“I need help,” began Catherine’s first message to me. “I got swept up into buying a wedding dress. I love it on the hanger but on me, I just don’t feel right.”
Worse was to come: “I wonder whether it’s more me that is the issue rather than the dress. I’m just so worried I haven’t found the right dress and have wasted my grandmother’s money. Please can you help?”
That’s a lot of pressure for a bride, especially the belief that the reason your dress isn’t fitting is somehow your own fault (it’s really not).
I hear what Catherine said very often. It can be utterly overwhelming to be planning a wedding, making big (expensive) decisions and feeling anxious about being the centre of attention.
It’s a very common concern to second-guess your dress, especially before you’ve had it altered to fit you properly. It can feel like it’s not your dress and that you’re playing dress-up in someone else’s clothes! Of the hundreds of brides I’ve worked with, I’ve only known one actually change her mind and buy another dress (and she was already on her second when we met!).
It can make a world of difference just to have it fit you properly so that it feels like it’s your dress, it flatters you and it moves properly as you move rather than dragging on the floor under your feet, slipping off your shoulders, digging in in some places and gaping in others.
It’s MY job to make your dress fit and work for you so delegate that pressure to me.
Today, I received the loveliest message from Catherine, who married last month wearing her dress after I’d altered it to fit her. She ended it: Thank you. You really did make me feel like the bride I wanted to be.”
Just look at the love and joy! These beautiful pictures are of, I believe, the very first wedding to take place in the UK this year, and I am so thrilled to have had a (small!) hand in it. Featured on BBC News, Jess and Jonny finally tied the knot on Monday 29 March, the first day that weddings were allowed in 2021, as lockdown restrictions started to ease.
Coronavirus had forced them to postpone their original 2020 summer wedding and cut their guest list from 180 to just four (plus the bride and groom themselves) to comply with the latest regulations but they leapt at the first opportunity to tie the knot they had.
Jessica’s beautiful beaded mermaid dress had been under wraps for over a year and I last saw her for her final fitting in December 2019 (she arrived in full Mrs Christmas costume on her way to work with children!). Jess came to me for wedding dress alterations when the dress she had bought turned out to be a classic case of expectations vs reality.
Jess fell in love with the dramatic waves around the hem of the dress when she saw it online. Trying it on in the shop however left her feeling a little flat, just like the waves which fell over into a messy heap when she walked. I reassured her there was a solution (there is ALWAYS a solution 😊) and gave her glorious waves some extra staying power with a little couture magic. We also added some sparkly straps and shortened the length at the front.
I am over the moon for Jonny and Jess and love their style of staring down the restrictions and doing it anyway. They are planning a celebration with friends and family in 2022 and, oh my goodness, I cannot wait to show you the dress we have in store for that! 😍
Weddings in the UK are officially back ON, from 8 March with maximum six people. Hurrah for my bride planning to elope with her intended!
Unfortunately, I can’t reopen for in-person appointments – including fittings – until 12 April. So how’s she supposed to get her dress altered.
She even suggested doing her fitting outdoors, hoping we’d be within the rules when two people can meet outdoors for food or drinks. Sadly not the case and besides, my two children will be back at school and exposed to 180 people daily by then so I’m not as isolated as I could be. It’s just not worth the risk.
But we’ve struck upon a solution. We’ll do her fitting via videocall, with me guiding her mum (whom she lives with) on where to stick the pins and which bits to measure. Then we can exchange the dress contact-free and I’ll alter it for her.