- 3 years ago
Hello again Bees.
I must apologise in advance. I know I’m being a pathetic here and I’m sorry for writing such a long post, if anyone makes it to the end I really thank you for your time! I’m really stuck. I don’t know what to do next in my dress search and would really welcome some advice.
I have found wedding planning fun and fairly straightforward so far, that is, except for dress shopping. We got engaged a month ago and have already booked the venue, florist, photographer, grooms outfit, and ordered invitations and my ring. We are having a small garden wedding (not our garden, a local restaurant) and so it hasn’t been difficult; it has felt like everything has come together naturally. However, dress shopping has made me feel tearful in a bad way more than once. I am getting married in August and so need to find a dress in the next couple of months in case it takes a while to arrive.
I’d ideally like to find a Claire Pettibone/Jenny Packham style dress. By this I mean something light and floaty without excessive corseting or structure. Something I can run about it. I love lace and silk and the fabric of my dress is quite important. However, I have a budget of £800 and, like every bride, want to look beautiful, so I have been looking at both second hand dresses and new dresses that are more structured and traditional. I live MILES from all my friends and family and moved here only recently, so I’ve been doing this on my own.
I have tried on several off the peg dresses from Monsoon and Coast. Sadly they were wildly unflattering. I am 5foot 8 and slim, but they made me look really quite heavy.
Last weekend I went to my second proper bridal shop and was stuck between two dresses. When I came online for help, bees raised the question of why these two. This seemed a good question at the time as I would want to have the neckline altered on the one I preferred to make it strapless. I did like both dresses, but I clearly wasn’t sure. Sadly, later on in the week it turned out I couldn’t afford any other dresses in these ranges (the dresses that were already strapless oddly cost much more), this explained why the sales assistant hadn’t showed me the full range and so that ruled the cheapest shop I could find out of my budget.
This week I have been looking at an Australian online company called Graceloveslace. Have any of you bought from this shop? Has anyone in the UK bought from this shop and had a dress successfully delivered?
I was basically ready to part with over £500 yesterday, thinking I’d found my dress and feeling really relieved, but since then 2 issues have arisen:
– The online correspondence I’ve had has been less than great. In their first email the shop had obviously just replied with a long stock response, they didn’t answer even one of my questions about fit, price or the purchasing process. In their second email the shop advised that most countries don’t have to pay customs tax and they’d not expect me to have to pay customs tax… as I live in the Uk I know I’d normally have to pay around £200 tax, if not more. I don’t know if they are suggesting trying to get the dress in under the radar or if they have just never actually sold to a UK bride. I don’t think it is unreasonable to want to know the final price of my dress before I part with over £500.
– A nice lady at work asked me how dress shopping was going this afternoon. I gave a positive answer (rather than ‘it makes me want to cry’) and she asked to see the online dress. I showed her the picture and then we got interrupted. Her whole response was to say ‘Very 70s, very 70s, very 70s, just like X’s wedding dress (the lady she mentioned has recently retired whilst I am 30)’. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I don’t think I want to look like I’m playing dress up on my wedding day and I never thought I liked 70s style.
I am so disheartened by this whole experience. I’d say I’d get married in my jeans, but my jeans don’t fit properly either. I don’t normally worry too much about what other people think, but I really want to look beautiful on my wedding day. It is important to me that my Mum, my future husband and my best friend all genuinely like the dress. I also care about people at work, I just want them to think I look pretty on my wedding day (they will likely come to the evening reception of a 26 person wedding, which only close family and our oldest friends will have attended during the day).