Bride to Be Diaries: Our Sporty Bride is living out her Girlie Fantasies!

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sporty oct 17 me and matt

Our Sporty Bride is living out her Girlie Fantasies!

Hi all!

We’ve been very busy with friends’ weddings, engagements and a new addition to our little family…Dave the Sausage dog!

Sporty Oct 17 dave the sausage dog

We’ve also been busy trying to hand deliver as many of our wedding invites by hand as possible. Our invites were from Love-Lee Invitations and Kate created a lovely bespoke design for us- here is a little preview….

sport oct 17 wedding invite

310 days to go until my wedding. Where has that time gone?! It’s crawled right up until we hit the year mark…and now it seems to be speeding by. It’s crunch time, mainly when it comes to ensuring my wedding is paid for and then there is the bridesmaids dresses…or stresses as I like to call them.

Since my engagement I have been so sure about what I wanted for my wedding that planning it has been mostly a joy. Living out all my girly fantasises that I have been secretly dreaming about ever since I knew that I would eventually marry Matthew (About six months into our relationship…The first time he gave me food from his plate and went without himself just because I was eyeing it up).
sporty oct 17 Me and Matt at wedding

I’m one of those brides with many bridesmaids. I know what you are thinking, why give myself the stress of so many, but honestly at the time I had so many beautiful friends in my life I didn’t feel I could exclude any of them. Then there are my lovely sisters and I thought- it’s my wedding why should I have to choose!

My Pinterest board is littered with pictures of brides and their bridesmaids in beautiful dresses in many colours. My original idea was to have gold sequin showstoppers, but exploration into this highlighted how unrealistic it was. For a start, the price tag on the dresses in question was near enough £300 per dress, secondly following trying on one of the dresses I soon realised that sequins did not make for the most comfortable wearing experience- the fabric was heavy, itchy under the arms and did nothing to flatter my body type. I left that idea behind, feeling quite flat. My original color scheme was gold, blush and ivories…but now I’m finding myself choosing more pinks with silvers…so my color scheme is currently looking like this…but is evolving all the time.

sporty oct 17 colour scheme

So I went on a bit of an exploration mission with my youngest sister to a local bridesmaids’ dress shop in Swansea. She must have tried on about 20 different dresses for me and was very patient. Chiffon was definitely starting to stand out as my fabric of choice as it just skims almost every figure perfectly, so would suit all my bridesmaids as long as the cut was right. Once I had decided chiffon was what I was looking for I turned my head to styles. My bridesmaids range from sizes 10 to 18 and so I wanted something that would flatter them all. It transpired that an empire line, flowing chiffon dress was just what I wanted. The assistant at the dress shop was so helpful but the same problem transpired…price tags- all the dresses I had picked out were marked up at £200 or more. £200 per bridesmaid…and that’s even before hair, make-up and accessories are counted in!

I know weddings are big business however it’s very frustrating. It’s certainly achievable if you have one or two bridesmaids but I have 8…I wouldn’t ever want to exclude any of them just for the sake of money. After some research and soul searching I had a discussion with my girls about contributing towards their dresses. I had done so at my sisters wedding and heard that it was quite common but felt so nervous asking seeing as I had asked them in the first place. I shouldn’t have worried at all, as all my girls were kind and thoughtful, and of the opinion that they would have spent money on outfits etc. if they were coming as guests anyway.

One of my bridesmaids has been asked to be a bridesmaid on three separate occasions in 2017. Luckily for me, it’s means she can let me know about dresses and shops she has seen whilst she is out with her other brides. This has been especially helpful on my affordable bridesmaids’ dresses mission. She pointed me in the direction of WED2BE in Cardiff. I went down with my sisters. It’s a bit of an odd set up compared to other wedding shops I have been in, as it’s more of a warehouse with racks and racks of dresses. The staff were lovely and pointed me to a rack of bridesmaids dresses- then let me crack on! To my absolute relief the perfect dresses were contained on the rack. A lovely flowing chiffon number with draped shoulders and I also managed to get a bit of that sparkly glamour I so wanted. I’ve picked two dresses in complimenting colours that I’m so excited about! I won’t show you pictures just yet…got to keep some mystery!

Bride to Be Diaries: The Sporty Bride is having Wedding Dress Isues

Hello you lovely lot

We are very happy to have our gorgeous Sporty Bride back for her second instalment, and this time, she is having wedding dress issues!

Find out why, over to you Natalie….

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Sporty Couple July

 

The athletic figure vs the wedding dress!

Hello all!

