Sunday, 17 June 2012

Soundtrack of a Journey into Marriage: Ooh

Or: How do you know the Dress is The One? And is there such a thing anyway?

This weekend, the Dress was bought. I wouldn't say I am indecisive but I have been known to take a disproportionate amount of time to choose a biscuit, so to choose a dress quite so quickly was quite a surprise.

Being honest, it was an experience I hadn't particularly been looking forward to. Sure, wedding dresses are pretty and I'd spent hours looking online and at magazines oohing and aahing and deciding what I was looking for - and all that was really really fun.

But the idea of walking into a shop, being the centre of attention and not being a magic size 8? The more I thought about it, the more butterflies were flapping frantically round my insides. I wasn't particularly expecting to find a dress I wanted, but at the same time I was anxious that I wouldn't find one at all.

Despite the friendly shop assistant who welcomed us and quickly went in search of tea (always bonus points in my book), my feelings of anxiety increased as I surveyed a room of what seemed to be a hundred strapless dresses.

Dear reader, I did not want a strapless dress. I don't do strapless dresses in general life, and it seemed to me that our wedding day would not be the ideal time or place to start. So for what seemed like hours, I stood in the middle of a sea of white (and various associated shades), trying not to follow my instinct to run.

Then, on closer inspection, I found one where the straps had simply slipped off the hanger. I liked it. I found another. I liked that one too. Suddenly my hopes lifted and excitement returned as I pointed out an armful of dresses to be carted to the changing room.

Spurred on, it was time to try them on. I stepped into the first dress, which happened to be one I had fallen in love with from the shop's website. I say "stepped". What I actually mean is that the lovely assistant* held the dress, I hung onto her shoulder for dear life and plunged a foot into the mass of underskirt and lace overlay. I came out of the changing room, and looked in the mirror.

To say I was speechless is an understatement. I looked - different, yet like me. I don't know what I was expecting. Did I like the dress? Yes. Was it right for me? I honestly didn't know. So I ummed and aahed, and went to try on the next one.

After what seemed like more hours, I eventually narrowed the choice down to two. I couldn't decide (cue more umming and aahing - I am getting to be an expert at 'decision' noises) - and then that great saviour, gut instinct, kicked in.

We as brides-to-be hear so much about finding the Dress that is The One. We are supposed to try on dress after dress after dress until we step out of the changing room and make the mirror shine with Disney-like brightness (never likely in Hertfordshire, although a singing teapot wouldn't go amiss). In reality, life isn't like that. In my oh-so-logical mind, how can you possibly know that a Dress is the most perfect one that exists for you?

Do I know if this dress is The One? Despite the gut instinct, no. But I know I have bought the dress that made my mother go "Ooh" when I walked out. I know I have bought a dress that my fiance thinks is gorgeous (yes, he's seen it; no, he probably won't remember what it looks like in 11 months time; yes, I love that he helped choose it - why should he not?). I know that this dress made me smile when I first saw it, and makes me smile even more when I think about wearing it to say my vows on our wedding day. It makes me happy, and if that makes it The One, then that's an added bonus.

*Becky. She was genuinely lovely, so so helpful, and even arranged an ad hoc appointment for Alan to try on suits. He looked awesome.

In other weekend news, here's a Berry Pavlova I made (the best kind of meringue).

I will not be able to eat this again for a year.


  1. Ooh hello! I just saw that you've followed my blog, Dine at Mine, and popped over to visit (getting followers is still rare enough that I get excited and/or stalkery). I love your blog! I sort of just read your entire archive. Is that creepy?

    And choosing a wedding dress, WELL. I picked pretty much the first one I tried (and also showed my fiancé, totally agree with you) then started second-guessing myself, thinking that as I hadn't tried on every single dress ever (and what fun that would be) how could I know this was the right one?? Then I slapped myself, thanked the stars that it had been so easy and got on with my life. And I loved it on the day, far more than some people who spent months and months searching.

    Epic comment, sorry! But in conclusion - you're right. And i bet it's lovely!

    1. Hello! Thank you for the lovely comment - we're very new to this blogging malarkey so these pages are a bit of a mix of everything at the moment. I found your blog via Any Other Woman and loved it - Alan and I really enjoy cooking and baking and spend most of our weekends playing with recipes as we don't get a chance to cook much during the week. I really enjoy the little stories that go with each of your recipes too! (I've also spent a disproportionate amount of time drooling at the pictures - I do go to work, honest!)

      You are so right about the dress - I might not have tried on every dress in the world but I really love the one I've bought and can't wait to wear it - life is too short to do otherwise (clearly I need the extra time to try all these recipes on your blog out. At which point I won't fit into this dress and will have to buy a new one. Ho hum)