I think I speak for most brides when I say that the minute that ring is on the finger, it’s ALL about the dress. Because that’s what makes you a bride, right?
My own dress story was nothing like what I imagined it would be. Mostly because I ended up with three – yes, THREE – dresses. Of course, the one I ended up wearing was The One, but I won’t lie – the whole process of picking a dress ended up stressing me out. There was so much pressure to look like the perfect bride, in the perfect dress, with the perfect accessories that in the end I was blinded by everything I tried on – I wanted to be every type of bride, but couldn’t streamline it into one single, simple look and it was hard to know where to stop. My mind worked overtime as I researched different ways to customise and add things to dresses or different ways to style my hair. And at one point, when I had 6 months to go and NO dress, I had no idea at all how it would work out.
But like everyone always says, it does work out in the end; and part of the reason it did was that I went to a dress shop where I felt comfortable enough to be honest about not liking my original choice, much less the one I STUPIDLY bought off of eBay in a blind panic (which I sold on for a profit, so all’s well that ends well and all that).
I know I’m not alone in being a bride that didn’t have the perfect road to the perfect dress; perhaps it’s the amount of choice we’re given these days, the amount of ‘competition’ we’re faced with daily on wedding blogs or simply the fact that we’re told over and over that ‘it only happens once’ and so we’re clutching on to the whole bride-to-be experience with both hands and just want one more chance to play dress up that makes it so hard for some of us? Who knows.
What I do know, though, is that there is a dress out there for everyone. And what you spend on it does not. matter. one. bit. Because of all the things I learnt in my quest to find the perfect dress was that I would have paid whatever I could have afforded to feel like a bride. Whether that was £100 or £1,000, I simply wanted to look in the mirror and feel like the best version of myself. Because when I look back at the photos now all I see is how I felt on the day and that’s priceless.
The ironic thing is, I stressed myself to the point of obsession over my dress. And on the day? I could have been standing there saying my vows in my pyjamas and I would have still had the most amazing day of my entire life. The sky could have been pink and I wouldn’t have noticed. And that’s the beauty of hind sight, because if I’d known that in the first place then perhaps I wouldn’t have been so hard on myself in the run up to the wedding.
Which is why, when H&M announced this week that they were releasing a bridal collection which included a wedding dress for £60, I was all ears. Sure, it’s not to my personal taste – and I’ll be the first to put my hands up and say that I would never have foregone the whole dress shopping experience, despite the tribulations it brought me – but for someone somewhere out there it will be their dream dress. And the fact that it costs £60 shouldn’t put anyone off.
We all have different ideas of the perfect wedding with the perfect dress (thankfully) and it’s very easy to quickly become consumed by the notion that we have to spend thousands for everything to be deemed ‘perfect’. But you know what, if spending £60 makes YOU feel like a princess for the day, then who is anyone else to judge?