The date was set, 2nd May 2014 was going to be our wedding day. Like all brides you see in the media nowadays I couldn’t wait to experience the warm fuzzy feeling when I found my dream dress and see all my entourage crying happy tears for me... Unfortunately, in reality, this did not happen in my case.
I said what I'm sure all brides say and that was, I was going to lose weight so would wait to go shopping. 10 months after setting the date I passed a bridal shop so I popped my head in and asked “do I need an appointment” it was like a scene from pretty woman, and not in a good way!! The assistant looked me up and down and asked me what I was looking for. I said I was looking for a wedding gown, my wedding was 12 months away to which she replied: “well you won’t find what you’re looking for in here”. I turned around barely holding it together, got in my car and drove home in floods of tears. I hadn’t lost any weight and the 1st shop I went in sent me away without even looking.
After a pep talk with my best friend, we went shopping again. This time I was hoping to receive the “say yes to the dress” treatment that I'm sure we have all seen on TV. This shop sold gowns from size 8-32, surely am going to find my dress here... After 5 minutes of looking, I knew I wasn’t going to find anything bigger than a size 18 in the shop to try on. The assistant suggested I put the dress hanger over my head so I could see what the dress “could” look like or the other option was I could get my bridesmaid to try the dress on for me. We went with the second option, however, this just made me want to curl up in a ball and cry.
I did have one last trip already booked this time further afield than where I was living at the time and after all, if I was going to find my dream dress and be able to try gowns on then I was prepared to travel. This started off promising I was told on the phone yes we have the gown you are looking for and in your size so off we went.
We got there and had a warm welcome we were offered refreshments and told to feel free to look around and choose some gowns to try on. This is it, I thought I am going to find my dress here. Sadly this was where the warm fuzzy feeling ended. I had been misinformed over the telephone they didn’t even stock the designer I had enquired about. The owner sensed she was going to lose the sale so ushered me into a changing room which was shared with other brides. I was handed a dressing gown to cover up in which was 3 sizes too small and off she went to find me gowns that “absolutely would fit me” after she quite literally was trying to force the 3rd gown over my hips I asked her to stop. This is not what I imagined dress shopping to be I felt nothing but embarrassment and humiliation. I got dressed and left in tears again.
7 weeks before my wedding I did indeed buy a dress, but it was nothing like I had imagined, I didn’t get that say yes to the dress treatment in this shop either, looking back I bought the dress simply because it fit. I got home and said to my husband to be “I am going to open my own bridal shop one day and when I advertise I sell gowns size 8-32 then am going to make sure the samples in my shop will be of all sizes so no bride ever has to come in my shop and feel the way I felt when I was dress shopping”.
Fast forward to April 2018 and my dream had become a reality. I have opened my very open bridal boutique and although I am now 6 stone lighter than my wedding day I still feel as passionate about it as I did back in 2013. We advertise that we sell gowns sizes 8-32 and our sample gowns to try are of all sizes. All brides of all shapes and sizes short or tall can come to our shop and we will make sure that when they leave even if they haven’t found their dream dress they will have had that warm fuzzy feeling from beginning to end and they will 100% not have left crying unhappy tears.