I AM delighted to bring to you all the very first ‘My Wedding Dress’ feature.
And just a little bit giddy with excitement!
Because let’s face it, who amongst us doesn’t love looking at beautiful images of beautiful brides in beautiful dresses, on one of the happiest days of their lives.
I defy even the most cynical among you not to be able to read this and feel a little warmer and cosier inside.
My first bride is the very lovely Hazel Miles, a freelance graphic designer who married her husband Andy less than two months ago at The Swan in Lavenham.
Here she tells us all about her wedding dress that made her cry tears of joy. Thank you Hazel and congratulations!
So please, grab yourself a cup of tea, settle down and enjoy! I just know you’re all going to agree that Hazel looks absolutely exquisite.
T ell us about your beautiful dress!
It’s by Ellis Bridals, a ballgown shape in ivory organza with a cross over front and several layers. It has a long train and tiny buttons that go from the top all the way to the end of the train.
I bought it from The Suffolk Bridal Company in Ipswich.
If you had to sum up your dress choice in just three words, what would they be?
Elegant, timeless and classic.
H ow did you decide on the dress? How did you know it was ‘the one’?
I thought I’d have something simple, sleek and, well, small.
I knew I didn’t want a strapless dress as it not a style that suits me but that didn’t leave many options open to me. I tried my dress on because I liked the neckline and wanted to see how it looked. I’d already decided I didn’t want anything big – at 39 I felt anxious about looking too young or silly.
It was the last one I’d selected to try in this particular shop, having selected two others from those I’d tried as ‘possibilities’.
But before I’d even seen myself in the mirror I knew I loved it.
I then spent some time trying to talk myself out of it. It was too full, it had a train, it had five layers of fabric and I was 39! I tried on the two other ‘possible’ dresses again and tried to talk myself into one of them – it was much more appropriate for ‘someone of my age’.
But then I began to feel teary at the thought of not wearing ‘the last one’. So, thanks to very patient assistance from the ladies in the shop, I tried it on again.
I looked at my Mum in the reflection of the mirror and whispered, as I was incapable of normal speech, ‘this is the one’. And then I cried a little and then my Mum cried. And then the lady in the shop cried!
The feeling of relief was immense, I knew I’d made the right decision, I felt amazing in that dress, invincible. I’d heard about brides-to-be having a ‘this is the one’ moment but I had no idea how powerful that moment could be.
What accessories did you team it with?
I wore a pair of silver sandals from Zara, I’d had them ages but had only worn them once before. But, I knew they were comfortable (as well as pretty) so I decided to wear them, the last thing I wanted to be worrying about were blisters or sore feet.
In my hair I had two very simple flowers, again I’d had these a while but they matched the colour of the dress perfectly and just seemed right.
I’d chosen some earrings and wanted to wear a locket my Aunt had given me when I was her bridesmaid 28 years ago (eek!) but when I arrived at the hotel the day before the wedding Andy had arranged a surprise for me.
He’d bought some pearl stud earrings and a string of pearls and had them left in my room for me. They are beautiful and matched perfectly.
How did the dress make you feel when you wore it on your special day?
Stepping into it on our wedding day felt like I was stepping into the best version of me. I felt amazing, serene, confident, happy and ready to stand in front of our closest family and friends to say ‘I do’.
What did your husband say or do when he saw you in the dress?!
He said it was perfect and that I looked absolutely amazing, then he looked at the ceiling which is his way of stopping tears! He had no idea what I’d wear, but said he couldn’t imagine me wearing anything else.
W hat have you decided to do with the dress now?
I’m keeping the dress. At the moment it sits in a large suitcase and at some point I’ll get it dry cleaned. For now I get it out occasionally and some times put it on and wander about the house!
Andy has said that he’d like to renew our vows one day so hopefully I’ll get to wear it again.
What advice would you give to brides to be?
Try on lots of different styles and keep an open mind. I tried on all sorts of dresses – some of them just for fun.
I tried on a fishtail dress at the recommendation of the assistant and it was lovely, for my shape it gave me amazing curves but I never would’ve picked it out for myself.
I’ll never forget my sister in law telling me that the only thing she regretted about her wedding was not having a ‘proper’ wedding dress.
She had a ¾ length shift dress with bolero and looked lovely but now she said she feels sad that she didn’t take the opportunity to wear a wedding dress, this is something I always kept in mind when shopping for mine.
And don’t just think about how you look, think about how you feel!
Really, my choice was made before I’d even looked in the mirror.
Finally, how do you think you will feel when you look back on photos, in the future?
I’ve looked at my wedding photos so many times already!
Sometimes it all seems like a dream, it was such an amazing day, looking at them I can’t believe I got to wear something so beautiful, it is by far the most amazing thing I have ever worn.
T he Details
Photography: Katie Drouet
All images have been shared with kind permission from Katie, Hazel’s photographer.
T he Gallery
View all the photos of Hazel in her stunning timeless gown and some of her beautiful wedding photos here: