Say yes to the wedding dress ~ Part Two

My search continued in the suburbs, with my mum and oldest friend (flown in from Townsville).

The first stop was the store where I obtained my Debutante Ball dress fifteen years ago. Their gowns were gorgeous, but rather ridiculous in their use of hoops and taffeta. So. Much. Fabric. I’m only a little person and some of these dresses weighed more than me. It was fun – don’t get me wrong – but not for me. We then ventured to a store that made you wear gloves whilst browsing the dresses and trying them on. The less said about that store, the better.

era vintage

I was at the end of my patience. This was supposed to be the bit I was good at! The fun part! Everything just wasn’t right though, and I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. My google searches and instagram trawling were showing me all these amazing frocks, that I couldn’t find in Australia, until I stumbled across my next appointment, with Lucy at Era Vintage Bride.

Within minutes, I was sure I had found ‘the one’. And not the one as in the dress, but the one in terms of the person I wanted to work with to make the dress. My search was over. Lucy has a collection of vintage dresses on site, but I had other ideas in mind. We chatted and brainstormed and I spent the next two days thinking about working with her.


The following weekend I went on a pre planned trip to Sydney to look at dresses whose labels are not stocked in Melbourne. I tried on more frocks, mostly two piece outfits that I thought would have more wearability post wedding, and had still more ideas about how my dress should look. Maybe I should have two dresses!? The opportunities continued to present themselves. But I remained committed to Lucy and the ideas we had come up with.

love found true

A side note about a Sydney wedding dress stores vs Melbourne wedding dress stores. Sydney like to charge you to come in on a Saturday, or will take a credit card number in case you don’t show up. Melbourne is a bit more relaxed but you can’t just walk in and try on one dress on a Saturday, even if the store is empty. The wedding dress game is a well oiled machine and bridal store assistants are a breed of their own. Some were fantastic and made you feel amazing. Others made you feel like you were simply interrupting their day. Proceed with caution.

Lucy, on the other hand, is a delight. A week after I got back from Sydney, we started talking fabrics, and next week I’ll head in for measurements. I have a new secret Pinterest board with yet more ideas (poor Lucy isn’t going to know what she’s in for!) and a 2 inch square of lace that I’m showing anyone who’ll listen.

Now the hunt for shoes starts. Wheeee!!!!

Images 1 and 2 thanks to and 3,

Say yes to the wedding dress ~ Part One

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.


I picked a favourite and we went on our way, stopping in at Rachel Gilbert, Aje and Carla Zampatti since we were in the area. They were all good, but not great.

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.

Images 1-3 with thanks to instagram/thebridalatelier and 4,