Real bride Jenni’s journal part 2: the dress

real bride journal

In case you didn’t catch lovely Jenni’s first instalment, here it is – and a little background on our latest real bride! Jenni is a twenty-five year old secondary school teacher who recently got engaged to her boyfriend of six-and-a-half years, Paul. I’m going to hand over to Jenni to fill you in as she plans her May 2014 vintage / nautical-inspired day! This week, it’s all about the dress…

As soon as Paul popped the question and I’d got over the initial excitement, my thoughts ran straight to the dress. Every little girl has dreamed about the dress - I was no different. It’s also one of the first things everyone asks you about: “do you know what you want?”, “have you got many ideas in mind?” etc. I had plenty of ideas about what I wanted. As you know, I’m having a nautical vintage theme and I wanted to have this reflected in my dress as well.

The first thing I did was take to the internet for ideas. This was a mistake. I was bombarded with so many different ideas, designs and styles that I really didn’t know where to start. I had no idea what would suit my shape.

I was also really worried about going into a wedding dress shop and finding that nothing would fit me. I’m a plus-size girl and all of the images you see in magazines and articles are of beautiful, thin woman in stunning gowns. I’m sure that at some point, most women have been in a clothes shop, tried on something in a cookie-cutter size and felt awful and close to tears. I didn’t want this feeling when I was trying on wedding dresses – that’s supposed to be the most fun part of planning.

I spoke to Paul about my fears and he said I will look beautiful in anything I choose, but he is a confident guy, and I don’t think he has ever sat in a clothes fitting room crying before!


Jen’s bridal scrapbook

I booked an appointment with a bridal boutique which was recommended to me. I asked about having various sizes and they reassured me, however there was still that niggling doubt in the back of my mind.

The appointment date arrived and I was filled with anxiety and excitement. My mum and sisters (my sisters will be my bridesmaids) and one of the other bridesmaids came down for the day and they were all filled with so much enthusiasm. I didn’t want to dampen the mood and express my concerns.

We arrived at the boutique and they had a little welcome sign with my name on it. This was a very sweet touch, and I automatically relaxed a bit as I knew they would look after me. We were shown the different types of dresses and then given the opportunity to pick the ones that I may like to try on.

Having the nautical, vintage theme in my head I instantly went to the lace dresses. I also loved the idea of a short dress. I choose a range and then the fun began.

We had our own little area and the girls were treated like princesses. The first dress I tried on was my favourite. I put it on and walked out to show my family and they loved it!


I was totally surprised by what actually suited me. I had a few fixed ideas in mind about what I wanted, such as the short dress, and what I thought would be perfect looked awful on me! Honestly I was shocked that what I thought would look good didn’t and that dresses I was iffy about looked awesome. My advice to any bride to be is to try on a whole range of dresses as you really don’t know what will look amazing until it’s on.

I tried on all the other dresses, which were different shapes and styles but it was the first one that I loved. After all the dress had been tried on, I put back on the original dress. They then gave me some flowers and added a veil. I stepped out of the dressing room and everyone burst into tears! It was the dress.

Many wedding blogs and articles say not to expect to have the movie scene crying moment, but I was lucky enough to have that. It was beautiful, but I acknowledge that I was incredibly fortunate for this to happen to me.

All my worries floated away. I had tried on the perfect dress, it fitted and most of all I felt like a million bucks. Then reality hit. The price tag! I had a reasonably modest budget, but the dress was almost double the price. I felt dejected about the cost, but happy and reassured that I knew the dress was there – I just had a difficult decision to make.

I came home and told Paul about the budget dilemma. I was nervous about discussing this with him but what could I do? It was the dress! He was even more supportive than I could have hoped for. He just said if it was the dress then of course I could have it and we would alter the budget accordingly. Yet another reason why I am marrying him.

I went to another shop to try on other dresses, but I knew the dress was still out there. I went in open minded, but my heart was already taken – as soon as I stepped into the dress I knew it was the one.

I now have paid for half of my dress which I am totally in love with. I know it is a lot of money but I’m only going to do it once. And let’s face it, a great love story with the one you’re going to marry deserves a great love story with the dress you’re going to marry them in – right?

Are you struggling to work out which dresses suit you? Did you find “the one” right away? We’d love to hear your stories! 

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