Tag Archives: love my dress

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!

Thank You, Women Who Write

I have maintained a blog in one form or another for nigh on five years now, not nearly as long as some around these parts, but long enough to feel some sense of belonging in my own, slightly imaginary blogging community. Due to the ridiculous amount of time I spend online I’ve noticed over the last year or so, there seems to have been a bit of a shift away from the blogs I really cut my teeth on, and the blogging scene has become decidedly spiffy-er. Of course, this is both wonderful, and a little sad as I’m finding it harder and harder to find well written and interesting blogs that are about the every day delightful hum-drum, rather than a perfectly Photoshopped version of life. I feel nostalgic for my ‘old days’, even if they were considerably newer than the days of others’.

Strangely enough, I remember the first blog I ever followed, the now sadly defunct London Makeup Girl (who appears to be infrequently around on Twitter). Lydia gave concise and helpful makeup reviews from a really pragmatic perspective and with a focus on niche brands. I really adored her approach to makeup, and it was like permission to be a feminist and interested in beauty products. As strange as it seems, she really gave me the confidence to start buying makeup from counters in department stores, whereas before I was too terrified of the perfectly eyebrowed sales assistants.

It was through a comment on her blog that I also discovered Love Audrey, an English lifestyle blog to whom I have linked many times before. Franky was the exact type of blog I adored – thoughtful, fun, and willing to talk about the not quite so delightful aspects of being a student. Makeup FOTD photos in weird lighting before she became so good with her new camera, outfit shots, delicious recipes and giggly posts about heading out in London with her friends. I’ve read regularly for years now and in the last 18 months her blog has definitely changed, undergoing a major redesign that I totally adore. I honestly look forward to her posts the most out of the many blogs I follow, but I do miss the days when she was around more often!

When Franky got engaged she led me to Love My Dress, the inimitable wedding blog that I not-so-secretly read for two years before getting engaged. I know, I am almost embarrassed to admit that, but I don’t really care because the love Annabel has poured into that blog over the years has been a wonderful thing to be a part of. Love My Dress has also been redesigned a couple of times since I began reading, and there is something to be said (I’m not sure what, but hey) about remembering an old design, it’s kind of a ‘you weren’t there man’ feeling, and of being one of the original fans, even though of course I wasn’t. Annabel has recently advertised for new writing interns for Love My Dress, something I would adore to do. I began an application as well, only to come to the conclusion that I simply cannot  keep piling more work onto my plate, especially next year, even if I was lucky enough to get a place. So that may stay as a pipe dream for some time.

All of my favourite blogs are written by women. Most of them are written by women who live varied and interesting lives, which is fantastic, but quite unreasonably sad for me. Many have ceased to write, or dropped the frequency of their posting drastically because they’re out actually living their lives. How dare they. I’ve noticed the absence of their voices in my life. So this post is  a little tribute to those bloggers, as well as the ones linked to above and many, many more.

The Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha List of Bloggers I Wish Were Around More

London Makeup Girl – the blog is now defunct and so no link! 🙁 Twitter link above

Modesty Brown Loves Makeup

Belgian Waffle – who incidentally I met once, but was too shy to speak to, and having read her blog since, I suspect she was too!

Dempeaux – who lives near my hometown in country WA

The Velvet Bow/The Peach House – a friend!

Not Enough Mud

Parlez Vous Moo

Please Don’t Eat With Your Mouth Open

Irretrievably Broken

Happy Sighs

Blabbermouse – possibly the second blog I ever followed.

Blogging has given me a wonderful new creative outlet, and has kept me feeling connected to other women throughout periods of massive change in my life. I’m so grateful for women who write.