Wedding Planning: The Dress

I found my dress about two days after getting engaged. It sounds utterly ridiculous, I know. The whole process of finding what is to be the frock I’ll wear when I go from Ms to Mrs has been incredibly painless and totally without setting foot in a bridal store. Go figure.

I know it’s not the done thing these days to admit you’ve thought about your wedding day for a long time. But to hell with being embarrassed, let’s be completely honest here – it had crossed my mind on a not-infrequent basis over the years. To the point where after I found out about Love My Dress, I began to regularly read, despite being three er, a couple of years out from getting engaged. For a long time I imagined having as fancy a shindig as possible, but by the time the concept of getting married had become more realistic, my tastes had changed and I began to naturally lean towards a simpler, much more chic aesthetic.

Gah, I am desperado to show you a picture of my wedding dress, but I know for a fact that Mr Hello reads this here blog and I want to maintain a bit of mystery for the grand day itself. So…as a compromise I have created the collages below, to give you an idea of my personal style, and maybe even a hint or two…

Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha Wedding Dress InspirationHello Sam Goodbye Samantha Wedding Inspiration

What do you think? Any favourites?

I was a little bit afraid that having bought my dress online I would feel like I had missed out on the bridal shop experience. Being a bride often feels like a real rite of passage, and I don’t want to miss out on meaningful experiences with my Mum or my sister, or in fact any of the significant women in my life. I was a little bit concerned that a one-time opportunity had been missed, before I came to the realisation that I genuinely despise clothes shopping with other people. I feel self conscious about my body, and I question my own style when I ask other people for their opinion, so in the harsh light of day, perhaps the decision to choose my dress from the comfort and relative privacy of my own laptop was for the best.

Soon after our engagement I was casually Googling wedding dresses, you know, like a totally normal person. When I saw a picture of my wedding dress, I knew within a second that it was the one for me. What I didn’t realise at the time (but did shortly after) was that it was also the wedding dress of a bride from one of my favourite real wedding features on Love My Dress (nope, not linking to it you cheeky thing!). But as luck would have it…..it was a 3 year old dress, and the company making it had sold out. Noooooooooo. This is where it took me a little more time to actually buy the dress I’d somehow chosen immediately. I hit up eBay, with no joy, then PreLoved, also no joy there, and the threads of desperation started to get their sneaky hands on me before at last, I found one in my size on OnceWed. With nary a second’s hesitation I send off an enquiry email. Happily, within a few weeks I had bought it from the lovely Bonnie in Virginia, US, who not only sourced the best postage deal for me, but sent me a beautiful engagement card along with my dress in its original packaging. It was very special. Now OnceWed uses Escrow.com for all financials, as supposedly it’s much safer than PayPal. In the end, Bonnie and I used PayPal to seal the deal and I had absolutely no problem. I can’t vouch for others, but I had a great experience.

Luckily for me, my dress is actually everything I never really knew that I wanted. Buying a secondhand dress actually feels really meaningful, almost as if it’s already a happy dress. That it gets to be a part of more joy, and in turn brings more joy with it. On top of that, it cost me $650 (£350) including shipping. Not shabby at all!