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Monday, August 01, 2016

A tale of two wedding dresses

I was interested to read author Raffaella Barker's article in the Mail today on the dilemma she faced as a 51 year old second time bride in choosing her dress.

I had exactly the same challenge six years ago when I married John.

For my first wedding in 1987, I had walked into a bridal shop in Exeter, where I was living, called Wendy's and the right dress jumped out at me almost instantly. Just as well, because I'm not the sort of girl who likes to try clothes on. I soon get bored.

In those days dresses were big, like our hair and shoulder pads. The "Little Bo Beep" look was popular. Fortunately I didn't go exactly down that road. My dress did have a hooped petticoat and huge sleeves but it was by up-and-coming (then) brand Pronovias and I loved it. It was around £450 which seemed a lot of money then.

I regretted later that I hadn't taken my mum with me to help to choose it.  She seemed disappointed when she knew I had already got the dress, veil, pearl headdress and everything else.

So when I knew I was getting married again in 2010, I took mum with me.

Like Rafaella, I had been feverishly studying websites and buying bridal magazines.  I was not keen on wearing white or shades thereof, but wanted something special. But a lot of the dresses I saw were a bit "mother of the bride," or too young looking.

The Dress turned up in an unexpected place, Monsoon in Plymouth.  I'd seen the dress online but I hadn't "seen" it. I couldn't even tell, when I tried it on, if it was really right for me because it was January and I had five months to lose a stone.  It was a bit tight round the middle.  But I loved the fact it looked glamorous - particularly with the feather boa that Monsoon helpfully had - and felt "me."  It was also a suitable head turner for a bridal dress. I didn't show Mum because I didn't want to parade myself wearing a tight dress in a crowded shop. And she had sore misgivings about the colour, silver, thinking it wasn't one of my colours  (both  of us being a bit of a slave to Colour Me Beautiful).

I didn't try it on again until about three weeks before our big day.  I had been dieting diligently but was still afraid the dress would not look good. I was thinking I still had enough time to find another one. But it slipped on like a dream. And the colour was perfect, particularly with my chosen purple and violet flowers. So there you have it, a tale of two dresses.



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