Monday, April 30, 2007
Getting Fitted for your Wedding Dress
It's time for a bit of a rant today. Why on earth do wedding dress designers and bridesmaid dress designers have such a different sizing system from High Street shops?
I'm sure if you have tried on some wedding dresses already or been fitted, you will know exactly what I am talking about...
Here is an example - I am a UK size 14 normally (US 10). I was in the wedding dress shop for my fitting, in my size 14 jeans (which were actually a wee bit loose on me), getting measured up for my dress.
Basically this means that you are measured on your hips, upper hips, waist, under bust and bust. You are then recommended the size from the designer's sizing chart according to your measurements. If one of your measurements happens to be half an inch above a certain size, then you are recommended the size above. This is fair enough, as they can take dresses in, but can't take them out, so you need to be sure that you end up with a dress that either fits you perfectly or is too big.
So, I was measured up for my dress and recommended, guess what? A size 18!! All my measurements were a 16, which is equivalent to a 14 in the high street, apart from one measurement which was slightly over, so I had to be recommended an 18.
I ended up ordering a 16 because a) I am planning to lose at least stone before the wedding, b) The size 14 sample dress on the shop was half an inch away from fitting me and c) Most of my measurements were a 16 anyway.
My point is, why on earth do wedding dress designers have such a bizarre sizing system? Most girls would love to come into a shop to be fitted and told, well actually we need to order you a size 12 (or whatever size is smaller than your current size).
I didn't particularly care too much, as the main thing is how you look, but the lady in the shop was telling me that she has had girls who were in tears after being measured - some who have returned a few weeks later, a stone lighter after a crash diet!
On Saturday my bridesmaids were all fitted for their dresses and again, they had to order dresses that were much bigger sizes than they normally wear. They are all size 12 and 14, but had to order size 16 dresses.
Anyway if you are in this situation yourself, don't feel bad as it happens to us all. I was told that nearly all bridal dress designers have a sizing system that is one size higher than the highstreet (e.g. size 12 = size 14 bridal). The most important thing is that the dress fits you on the day and you need to be sure that you don't order a dress that is too small, as if this happens there is nothing that can be done. I was told that dresses can be taken in a size and a half or more, so this means that you can go down from a 16 to a 12/14 or an 18 to a 14/16.
Labels: Bridesmaid Dresses, Wedding Dresses
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Hooray - the bridesmaid dresses are chosen!
I thought it was going to be hard to chose the bridesmaid's dresses since I have three bridesmaids, one of whom is my wee sister who lives in Dublin and is pregnant and due a month before my wedding.
But it didn't turn out to be too hard after all.
On Saturday I met with my other two bridesmaids - Kirsteen and Jenny, plus my Mum for a full day of dress shopping.
We started off in a few high street stores in Princes street - Jenners, Monsoon and BHS, but none of them had anything much to offer. Jenners seemed to have absolutely no bridesmaid style dresses or evening gowns, unless you are looking for a short style dress from Coast. I don't know if this is to do with the season, as in the winter they had quite a few nice dresses. Monsoon had a very small selection of dresses, but nothing that we wanted to try on. BHS is ok if you like the pastel colours or if your bridesmaids are under 12. We were planning on spending an hour looking for dresses in High Street shops, but the selection was so poor that we spent most of the time having a coffee instead.
Next it was off to Berketex, the place where I bought my wedding dress a few weeks back. As usual the staff in Berketex were very nice and let me try my dress on again - I still like it, which is good :-) Jenny and Kirsteen tried on a selection of dresses as I waltzed about in the shop with my dress on. It was very bizarre seeing myself in the mirror with Jenny & Kirsteen on either side of me in matching bridesmaid's dresses and my mum with her outfit. There were a couple of styles of dresses that we all liked and one particular colour that was lovely and went well with my Mum's outfit (I am not going to give the colour away!).
To make things even better, Berketex have an offer on until Saturday 28th April where if you buy two bridesmaid dresses you get one free. Since they are around 200-250 a pop, that is a pretty good saving! And, they even had a branch in Dublin.
After Berketex we visited Pronuptia and Thistledown, but didn' t see anything as nice as the dresses in Berketex.
To cut a long story short, Karen has now tried on the two dresses and likes one of them, so I have arranged a fitting for Jenny & Kirsteen this Saturday and plan on buying the dresses then. Hooray!
Labels: Bridesmaid Dresses
Monday, April 23, 2007
Getting Beauty Treatments before your Wedding
Ok, so it's just about 6 months before my wedding now, and I thought I would use this as a good excuse to have a few beauty treatments - all in the name of research of course. I don't want to try something new a week before my wedding, do I?
So on Sunday I went to Zen
, a day spa in Edinburgh for a luxury manicure. Although I am the ripe old age of 33, I have never actually had a manicure in my life. The reason for this? I hate my hands. I have chunky fingers and suffer from eczema on my hands (although this is improving with the help of some chinese medicine). I always hide my hands and envy those people with long slim fingers and lovely nails. So, to be honest I wasn't really looking forward to somebody working on my nails. My theory is, that if I start having regular manicures now, then by the time my wedding comes and everyone is snapping photos of my hands, they will be in better condition and I won't be so self conscious.
