Jeffrey and I were in my home county of East Yorkshire over the weekend and ventured to the small seaside town of Hornsea with our friends Hannah and Martin on Saturday for fish and chips and some good old fresh North Sea air.
After munching on some lovely fish and chips and having a stroll on the beach we drove to the very bizarre Hornsea Freeport – “the UK’s first designer outlet” – for a wander. Whilst there, we thought it might be fun to look in the Wedding Collection where Jeffrey and Martin took it upon themselves to hunt out the perfect dresses for me and Hannah. They found this tough, and so did we. There was nothing that appealed to us and we came to the conclusion finding a wedding dress must be hard work.
With a vast array of wedding dresses available, how does a bride-to-be choose ‘the one’ – if there is such a thing? That’s the very question one bride struggled to overcome. The result? She bought 20 dresses and wore nine of them on her big day. Bride-to-be and friend of mine Kirsty Anderson discusses wedding dress shopping in the first of (hopefully) a series of guest blogs from friends tying the knot.
I think the act of choosing a wedding dress is symbolic of how many women approach their whole wedding. As with this article, there are some women who get just a touch carried away and the day becomes more about what you’re wearing and less about celebrating your love. On the other hand there are others, such as a woman I work with, who is keeping her wedding small and intimate and her mum is making her dress (albeit she’s a fashion designer!)
My hunt for a dress began with a very moral assurance that I wanted to get it from the Oxfam wedding shop – I’ve never been one for caring too much about my clothes and the thought of a designer dress, bought at a quarter of the price with the money going to a good cause was tempting. However, laziness got in the way and with no Oxfam wedding shop in easy travelling distance and nothing on their website that grabbed my attention, that plan was abandoned. But I still wanted my dress to be bought from somewhere that meant something to me. After visiting a few shops in London and not having found ‘the one’ I went up to Derbyshire (where I grew up and where I’m getting married) and found a lovely little shop that swept me away. I’m a bit cynical about sales people, and try to resist their tactics – but this shop is so delightful and made me feel like the only person in the world getting married that I was sold hook, line and sinker! With my mum and sister there for advice, I spent about 2 hours trying on a host of dresses and fell into the old cliché that when I tried on my dress, I just knew it was the one.
I’m not entirely sure what this says about my wedding. Possibly that it is important there is meaning to the day, not to spend too long fretting about what you wear or the colour of the napkins, because you’ll still have a great day, but also to enjoy some of the girl-hood fantasies of a wedding and dressing up like a princess!
Image – Oxfam Bridal
Oxfam has eleven bridal departments across the UK, all of which offer a warm welcome, specialist advice and a wide selection of bridal wear and accessories. Many dresses are donated by designers, so you can buy the wedding dress of your dreams for much less that you would expect. A smaller range is also available online.