You might say that I’m the kind of girl who has thought about her wedding dress for some time. You might imagine that ‘some time’ started long before there was a wedding in sight, and you’d be right. When it comes to all out frocks, the wedding dress is perhaps the only time you get to step outside the box and wear something truly incredible (unless you are someone who regularly attends awards ceremonies or black tie galas).
So my wedding dress search for my upcoming nuptials started in earnest. I was super excited to be the princess I’d always dreamed of, but I also had lots of ideas about my this one amazing dress. My plan was a bit champagne tastes on a beer budget and my fashion experience and ethics said I wanted something I could wear more than once, so after poring over several issues of Hello May, I was convinced I could find what I was looking for.
And then I went shopping.
Following solo trips to a vintage store and David Jones, I decided to start at the epicenter of wedding dresses in Melbourne – High Street, Armadale. First mistake? I tried to make appointments at the stores a week before I wanted to head in. It was almost amusing how the sales assistants laughed when I requested an appointment a week out. As if!
So I went anyway and just hit the pavement, taking a walk up and down High Street and simply window shopping, removing the stores from my list that were not in my price range, not in my date range, or not in my style range. I had one left.
My appointment at The Bridal Atelier was a wonderful experience. I took two girlfriends (we are not having a bridal party) and there was champagne. So far, so good! I tried on frocks of various shapes and colours, including a gorgeous gold SarahSeven creation that had to be seen to be believed and a pink ombre number that was ridiculously heavy and cost $13,000.
Next stop? Madame Virtue & Co for the most amazing vintage and designer dresses a girl could ask for – if she has a teeny sized waist. I squeezed into a sweet original 1950s Audrey Hepburn-eque gown and shimmied in feathers and sequins. It was the most fun I’d had so far, but I wasn’t feeling it. I can’t wait to go back and just find fab pieces for my wardrobe though!
Carla Zampatti at David Jones got another run with the new season collection, before I made appointments with Gwendolynne and Pamela Usanto to talk bespoke dresses. It was a dream world of sequins and beading, tulle and taffeta.
And yet I wasn’t feeling it. The more I looked, the more confused I became and the more what I wanted became murky. It was time to broaden the search – so off to the suburbs I went.