We have the beautiful Gwen back today, your very own ‘Maid In Wales’, with her second instalment on her Maid of Honour journey.
Alys the bride (and also Gwens twin sister) have been busy shopping for The Dress….
On the morning of my wedding, as a thank you for all the help and support she had given me as my Maid of Honour, I gave my sister Alys a present and card. In the card I wrote that I was ‘officially handing the Bride-to-be baton on to her’.
She has since taken that baton and run with it.
I have been seriously impressed with her efforts so far and she has been very proactive with setting a date, securing a venue, booking vendors and sending out save the dates (I would have expected nothing less!). In fact, she’s been so on the ball with everything that my involvement has been very limited up until now, when the wedding dress shopping (the fun bit) began.
Over the last couple of weekends I have made several journeys from Devon to Wales (including some seriously early starts for which I should definitely earn some bridesmaids points) to help Alys find ‘The Dress’.
We gathered the troops – the Wedding Team made up of our parents, Alys’ mother-in-law-to-be and me – and hit the shops.
Following a wedding fair research trip a couple of weeks earlier we had booked in several appointments and scouted out some of the best wedding dress shops South Wales had to offer! We started off close to home in Usk with a visit to the very lovely Bridal Lane, followed by up a couple of trips up the valleys, and finally hitting a few shops in the Cardiff area, including Laura May and High Society.
I was really excited about this bit – getting to look at all the pretty dresses and sip the complementary prosecco whilst Alys catwalk modelled all sorts of different gowns – although I think I underestimated how tricky it would be sitting on the other side of the table when wedding dress shopping. It became almost like a game of poker, trying to give an opinion on a dress without giving too much a way in case I didn’t like one that Alys thought was absolutely wonderful, or vice versa. (Thankfully there were only a couple of occasions where Alys and The Wedding Team disagreed on things and most of the time we were all on the same page.)
Having started out with an open mind, each shop helped Alys to firm up her ideas on what she did and didn’t want out of a wedding dress – what shapes flattered her figure most and what designers suited her best. And yet ‘The Dress’ remained elusive.
We found many dresses that had elements of what she was looking for. The dress with the beautiful train. The dress with the lovely neckline. The dress with the most gorgeous lace. But like Goldilocks and the three bears, Alys just couldn’t find a dress that was just perfect. The dress that gives you butterflies.
Then, one day, after many hours of internet research, Alys stumbled upon a shop in Bath called Perfect Princess which had just the kind of dresses she was looking for. So Alys and the Wedding Team headed to Bath during the Easter holidays to hunt down the perfect dress. Sadly I was unable to make the trip as I was stuck in work that day, however the team kept me in the loop with constant text and Whatsapp updates.
And there it was – the dress that gives you goosebumps. As sad as I am to have missed being there for that moment in person, I am reliably informed that this was the dress Alys fell in love with almost instantly, and I couldn’t be happier. She is going to look incredible. Phil really is a lucky guy.
In other news, I also got to take part in the envious task of a taster event with Alys’ chosen wedding caterer – Prickly Pear.
This was a very hard task, which involved a family trip (both sets of parents and the groom-to-be) on a rainy Sunday afternoon to a local village hall to sample the delights of Prickly Pear’s North African inspired dishes and to test out their hosting skills.
Although this isn’t the exact menu Alys and Phil will be having served for their first meal as man and wife, I can confirm that the food was delicious and the catering staff were excellent. I am very much looking forward to eating their food again next April.
It’s a hard life being a bridesmaid.