Hunt for the perfect wedding dress – and bridal shop!

Bride Blogger Part 6

Well, I have started trying dresses on for the big day! It is now less than a year away until I become a Mrs, so figured I should get trying on some dresses. I’ve seen it on TV where future brides try on lovely, intricate dresses surrounded by a teary, enthusiastic audience – all helped along by the most helpful, friendly member of staff, oh and the glass of champagne! Now, I live in Swad, I wasn’t expecting the champagne, but I did envisage a wonderful human-being who just wants to find a bride her perfect dress. A woman whose career was a calling not just a way to pay the bills. My standard was high.

My first shopping trip was Monday with my Maid of Honour/sister and bridesmaid/best friend. My hope for the perfect dress soon began to plummet, as the first two bridal shops we went to were closed! It seems Mondays are a popular day for Bridal shops to be closed – they have a busy Saturday and take Sunday and Monday as their weekend. Doh. But, after lunch, there was a little ray of hope. A shop that was actually in our little town called Alison Evans Bridalwear. We made an appointment over the phone and spent about an hour there. Thank you to all of you who recommended that we try there. It was brilliant and the perfect first shop to try. There were racks of gorgeous dresses to choose from and some excellent advice to accessorise the experience. I was advised to try about six dresses on to get an idea of style without overwhelming myself – and my poor bridesmaids! We were allowed to take some photographs too and I did fall in love with one dress (yet wasn’t sure about the back – so it was not the ONE!) Other little highlights of this great shop – were mirrors facing to get an all round look of the gowns, weddings shoes to be borrowed and worn and absolutely no pressure to buy. In fact, she gave me the details of the designer and model number of the dress and suggested I tried other shops to see what I thought. When you want something, set it free. And this is good business I think – because after visiting a few more places this week, I really want to return to this great shop and give them my business. So I’ll be back with the Mums in tow next time!

On the Wednesday, I went to Lincoln with my Mum. I didn’t particularly want to buy a dress from somewhere that far away, but I thought trying a few on couldn’t do any harm. And, besides, I now had lots of bridal optimism and thought I may see the ONE and just have to get it! The experience in the shop couldn’t have been more different! I was ushered into the changing room straight away. I began to wander out again whilst chatting to the woman – assuming that I was to come and look at the dresses and select a few – but NO! I was told I needed to be in the changing room and to take my clothes off. It turns out, I wasn’t to choose which dresses to try on, Miss Control-Freak was going to do that! 4 dresses got pushed onto me quickly within a twenty minute period. My mum was not allowed to take photos. I was told that if I wanted straps that would cut my choice down by 80% and as for not wanting a V neck with lace, I might as well give up now! She was very bossy about the fact that I needed to decide which style I wanted. How dare I like straight down lace ones as well as full skirted satin ones?! I quickly found out that her so called statistics and opinions were down to the fact that she didn’t really have what I wanted. She also said the word ‘appreciate’ about a million times – about the same as her dress costs – ‘You’ll appreciate that it is a busy time.’  ‘You’ll appreciate that we only stock certain sizes.’ What I do appreciate is not being treated like a moron. So, off I went to find my lacy dress with straps elsewhere!

On Friday – really getting the Craig David 7 Days song vibe now? ‘I found a dream bridal shop on Monday, took a break on Tuesday, got bossed around on Wednesday, another break on Thursday……….Well on Friday, I was insulted in another shop!

I took the Mums this time to another local bridal shop. I won’t name and shame, but if anyone does want to know more details then message me for warnings! We went in and the woman asked me what size dresses I had been trying on. I said a mixture really- some had been too big and held against me and some only partly fastened because they were too small, as I was only looking at style at the moment. I also said that I was a size 14 in normal clothing though. Now, if she was experienced at her job, she should have suggested that I try a size above or a mixture of sizes as they all vary. But, no, we picked out about 8 size 14 dresses and then she began to struggle to get the first one on me. She said, ‘Are you sure you’ve been trying on 14s?’ Well, I did say, no but that was my usual size! The next gem that followed and stood out as much as the ones on the dresses was,

‘Is losing a few pounds on the cards?’

