There are times when all you need is a trusted counsellor, an adviser that will tell you the truth no matter what, someone who isn’t scared of hurting you with his words today, because he knows that you will thank him for his honesty tomorrow… I can tell you, for experience, that wedding dress shopping is definitely one of those days!

If I’m honest, I’d have to admit that perhaps, when I went to pick my wedding dress, my fiancé would have probably been the best person to take with me – he always tells me as it is, no lies, just brutal truth; but, when it comes to shopping for your wedding dress, taking him wasn’t really an option. Traditions are traditions, and in no circumstances they are to be broken (but, of course, when it came to me taking my fiancé to pick his suit, I did choose to break traditions because there was NO WAY that I was going to let him wear one of those traditional morning suits!).

Once I established where I could find a good selection of dresses I could afford, my first trip to the shops was with my trusted friend Irene. When I say trusted, I mean TRUSTED. She’s been my good friend since I was 13, went through so much to support my typical teen age paranoia, and yet she still managed to remain my friend, so I thought that she would be the perfect person to take this weighty responsibility and advise me on what I should wear on the most important day of my life.
After just a few minutes, however, I realised that as much as you want to share this unique experience with someone special,  it doesn’t actually mean that the person you choose is the one that will give you unbiased advise.
In fact, the whole experience reinforced even more how different our taste is: when I thought a dress was far too princess-like for me, she would still tell me that it looked great and suited my personality; when the dress’ fabric crunched up on me making me look like a polyester queen, she would still tell me that the dress was beautiful… And, perhaps, the dress was beautiful to some people, but that doesn’t mean that the dress WAS me, and that I should have bought it for MY special day…

Because, you see, this is the key: a wedding dress has to be YOU, not your friend, not your fiancé’s idea of what you should look like on the day, and definitely not a gown that will transform you into something you are not. Girls dream about looking like a princess, like a movie star on the red carpet, but the right dress will make you feel special regardless of whether the dress’ shape resembles that of a fairy tale princess.

In the end, I decided to take my mum and dad, and dad turned out to be the trusted adviser… When I finally put on The Wedding Dress, that gorgeous Le Spose di Jo number that every time I used to see it in the magazines I would get goose bumps, my dad simply gazed at me, then turned to the sales assistant and said: “That’s the One. We’ll have it”.

Dads have that way of being straight with you. They just tell you as it is and they won’t lie. If he doesn’t like it, he ‘screws’ his face, and it hurts because you just know he’s right; but, if it is right dress, that light in his eyes will be the only sign you need. It’s pride and, let’s be honest, it’s also the realisation that your beauty, intelligence, and wit is really thanks to him! But, I love my dad for this.

And so this is the first word of advise for you all: trust those people who know you inside out, trust those who can see your personality in that dress. No matter how much it hurts to be told that the dress you thought was fabulous is not, it will be worth it in the end.

Le Spose di Jo