Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wedding dresses

I seem to have been struck by the worst cold I have ever suffered in my entire life. This, of course, means that I am spending far too much time on the Internets, and most of that has been spent ooh-ing and ahh-ing over pretty white dresses which are completely unaffordable, which has only added to their desirability.

I went to a bridal shop two weeks ago for a designer's trunk show. Silly me thought that that would mean that there would be more dresses from that particular designer for me to try on. Instead, it just seemed like the usual lot of dresses - at least, judging from the sales assistant's befuddled look - and I ended up trying on two dresses from that designer, and a couple of others from others in the shop.

I didn't really know what to expect. I didn't think I would come across a dress and go, "Yes, this is the one, and I must get this!" In fact, there was only one dress I tried on and went, "WOW!" Despite that, it wasn't my favourite dress. My favourite dress was this one, and it's just so simple and elegant and... pretty much the kind of dress I'd love to wear to a posh party. But, that's just it. It's an incredibly nice dress for an upscale function, but I guess it's not wedding-y enough. 

The dress which elicited the "wow" from me though? I didn't like it as much. I knew I looked good in it, and it showed off my figure to a fantastic extent, but I just didn't feel it. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because whenever I wear anything figure-hugging, my eyes are inevitably drawn to my ginormous hips, and, no matter what anyone says, all I see are the hips and how huge they are. 

Now, I know I have a decent figure. Hell, I have a more-than-decent figure, thanks to the yoga I do every morning, and the exercise I did before my surgery. I have flat abs, a nice butt, great legs and muscular arms. Yet, whenever I wear a long gown, all I see are my wide hips. That's why I prefer to wear knee-length dresses. But, again, that's not wedding-y enough. 

After that, I started flipping through my copy of Brides magazine and came across an ad for Justin Alexander's 2015 collection which featured this dress and I thought, now that's the kind of dress I want. Figure-skimming, lacy, beautiful neckline and back-line and covered buttons.
The only catch is that it's the 2015 collection so it's not available in the UK yet (if ever). *sighs*

My other bugbear about wedding dress shopping has been how people have been quoting me prices... only for me to realise that those prices don't include VAT. Excuse me? 20% is a hell of a lot to omit, thank you very much. It means I should be looking at dresses that are in the 80% bracket of my budget just in case VAT has been missed out.

But... it's not like the budget particularly matters right now. I'm off to Phillipa Lepley later this week to check out their sample sale, which starts at just around what I'm willing to pay. Her couture gowns start at £6,000 and are way out of my budget. Still, the 1.5 hour long consultation (which costs £30) will hopefully arm me with the advice I need in order to do some proper dress shopping.

In the meantime, I've been lusting after wedding dresses by exotically-named designers based in far-off countries, such as these two lovely gowns from Israeli designer Inbal Dror:
And this incredible gown from South African designer Kobus Dippenaar:

Tanika - front
Tanika - back
What do I like about these? I love how they've combined vintage glamour and sheer sex appeal. Look at the backs of those dresses. There's something immeasurably sexy - yet almost modest - about a low back. Well, that's what I think, anyway. And all that beautiful handmade lace! So ethereal, so gorgeous, so perfect.

But, unfortunately, Inbal Dror's dresses are custom-made and start at £6,000, while Kobus Dippenaar is a shade more affordable at between £2,000 and £4,000, so I'm told by the only London stockist of these two designers.  

And I know it's meant to be a special day, but, even my shopaholic brain does balk at spending so much for a dress that will be wore twice at the very most. The average cost of a wedding in the UK is £24,000 (including the engagement ring), and that's the same as the average UK wage, or the size of a housing deposit. It's just a little mad, isn't it? 

But, I do want this day to be special, and we are leaning towards holding two events, so that probably means we'll match the average wedding cost... if not exceed it!

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