So off I went to Zen
in Teviot Place, with a hangover no less, from the night before's dinner party at my friend Fiona's house, feeling slightly unnerved at the prospect of having someone inspect my hands so closely.
I needn't have worried - the girl who did my nails was lovely and didn't gasp in horror at my hands. She started off filing my nails and rubbing cuticle oil into my cuticles, then I soaked my nails in warm water and she worked on pulling my cuticles back. After that my hands were mositurised and massaged with some Aveda cream and put into gloves containing warm paraffin wax. I then put on a pair of mitts and sat for 5 minutes while she gave me a wonderful shoulder and back massage. After that I had a french polish put on in quite a natural colour. At the end of it my nails looked better than they ever have done and my hands were baby soft from the paraffin wax. Lovely!
So now I am hooked and will definitely be going back for a regular manicure.
In a couple of weeks I have my cousin Sarah's wedding and I am off to Portugal for a week so I have booked myself in for a Pedicure and a spray on tan. Again, all in the name of research.
If you are looking to have some beauty treatments I would highly recommend Zen, as the salon is lovely and the staff are very professional and extremely nice. I was there at the beginning of the year for hot stone massage (a Christmas present) so if you want something deeply relaxing then this is the thing to have. They have two salons - one in Teviot Place and the other in Bruntsfield.
Labels: Wedding Beauty
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Buying a Wedding Tiara
There are various places in Edinburgh to buy a wedding tiara. The first and most obvious are the wedding dress shops. All the shops that I visited had a good selection of Tiaras and you can try these on while you are trying on dresses, or separately. Usually you don't need an appointment at most of the bridal shops if you are just going in to look at accessories. Most of the Tiaras that I looked at were priced around £80 or so.
Another alternative is the High Street shops e.g. Debenhams, John Lewis and BHS. These all stock tiaras, which are generally cheaper than they are in the bridal salons.
If after buying your dress, veil, shoes and all the other wedding stuff you may feel that you don't want to spend yet another £100 on something that you'll wear once. But don't despair, you can be thrifty like I was and buy your Tiara from Ebay. A lot of people don't realise that many Ebay auctions are for brand new goods, not just used goods that people don't want.
Ebay has a huge selection of Tiaras
for as little as £10! I actually got mine from an Ebay shop belonging to someone in New York who makes Tiaras. The auctions have lots of clear photos so it's easy to choose one you like. I was a bit unsure at first, but given the Tiara was just £10 and the postage £5, I would only lose £15 if it turned out to be awful! Anyway, the Tiara arrived in good time, was well packaged and looked great, with lots of lovely sparkly crystals on it. It may not be as well finished as some of the ones that I have seen in the bridal shops, but it looks great and I don't think you could tell the difference unless you inspected it really closely.
You can Register on Ebay UK
for free quickly and easily and view all the Tiaras for sale
Labels: Wedding Accessories
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Choosing a Bridesmaid Dress in Edinburgh
I think I am going to have more "fun" than most when it comes to choosing a bridesmaid's dress :-)
I have three bridesmaids. One of them, my sister Karen is pregnant and due to give birth to her first child at the end of September, just one month before my wedding - bad timing or what :-) If what I hear about first babys always being late is true, then she could be having her baby 2 weeks before my wedding! She also lives in Dublin so can't come here very frequently and of course we have no idea what size she shall be on my wedding day.
The plan at the moment is just to order her dress in a size bigger than she is just now and then get her a tailor in Dublin to take the dress in if necessary just before the wedding.
Last month while I was looking at wedding dresses we had a little look for bridesmaid's dresses. Luckily on that day my Mum, Karen, Kirsteen and Jenny were all there, although Karen missed part of the shopping due to her persistent morning sickness.
The two bridal shops that we visited that day - Butterflies and Pronuptia both had a selection of bridesmaid's dresses. Pronuptia had a good selection of dress styles at the £200 mark, in lots of different colours so Jenny and Kirsteen tried on a couple of them each. Not all the colours were available to try on so you do have to try and imagine a bit what the dress would look like in a different colour by looking at the material swatches. Sometimes this can be hard, especially if the dress is in a really nasty colour! There were a couple of nice dresses in two or three colours that I liked, which was good, so we may go back there again.
Butterflies had an even bigger selection of dresses, mostly around the £200-300 mark and Jenny, Karen and Kirsteen all tried some of them on, but I didn't like these as much as the ones in Pronuptia. I also have to be careful as I have to buy 3 dresses, 3 pairs of shoes and 3 bouquets so the cost will add up quickly. For this reason I really need to try and keep the dresses no higher than the £200 mark.
We also had a look in Debenhams and they had some lovely dresses in a deep red colour in a couple of different styles for around £100 - not too bad at all.
I had looked in a few other High Street shops like Monsoon and BHS the previous week and didn't really see any nice dresses, but I am sure there are other high street stores that are worth a look.
Anyway, we are getting into April now so I'll be arranging another bridesmaid shopping expidition soon, so I'll make another update about this in a few weeks.
Labels: Bridesmaid Dresses