My Dress (and other pieces from our wedding day)

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Kat and Dave-11

 

I keep meaning to write this post and 5 months on, here we are!

Below is one of my favourite photos from our big day. I’m so excited and happy and coming downstairs to finally tie the knot with the love of my life.  The shot also captures all of the beautiful lace and details on my gown.

 

Kat and Dave-119

 

I’ve written before about my wedding dress and the process I took to find it. Stressful, let me say!

Sometimes the experience is just not all girliness and tears and a special time with your mother and/or sisters and friends. Sometimes you can only take along one bridesmaid, and you just try stuff on in a sale, decide, and buy.  The lovely Helen came along when we found my dress.  And there it is!

 

 

I always wanted lace. I’m a pretty old-fashioned kinda girl and I was enchanted by the idea of finding something very delicate and classic.  I needed straps or small sleeves, a train, a good fit at the waist to give me shape, and for it to be cream or ivory, not white. Above and below are shots from the maker of my dress, Alfred Angelo #2440.  I was taken by the train, the cap sleeves (no sleeveless for me), the beauty of the lace, and the low back:

 

 

Helen got a shot of me leaving the shop clutching my dress in a bag on our way to the pub and it’s pretty cute. Maybe I’ll ask her to share it one day.

 

Kat and Dave-101

 

Searching veils on Etsy, I discovered that I really liked the style of the mantilla veils, and wanted to bring the lace in from my dress. I found a veil online for a ridiculously-cheap price, and was startled when it arrived to find that the shade of ivory and the style of the lace was identical to my dress. A definite win.

 

Kat and Dave-56

Kat and Dave-67

 

Another thing I wanted to do was to embellish the belt a bit. It came with a simple ivory satin belt, and I wanted to add a bit of sparkle to it.  I ended up finding a sparkle applique from John Lewis and then I sewed it onto my belt myself!  They have a pretty good DIY wedding section.  I don’t have any close-up pictures of my belt, but the best view of it is in the above shot with my parents.

 

Kat and Dave-91

 

I think if I never have another day in my life when I feel this beautiful, I’ll be perfectly okay with it! I have to thank my wonderful team – if you’re getting married in the Wairarapa, they are highly recommended!  I used Beneath the Veil (Nicole) for our hair – Nicole took my request and made it even better (so retro!), Latasha at Alluminus in Greytown for our stunning but natural makeup, my dreamy flowers (below) were by the lovely Mindy at Twig & Arrow (she whipped up an extra buttonhole on the day, on the spot!), and our amazing cake (also below) was by Sweet Bakery & Cakery (Karori).

 

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Kat and Dave-462

 

My shoes were custom-made for me by Christy Ng Shoes (Malaysia). I found them on Etsy originally, and their customer service/turnaround time is amazing. I love my shoes so much and they are hands down the most comfortable heels I own.

 

Kat and Dave-105

 

And finally, all of our decorations and accessories were found on Amazon. Seriously. Cheap and cheerful and easy! If you want to know about anything in particular, let me know.  The Mr & Mrs letters were plain and I painted them with a test pot!

 

Kat and Dave-499

 

I’ll write a more sentimental rundown of the day at some stage, too, but just know it really was incredibly special and everything we hoped for.  We only wish we were both from the same place, so more of our friends and family from Edinburgh could have joined us. We didn’t want to exclude them in any way and we missed them!  Our Edinburgh party was fun but disappointing in a few ways (so many things went wrong sadly and I wish it was able to be a bit more special).  But this was our choice and we couldn’t have wished for a better location/day/vendors.

 

Kat and Dave-600

 

I also want to give a special shout-out to our incredible photographer, Mary Sylvia.  Mary went out of her way (so above and beyond) to give us an amazing set of photos that we will treasure forever.  We said from the start that photography was always going to be a top priority in our budget, and we are so glad we chose her. She captures your day without being intrusive and caught so many emotions and special moments. She has a wonderful talent and we love our photos so much.

 

 

…xxx

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The dress

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Soon after my last post, I had two appointments booked in with bridal boutiques, had rounded up my Edinburgh girls, and was going to have good fun trying on dresses and chatting and ooh and ahhing.  I looked forward to the really girly day.

And then the boutique I had previously visited announced that they were closing down.

Alfred Angelo 2430 Back detail

I’d tried on a dress in there before that I quite liked (see above) – the Alfred Angelo 2430, and it was £1000, which was pushing my budget but do-able if I was paying it off.  I planned to go back on Saturday after the appointments and see if I still liked it (if I hadn’t found anything else in the appointments), but decided that if this sale was going on, I better check it out!  A quick look on Facebook revealed it was now £400 which, if you’re getting/have gotten married, you know is insane.

So we made a rush trip to the store last Thursday. I grabbed 4 dresses I had seen on the sale listings and tried the first two on – pretty but not for me.  And then thinking that I was still super keen on the 2430 above, I left it til last, and tried on another.

Which was the dress.  I mean, I tried on the 2430 again and I did like it. I like the back, I like the lace a lot, I liked the belt. But the one I picked was even better.

