In 2012 my friend and I made a (secret) wedding Pinterest board. It’s funny looking back to our ideas of the perfect wedding then and how over the years our tastes changed and then changed again. Now, 5 years later, we are both engaged to wonderful men and our Pinterest board has taken on a more serious tone. Brioni, the friend, has been a lot more organised than me and has a venue booked, a dress ordered and invitations are being sent out by January. I am not even sure what year our wedding will be!
Jason proposed to me in May, 2016. It was a sweet, albeit clumsy affair. It happened the day before my birthday. I was snoozing (probably with mouth agape looking elegant and graceful as ever) with our 2 month old little boy lying sprawled out on my chest. I woke up to a slightly nervous, slightly self conscious Jason, kneeling next to the bed holding a little wooden box.
‘I was going to do this on your birthday’, he gushed, ‘but I just couldn’t hold out.’
The baby was starting to stir; I pushed myself up and rubbed my eyes, not quite conscious yet.
He paused and opened the box, ‘Rosanna, will you marry me?’
That woke me up.
He opened the box and presented me with a beautiful sapphire ring encrusted with little diamonds.
I was totally not expecting it. Especially not half asleep with drool on my chin and my boob out.
Since then we’ve had lots of ideas and intentions, though not all of them fruitful. We managed to save a bit of money earlier this year which we then proceeded to spend on a holiday. We then needed to move to a bigger place, more money spent, our dreams of the perfect wedding becoming more and more distant.
My Wedding Dress Shopping Experience
In the summer, however, I did take a few steps forward. I went wedding dress shopping which was really quite an amazing, and educational experience. I booked an appointment at Pure Brides a pretty shop I had spotted in Central Norwich. I felt a little apprehensive as if they might think I was an imposter. One of my life-long friends who I have asked to be a bridesmaid came along with me and my little boy, who was now about 16 months old and more of a chaotic toddler than a peaceful baby. The ladies were instantly lovely and friendly and made a huge fuss of my little boy.
My friend and I rifled through their huge selection of beautiful dresses, not really knowing what we were looking for. I picked 5. All of them were completely different styles. The first one was a beautiful, understated, Grecian style dress. I knew I didn’t want a big, poufy dress. I pictured myself in something sleek, low key, comfortable and maybe a bit sexy. This dress seemed to have it all.
When I saw it hanging on the rail I imagined myself ambling through sand dunes, prancing through meadows with a flower crown in my hair. When I tried it on, my face dropped. I looked a bit like I was dressing up as a shepherd for a school nativity play. Don’t get me wrong, it was a beautiful dress but no matter how much it was pinned and secured at the back, it just didn’t suit me.
The second one was a classic fishtail. Gorgeous satin with lace over the top. Very sleek and sophisticated…which in hindsight are not really adjectives I would use to describe myself. It slipped on like a dream. It looked amazing, exquisite, divine. My friend welled up. But it just wasn’t me.
‘I love it.’ I said as I turned to look at myself in the mirror from the side, ‘but who is this? It’s just not me! I want to look lovely and special on my wedding day, but I want to feel like I’m myself.’Until that moment, I had not even realised the importance of that. It was something no number of Pinterest boards could teach me. Trying on these contrasting styles was helping me realise, at least, what I perhaps didn’t want and that I did want to be comfortable in a dress that expressed my personality and my own individual style.
I tried on a few others, ending with a rather poufy, slightly unusual striped lace Sottero dress. I was excited to try this one on as it had actually been a dress I had pinned on the Pinterest Wedding board and must have been fate that the wedding shop stocked it. ‘I love it, but I’m not sure I want something so princessy’ I said as the consultant slipped it on over my head. But before she’d even zipped me up I was drooling. That was that! It was just perfection. My perfection. It even had pockets. I swished around grinning at myself in the mirror for probably way too long.
Suddenly I could picture the entire wedding. For the first time I could visualise myself walking down the aisle. I could see my bouquet, my makeup. Jason in his suit. It all made sense.
Then I asked how much the dress cost.
More than it cost for a week’s holiday to Menorca, I’ll tell you that.
The dream dress, the dream wedding started to feel like it was slipping away from me again.
The consultant was great. She talked me through down-payments and instalments that could be paid prior to and after the wedding takes place. They adapt it to you, to what you can afford each month. The dream wedding was, once again, within my grasp.
That little shopping trip helped me figure so much out in my own head. Things that I didn’t even consider before but that are actually really important in making your wedding exude your own individuality. I went home and that evening sat at the laptop and scrolled through the Wedding Pinterest board. All of a sudden most of those images didn’t really account for much and I was seeing them with new eyes.
Now, I have a new secret Pinterest Board: ‘Rosanna and Jason’s Wedding’….