Wedding Dress Shopping Experience Part 2…

all this, just for one day blog post lila bailey weddings

So you’ve heard about the wonderful experience, now for the not-so-wonderful… (if you missed my last post then catch up here before reading this one).

 

The Experience…

The bridal stylist sat us down, and at first was quite pleasant and talked us through what I would be doing during our appointment. However, quite quickly our ‘welcome chat’ became a little patronising and almost felt like a dictation of what I will and won’t feel when I put a wedding dress on. I was asked about my wedding and my vision for the day, and I explained in quite substantial detail about what I pictured for the wedding and the dress. I mentioned fabrics and necklines, as well as the overall ‘feel’ of the dress. An error of mine was failing to mention that I was in the wedding industry and had worked with wedding dresses before, plus I had visited the Harrogate Bridal Show every year of my childhood and teens, so my understanding of the wedding industry – in particular wedding dresses – was quite vast. I wonder if this would have made a difference to the way I was treated (not that of course it should have done). Very bluntly, I was asked what my budget for the dress was. I don’t like to discuss money, and despite my bridesmaids being family or as good as, I didn’t feel entirely comfortable talking about my wedding budget in that environment. I gave the stylist a starting figure but said I was aware I will probably be spending more and was okay with that. I explained there was flexibility in my overall wedding budget to spend a little more on a wedding dress if I decided to. She retorted with an incredibly blunt ‘well our dresses start at X which is almost double your budget’ and gave me a look as if to say ‘so what on earth are you still doing sat there’. I replied explaining I’m open to expanding my budget for the right dress, but unfortunately she had already made her (uninformed and incorrect) assumptions about me and frankly wasn’t interested.

Nevertheless, we powered on and went through the collection of lovely dresses, picking out ones in styles I knew I liked from the previous appointment. I selected one dress which was made of a very interesting fabric, and I was curious to try it on as I’d never seen anything like it. Instead of taking that one to the dressing room, the stylist picked another one and ushered me behind the curtain. Once we were in the dressing room, the stylist said ‘the dress you picked out is not in your price range so I’d advise you to not try it on’ I was slightly shocked by her audacity and replied ‘oh that’s okay, I’m really open to trying anything on’ and she looked at me coldly and said ‘we’re talking £12,000plus for this particular dress so I don’t think you should try it’. Her boldness was honestly outstanding.

wedding dress shopping experience part 2

(A Suzanne Neville dress)

The appointment only continued to get worse. I was told to put on these enormous platform heels, which I was fine with. What I was not fine with, however, was stepping into these (rather large) dresses without even a hand to hold onto for support. Keeping in mind (as many of you will know from dress shopping yourselves) you’re not wearing an awful lot when in the dressing room, and for someone to watch you struggle into a dress whilst wearing giant heels (and not a lot else) is nothing short of terribly embarrassing. I cannot tell you how anxious I started to feel as the appointment went on. The stylist made it perfectly clear that she was completely disinterested in the appointment, and if the yawning wasn’t enough, she kept disappearing to have whispered conversations with her colleague behind the front desk.

I tried on a dress which was absolutely gorgeous and one I really liked, as did my mum and my bridesmaids. The stylist, however, had other ideas. She hauled me back into the dressing room where she put me in a dress which was wonderful, but just not me. It was very much ‘of the times’, and definitely stylish in a designer sense, but not the timeless wedding dress I was looking for.

wedding dress shopping experience part 2

(Disclaimer – this is not the dress she put me in, but you get the idea…)

As I came out of the changing room she exclaimed ‘this is the dress!’ to my posse of wedding-dress-groupies and started to ramble on about how the last dress was ‘too old’ for me (despite it being strapless with a modern skirt) and how I should be looking for something ‘young & fun’. Without giving anything away, I have certainly not been looking at dresses that are ‘too old’ for me. In fact, quite the opposite. Despite what the stylist (with a blinding complex) thought.

wedding dress shopping experience part 2

(Another Suzanne Neville dress)

It was at this point where 3 other people entered the shop, one of which being a man. At first, I didn’t mind because I assumed they would be taken downstairs. The women were, the man however was invited to sit on a chair right outside my dressing room. If I wasn’t feeling uncomfortable enough by now, this certainly sealed the deal. I might add too that my dressing room was opposite a floor-to-ceiling mirror and the stylist was not discreet with the curtain. Need I say more?

