Get ready for a long post with this topic, because there is so much to discuss and I have been so excited to share all these details for the past 6 months.
I think I may her mentioned before, but for some context, I travelled to London for my dress because I knew I wanted to look at designers like Monique Lhuillier and Vera Wang who were not available in Scotland. I knew it would be more difficult but I wanted the perfect dress. I suppose in many ways it was way more challenging than I ever expected, but totally worth it. I will explain the different steps of the whole process below.
Boutiques I made appointments with
Browns – They were the main boutique who sold Monique Lhuillier and I honestly thought I would end with a Monique Lhuillier gown for my wedding dress. They also sell Peter Langner gowns, that I had found online and fell in love with, so I went to Browns with high expectations.
Halfpenny – I loved the uniqueness of the halfpenny gowns, they were so whimsical and I knew I could also have a say in my own gown, making it super special and unique to me.
Suzanne Neville – I was obsessed with the simplicity, tailoring and just all round beautiful gowns that Suzanne makes. They were so me in many ways so I made this my final appointment so I could try them on just before I flew home.
Choosing My Style
Those two days trying on dresses was the most surreal experience. I always thought I knew what I wanted, and that was whimsical, beautiful, romantic, big sleeves, layers of tulle and something just so fun and different. Yet when I tried these gowns on, they drowned my 5foot4 size 6 frame. I was lost in them and felt like a little girl, not a bride. I tried different colours, dusky pink, beige, everything and anything with layers of tulle and slightly extra, yet nothing was working.
Then … there was the dress that changed the game. Actually Chris picked it out, as he came with me, and I am so glad he did. I swear he knows me better than I know myself because I get so caught up in my different visions, I wonder if I forget who I really am and what I love. He choose THAT Peter Langner simple gown and I finally felt like a bride. Peter used to work at Dior, so it was perfect and was exactly like a style I had saved to my instagram wedding folder. Classic, less is more and just beautiful tailoring. The only thing was that the dress I tried was a size 12, and when they showed me how it was meant to fit on the model, it did change the shape a lot. It also had no train and no pockets, which I had always wanted. It would have to be altered and to buy a dress at almost £8,000 and not really know how it would fit or look, was too much of a risk for me. So I decided to sleep on it, and then I went to Suzanne Neville the next morning before our flight, and the rest was history.
I remember driving to her knightsbridge flagship and saying how I just wish I could have something with a full dramatic skirt and a high neck, maybe even halter neck, because it seemed to suit me. After the eating disorder, I still feel like my back and chest are boney and so often felt uncomfortable in the strapless dresses.
I tried on a number of dresses that I liked, but none turned out to be THE dress. I did however find the skirt of one that I fell in love with, it was so dramatic with the most beautiful material.
On the off chance I asked if it was possible if they had a similar one with a high neck and that’s when they told me they could create a custom gown with different parts of different dresses that I loved and suited me.
The Bespoke Process
Suzanne and her team were beyond incredible. I went down to London for my toile fitting in July. This is where Suzanne herself fitted a mock up of the dress to me and it truly was an insane experience watching her and seeing how precise she was, how everything had to be the absolute perfect fit, with fit being so important to the overall look of the gown.
My second fitting in August, was when I actually seen the dress made for the first time. It was such an emotional experience, I was so excited but also nervous. This appointment was crucial as I actually added a number of things, like a belt, changed the veil and added slightly more volume to the skirt.
When I got home I looked back at the pictures again and realised a few things weren’t right either, like the neck was too high. This fitting was 4 weeks before the wedding so it was crucial, especially when I wasn’t going back down until the day that I picked the dress up and had to travel home with it.
The Suzanne Neville team were insane and spoke with me every day, sending pictures and even found someone to try the dress on for me so that I could see it was perfect, which it was.
I would be lying if I said it wasn’t one of the most stressful experiences of my life, especially as you have little control being so far away.
However, I am so glad that I travelled to Suzanne and had her and the incredible team make my bespoke gown for me. It was my dream dress, and was so perfect in many ways.
The Final Result
I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it, I fell like I just want to relive my whole day again and again and so many more blogs are still to come.