custom made designer gown in organza silk and lace for just about the average price of a standard wedding dress. These dresses are exceptionally well priced- Grab a bargain while you can!
But I can’t really put a price on my dream dress. Its been a challenge and has taken about a year of research, investigation and some horrible mistakes but thankfully I didn’t lose and money from it and I will now have the dress of my dreams - its just a shame I can't show you it... yet...
Hopefully my hubby to be will like it as much as me.