 

Now, luckily I am not sensitive about these things. I’m happy with my weight – but she doesn’t know that. For all she knew, I could have spent the first 6 months of my engagement losing a few stone. I may lose a little before the wedding, but that is none of her business. I said through gritted teeth, ‘It may be.’ I think she then knew that she had pissed me off, as she back- tracked and said ‘Well I only said that because of this dress. If you were to lose a few pounds, this would fit perfectly.’ Well, I’m not buying a dress to then worry that I have to shrink to fit into it. I tried on other 14s and some fit, some didn’t. Some 16s – some fit and some didn’t. I tried on a 18 and it was too small. Wedding dress sizes are crazy – you think she would have known that in her line of work? She was just generally unhappy and unfriendly and I don’t get it. These people are around pretty dresses and happy people all day – if you don’t like making wedding dreams come true, then don’t do it! On the plus side (excuse the pun!), my mother-in-law to be got her outfit! She said she almost didn’t want to give her business, but I said she had found the right outfit and would be spiting herself if she didn’t get it.

So the hunt for the ideal dress is still on – but I’ve found the shop that I want to return to. (And 2 I will never set foot in again!)

Keep Calm and Carry on all you brides out there!

XSXS

A Child’s Voice

I’ve been trying to change my earrings today – remember I’ve not long had them pierced? It’s proving to be difficult and since it  hasn’t been quite 6 weeks, I’m going to leave it a little longer. Damn things won’t budge!

It made me think of a lot of articles that have been littering Facebook. Piercing your young child’s ears: OK or not? My instant reaction to this is ‘No. Not OK.’ Simply because it is a fashion statement and something that young children do not need and should be able to make their own choice on the matter, when they a.) Know what it means/entails b.) are old enough to change the earrings themselves. As I say, I am struggling to change mine and I’m 28. I chose to do this to myself and they are a bit sore. Children with ear lobes 20 odd years younger, who did not choose this, should not have to be probed and pulled at in order to change them. The child above in the image does not look happy. They won’t be any happier when they have them done. Because they won’t even know! Who gains from this process?

There was the issue of ‘child abuse’ on one of the threads that I read. Some people were throwing this term about and saying it was indeed abuse, whereas some were saying this is a term that is said too frequently and something like this doesn’t warrant abuse. Well, it isn’t the same abuse as beating a child, or sexually abusing a child or mentally bullying a child. And it shouldnt belittle any of those horrible examples in comparison. But I still think it is a form of abuse: you are doing something physical to your child that they have no choice over. You wouldnt tattoo your child, would you?

Another example was immunisation  – which is a bit of an idiotic example if you ask me. Yes, it is something physical you are doing to your child without their will, but it is medical and to keep them healthy, and perhaps in some incidences alive. Another silly example was about keeping a child in a push-chair. They may struggle to get out, so you are physically doing something against their will. But again, this is safety. And, I’m not a parent myself, but don’t you have to do things against the child’s will in order to parent them? I just think ear-piercing doesn’t need to be one of them.

Circumcision was another interesting example. People were saying that gets done, so why shouldnt ear-piercing? Well, again this is a lifestyle choice (yes, I know it is sometimes determined and directed by religious choice) and I also think the child should decide when they are old enough.

I guess the reasons people pierce their child’s ears is to make them look prettier perhaps? Which to me as an insult to the child. If they need some sparkly things to make them look cuter, then maybe the parent’s genes weren’t attractive enough to start with! I can’t really think of another reason why people would want to do it to be honest – to make them grow up quicker? This is sad though, because kids grow up too fast as it is. We may all disagree on what actual age children should be. I think they should have them pierced as teenagers – when they are old enough to go to town with their mates and all have it done together. There is no rush for something like this. There are plenty other options of jewellery to make them ‘pretty’. I should know – I had 28 years of that ‘limited’ choice! Also, rememeber you have to be 18 to have a tattoo, yet there is no age for ear-piercing. Barmy!

