Finding (and second guessing) my wedding dress

My Wedding Planning Story: The Dress | Red Berry Photography

Once we figured out where to get married, the question of what I’d be wearing down the aisle pushed its way to the front of the queue! Choosing your wedding dress is often considered the ultimate bride experience, but it can also be a roller coaster of emotion. 

We’re lucky to have so many talented wedding designers on our doorstep dreaming up the most exquisite dresses. One of the perks of this job is getting to capture these works of art on our photo shoots! But it’s one thing to love a gown and another to look good in it.

I thought about the silhouettes I usually enjoy wearing and realised Karen Willis Holmes offered a lot that fit the brief. When we arrived at the boutique, I requested a few styles I had seen online and took some time to browse the racks to see if there was anything I liked that I might not have picked from a photo.

I initially pictured myself wearing a dress that combined my two favourite details – an intricate beaded bodice and ethereal tulle skirt. While it had looked amazing on other brides, it didn’t do much for me.

I tried on seven dresses and fell in love with two. They were complete opposites, one with a full chiffon skirt and divine embellished neckline, and the other…well, I won’t share too much just yet!

My family were just as undecided, so we had only one choice – to start finding any little thing that would make one more or less appealing than the other. Our tips for choosing between two dresses has never been more relevant!

The question that stood out in my mind was the one my mum and fellow editor Kathy asked when I first got engaged, “What do you think best suits your personal style?” You can look amazing in any number of dresses, but there will always be one design that better represents who you are.

For me, finding the right dress was as much about the accessories as it was the gown. The full skirt was certainly a way to make an entrance, but a veil was going to be too much. With the winter weather to consider, it was also going to be a challenge to find a jacket or cape that would suit. When I tried a cathedral veil with the other dress, I felt ready to walk down the aisle. My mum helped confirm my choice when she teared up.

I’m the kind of person who usually researches every possible option, so it took me a while to feel sure of my decision. The feeling you get when you’re in the dress is almost impossible to capture for later, so it’s easy to start questioning. Could I really find ‘The One’ in the first store I visited? If I didn’t have that instant emotional reaction when I put it on, is it really ‘The One’?

From the stories our featured brides have shared about their dress search, it’s been equal parts wonderful and wearing. I would’ve loved to savour the experience of trying on dresses a little longer, but I also know that this can easily turn into weeks of searching, indecision and panic as the time ticks down.

It wasn’t until I’d picked up my dress after the final fitting and tried it on for the first time at home that I knew no other gown would make me look and feel like this one did. I can’t wait to show you! But first, we need to chat about the vision for the day…

Talk soon,

Photography: Gregory Ross | Wedding Dresses: Karen Willis Holmes | Venue: Kimberly Crest

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