weddinggowns

All The Wedding Dresses That Almost Made The Cut

I’ve chosen my wedding dress! After numerous appointments, lots of different styles and a little bit of soul-searching, I finally made a decision. It won’t surprise any of you that I ended up picking one of the first few that I tried, but it took a long time to convince myself that the right dress really was one of the cheapest and definitely the least like the picture I’d had in my head when I started looking. During my search I tried on around 40 dresses over six appointments (I know) and as I could only pick one, I wanted to share some of the other great styles I tried and loved. There were so many great designers on offer that I really wanted to do a little focus on them for any other brides currently on (or planning) their search…

imfine

I am Fine.

On Monday I will be 31 years old, and it has taken me this long to realise one simple thing. I am fine.

I may never be a supermodel, I may never be a millionaire, I may never work out how to stop my hair from frizzing, or write the Great British Novel, or learn how to eat carrots like a grown-up rather than picking them out of every meal. I may never have a 26 inch waist. But I am safe, I am happy, I am fine.

To some extent, I’ve spent my whole life wishing I was something different. More confident, more vivacious, more tanned. Better at driving, less anxious, able to leave the house for a trip without checking every plug socket twice. Less prone to sticking myself to the walls at press events because I’m not one of the cool kids. Able to have a conversation with someone I admire without worrying that they think I’m a total bore (more importantly, not caring if they do). Able to participate in a pub quiz without coming across as an insufferable know-it-all. Able to live my life so I don’t feel like I’m faking it half of the time. Thinner, without the chubby ankles, the short torso and the dot-to-dot moles. With higher boobs, bigger lips, slimmer hips.

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Wedding Dress Shopping at Debenhams

On my quest for the perfect bridal gown I ended up visiting six shops. Though my final dress may have been one of the first I tried on, I’m glad I gave myself the experience of visiting lots of shops and trying lots of different brands. Not only did I really learn what works on my body, I also discovered a lot about the process I can share with my fellow brides-to-be.

The first thing I would advise is to stagger appointments slightly. I think it’s important to really enjoy each appointment and give yourself some time to think between gowns. I made the mistake of making four appointments in one day (because my mum and bridesmaid were in town) but the result of that was that we were rushed off our feet all day with little time to think! By the time I made it to the lovely guys at Debenhams, who invited me to the Berketex Bridal salon in the Oxford Circus store, I was knackered, confused, and ready for a sit down…

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Wedding dress shopping at David’s Bridal

Since getting engaged, I’ve thrown myself into wedding planning. Our wedding is in May next year, so while there’s plenty of time to organise all the details, some bridal shops advise placing an order 9 months (!) before the wedding to allow time for the dress to be made, delivered, and altered, so as much as it pains me to make such a big decision so soon, I do have to start thinking seriously about my dress. With this in mind, I took a trip to Westfield Stratford City to visit David’s Bridal and try my first few dresses…

country-clothes

You Can Take The Girl Out Of The Country…

I’ve lived in London for almost twelve years, but I actually grew up in a rural village, surrounded by countryside. I never really appreciated it when I was there – country walks were just something my dad made me do when I could have been shopping – but I’ve grown to learn how lucky I was that I spent my formative years adopting hedgehogs in the garden, sledging on the common in Winter and attempting to rollerblade through fields in Spring. I’ve been on my fair share of camping trips, played epic games of hide and seek in the grounds of the village castle (really) and can still identify most common birds and butterflies, despite rarely seeing them in Clapham…

thailand

Adventures (and Proposals) In Thailand

Following our trip to China for my brother’s wedding, we took a detour via Thailand on the way home. It seemed such a shame to go so far and only visit one country, and since we’d used our holiday fund to pay for the trip, it made sense to add a holiday on the end.

So, with many thanks to an amazing travel agent who managed to get us everything we wanted at a price even her colleagues couldn’t believe, our next stop was Phuket…

chinacover

My East-Meets-West Adventure in China

My older brother moved to China in 2013. Wanderlust is one of the rare things we have in common, though my trips tend to involve meticulous travel arrangements (including my legendary laminated currency converters), good shopping, incredible beaches and the passing chance that someone might speak a bit of English, while he is the kind of confident sort who will throw himself into the most challenging travel situations without the slightest thought. The thing is – and I hope he won’t mind me saying this – he’s also a bit of a jammy git. He has natural charm that usually helps him through these situations, and China was no exception. He ended up falling in love with more than just the country, and a few weeks ago 14 family and friends flew to the far east to join 240-odd Chinese people to watch my brother tie the knot…

islandresort

The Sweet Scent of the Maldives

Usually I give blog competitions a miss, but sometimes the lure of an incredible prize and a fun challenge is too hard to ignore, and that is definitely the case with Kuoni’s incredible Scents of Adventure competition.

They’re asking people to get their thinking cap on and come up with the signature scent of a country to add the finishing touch to a poster that will hand in the Bluewater store. The rest of the countries are already completed (coffee for Brazil, apple pie for the USA and so on) which leaves one last island nation to get its representation; the Maldives. The prize, of course, is a trip there to experience the sights, sounds and smells for yourself. How could I resist?