27 Dresses…

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So, based on my very scientifically devised present day to wedding countdown, I recently decided that it may be time to start looking for dresses for my ladies maids. They’ve actually asked me to call them bridesmaids but I’ve been known to watch the odd episode of Downton Abbey and I’ve always wanted a ladies maid. Frankly, I think they should be grateful I’ll manage to dress myself until the wedding day. I got stuff thrown at me when I suggested otherwise. ‘Ladies’ I think not!

After colour coordinating my sock drawer and categorising my towels, I consulted the aforementioned scientific countdown and discovered that I am 290 days away from W Day. Okay so the countdown is an iPhone app, the sock drawer is an unnatural disaster and the towels have two categories – on floor and not on floor. Hey it’s a system that works!


The Gods of the internet “what you should have done by now” having spoken, I began the hunt for the perfect frocks for my fillies. Yes, fillies as in horses. I’m going to need two new ladies maids on Monday, aren’t I?

Like a lot of brides, I found that it was very easy to see a lot of what I didn’t want instead anything I did. Getting slightly off course, this path led to several internet lists of “the 40 worst bridesmaid’s dresses of all time” and such like. So that’s how I spent several fun filled weeks having varying reactions from bursting out in spontaneous laughter and frightening the dog to having a minutes silence for some poor girls who had to dress up like they were going into the oven on the December 25. “The shape of your ‘wan in t’hon thing” I’d say to no one in particular. “Those dresses are the baddest of bad, bad craic” was another one sometimes followed by an “Imagine making a holy show of your friends like that”. Ah the 1980s – may they rest in peace.


Realising I’d ventured slightly off course, I attempted to steer myself back into non-floral patterned waters. Bridesmaid’s dresses have come a long way since the decade were fashion came to die and there really are some stunning designs out there. Knowing myself as I do and knowing my girls as I do, I knew we’d all be looking for something a bit out of the ordinary. Getting married in Spain means it’s going to be hot hot hot and so the girls comfort is (mildly) important to me. I had to find something that wouldn’t have them passing out in the chapel – at least not before they’d sorted my dress. Not bridezilla – perfectionist!

Well, let me describe the dresses I chose in minute detail. They are green tutu ballgowns with a yellow lace trim with pink polka dots. Lovely right? As if?! Let’s just say, I eventually found my gowns and like a lot of other brides are doing these days, I managed to find exactly what I wanted online. Oh, you bet I’d read the horror stories and had seen the photographs of “dresses” that looked more like tents that spent a weekend at Glastonbury. Buyer beware indeed! Reassuringly, I was able to have two phone calls with the company and the dresses were made exactly to spec. Having two such laid back and trusting ladies as my sister and friend, I was fortunate that they Okay-ed the dresses on sight alone.

T-minus 41 weeks and bridesmaid’s dresses are in the bag! Well, they’re actually stored neatly in a box upstairs but you know what I mean. It was a nice surprise that both dresses arrived in perfect condition and looked fit for a human to wear instead of an octopus. They are well made and exactly what I wanted for my Senoritas. In the weeks since, both girls have been to my house to try on and each has looked utterly fabulous. Any doubts they may have had but wisely hidden from me have been forgotten though of course, they have always trusted my impeccable fashion sense. Did someone say Goth phase? I hardly know what you are talking about.

Follow our weekly blogger Vanessa Pope every Thursday on north-westbrides.com