Wedding Planning (Pt 3) – Choosing Your Gown

I’ve talked a little bit about my experience with wedding dress shopping on my Strength post, but thought I’d also do a separate post specifically about finding the right gown, as well as the selections I made for my accessories and my overall bridal look.

When I went dress shopping, it was very …. strange.  We got engaged when we were in Istanbul in April, and knew we needed to plan the wedding relatively quickly because my visa would be expiring in 2017.  My mum already had a trip booked to the UK (her first time abroad), so we planned her trip to include some time in Ireland + some time here in England + wedding dress shopping + including her in some other wedding things, like checking out the venue.

When I made appointments for bridal shops, I literally only looked at what was within kind of a 5 mile drive from my flat.  I didn’t consider anything up London, in Brighton, or anywhere else.   Why?  I’ve no idea.  I felt rushed to get some appointments sorted, and literally just rang anything nearby and set up 1 appointment for just me & my mum, and then 2 for my mum, mother in law and sister in law for Saturday, and 1 for all of us on Sunday.

I originally found a few shops online that had the look I wanted (boho glam), but after reading some reviews online, I discovered that they only carried sizes in store that were an 8 at a maximum, so I ruled those out straight away.  I normally wear an 18, and new trying to squeeze into an 8 wouldn’t work – especially in a wedding dress since they run small anyway.

I rang all the shops we had appointments with and they all assured me they had a brilliant selection and I could try on loads.

At the first shop I went to, Bridal 88, they specialise in plus size wedding dresses. The women in the shop were lovely.  They were so helpful and I tried on so many lovely dresses.  Mum pushed for big, princess dresses, but it definitely wasn’t what I wanted. I found one that I did quite like, but I put it on hold as I wanted to try on a few others.

The next two shops I went to was a mix of being made to feel like I was too fat to even deserve to get married. I won’t comment on them, but mate, they were horrible. I think I touched on this enough in the post mentioned above, so won’t labour on about it.

After my experience, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted / didn’t want.  I knew I didn’t want to look like a fluffy princess, but wasn’t sure if there was any other option.  I had, in my mind, that I wasn’t good enough for any of the dresses and that the only suitable style was a-line or ballgown.

On my last appointment, just a few days before my mum was due to fly back, I went to Toni Bridal. I explained my frustrations and the experiences I had, and was assured I wouldn’t have that experience with them.  They let me try on anything and everything. Even styles I was told wouldn’t work on my body.  In the end, it turned out that I quite liked the way my curves looked in mermaid / fishtail dresses.

My dress was Eternity Bride D5201.  I opted for a cathedral length veil that had a similar lace to my dress as well.  The dress itself was lace with light beading & pearls, with just a hint of sparkle, with exposed tulle for the front of the fishtail.  The train was a nice length, but not overwhelming long.


© Beatrici Photography  -

For my hair and make up, I wanted something fun.  I didn’t want a traditional updo.  I opted for a low, loose bun that I tucked my veil into, but also a flower comb that essentially was a smaller version of my bouquet.

For make up, I wanted a deep red lip. I used Ruby Woo by Mac.  My make up and hair were done by two local ladies –  Beckie’s Bridal Hair and Charlotte West Make up.

My other accessories were a belt from Crystal & Pearl on Etsy and earrings (that fell out of my ears as I walked up to the ceremony and as I made my way to the front of the ceremony.

© Beatrici Photography  -

I also opted for some shiny, sparkly little heels for the day.  These are Steve Madden and were purchased at Selfridges.

Erin + Stuart - 3.jpg

Other fun bits from the day:

Hanger from Akito Avalanche 

Robe from Comfy Clothing 

Charm of my grandfather & my dog Jasper who passed away a few months before the wedding from Witwoo Handmade.


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