Lovely Wedding Dresses

May 19, 2012

The wedding dress. Quite possibly, one of the things you’ve dreamed about since you were little but not always consciously. After Mrlovelybyhanna’s proposal had sunk in (Christmas time in New York – just perfect for me!), I started to think long and hard about the wedding dress. What would I wear? What colour would I go for? How much would it cost? Like a lot of women, I had always envisaged myself getting married in a certain style of dress. For me, that was strapless and very simple – a classic A-Line dress with little detail and a long veil. However, after spending probably hundreds of pounds on wedding magazines (which all have the same stuff in them so with hindsight might have been a slight waste of money), I found myself even more confused over the type of dress I wanted to wear. There was only one thing for it – to make a million appointments at wedding dress shops to try and find “the one”.

I decided to make the most of this and made an appointment at a rather posh designer’s shop in London and was told I didn’t need to make an appointment as they were having a sale and they would fit me in at some point on the day, providing i was happy to wait. OK I said and I trundled off with my Mum and my bridesmaids to see if they were going to come up trumps with the dress of my dreams. To cut a long story short, they didn’t. It was horrifying. As it was a sale, they didn’t believe in using changing rooms so there I was, sandwiched in between 2 disgustingly perfect petite brides-to-be, resplendent in tiny g-strings and with golden tans. I had very foolishly worn mismatching underwear and was as pale as a ghost (it was January) and had my entire entourage surrounding me, as well as the aforementioned skinny brides complete with their friends and family too. Needless to say I came out feeling very sad and had a little weep whilst berating myself for eating so much over the Christmas period. This particular shop was not going to get my custom. I was pretty humiliated.

So, the search went on and on each bridal shop excursion, I wore matching undies and remembered to preen before stripping off.

As a special treat, my gorgeous bridesmaids took me on another London trip complete with lunch at the Oxo Tower and then surprised me with an appointment at Brown’s Bride. Now let me start by saying the dresses here were very expensive and completely out of price range (I was looking at the equivalent of 6 months of mortgage payments to get one of their less expensive selections) but what an amazing experience. I tried on all sorts and when I picked up a lace backless number, I never, for one minute, thought I would like it on. I LOVED it. So much so that when I came out, we all cried. It was just so beautiful and so simple. But, it came with a £4500 price tag and if I wanted a veil, another £1200 on top of that. Ouchy.

Luckily, my sister-in-law and bridesmaid had got married the year before and had got her dress made by a lovely lady in Southampton – Shay Harris. If I could replicate the one I saw and tweak it to be perfect for my body (and also at a fraction of the price of the one at Brown’s), it was worth a try so I made an appointment and headed off to see if Shay could work her magic. As well as stocking some beautiful ready made dresses by the likes of Jenny Packham and Cymbeline, Shay is also a dab hand at making beautiful creations herself and saw no problem in trying to replicate the dress I had seen on that wonderful day in London. The time from then up until my wedding was so exciting. I loved going to see Shay and looking at all the beautiful fabric samples she had got in. Every appointment meant a more beautiful dress as new things were added or tweaked and she genuinely was the nicest lady to go through this process with.

On the day of our wedding, like most Brides I’m sure, I felt a million dollars and her attention to detail was exquisite – from the beautiful fabric to sewing in a little blue bow, I was in dress heaven. I still love my wedding dress – it’s something I will keep forever in the hope that one day, a granddaughter or great-granddaughter will want to wear it for her own wedding and feel as beautiful as I felt on that May day in 2011.

If you want your own wedding dress made – please visit Shay. She is a very lovely and talented lady!

Love, lovelybyhanna xxx



  1. Lovely dress! You do look like a million dollars 🙂 I made mine and I am in awe of anyone who can replicate any wedding dress. Shay sounds very talented. Congrats on your first Anniversary x

    • Thanks Lucy! Wow – well done for making your dress, I wouldn’t know where to start but it’s a great skill to have!

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