Despite me taking the time at the beginning of the appointment to explain exactly what my wedding vision was, the stylist had paid no attention whatsoever. She kept describing my wedding as ‘rustic’ when I’d said nothing of the sort. Again, forming her own opinions based on the smallest amount of information. At one point she put me in a dress which I instantly hated and said ‘I’m not feeling this at all’ and instead of getting me out of the dress and into something I liked, she left me standing in it and went to chat to her colleague (again). I was stood awkwardly in a dress which didn’t make me feel good for over 5 minutes, trying to make positive comments about it until she got back and put me in something else. It all started to become very frustrating, and I quickly wished we had never come. What started off as the perfect day was turning into a nightmare. By this point I was feeling so completely rubbish that I didn’t even want to smile when in a dress I liked because I thought if I showed any emotion at all I might burst into tears.

wedding dress shopping experience part 2

Whilst all of this was happening, none of us knew how we were all feeling about the appointment. I wanted nothing more than to turn round to my mum and girls and say ‘I’m hating this. I feel so uncomfortable and I’m not having a good time’ but I never had the chance. Even when the stylist left us, she was always in earshot. And because I thought maybe it was just me who was picking up on this awful vibe and atmosphere, I didn’t want to start being rude in case the others thought I was being completely overdramatic (no bridezilla moment I can assure you!). As it turned out, we had all felt exactly the same during the appointment, and we were also all unsure of how each other was feeling at the time. I must have a pretty good pokerface because none of them had any idea I was feeling so miserable! If I could turn back time, I would definitely be far less polite and actually tell her she was making me feel awful. Or failing that, maybe just have given up altogether and left. But, I can’t go back in time so I just have to live with the experience and learn from it. After all, a wedding isn’t just about the day itself, it’s all the moments during the buildup and the things we experience during that time.

wedding dress shopping experience part 2

It was also incredibly interesting to be on the other side of an appointment like that, and it made me realise where the business I used to work in was going so wrong. Whilst we were told to act professional and give the opening spiel to each bride who walked through the door, actually this comes across very negatively and isn’t at all what brides want. Not brides like me, anyway! I much preferred my genuine, down to earth, and relaxing experience at Suzanne Neville where I was made to feel like a princess and my tastes, opinions, and visions were listened to and respected. That’s what a wedding dress appointment should be like.

How to Choose a Wedding Colour Scheme

colour scheme blog post lila bailey

The date has been set, venue booked, suppliers falling into place… Now to get down to the details. Some of you may not think that a wedding colour scheme is high on the list of priorities. I can understand why, but (trust me) it is. A colour scheme falls into the category of branding. Branding? My wedding? This lady is craaazy!

Bear with me

You know I’m the biggest advocate for weddings being about love and each other. And not a lot else. However, if you are spending (fill the gap) amount on your wedding, you want it to be right. You’re going to dress your bridesmaids anyway. And have flowers anyway. Likewise with napkins, tablecloths, wedding favours, etc. So your colour scheme is not adding anything onto your wedding, it’s simply bringing it together.

When you come to think of it, there is a lot that needs to coordinate on the day.

 

Flowers

When thinking of your wedding colour scheme, flowers probably spring to mind first. They are, after all, the main source of colour on the day. Whether your flowers determine your colour scheme or vice versa doesn’t matter. What’s important is that once your colours have been chosen, you stick with them throughout. Remember, if you’re having centrepiece flowers then the tableware has to come into consideration. And if you fancy bold flowers, you’ve got to consider how that might affect the overall ‘look’ of the day.

colour scheme blog post lila bailey

 

Bridesmaids and Ushers

Probably one of the hardest things about organising a wedding is not only picking your bridesmaids and ushers, but dressing them too. Want to know what will make this easier? A colour scheme. Your groom wants blue suits, white shirts, and red ties. Without a colour scheme you might agree happily (seeing as he’s letting you pick – let’s face it – everything else). Then it comes to finding a dress for your gals. You’ve finally got them to agree on a dress they all love. But, the dress is bright fuchsia. It is going to look awful next to the usher’s ties. So you either tell your groom to change his choice, or you have to start again with the girls.

Disaster. Stressful. Easily Avoidable.

colour scheme blog post lila bailey

 

 

Tableware

If you are going along the traditional and simplistic white/ivory theme for the tables, then you’ve not got much to worry about here. But if you want a pop of colour in the napkins, table runners, or even tablecloths themselves, then you have got to create a clear colour vision. There is no point spending your hard earned cash on stunning centrepiece flowers if they are going to be totally washed out in the photos because of your tablecloth choice. Or, worse, look completely dreadful because it all clashes.

colour scheme blog post lila bailey

 

Wedding Colour Scheme Tips

Keep. It. Simple. Don’t over complicate it. Less is more. (etc). Start with one colour that you definitely want. Blush pink is always a good example because it can be matched to a lot of other colours without looking over the top. Then have a look at the ‘vibe’ of your day. Are you going for a rustic/boho vibe? Try greens, ivories, and maybe even a touch of burgundy. Having a glamorous celebration? Blush pink and gold is always a winner. Or maybe you’re a traditional gal with a modern edge, in which case why not try grey tones with your blush pink?

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Pinterest. It’s an unpopular opinion, I know. But, Pinterest is fantastic for colour schemes. You can simply put (for example) ‘blush pink wedding colour palette’ in the search bar and there are always some fab colour palette suggestions.

colour scheme blog post lila bailey

colour scheme blog post lila bailey

 

In any project, you always need a starting point. When talking about wedding colours, your starting point should be your base colour. As with most of your planning, take things one step at a time. Everything always seems more manageable in small pieces!