I always wonder if it is some kind of control, like a branding. Do parents think this is way of making their children more customised to their personal ideas and choices? A bonding experience of blood and scabs between child and parent? I’d be happy to hear some further ideas as to why, as I just don’t get the need for it.

Religion as a whole is another example of children not having a choice – yes I know, I’m banging on about it again!  Should children get christened when they aren’t old enough to decided which religion (if any) they want to follow? I was christened but I am not a Christian now (through my own choice). My Mum said once that I was christened with holy water from Jerusalem and it was wasted on me! Haha. Maybe being christened doesn’t matter, because you reject the religion later anyway – but I still think, like the piercing, it should be a choice made by the person themself.

The importance, is not their ears, but their voice. Their voice gives them a choice – as we all have the right to.

Holes or holy – we all have our own right to decide 😉

XSXS

Hair today, gone tomorrow…

Evening everyone… I have just had the snip!!! Noooo not like that, I’m female remember! I’ve been for a hair cut. Nothing major, just a general tidy up and a trim! It made me think how it is quite an odd thing we regularly do – go to have parts of our body cut off by strangers. Yeh, yeh, I know it’s dead and we can’t feel it but it is a bit weird. Why do we even have hair? And I guess we have it growing everywhere, but thankfully not as long. I have a friend actually who gets a very long, freakishly long hair growing out of her arm. It’s very fine so she doesn’t really realise it until it has grown to a good few inches… very funny when she pulls it away from her arm and we can see how long it is!

After looking on my fountain of knowledge Wikipedia I have discovered (thought I was pretty sure this was why) that we have hair in order for heat insulation and to protect the skin. Obviously, that’s why animals have hair and fur etc and we don’t need as much these days (Wikipedia seems to think we have lost some due to lack of functionality) because we have the wonderful invention of clothes to serve this purpose. Isn’t it funny that everything we need, like hair and clothes, we turn into a fashion statement and have certain styles and colours. When really it is just to keep us warm and safe!

Hair has becomes something personal to us, to make us look a certain way. We choose the style and the colour (See my Ginger Rules post for a funny look at ginger haired folk) and the length. We have it up for sport or in a fancy do for formal occasions or have it hanging, long and swaying for everyday. Or some people choose (or not) to not have any!! Must get a bit chilly up there I think! Yes, it becomes a statement and I guess we get judged on it. If it is messy then we are thought of as being grubby and not taking care of ourselves, if it is unclean or greasy then we are thought of as dirty people. It really is a reflection of us because if it is shiny, healthy and strong then we are believed to be shiny, healthy and strong people.

Going to the hairdressers is always a nice experience I think. Half an hour of being pampered if you like. I always go to my hairdresser’s house. She has a little salon in her back garden, which is pretty cool. More of the personal touch. I go in, get put in a cape and get to talk about myself for the next twenty minutes (obviously I ask about my hairdresser and her life too!). I wonder if hairdressers get training on ‘small talk’ and how to use that skill in their work? It is important. The whole stereotype about hairdressers being ‘nosey’ and talking too much is a load of rubbish in my opinion. Some of my friends say that they would prefer if their hairdresser didn’t speak and they could just sit quietly as their long strands get chopped off. I would be deeply uncomfortable with this. I don’t like silence, not when I am around people anyway. Hairdressers should have the ability to ‘make chat’ and put their clients at ease. Mine does and I always enjoy the chat for a while. It’s all about customer service. Like in a shop, I like the sales assistant to acknowledge me at the very least and I would be happy with some small talk too… but obviously you are not with them as long as your hairdresser (unless you have bought the shop or they are very slow at working the till!)

So, I feel good now. Something about having your hair done that makes you feel good. Annoying thing is that I have nowhere to go this evening. You know how your hair never looks as good when you do it? Well mine doesn’t anyway and I always feel my post-hairdressers is wasted if I don’t go out anywhere afterwards! Hopefully, my boyfriend will notice at least… but bet you the cost of my next hair cut that he won’t 😉

Happy styling people and don’t be afraid to let go of some hair because it makes you feel good!

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

Car-ry on Shopping!

