wedding dress shopping: expectation vs reality

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For those of you who regularly read my blog, you’ll know I got engaged earlier this year. If you haven’t had a chance to read about the proposal, click here and bring your tissues!

Ever since I was little I thought I knew exactly what kind of wedding I wanted and it has slowly been revealed to me what I thought I wanted and what I actually like are polar opposites.

I’ve heard horror stories from so many brides who tell me how stressful the planning is and how much they fought with their fiance for the months leading up.

The day after I got engaged I decided to just be zen about it all. No fighting, no drama, just zen. I told my parents (who are becoming more and more woggy as they get older) that if they could justify why they wanted something/someone at the wedding with a reason beyond ‘because’, I’d be happy to oblige. I won’t share what these requests are and you’ll have to wait and see.

I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t already have a Pinterest board dedicated to my future wedding and my pinning went into overdrive as I began looking for more inspiration for the ultimate dress. 

Aimlessly scrolling one evening, there it was. A lace subtle ballgown silhouette with a sweetheart neckline and detachable off shoulder strapped Madi Lane dress. It was so romantic, feminine and better still, below my budget.


From the moment I saw it I fell in love and my mind began racing, picturing me walking down the aisle. I showed my mum and sister and they both agreed. I was so excited I even showed my dad and he agreed, this was the one.

A few weeks later, we booked in to visit Luv Bridal in North Sydney as I knew they stocked the dress. As we enter the store it was hanging right in front of the door and I had a smile from ear to ear. After filling in a form, we were shown to our private suite with floor to ceiling mirrors framing a platform stage and a curtain in the corner to try on the dresses.

I left ‘the’ dress till last to try on as I knew it’d be the last one I’d try.  I thought I’d just play dress ups and try on different styles because, why not?

When the moment finally arrived, the sales assistant helped me slide into the gown. The dress felt a little heavy but the lining was silky smooth. Given I was behind a curtain, and beneath a sea of tulle and lace, I had no idea what I looked like.


So excited to see myself I burst out from behind the curtain and ran to the platform. As I looked up, my enormous smile began to straighten as I realised I looked so, ordinary.

It was a nice dress, but it was just a nice dress. I wasn’t overwhelmed with excitement, I didn’t get emotional, I just turned to my mum and sister and shrugged and said: “well, now what?”


fake smile anyone?

I spent the rest of the appointment trying on different dresses, from mermaid to ballgown, to sleeves to strapless but I was so disappointed that they all just began blurring into one.

On the way home, we decided to take a break for a few weeks and get back to the drawing board. From that day I was able to rule out what I didn’t like and this helped create a new starting point for the next time.

I’m not saying this will happen to you, but I just wanted to share my experience for any future brides who are starting their wedding dress search. My biggest piece of advice is to pick a style you may like but just keep an open mind. Don’t put too much pressure on finding ‘the one’ despite pinning ten versions of the same dress to your bridal board.

I found my dress in the third boutique I visited at Abbey Bridal in Sydney’s CBD and whilst I will not share any more details than that, I will share that I’d never thought in a million years the dress I’ll walk down the aisle in, will look the way it does.

If you’re reading this and would love more advice or some tips and recommendations, shoot me an email:

-tgfs x


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