As you may know, Mr FFFB and I got engaged a few months ago – it’ll be two months tomorrow in fact! And we now have a date for the wedding and things are starting to feel real! We have just over a year til the big day, but slowly slowly we are starting to get things done. And by ‘things’ I mean tiny details. I spent a full weekend hand making cards for my SEVEN bridesmaids. Talk about ultimate procrastination…
However, one thing that I have ALWAYS liked the idea of is trying on Bridal dresses! When else will I be able to try on dresses worth several hundred pounds and flounce about like a Princess?! Well, at my second wedding to Kat Dennings maybe 😉
I really didn’t know where to start with dress shopping. I have a very precise idea of what I want in my head, and although I want to try on every kind of style, I didn’t think I’d ever fall for anything apart from the ideal that I have in my head. And so when Debenhams invited me in to try out some of their dresses, I jumped at the chance.
My appointment with Debenhams was this morning, and so I made my way to the Bridal section on the third floor in the Debenhams Oxford Circus store with the wonderful Stephanie from Head Office. I was greeted by a lovely smiling woman who introduced herself as Angie. She immediately relaxed me, and asked me to sit and fill in a form which asked for a few contact details and what sort of wedding and dress I would be having and want. She then discussed price ranges, styles and expectations with me, before showing me a few styles that ticked my boxes. The samples of the dresses that were available to try on in store at that time were all available in a range of sizes up to about an 18 in most cases. As I was very open minded about it all, I agreed to try a few styles that I never expected to have on, and off I went to the spacious airy changing room. Angie helped me into the first dress, which was a size 16 and really not something I ever imagined myself in. However, once Angie had laced me in and added an additional panel in the back to compensate for how small it was for me, I couldn’t believe how I looked! It was really eye opening to see myself in quite a glamorous fussy dress, as all the concerns that I had had about wearing something in that style just dissipated. Angie pointed out that I would probably need to size up several sizes to get a good bust fit, and then the dress would be adjust to the rest of me. Straps could be added if needs be, and the length could be taken up a little – I am terrified that I will trip in a long gown! She made me feel so happy and comfortable, but without any hint of pressure or falsities. I then tried on a few more styles in a 16 that also worked in different ways, and another dress in a 14 that was similar to what I had always dreamed of. This dress actually looked awful on me, and I was taken aback by how much I was warming to a totally different style. Angie talked through the options with each dress, and she had some straps that she pinned onto the few of the styles to show me how dresses might look with straps. I really liked the fact that she didn’t try to push me outside of my budget or too far from my comfort zone. She understood my body hang ups and woes and showed me how the dresses did or didn’t draw attention to certain parts of me. I felt like nothing was too much trouble for her, and I suppose that’s what you want a Bridal shopping trip to be like. You want to feel like you are being listened to and catered for and you don’t want to make a hurried decision or feel anything other than beautiful. As a plus size busty woman who gets an AWFUL lots of emails from brides who want advice for their shapes and sizes, I was worried about going dress shopping. I fretted that I’d feel like an elephant and be looked down on for not being slim and streamlined and I worried that I would walk away having only tired some tiaras on due to my size not being catered for. It sounds cliche and gushy, but Debenhams did not make me feel like any of my fears. I felt valued and I felt gorgeous.
If you are near a Debenhams store that has a Bridal department and your big day is approaching then why not pop by and see the healthy range of dresses that they stock. Angie said that some styles go up to a UK40, and they really do cater for a huge portion of women.
What sort of experiences have you had when Bridal shopping?