Well today people you are now looking at (or reading or viewing at?) a Toyota Yaris owner, wahooo! I have my new car! I’m having much fun with the auto-locking system as it has this device that unlocks the door just as you walk towards the car. Seems this is not a great invention for the paranoid because what I keep doing is clicking lock on the button device thingy and then walk back to the car to test the door handles that it’s locked and then because I’ve walked close to it again, it opens! Haha. The car is a tease… give me some extra exercise I guess!

So this morning I was told the car should be ready for me at lunchtime and I’ve been dying to go clothes shopping because I have a student discount card that runs out in a few days and I wanted to make sure I used it. (I did a high level teaching assistant course, which school paid for and the Uni gave me one… hehe) I’m not sure if this is the best reason to go shopping, or the right way round to do it but I was determined to find holiday clothes whilst I had a 10% discount!! And I did, I got a few bits… some cropped trousers and a new vest top… and a dress (which I really didn’t need but it was only a tenner…..so pretty!) The ironic thing was that since all the bloody autumn stuff is now in  the shops, all the summer stuff has been reduced so they don’t give student discount on sale items, sod’s law! I got a discount on some though…. and in BHS I got something extra for my money. Broken glass and a burnt finger. Always happens to me! I was trying on the top that I just mentioned and as it was just above my head, glass shattered all around me. I am extremely clumsy so I assumed I had broken something as I writhed around inside the top. But I couldn’t see where it came from. I went to pick a piece up and ouch! I burnt my finger. I then realised it must have come from the light since there were no cookers or fires in the little cubicle funnily enough. I assumed I had knocked some fancy light fitting until I remembered I was in BHS….. they only had spotlight things in the ceiling so I had no real explanation for how it smashed. Maybe it was some sort of destiny warning me not to buy the top?? Well sod it, I bought it anyway!

I didn’t try to get compensation or sue [like some would]… I simply reported it to them as I walked out the changing room. Instead of getting reduced clothing for the given ‘accident’, I actually got overcharged! Haha. It was a mistake and I was perfectly reasonable about it, as I used to work in retail (remember Woolworths? I used to work for them and noooo they didn’t go under because I kept overcharging people!) and I know that sometimes the till takes over and does things that can cause mistakes… probably because I’m hopeless at maths and relied on it too much…..but by the by, I was all OK with this and it all got sorted. So do not be put off going to BHS. Burnt fingers and money robbing aside, they were very professional and apologetic about it all!

Since, by this point, I was shopped out and still had an hour to kill until my car was ready, I decided to nip for a cuppa. Costa Coffee is usually packed and in my opinion a little expensive but it has a good view for me to ‘people watch’ and I love their blueberry muffins. So it won over Munchbox, the cheap and cheerful cafe I usually visit with my Gran. I got there and it was empty!! I thought ‘Great, I can sit where I want and it will be nice and quiet if they phone about my car!’ I promptly ordered my cup of tea and blueberry muffin. As I ordered, two more people came in for various lattes, chinos etc (it’s all coffee right?!) and were told the coffee machines were down and so they went away!! I couldn’t believe it as I sat there and watched customer after customer leave the shop because there was no coffee! This isn’t France! We are supposed to be a tea drinking nation! As a true tea gal, I really didn’t understand why people weren’t even accepting tea as a second option……. I guess Munchbox snapped up the extra coffee custom!

In the end, after my new clothes, poorly burnt finger and a belly full of tea and muffin; I got my new car……. and off into to the afternoon sun (and patches of rain) I drove! Wish it was as easy as that….. I had to return to the garage a bit later because the engine was all dirty and my Dad had me convinced that if that was dirty then what else hadn’t they done? Why was the screen wash slightly empty? (I realised later this was because I got ‘button crazy’ on the way home and kept spraying lots of screen wash!) And why hadn’t they changed my tyre when the MOT said it needed it? So after all that was sorted and I stood up for myself like my Dad said to…………. I then drove home in the early evening sun/rain!  The End.

I realise this has not been the best advert for Toyota or indeed BHS… but joking and little mishaps aside, I still recommend both! So there’s my opinion, for what it’s worth!

See you tomorrow………

XSXS