I’ll tell you a few sneaky details – it’s ivory, still lacy, still has a belt, but it also has a train. Which is so romantic and dreamy.  The sample I bought is sliiiiiightly too small (like, I need to lose maybe 3-5lb to get it fully zipped) and I’ll need to adjust a few things, but what bride doesn’t? And it’s not the same style as the 2430. But that’s all the info you get!

 

 

 

It’s in my closet, folded up, but I’ll soon be whisking it away to live at someone else’s house for while. I trust Dave, but I still want to make sure he doesn’t see it!  I’m old-school that way.  I’ll then take it in for adjustments in the new year.

(Oh, and it was £500!)

I took just Helen along with me, and we had a celebratory drink afterwards.  It was a different experience than the one I’d always thought about, but it was still great, and I’m so pleased with the dress!

Thanks again for the lovely comments/tweets/notes about my last post – I really appreciated it. I felt better immediately after posting it: I think I just needed to get it out.  I can’t wait for everyone to see my dress in April, and am so excited now about being a bride.

 

…xxx

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On girliness and wedding dresses

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Wedding shop in Glasgow

 

It’s kinda hard to express what’s been going on in my head lately.  And I’ve kept quiet here while I’ve tried to work it out and I think keeping it in is a bad idea and I have no idea why I have.

We live in a world of expectations and fairytale movies and I feel like I’m caught up in this wedding industry lately, and it’s hard and weird.

I promised myself and worked really hard on early planning to make sure that I don’t let this wedding get the best of me. I’ve seen brides turn into maniacs; women who are intelligent and mature turn into bridezillas and control freaks.

 

Husband to be

 

Folks ask why I’ve done certain things so early and it’s really just a simple thing – space it out and it won’t freak you out.  There is still a bit of a freak-out going on in my head sometimes, but that’s mainly because I’m so, so far away from everything related to my wedding.  I chose to get married in NZ, because that’s always where I wanted to, but it turns out we have so many friends here that we know won’t make it, and that’s kinda bittersweet.  And all communication with suppliers is over email or through my mother, and that’s never ideal – despite hating the phone, we still don’t always communicate that well with emails. Tone, and all that.

The main thing in my head at the moment, which is making me super sad, is the wedding dress shopping. I started it when my friend Deb was visiting a few weeks back, because I thought after being friends for so long, it’d be a nice way for her to be involved, and it was a ridiculously hot day, so I was sweaty (horrible getting dresses on and off) and didn’t look my best and I felt self-conscious being in my underwear around a stranger, and though I tried on a dress I really liked, I felt less than bridal, and quite homesick.

 

Scotland is beautiful lately

 

I watch a lot of Say Yes to the Dress (I started for ideas, now I just do it to torture myself), and I know that I have always pictured that moment when you get your wedding dress and it’s perfect for you and you have that special feeling of knowing it’s yours and what you’ll look like on your wedding day. I feel like I’m supposed to do this with my bridesmaids and my mother and I’ve been a bit deprived of that.  I never like to dwell on or pity myself for things that I have chosen, and I know I’ve chosen to be here. But it still hurts a bit.

I know we discussed doing it when I was in New Zealand, but I felt so very unattractive and overweight at the time, and it just didn’t really come up. I have put off even looking (other than occasionally online) because I don’t want to be the one who can’t fit a wedding dress sample size, and when I went a few weeks ago, I only really fit one of the dresses. It was a bit sucky and felt a bit deflating and I just feel like I’m missing out.

 

Part of our wedding venue

 

And it’s silly because I know I’ll get that moment when I’m getting ready in the morning of my wedding and my mother and sister and everyone sees me in my dress all ready to go and we get to share that together.  And it’s so very cliche and girly to want to stand on a podium in a bridal shop while everyone oohs and ahhs and tells you it’s “the dress” but.. I want it. I really want to feel special in this and enjoy this.

I’m losing weight and working on that and also working on telling myself that it’s not 100% necessary for me to be the size I want to be before I try things on. If I lose the weight I want and feel body-confident for my wedding, then that’s awesome, but I don’t need to wait to find a dress until I do. I’ve been telling myself that I have to wait for too long and I need to stop getting myself down and just get on with it. Adjustments can be made and dresses can be changed and geez, I’m not enormous. I’m just bigger than I want to be and bigger than I’ve been most of my life and I go into bridal shops and want to yell at everyone I’m not usually this big I assure you like I’m hiding inside a big person’s body or something. And sometimes it feels that way.

 

Me in June

 

So I have appointments again in a few weeks and we’re going to go for a coffee in-between them and have lunch afterwards and a drink or two and really try to enjoy it. I’ve reached out to girlfriends here and asked them to be my replacement family for some upcoming shopping trips, and hopefully some will join us then, but if not, it’ll be a nice morning out with Helen.

I think I’ll feel so much more excited about the wedding once I find my dress, and I think I need to just let go a bit and trust everyone around me that the day will work out how I’ve envisioned it.  These 8 months are going to fly by.

 

…xxx

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