Saying Aye to the Dress

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Vanessa’s second update to ‘My Big Fat Spanish Wedding’ blog
You find yourself barefoot on a lush silver carpet in a fancy high street boutique. Mirrors surround you and looking into them you see yourself from every conceivable angle. White cloth cascades from you in every direction making you look kind of like a melting ice-cream cone.

wedding dress

Your sister and/or best friend and that cousin your Mammy insisted you ask to be bridesmaid to save a row with your auntie, are sitting just outside the plush velvet curtain waiting eagerly for you to appear. You pull back the curtain and step gracefully onto the podium. You don’t trip or anything.  You look magnificent, radiant. You are beauty itself. Gracefulness personified.  You don’t remember losing those fifteen pounds but you have done and it was by eating burgers. Your hair and skin have never looked better, you’d wager it was that mud run you did on your hen party. You’re ready for your compliments now but instead of your friends, you find a church full of every person you’ve ever hated in your entire life and a priest waiting to marry you if it weren’t for the fact that you’re stood there in front of him in nothing your underwear and just not any underwear either of course but those ones with the busted off-white elastic that hangs down your leg. “I meant to throw these out” you wail but no one can hear you because they’re all too busy throwing burgers at you. Then and only then do you wake up, fifteen pounds heavier obviously. That was my wedding dress nightmare and I confronted it head on.

It seems to me when a girl gets engaged, she becomes fixated on one area of the wedding. Be it venues, honeymoons, bands or photographer some girls seem to feel the need to part with money asap, to get that one thing booked and paid for so as to confirm in their own head what they can scarcely believe – I am actually getting married! For me it was The Dress. No sooner was the ring on my finger than I began hunting The Dress with a focus that would have embarrassed the Terminator. I became obsessed with those bridal shows on TLC, the ones where the bride brings her primary school class (or so it seems to me) along with her while she endures mini drama after mini drama in a quest to find something that reflects her inner whatsits.  How silly are those shows? And please tell me how I can stop watching them?!

Like my man, I found my gown when I least expected it. Okay so I’d gone to a pub and put on a bit of lippy but still, I wasn’t expecting to see anything I fancied on that particular afternoon – this is the man now, not the dress. My dress, I met through work. I was supposed to be doing it and my dress was on a website I shouldn’t have been visiting. I became obsessed. We arranged to meet and I was nervous but my nerves faded the instant I saw it. Love at first white.

Exchanging my hard earned pennies for an honest to God wedding dress brought it home to me that I really was going to be married. I think because it was the first wedding purchase I made for myself –  my fiance having made the very, very first step by buying the engagement ring. Yes, buying a dress twenty-months out is maybe a little crazy, though I do prefer the use of the word ‘cooky’, but I honestly don’t believe I’ll ever see anything I’ll love more. When I tried it on and stood on the podium, my worst nightmare didn’t come true, my sister didn’t turn into every one I had ever hated but squealed and gushed and ordered me to buy it yesterday. Thankfully her opinion was the only one I’d ever needed and so I didn’t have to face asking the rest of my village. I may even have shed a little tear…

You find yourself barefoot on a lush silver carpet in a posh high street boutique. Why on earth are you barefoot? Heaven knows who’s stood there before you! Now get your shoes on for veruca’s sake and find yourself a dress whenever and wherever you want! Oh and if you manage to stop watching those woeful bridal programmes, please tell me how!


Vanessa’s blog will continue weekly on www.north-westbrides.com