THE Dress

When I first got in on this blog, I secretly envisaged a long series of wedding-dress related posts. Everything from ideas for inspiration to possible sewing patterns to the construction process itself. After all, I was definitely going to be making one – how else would I get a beautiful dress that fitted and was within our (pretty limited) budget?!

The best laid plans go to rest, however, because at the end of October I bought one.

The thing is, I was slowly giving in to the fact that making one myself might just be a little ambitious. I’m not convinced that my technical skills would be up to it, but more to the point it would just be so stressful and such a big deal if it went wrong that I’m not really sure it would be worth the hassle. After all, I want to be able to enjoy this dress and feel good when wearing it, not have the last minute scramble that my sewing projects always seem to involve.

The next thing I thought about was getting one made. Because fitting issues aside, I had very definite ideas about what I did and didn’t want. There isn’t really such a thing as a traditional dress code at a Quaker wedding ceremony, or not as far as I am aware. Certainly there weren’t tuxes and meringues at any of the three Quaker weddings I have attended in the past, although admittedly in all three cases those were weddings between people of an older generation. One couple was of my parents’ age with two sons the same ages and me and my sister; after twenty years of being together they had taken the decision to actually get married, prompting cries of “What? So soon?!” from amused friends and relatives. The other two couples were both nonagenarians, so not much guidance there.

My dilemma was this: given the Quaker testimony of simplicity, and given our conscious decision to try and hold our wedding in line with this value, was I being horrendously hypocritical to want to get married in a classic white wedding dress, as in heart of hearts I did and do?

I say “my dilemma was this”. My dilemma still is this, to an extent, even having bought the dress. But without reaching any further into the murky depths of my conscience on this particular occasion, I decided that a compromise of sorts was to go for a traditional wedding dress that was reasonably simple and unfussy in design. And this in itself ruled out a good proportion of the dresses that I had seen about in shops.

Where to get a dress made? Well, I knew of a reasonably local dressmaker through adverts posted about her sewing school. Her website revealed that she did indeed do bespoke bridal dresses so I figured we should go and ask her for a ballpark quote. What was there to lose, apart from half an hour on a Saturday afternoon? Thus Mum and I went along to her shop.

What we established pretty quickly was that having something made was going to cost. It was going to cost a lot, more than I could in all conscience pay, despite J’s prior insistence that me being happy was much more important than the money. So visions of The Perfect Dress fading rapidly before my eyes, we turned to look at the rack of dresses already in the shop. These dresses had been designed by the dressmaker and constructed by someone else; she was now selling them off in order to concentrate on the teaching and bespoke side of her business.

And there it was. THE dress. I tried it on. Incredibly, it fit. Not only did it fit, not only was it long enough (indeed the perfect length), it was comfortable and pretty and had most of the features that I’d wanted. I put it on hold, went back the next day with a friend to take photos, and having received a favourable second opinion, bought it there and then. The first – the only wedding dress that I’d tried on, and it was mine in under two hours of shopping from start to finish! I still can’t quite believe it myself either!

I am going to pay to have the skirt altered a bit because as it stands I wouldn’t want to wear it, but it should be a reasonably simple couple of alterations to do and it really will transform it. It’s ivory, and in an ideal world I’d’ve had cream, but that’s the only slight niggle I have – and at a grand total cost of £299 I really can’t complain. Have you seen the cost of the average wedding dress out there?

And no, you don’t get to see it yet! I want it to be a surprise on the day for J in particular, but for as many of the other guests as possible as well. Makes it all the more special 🙂


As a final note on an already ridiculously long post, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to be spared from a sewn dress yet. We are going to have a ceilidh as after-dinner entertainment, and as Jenny very rightly pointed out in the comments of a previous post, ceilidhing in a long white dress is just not practical. So I will make my dress for the ceilidh, and that’s where the fun is really going to start!


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Flix
    Nov 20, 2010 @ 20:43:50



  2. Jenny
    Nov 21, 2010 @ 22:47:14

    Excellent :). Glad to hear you’ve found such a perfect dress. I am so curious as to what it looks like now! And I’m glad you get to make *a* dress as well – is that going to be white too or are you moving away from the bridal theme at that point? xxx


  3. Saf
    Nov 22, 2010 @ 16:36:19

    Hey hun, love the dress, nice to hear more about the choosing too.


  4. killermia
    Nov 29, 2010 @ 13:56:43



  5. teacherface
    Dec 02, 2010 @ 20:22:29

    Can’t you block J from reading this post and let US see the dress? Yes yes 😀


  6. Lucy
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 13:38:11

    Alas I don’t think I can. And if I could I wouldn’t anyway, you’ll just have to wait another nine-ten months 😛


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