Finding 'The one'

How will I know if I've found 'The One'?... The reality of wedding dress shopping when no-one cries.

The great bridal urban legend , "when you find THE ONE, you'll just know." A beam of light will shine down upon you and you will gasp with glee and know you have found the dress that was MEANT for you. This is what everyone tells you about wedding dress shopping - right?

I call bullshit.

When everything is this good how are you meant to decide? (daughters of simone looking fine in the studio)

Let me set the scene for you. Last week I was doing a quick bit of shopping before my weekly coffee shop email stint, and I went into Warehouse to try on a few dresses I'd had my eye on. I grabbed a pair of wide leg jeans off the rack at the last minute and threw them on. When I looked in the mirror my heart stopped beating for at least 10 seconds I'm sure, because they were WONDERFUL.  I didn't expect it (we all know the pain of shopping for jeans?!), and  I immediately wanted to burn every pair of skinnies I own and live solely in these jeans because they are so fucking amazing.  I think I shocked myself by how much a pair of jeans could affect my mood, and I kinda feel in that moment they have changed my life, I suddenly felt cool again. 

2015 Look book shoot. PC -The Lous.

I felt a bit like I'd had that elusive moment, where I knew instantly that they were meant for me. But here's the catch my friends - it's only taken me over 2 decades of shopping to have that moment. Did the stars align that day creating that magical place when the fashion trends and what actually suits my body shape line up?  Was it because I had no expectations that it was easier to surpass them?

I don't know the answer, but I do know this.... when shopping for your dream dress, that lightening bolt moment probably happens to less than 10% of brides. Most people don't know the second they put on a gown that it's definitely their dress, and I rarely see anyone cry.  Not only is it probably the most expensive, most photographed dress you will ever wear, but it has to feel like it's totally YOURS. We can't be pigeon-holed into one fashion style, so how do you decide which look is the most you? Do you want to be bohemian, romantic, modern, sexy or all of the above?! There can also be lots of factors clouding your decision - does my mum like it?, does it suit the venue?, can I afford it? You need to try and force all these other worries out of the way, It's your day and in my book the bride can wear whatever she damn well wants to.

Jess and her family came in twice before making her decision - love all round from her very supportive girl gang.

Sometimes you fall in love with a dress on pinterest but in reality it just doesn't suit your shape. Sometimes every dress you try on will be beautiful and then what do you do?  In time there will most likely be one dress you are thinking of more than the others. Forgot the iPhone pics and how you look in it and focus on how you FEEL in the dress. If you don't feel like the total babe you should be, then it's not the one. You should wake up on your wedding day and be bursting to put your dress on. So visualise yourself in that moment and see where it leads you, I definitely believe sleeping on it will reveal the truth. 

A12 client looking fab in the Daughters of Simone KEMP gown. It wasn't the one for her, but it doesn't mean it didn't look smoking!

In the meantime, here's some advice on deciding if it's THE ONE.

  • Stop watching 'Say Yes to the Dress' immediately.
  • Limit the amount of boutiques you visit - research online and chose the ones that actually carry styles you might want to wear. It's easy to fall into dress overkill from trying on too many dresses. In the end this makes your decision harder, not easier.
  • Choose your shopping partners wisely. I've said it before - only bring people who will support your choices and help you in choosing the right dress for YOU and not them.
  • Don't be afraid to book a second appointment before deciding. .
  • Don't expect the fireworks, and don't be disappointed if your mum doesn't cry. If either of these things happen then thats a bonus!

So please don't fret if you haven't found 'The One.'  Maybe it's a slow burner and it will reveal itself, maybe you just haven't looked in the right places yet, but I pray to the fashion gods that you will be one of the lucky few who gets the lightening bolt.  If not, go check out these jeans maybe they'll change your life too.

Let me help you find the dress for you, no bullshit, I promise.  book in for a private appointment at our Belfast studio for a relaxed fuss-free appt.

Claire xx