Wedding Series III: {Dress}

Finally my last post in this series is here!

So far I’ve told you how we budgeted for our wedding and how we planned it. But perhaps the first thing that jumps into mind when you start thinking about having a marriage celebration is what to wear. And not just what you, the bride, or you, the groom, will wear. No. The decision on what to wear extends to everyone involved.

Some people decide on what to wear after deciding on the kind of party, others plan the day around what they’d like to wear. I don’t think there is one right way to go about this and for us it was a little bit of a mix.

As I mentioned before, when we decided to get married, we had no clue of what kind of celebration we’d go for.

My experience with deciding what I’d wear actually reflects the way our planning evolved from broad ideas into preferences and then certainties.

Un-planned colour coordination

Un-planned colour coordination

I experienced a phase where I thought a Town Hall wedding went best with a short dress; a phase where I gave online shopping a go; and a final phase that started with increased curiosity (fuelled by other brides’ accounts) about what it would be like to have the wedding-dress-shop experience.

One thing I felt then and know now for sure: I can’t imagine spending a year trying to figure out what to wear or even pick out my outfit too long before the day.

{The first dress}

This was the short dress bought right at the start of our planning. Looking back it may have been just an excuse to get a dress I really liked. I thought that even if I didn’t wear it on the wedding day, I could wear it for the dinner the night before and other occasions later on.

I don’t regret this decision one bit. I absolutely love this dress and am happy to have been right about how versatile it is.

Picking out a short dress or a dress that wasn’t designed as a wedding dress is a great way to avoid the “wedding tax” and get something that can actually be worn more than once.

Short dresses are not a usual choice for brides but, in my searches, I came across several posts that helped me envision getting married in a short dress.

One of the GreenWeddingShoes posts that inspired me the most to think differently about wedding dresses was this post on a New Orleans wedding.

In fact, this was perhaps the wedding that has inspired my choices the most. Until I came across that post I hadn’t even thought about wearing colour shoes.


Maria+Michael’s Wedding – Green Wedding Shoes

If you ask me, this was my perfect dress. I even contacted the people who made it. Unfortunately, at the time, I thought it was too expensive to ship it from the US to the UK. Plus, a big risk to have it done without being there!

{The online experience}

Yup, I went there. More than once…What can I say? It’s a totally legitimate option. I think it’s worth considering especially with Etsy and so many shops that carry wedding dresses (e.g., Coast, Monsoon, JCrew) offering online shopping.

I do think that trying the dress or the dress style is essential. That and making sure that the place/person you’re buying it from has a return policy!

Otherwise, I see absolutely nothing wrong in taking full advantage of the online world we are so embedded in these days.

Only perhaps the lack of human contact!

{The One}

After playing around with the above ideas and options, I started to wonder whether I’d miss something if I didn’t go into a store and spend an afternoon trying lovely dresses.

I always liked wedding dresses. Not exactly thinking about them for me, really. More designing them and seeing them on other people. But I did wonder when else I’d have the opportunity to try some on myself!

At first I thought I’d wait until I was in Portugal so I could go and have that experience with my aunt/godmother, mum and sisters around.

In the meantime, I thought I’d pop into the Bond St. branch of my favourite wedding dress shop and took a closer look at some of my favourites from their collections at the time.

I was particularly interested in this dress:

Pronovias 2011 Cocktail Collection

Pronovias 2011 Cocktail Collection

Not exactly your tradition wedding dress, I know, but I thought if there was a shop I’d like to go to it was this one. Plus, I was just going out of curiosity. Or that’s what I told myself while simultaneously making a list of other dresses I wanted to try!

Unfortunately, they didn’t have this one anymore. But I wasn’t too sad about trying all these other gorgeous dresses!

My advice? If you don’t want to spend the money, don’t even step into the shop! There’s no such thing as just having the experience. You will leave with a dress.

The reality is, they make you feel so special, you will want to be back!

If you do step into the shop give yourself a budget before going in. I know this is really basic but the reality is, if you start trying things beyond your budget and you find something you really feel it’s perfect, you won’t want anything else.

Fortunately, I thought the one I picked was just ideal and not above my budget. However, I do need to note I just bought the dress. I wasn’t into veils or anything of the sort.

Pronovias Pasion 2012 Collection

Pronovias Pasion 2012 Collection

Another thing to remember if you decide to buy your dress in-store is to go earlier than three months before the wedding. Otherwise you, like me, will get hit with a “last-minute” charge. Yes, in the wedding world, three months is last minute.

I have to say that, again, I couldn’t have done that. I still look at my dress today and love it. I would wear it now if it was in NZ! But I don’t know if that would have been the case if I had bought it much earlier.

{Dress Code}

They say your invitations will set the tone. Sometimes there are very clear indications and, in some occasions guests will appreciate that.

But we were happy for our guests to wear whatever they felt like it. We didn’t even give any indications to our parents.

We did organize something for the groomsmen  (“wear a dark grey suit with white shirt; we’ll provide the ties”).

However, I regret I wasn’t more clear in the options I provided the bridesmaids with. I thought I was being a good bride by giving them tons of freedom to choose. I gave them a set of colours (too many) and told them they should pick a dress they liked.

I guess that this decision also came from us being away from each other.

But I really should have just given them one colour or, if I’d like them to wear different tones, I should have told each one individually which one they’d got.

They were so confused and lost with all the options available. It took them ages to find their dresses.

Pinterest helped though. I shared my ideas with them and it helped visualize what I had in mind.

On the day I still didn’t know what they were wearing. In the end though, their dresses looked perfect.


Choosing what to wear on your wedding day is not as straight forward as it may sound, especially when you’re not limiting yourself to a traditional wedding.

I definitely didn’t go from A to B. But I am happy to look back and feel that it was the right choice. I read some stories on bridal regret before I bought my (last) dress. I really did not want to look back and feel it should have been something else.

We decided to wear something that would make us feel comfortable. As comfortable as we wanted our guests and our celebration to be. That did not exclude some bridal exuberance or whimsical details (like these cufflinks the groom and his guys wore). But we did try to make choices that meant we did not have to worry about them on the day.

Despite my long white bridal dress, I was comfortable enough to walk around Brighton. I also enjoyed the contrast between the way I was dressed and the urban environment of a busy Monday! For me, it felt just perfect.


I guess that is just it. Make the choices that feel right for you and your loved ones. Anything that feels like an unnecessary extra will be an unnecessary extra.


Thank you for reading!


3 thoughts on “Wedding Series III: {Dress}

  1. Pingback: A(n) (un)Conventional Wedding | Fashion pas

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