THREE FACTS: Jay and Tom met on Tinder (Tinder For The Win!) (2) These two are planning a big fat Jew-ish wedding (Jay is Jewish, Tom is not) but in Jay’s words: “Tom was brought up in Edgware and has more of a love for chopped liver and bagels than I do!” (3) Jay is a Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor and Tom works at Facebook.
Finding My Dress: Where To Start?
From the moment I got engaged, finding my dress was the one thing I was most excited for, but also the most nervous about!
We are surrounded with programmes like ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ and as soon as you get engaged your Instagram and Pinterest boards are filled with images of beautiful women in amazing wedding dresses! Where do you even begin? That was the question I kept asking myself, as I had never really thought about what style of wedding dress I would one day wear.
Image by Blake Ezra from Francesca and Ziek‘s wedding
Not Like In The Movies
I would like to think of myself as someone who is quite decisive and has a good understanding of what suits me, however, when it came to finding a wedding dress I went in with an open mind and wanted to take on board all the advice I could.
I started to scour Pinterest and pulled together some dresses I liked. I found a dress that I quite liked the look of by Jesus Peiro, and by pure co-incidence my mum had also been doing some online browsing and had come across the same dress (we often do this!).
The dress was stocked in Morgan Davies Bridal, which was very local to where I was living at the time, so we thought that would be the perfect place to start.
Walking into a bridal shop for the first time was the most surreal experience! My mum and I walked in and I felt very overwhelmed (I had to go for a nervous wee before we even started!). My mum started browsing the rails, and I just sat on the sofa with no idea of where to start. After sitting down with the shop assistant, she pulled out the dress I had seen online, and it started to feel real…
Along with that dress, we selected five other dresses to try on, but I was really keen to try on the dress I had seen online as my first dress.
I put it on and felt quite overwhelmed but it certainly wasn’t quite like that moment you see in the movies.
I was just about to peel back the curtain to show my mum, when her phone rang and there was some dilemma with a builder at home and then she was stuck on the phone trying to resolve that whilst looking at me in shock as I stood before her for the first time ever in a wedding dress!
That magical movie moment wasn’t quite there but nonetheless when I look back on the experience, it brings a little smile to my face just thinking about how surreal that moment really was.
Image by Robert Shack from Georgia and Sam‘s wedding
Meeting The Designer At ‘Brides The Show’
As that was my first bridal shop experience, I wanted to have a look around to ensure I was making the right decision. After going to various shops across London, my mum mentioned a wedding dress designer she has been put in touch with to have my dress made.
I didn’t think too much of it at the time and wasn’t sure if that was the route I wanted to go down, as I still didn’t feel like I knew precisely what I was looking for.
The following weekend I went with my mother and my future mother-in-law to Brides The Show and when we arrived we were looking at the exhibitors list and I recognised the name of one of the exhibitors, Sharon Cunningham.
This was the name of the designer my mum had been in contact with but they hadn’t had a chance to properly yet speak. Little did we know, she was exhibiting at the show!
We went over and introduced ourselves and, well, the rest is history. The moment we started chatting I knew this lady was going to make my wedding dress! Sharon made me feel totally relaxed and we laughed like old friends. I had no idea at this point what I even wanted in my wedding dress, but I knew Sharon was going to create something truly amazing.
Image by Davina + Daniel from Alfee and Geoff‘s wedding
I Said Yes To The Dress!
Following our introduction at the show, we arranged an appointment to visit Sharon’s home a few weeks later where she has her studio. I went with my mum and I tried on a few sample dresses nd discussed what I had seen – things I liked and things I disliked.
Sharon picked up her sketch pad and drew what would be my dream dress! The sketch even included my facial features and dark curly hair. This is when I got the magical movie moment – I looked at my mum and we both had tears in our eyes, as we both joked ‘Are we saying yes to the dress?!’
I have since had one appointment to be measured up and will have three more until my final fitting, as we work with a toile of the dress before she creates the final design. I cannot wait to see the actual dress, and I couldn’t be more thankful to Sharon!
Finding a dress could have been a stressful experience, but like everything with my wedding I am trying my very best to enjoy every moment and I want the people I am working with want to make my wedding as special as I do.
This is a once in a lifetime experience to find the dress of your dreams so enjoy every moment of it!
Image by Paul Toeman Photographers from Francesca and Mark‘s wedding
Click here to read all Jay’s planning posts to date.
Jay & Tom’s Wedding Vendors booked so far:
Videography – Denee Motion
Band – Function Band
Flowers – Funky Flowers
Photography – Paul Toeman Photographers
Venue – The Hyatt Churchill Hotel
Bride’s dress – Sharon Cunningham