The happy, young American brides from the Deep South roll into Kleinfeld Bridal with their cousins, their mom, their future mom in law, their bridesmaids, their sisters, their dads and their neighbours to choose a dress for their ostentatious big day. They all want a sweetheart neckline and it has to be made by Pnina Tornai.
They try on multiple dresses and are reduced to tears by the cutting remarks of their entourage. Randy Fenoli with his suspiciously spectacular eyebrows comes to the rescue with the ‘perfect dress’. The bride tries it on. Her mom cries. She cries. The entourage loves it and of course the big question is answered.
“Are you saying Yes to the Dress?”
“I’m saying Yes to the Dress!”
This is, of course how I imagined my wedding dress shopping would be. I would have an Irish version of Randy Fenoli to locate the perfect dress for me and it would most likely be the first dress I tried on. I would glide out of the bridal boutique having selected my wedding dress and I wouldn’t need to go anywhere else. How wrong I was.
I had a fair idea that I would end up in a short dress. I love music and dancing and I wanted to be able to get down on the dancefloor at my wedding. I wanted to keep my options open though so I tried on lots of different styles.
I tried on a fishtail gown- my knees felt like they were welded together.
I tried a massive ball gown- I was kicking layers of the dress out of the way to even stand on the plinth in the shop.
I tried a stunning Grecian style dress – you could see what I had eaten for my breakfast.
I was now one hundred per cent sure I would be in a short, quirky, swing dress for my wedding. No knock knees, layers of taffeta or flashing the guests for me!
I thought I had found my dress, THE Dress, in Frilly Frocks in Drogheda. I tried on a stunning House of Mooshki Poppy dress in a champagne colour. It had beautiful lace detailing and was the perfect calf length for an elegant fifties look. My Mam and my bridesmaid Amy loved it. I loved it too. But I wasn’t totally convinced.
I had spotted the Esther dress by House of Mooshki online and I was determined to try that dress on before I made my final decision. So I contacted Vintage Pearl Bridal in Galway city. I knew that this little bridal boutique had both the Poppy and Esther dresses in stock so I could try them on together and I would be sorted then. I was sure that the Esther dress would be perfect. It had long polka dot sleeves, calf length,cinched at the waist-so me! I contacted Michelle at the shop and selected three dresses to try on. The Esther, the Poppy and as an ‘ah sure throw it on the rack’, the Claire.
I put the Poppy dress on and, to my horror, I hated it. It didn’t look the same as it had merely weeks before. The colour did nothing for me and the detailing now looked old fashioned and plain. Cue a brief moment of worry. Never fear. I had the Esther hanging on the rack behind me. All good. I mean, just look at it……
Michelle took it down from the hanger and helped me into it. I immediately wanted to take it off. The material scratched my arms and chest and I didn’t even look at it in the mirror. I almost cried. Michelle saw the look of sheer panic on my face and told me not to worry. That we would find something and sure, didn’t I have another dress to try on. The ‘ah sure why not’ dress. This wasn’t what I had set my little vintage heart on and I didn’t hold out much hope.
Michelle helped me into the Claire dress and lo and behold……. I loved it. It was so comfortable. My waist looked positively waspish. The colour actually suited my pale skin and made me look like I was glowing. I twirled in it straight away.
I didn’t want to take it off.
Michelle asked if I wanted to try a veil.I said I felt like a bit of an eejit with a veil on. Michelle put it on anyway…..
That was it. I looked like a bride.
This time, I cried.
Michelle indulged me by asking the big question. “Are you saying Yes to the Dress?” I was delighted to say yes to that dress.
Michelle helped me choose a gorgeous headpiece and Rachel Simpson shoes with a matching bag. We selected a blue ribbon for my waist and changed the sleeves and the neckline. Of course it was a sweetheart neckline, sure isn’t that what all brides want?
I got married in July.
In that dress.
With that veil.
And I didn’t feel one bit like an eejit.
Thanks for reading.
The New Vintage Mrs.