Sunday, 15 February 2015

My Wedding Dress Journey

My wedding dress journey.

There are not many pictures in this post, I promise there are pictures coming soon, tons of them!

If there's any time in life where your emotions (and purse!) get turned upside down has to be the big W... not a shocking realisation I hear you say... I mean I should know that right? Weddings are stressful everyone knows that?! I just don't think I was quite prepared for how much this process was going to affect me. Before being engaged (lets call it before engagement BE) I was a sensible reasonable girl, after engagement (lets call it AE) not so much, I think being engaged changes your brain chemistry. Suddenly simple, and seemingly pleasant decisions turn into the most difficult thing in the world.

BE: This venue is nice, we can afford it, I'd like to get married here some day.
AE: This venue is nice, but what will other people think? what does it say about us as a couple? Is it too flashy? Is it not flashy enough? what if its not as good on the day? Argh I just cant commit, I must research 50 more venues immediately.

BE: I'm crafty I can add elegant and classy touches to our wedding with confidence.
AE: My craft mojo has disappeared, what if it just looks like glitter threw up on everything.

BE: I like this dress, but it's a bit expensive, better not, I'll just dream about it.
AE: Nice dress, A million pounds you say seems reasonable I'll take it.

Naturally wedding dress shopping has to be one of the most daunting experiences of the lot, especially for someone who has been 'bigger than the average bear' for some time... well forever actually. The thing is I have always been body positive, I work with what I have. I dress carefully for my shape and I generally don't let how I look stop me form doing anything. A big white dress though? White is not my friend!

The Beginning: Research. 

Pictures of other plus size brides, for someone who loves to read blogs its the first place to start.  Slightly trickier than blogs at first but once I got going I found some great places:

Facebook, plus size dress shops pages (and of course their associated websites)

Then there's wedding forums, specifically plus size gals in dresses:

And Pretty Pear bride, the worlds only plus size bridal magazine!

I lost hours to all of the above!

Size Acceptance, An Important Truth to Realise:

Wedding Dresses are stupidly sized. Don't take this personally if you have to try on dresses that are 2-4 sizes bigger than you are on the high street, I repeat do not take it personally! (Incidentally wedding shoes are the same, when you get engaged your feet shrink, it's the only explanation as to why none of the shoes fit!

The Next Step: Budget

New wedding dresses cost the earth. Why shouldn't they though? The fabric is luxurious, they are often heavily hand embellished and they have to be perfect. Someone will have spent hours and hours on THE dress. Designer wedding dresses are carefully thought out, the designers understand the fabrics and the fit. Professionals do not work for free, would you? 

There is sometimes a way to get dresses cheaper, with regular dresses its either discount codes, the sales, blog sales, clothes swaps or e-bay. Of course you can get wedding dresses cheaper but you most likely will have to compromise, unless you are extremely lucky.

There's always e-bay, if your dream dress comes up in your size, then go for it.

Then dress shops selling sample gowns, that one involves a lot of leg work!

And don't forget outlets! I visited this outlet in Beverley:
I had a great time  See 'great time face':
and the dresses were cheaper, but I didn't find my dress there.

another outlet that I came across is this one:
Elite bridal (but I didn't go to this one)

Anyhow, budget is really personal, but expect perfection to cost more and don't forget about accessories and alterations.

Trying on! Eek! Exciting!

I went to four places to try on dresses and my experience varied wildly. I am going to start with the worst experience and then work up to where I bought my dress from. I'll do this in forthcoming posts.

Collectif Faye Doll Dress

Well it's been a long time!

The last year has flown by pretty quickly. Fashion wise I have been in the doldrums - I haven't bought anything as all my spare cash has been funneled into the wedding! (We got married in December)

There is of course a wedding dress post or two coming up, but by way of warming up, I thought I would kick off the blog with a dress I bought a whole year ago from Collectif. Being a bit of a fan of vintage but not catered for by many of the repro-vintage outlets I was very excited to see collectif had a couple of plus size items (you know- properly(ish-more about that in a minute) plus sized, not just a small cut 22 with no stretch, which is more of a 20).

This is the Faye Floral Doll dress in a 3x. Sadly the plus size line was short lived, this dress was in the sale for quite a while and was not redone, but that may have been because the sizing is a bit odd, this dress fits well at the waist, the bust  is too big. In these pictures I am wearing a corset which pulls my waist in a bit but more importantly pushes my bust up and out a little - this just about fills the dress (which is still a bit baggy at the arms) but it is not my natural shape, I couldn't wear this dress with a normal bra without the dress looking too big at the arms.

Aside from the sizing issues this dress is amazing, it is frothy and swishy and so so good to dance in no petticoat required. Quality wise it is is top notch, but then it should be for £130 full price.

Collectif currently have this dress in the a fore mentioned not-plus-size 22 in the sale Faye dress in teal if this is your size then I heartily recommend it.