A couple of weeks ago, Stacey and I attended the wedding of a friend of mine from my childhood. D and I went to primary school together, our little brothers were best friends and after they moved away from Essex for a while, her family moved just down the road to my parents. D truly is the closest thing to a sister I have – other than those wonderful cousins of mine – so when we received an invite to her wedding, it was a pretty big deal. One of my oldest friends was getting married (and she’d only 10 days older than me, cue panic!) and I was to give a reading during the ceremony. Finding the perfect outfit was pretty high on my list of priorities.
I’m sure most of you reading will be aware of the Essex stereotypes, and whilst I’ve written before about my hatred of TOWIE, I have to admit, I wanted a very specific type of outfit for the wedding. The fact that a lot of girls from my school would be attending, plus my family, and a whole bunch of people I hadn’t seen since I was 16 or so meant that I had a set idea in my head of what I wanted… Something distinctive but still quite classy, not in black or white or the wedding colours (coral and grey) and most of all, something me. It was far harder than I thought it would be!
It didn’t help that Stacey already had an outfit – the stunning blue/grey Topshop suit I bought her for her birthday, along with a silk shirt she bought when we went to Prestonfield House last year. Add a pair of brogues courtesy of her mum, and she was set. I, on the other hand, was surfing every clothing website known to man to try and find the dress.
I thought my prayers were answered when I saw a Hobbs dress that I’d rejected once (due to price) in the sale. I’d fallen in love with the picture above and wanted to be that girl, so when I saw the exact same dress reduced to within-budget levels, I snapped it up. Measurements told me to order a size ten, but lo-and-behold, once it arrived, it was far too big. I eventually managed to get ahold of a size down, but even then, the dress dwarfed me, and somehow made me look… old. I was devastated, and it was back to square one.
I then found another dress which I thought would have been perfect. Whilst stumbling across the web, I found a picture of this stunning, hot pink tie-backed dress. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it. Eventually, after much Googling and some pleas for help on social media, I had an answer. Not only was my dress wayyy out of my price range, (it was an Alice Temperley design), it was part of the Spring/Summer 2014 collection – it wasn’t even out yet!
However, finding Alice Temperley’s designs did prompt me towards Avenue32, where I found a selection of Temperley London dresses which were actually available to buy before the wedding. Having coming this close to buying a once-in-a-lifetime floor length silver gown, I then saw this dress at Karen Millen.
It was perfect – quirky and interesting and it fit like it was made for me. I bought contrasting accessories – a pair of Karen Millen turquoise heels which I fell in love with, and the matching turquoise bag – and with about two weeks before the big day, I was done!
The wedding was wonderful, my reading went well and I had a whole bunch of comments on my dress – all things considered, I’d call that a success!
Carley shopping, sponsored, wedding