So…with 397 days to go it’s getting closer to the 12 months-to-go mark. Having booked my wedding two years before the date to give myself time to pay for it there have been times it has certainly seemed impossibly far away. I can’t wait to get to that ‘Year to go!’ milestone. It’ll certainly help H2B get more excited as it’s just to far in the future for his attention span! I’ve also booked a lot of my vendors and small details well in advance. Too organised one might say!

Sporty 397 Days

At least I’ve had the rugby, a holiday and a trip to California to keep me occupied…

Sporty Holiday July

Buying the dress was one of the activities I was most excited about. Being sporty and a bit tomboy-ish means that I don’t always feel all that feminine. I was looking forward to sharing the experience with my mam and closest family in the ultimate girly experience (up to this point in my life at least)- buying my wedding dress!

In my head I imagined walking into a dress shop, being treated like a princess and leaving with the perfect dress. As usual though… it wasn’t all plain sailing!

The first dress shop we popped into was more of a exploratory mission- it was off the cuff on a Sunday afternoon in Cardiff…no appointment. It was lovely to try on some beautiful dresses and I found that what I thought I wanted was really nothing like I expected!

Being tall and slim; I had an image in my mind of a slim fit dress. Most of friends and family would say that’s what they saw me in. However, when trying on these dresses I found they didn’t suit my ‘pear’ shape created by my small waist and broad hips (If I hear the term ‘child-baring hips’ one more time….). I was convinced by my mother to try on a ‘princess style dress’ and funnily enough the way the dress style sat on my hips really emphasized my waist and made me feel less self-conscious about my wide hips. It was a revelation! Still nothing I tried on there really made me feel like it was the dress. The dress assistant was really friendly and even though we had made it clear we didn’t want to buy anything that day she was really helpful and patient.

A few weeks later, I saw an advert on facebook for a dress shop near to where I live in Swansea. I booked an evening appointment and went with my Mam and Auntie. Cue the beginning of a painful experience. The shop assistant asked me to go around and pick out the dresses I liked. I didn’t really know what I was looking for and found this really difficult. I asked for some help and was told that she wouldn’t know what I liked so ‘how could she possibly pick anything for me?’. Luckily my mam is quite good at diffusing awkward silences and jumped in to help me choose some pretty dresses. Everything I tried on was a disaster. Whilst everything looked beautiful on the hanger it really didn’t suit me at all. The shop assistant tutted (yes she did!) at everything I wore and even commented on my ‘boxy’ figure and how not many dresses would suit me. In fact, the only dress she went into raptures over was one of her own design- funnily enough- until I asked if I could have a different lace…she wasn’t impressed.

I left feeling pretty unconfident about ever finding a dress that gave me that feeling and made me feel less ‘boxy’. I had no idea what would suit me. It put me off looking and I took a break for a couple of months.

Cue Sharon and Tracey at Wedding Belles in Pyle, Bridgend. My auntie recommended I go because that was where she had got her wedding dress.

Sporty Wedding Belles

My mam, auntie and mother in law to be came along for moral support. The ladies there instantly put me at ease by suggesting dress styles they thought would suit my figure and pulling out some dresses for me to look at. Nothing was too much trouble. The best piece of advice they gave me was to throw away all my pre-conceptions and just try things on. So I did! Though I had begun nervously, by fifteen minutes in I was starting to feel excited and special- like a bride! My mam carefully combed the rails and picked out her favourites and I was happy to let her do so. Mother’s know best they say…

Sporty July And she certainly did. It was about the 18th dress I had tried on that day but as soon as I put it on I loved everything about it. The neckline, the skirt, the back. It made me feel beautiful and all the things I thought I wouldn’t feel. It was the one! I’ve recently been back to see it when my order came in and I’m so pleased with it still.

The biggest things I have learned so far;

  1. Picking out my groom’s suit was easy because he was so sure of what he wanted (For once).
  2. I have absolutely no clue what 90% of fashion terms mean. I always thought ‘boning’ meant something completely different…
  3. Having an athletic figure does not mean you won’t look absolutely beautiful in the right dress. Sporty girls can be girly too!
  4. Customer service isn’t always the priority in some wedding shops but is key to the experience.

In summary, to those of you about to buy your big day dresses. I do recommend going to multiple shops but thoroughly researching what others have said to avoid bad experiences. Don’t go too late just in case you don’t find your dream dress right away. Most of all, leave all your preconceptions at the door and be open minded!

To those about to shop, I salute you!

Speak Soon,

Natalie x