I found it. The one. The dress. (Not this incredible gown above, as captured by Tim Walker for Vogue, dream on!). My pursuit for the ultimate wedding gown felt pressured for many reasons - the obvious desire to look my most beautiful ever, combined with the determination that I wasn't going to blow a fortune on a frock I'd wear for less then twelve hours, plus the intention to do something a little different. As the last in my close group of girlfriends to walk down the aisle, I hope that I can still pull it off with some sartorial originality.
On top of this I wanted to discover a dress that would include both the Jackie and the Marilyn sides of my personality. It had to be demure but a little daring too...
I started with a marathon day with my mum a few weeks back - we did the classic bridal shops, where a litter of mothers-of-the-brides sat expectantly on cream leather banquets, all cooing with delight as assorted girls swept out of matching changing rooms in assorted dresses. Mum fell in love with gowns that I deemed way too classic and traditional.
Then we did vintage shops - but what I considered to be lovingly worn, mum deemed decidedly forlorn. The greying lace and wonky hems I thought of as charming just didn't tick her bridal fantasies (and let's face it, it really does matter that your mother loves it too).
I had another vintage experience with two of my most stylish friends, but their enthusiasm and the pretty old-school surroundings had me trying on dresses that weren't right at all and left me even more defeated and less sure of going the retro route.
Finally, after a little online perusing, I came across a current American designer who ticks all the boxes. Inspired by another era, yet with a modern twist - unusual, yet still timeless enough that I won't look back on the photos and shudder with horror. I instantly spotted a dress that felt weirdly perfect and stuck in my mind while I drifted off to sleep each night. When I tried it on a few days later, I knew it was my Goldilocks dress - neither too meringue nor too mermaid, too simple nor too ostentatious, too quirky nor too classic. Simply, it was just right.
My mum got teary eyed and we both beamed at my reflection while I twirled around the shop. I felt like Grace Kelly - with a dash of Jayne Mansfield.
I wish I could tell you more, but my chap is a loyal reader. I can't wait to share pictures, only six months to go...