Sunday, December 28, 2014

On track

Here we are, almost at the end of 2014, a year which has, quite frankly, whizzed by so fast that I am not entirely sure what's happened. That's a good thing, I suppose. A year that goes by so quickly because I'm doing so many different things, that I have no time to rest, other than the magical Christmas period when my office decides to close.

It's been a nice few days of doing nothing much (though, thankfully, not over-eating as is our tendency during this time), and, with just three days left to this year, I'm incredibly pleased to report that, bam, just like that, we are now back on track with our wedding planning. A week or so ago, we were behind on deciding on a wedding venue because it was just so hard finding a place which met our key requisites. Now, having spoken to the venue manager, and having adjusted our expectations in what we can and cannot do, I'm delighted to say that we have our venue on our desired date.

It's a place I hadn't even heard about until a month ago, and a place which, once I saw the photos, fell in love with. It wasn't originally available on the date I wanted, but, after some patience, the couple ahead of us seem to have given up on the place, so I'm really grateful for that.

And, as of yesterday, I now have a wedding dress! Yes! I didn't even think I was going to get this done this year, given that the wedding is in late 2015. I almost didn't even make it to the shop yesterday and would surely have missed out on this wonderful dream dress of mine, because, truth be told, I was using yesterday as a practice run before going for the real sample sales I wanted to go to in 2015.

Yes, that's right. A practice run. I wanted to test out how early I should be getting to a place, and whether my outfit would be good enough in case I had to try things on in a communal fitting room. I was initially rather disappointed when I got there; there weren't too many other people, though enough people that I ended up waiting around 30 minutes before I could get a chance to try out the dresses I'd selected, and there wasn't a great selection of dresses - maybe around 50 at the most - such that it took me around ten minutes to decide on the three that would be brought into the fitting room.

The dress I ended up buying though? That was the first dress that I saw that grabbed my attention. Another bride had tagged it, meaning she would be getting to try it on first, but, as I couldn't find other dresses to try on, I decided to tag it too. In fact, while waiting in line, one of the sales assistants took my tag off, as she was going to put it back in the general selection, but I noticed, and told her that I'd tagged it and hadn't gone into the fitting rooms just yet.

When it came to my turn, the sales assistant helped me try it on and I was intrigued. I thought the dress looked nice on me, but didn't quite fit what I thought I wanted, which was a dress with a nice big skirt (because, hey, when else would I get to wear something like that?). It didn't emphasise my waist - my favourite part of my body - as it was a little big, but, when the sales assistant pulled it in just a little, it looked amazing. The skirt was made of silk taffeta, so it looked luxurious, and the train - oh the train! - had lace and little 3D flowers sewn in. It looked exquisite - that's really the only word for it - and felt like a couture dress.

But, I'd felt like this before, and I didn't buy those dresses, so I thought I'd try the other two dresses on. One had a gigantic skirt - a very interesting effect, and more what I might have gone for had I not been looking for a wedding dress - and the other was more like the other kinds of dresses I'd been trying on in other shops. I didn't really pay them any attention, to be honest. My mind was still on the first dress I'd tried on and how nice it looked.

So, yes, that sold it for me. I didn't know how much I'd liked the dress until I took it off, and that's how I knew that that was the dress I wanted.

I asked how much the dress was and was thrilled to find that it was over 50% off and just under a thousand pounds. I wasn't able (or willing) to pay cash though, so ended up paying 2.5% extra to use my credit card, but, hey, it was still well within my budget. And, as an added bonus, the dress was also brand new, and didn't need the free dry cleaning that the shop offered for all sample sales that day.

So, yes, while it still needs a little alteration - pulling in at the waist, shortening the cap sleeves, and maybe even adding a bustle - I think it'll still be cheaper than the dress I thought I was going to settle on in the end. And, because it's me, I'm thrilled that I have a story to tell of the dress too. I never thought I'd end up getting a sample sale dress, much one which is brand new and which ticks all of the boxes.

So, dress and venue are sorted now. What am I going to do with all these free weekends now!?

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