3rd March 2015 . The Uttering Bride

Paris & Joe: The Dress Search Begins!


I have officially died and gone to wedding dress heaven. Last weekend my best friend and Maid of Honour, Stacie, came with me to my first ever wedding dress appointment. Now, I realise that this may be just a tad premature being that the wedding is still eighteen months away, but I have been chomping at the bit to go to this particular boutique ever since I got engaged. It is the boutique that Stacie and I both walk past every time we go shopping in that city. We look in and swoon at the dresses, the brides and the oh-so-glamorous décor of the place. Being appointment only, we have only ever pressed our noses to the window and dreamt of the day that we will one day be part of the exclusive gang that get to actually go inside.

Well, that day has come.

My love obsession with this boutique was intensified when I realised that they stock a particular Pinterest dress that I had only gone and pinned about a hundred times. With that in mind, in the week leading up to the appointment we were like school children again, bubbling with anticipation. I think Joe found me unbearable.  There was one catch to this visit. My wedding dress budget currently stands at a fairly generous £2,000. The dresses in this boutique are not £2,000. The compromise? I have agreed to buy my dress second hand. Now hold that thought…

Inside the boutique.

Inside the boutique.

The experience in the boutique was everything I could have wanted and more. We were the only ones in the boutique and just pawing through the rails of beautifully detailed dresses was brilliant enough, let alone actually trying some on. I was allowed to pick five, which was probably for the best considering that I think I loved them all. Stacie chose one of the five, a lacey Lusan Mandongus number with a sweetheart neckline. We both agreed that it would be criminal not to try on the biggest, puffiest dress in the shop and so a rather large Allure dress was added to the rail. I then selected two Jenny Packhams, which later turned to three, and another Lusan Mandongus.

Dress inspiration

Dress inspiration

Wearing my most attractive nude underwear, the assistant carefully buttoned, zipped and tied me into the dresses. Getting into the Allure was downright hilarious as my feet could literally not find the floor for all the frothy tulle. Standing on one leg in heels, I genuinely thought me and the assistant would come tumbling through the curtain at any moment. Alas, the Allure was not meant to be as I could barely move. And as lovely as the Lusan Mandongus dresses were, I just didn’t feel I had the teeny tiny waist required for such tight fishtail dresses. I was sad to put them to one side.

Then in stepped Jenny Packham to save the day. Oh my goodness those dresses are wonderful. I don’t think I have ever felt so glamorous! One of the dresses I tried was covered in tiny sparkly beads from head to toe. It was beautiful. Wearing one of the shops pairs of bridal shoes I walked toward the mirror and then took a rather large step back, despite having just been told that the one rule of wedding dresses is to never, ever step back. There was one downside to being the only ones in the shop – the audible crunch echoed as my shoe came down on the beads of a £3,000 dress. The dress crunched and so did my dreams of buying second hand as I realised that I was not the first or last to stand on a Jenny Packham (especially not after a few wines). Could I really be happy with a dress that was most likely damaged?

I heart Jenny Packham

I heart Jenny Packham

And so I learned three things from my first dress trying experience. 1. The dress will be a Packham. 2. My Excel spreadsheet is going to hate me. But not as much as Joe will. 3. I need to find a new favourite boutique.

Paris x


Sama x

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2 Responses to “Paris & Joe: The Dress Search Begins!”

  1. scarletscorchdroppers

    Your post has just set me off on (yet another…) massive Pinterest wedding dress spree! I haven’t had chance to haven’t made any appointments for trying on wedding dresses yet, but I absolutely can’t wait! Jennie xx

  2. India

    I had a very similar journey to yours – I fully intended to buy second hand but didn’t realise how hard it would be to not fall in love with dresses in the ‘expensive’ boutiques, or how hard it is to find second hand dresses which are the right style, size, in good condition and for sale nearby(ish).
    I first fell in love with a Jenny Packham dress, but after not being able to stomach the price tag, I have ended up with a Justin Alexander that I love, love, love and was less than half the price of a JP! Sama will be able to give you way more tips than me but my advice would be:
    1. Don’t stop trying on other designers! Jenny’s dresses are amazing but they blow even the most generous of budgets.
    2. If you do want to go for a JP, make the most of designer days which offer 10% off.
    3. Remember to factor in the cost of alterations.
    4. Remember that the advantage of having 18 months is that you can make the most of sample sales!

    Happy hunting


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