One of the most common questions I was asked after getting engaged is ‘have you found your dress?’. And whilst I’m sure for a lot of people the excitement of looking and trying on wedding dresses starts as soon as you get engaged, I was really nervous about the whole process and didn’t really give it much thought until a few months ago (much to the horror of my bridesmaids!). I think the pressure to find the perfect dress, which fits in with your Pinterest wedding board, magazine images and the budget, is very real and I definitely felt apprehension, alongside excitement, about starting the search.
I’d set aside a day to look at dresses with one of my bridesmaids, which happened to fall on a weekend, and unbeknown to this wedding planner novice, made it near on impossible to find appointments unless they have been booked months in advance – especially in Bristol. However I stumbled across The White Collection, a small bridal boutique opened in 2014 in Clevedon, a couple of weeks before hand and loved the fact that you could check appointment availability online and book the appointment yourself. The process of booking the appointment was really straightforward and there was space to add details of the styles of dresses you are interested in and your budget, so that Laura and Sarah (sisters who own the boutique) can have some dresses in mind before you arrive.
Whilst I’d seen some images of the boutique online, it’s hard to describe just how beautiful it is in real life. Laura and Sarah have managed to create the perfect space in which to look at and try wedding dresses on, with soft pink pastel furnishings, luxurious sofas, chandeliers, fresh flowers and of course the all important rails of absolutely stunning dresses to browse. As soon as you walk through the door you are transported to wedding heaven – it really is the wedding dress shop of dreams! Little touches such as a personalised sign when you arrive welcoming you in, and bowls of marshmallows and sugared almonds dotted around (pink and white of course!), really make the experience that little bit more special.
Your appointment ensures that you have exclusive access to the boutique for 90 minutes on a weekend (2 hours in the week) and their undivided attention. Having spoken to Laura the day before to give her a few more details of what I had in mind she steered me towards the dresses which she felt met my brief, which I found incredibly useful as it helped narrow my focus, and we picked out 5 or 6 to try on. I left my bridesmaid relaxing on the sofas with Prosecco in hand (which I had had to sadly decline as was driving!) whilst I tried on the dresses with Sarah. At no time did I feel rushed or pressured into trying on anything I wasn’t sure about – although Sarah and Laura were both great at getting me to look a little outside of my comfort zone to ensure I didn’t miss a style that potentially really suited me.
They really have thought of everything when it comes to making this the most special wedding dress shopping experience. With accessories to try on alongside the dresses and the all important pedal stool (underneath a beautiful chandelier!) to stand on to really get the full effect of the dress, in the beautiful full length mirrors, nothing has been forgotton. I can honestly say that any nerves or apprehension I had about trying on the dresses melted away as soon as I started the process and it turned into a really fun and special afternoon with lots of giggles!
And the all important question – did I say ‘Yes to the Dress?!’…… of course I did! In fact I could have said yes to several dresses….but the one that I choose was exactly in keeping with the style of wedding we are having and encompasses several styles and details I had seen, whilst retaining a sense of ‘me’ in the dress.
The final special touch, should you find your perfect dress, is a polaroid picture to take home (taken with a pink camera of course!) with whoever has been with you on the day, to capture that moment forever. If you are starting to think about looking for your wedding dress then I can’t recommend The White Collection enough for personalised service with an extra sprinkle of wedding sparkle magic!