I'll be the first to admit prior to getting married, I was very much naive when it came to weddings. I'd been to plenty as a guest and buying an outfit for them was always easy - so I (wrongly) assumed buying a wedding dress wouldn't be too hard.
A quick google search quickly informed me due to my limited time frame I wasn't going to be able to order a dress and have it fitted and ready in time (you need at least 6 months to do this). I was limited to second hand, vintage, off the rail and outlets. I had a quick scour of some local vintage stores and popped into a couple of boutiques but nothing really struck me. I had lots of ideas about what I thought I wanted and so I pinned on Pinterest and researched every wedding blog imaginable... nothing fussy or busy I kept telling myself as simple is very much my normal style and I certainly didn't want anything big given how petite I am. I decided a trip to an outlet might be a good idea so I could try on lots of different dresses and get a better feel for what I liked.
I tried a couple of places with no luck, when I randomly came across an advert for a new outlet on Scotswood Road in Newcastle. My Mom and I were passing one afternoon so called and we were lucky enough to be the only people in the store. I had only been in for a couple of minutes when I spied a dress poking out from between a rail of brilliant white dresses. It wasn't champagne coloured and it wasn't blush, in fact I really couldn't describe it. It caught my attention and I pulled it out and thought I'd give a go.
Quite honestly, until I tried it on I wasn't that impressed with the dress and I even contemplated putting it back on the rail. It looked so busy hanging up and the complete opposite of what I had been pinning! There was lace, flowers, beading, Swarovski crystals, layers, a train and even a belt but once it was on, I knew it was the one for me. I didn't get 'the feeling' (that some brides will rave about), there were no tears but I certainly knew that I could dance, walk without falling and feel comfortable all day long wearing it and I loved the fact that it was a one off and that it was unique so no one would have one exactly the same!
There were a few threads of beads that needed fixing and my Mom (ever the bargain hunter) negotiated a discount. I wasn't really sure at this point whether I wanted to wear a veil or not but as we were about to pay, one caught my eye sparkling in the sun. It was very simple (unlike the dress) and finished with matching little Swarovski crystals so I tried the whole thing on again and decided to go with it.
My dress did need a few alterations since I'm quite petite and only a UK size 6, so after some tlc with my Mom's tailor tucking in, up and fixing the few threads on the skirt, it was good to go! I can't remember the exact figure it came to but my dress, veil and alterations came to under £500. My budget to find a dress was well over double that however I simply didn't need it.
Jay had heard me many times trying to describe the dress to people and I'm sure he thought I was deliberately trying to confuse him. It was such a fun and playful dress but elegant too so I knew he'd love it.
Shopping for my dress was so much fun and I especially loved the fact that my Mom quite often got to help me in and out of the different ones we were trying rather than surprising her with a reveal from round a curtain. We made proper days out of it and went for lunch and it was such a lovely time with her. Some people have turned their noses up when they have heard the word 'outlet' however I was given the same attention I was in several bridal boutiques and still managed to pick up a unique gown at a brilliant price! If you're dress hunting, I can't recommend these guys enough.All photography credit to Jade @ Gasp Photo Co