I just didn't get it, I wasn't even close to having a clue. In the lead up to our wedding my wife seemed to go through bridal appointments like hot dinners and there were enough bridal magazines loitering around the house to fill a super-sized branch of WHsmith’s.
When I was asked for my thoughts on wedding dress styles I feigned my interest, after all, to me all wedding dresses look the same, how different can an ivory dress look, to me brides rarely look anything but beautiful on their day.
So i thought to myself 'Exactly how hard could this decision be?' I am a relatively simple boy, easily pleased and apart from a new found penchant for a bespoke suits (which my wife nudged me into) I’m not exactly a style guru. To be honest the only way i thought she could get it wrong would be to go really over the top with gargantuan proportions of big and bling, with this in mind I played it safe answered understated. Actually I think it came may have come out as ‘plain’. Nice one Stevie, she can't go wrong there I thought to myself. In hindsight what I was really saying to her was I don't care, you’re going to look beautiful just as long as you don't f**k it up and wear something ridiculous.
This response probably sent her into blind panic as my wife's default dress code is anything but plain.
Fast forward 6 months. When the music commenced, my wife eventually floated down the aisle I was a bit of a naughty boy and turned around to catch a glimpse. To say the penny dropped at that moment is an understatement of colossal proportions, even thinking back nearly two years later I feel choked with emotion.
You see, at that moment she looked nothing like I imagined. She looked like a bride but not like any typical bride I'd seen before. She stood out more like my own Khaleesi Queen than a tried and tested typical bride.
Obviously I am completely biased but in short she looked amazing, incredible, and a million times better than i could imagine. She had picked a slim line champagne coloured dress with an intricately beaded over dress and an amazing side tiara.
What I loved the most about it was she looked completely different, unique but 100% Kelly, and that re-enforced exactly why i fell in love her.
My advice, never pick a dress to placate anyone else. Be brave and selfish and choose the dress that you feel the most comfortable with, the one that conveys your personality. Your partner loves you for being you, don't let anyone compromise that.
Time sure does fly when you’re having fun and what fun we’ve had. We opened the boutique in September 2013 (Friday 13th to be exact, I like to think ‘unlucky for some…others’) and my feet haven’t touched the ground.
Taking over the premises of a previously established boutique has certainly stood us in good stead, but we still wanted to put our own stamp on the place and lead with a strong brand that will be instantly recognisable to brides.
The summer saw us working on our logo, ethos, website, redecorating and styling the shop, culminating in the most exciting of them all – our first delivery of dresses. Even though we’d been working hard on ‘The Secret Dress House’ since the spring (and it had been a dream of mine for much longer), the dresses arriving was when it all became VERY real to me and the butterflies took over. They didn’t really go away then for a good few weeks – the excellent quality and styles of the dresses spoke for themselves but there’s always that nagging unreasonable thought where you think ‘would people like the dresses I had chosen?’ ‘Would people understand the name?’ ‘Would they like the vibe of the shop and be relaxed and have fun during their appointment?’! You can imagine the confidence wobbles, but looking back now I needn’t have worried.
Of course, after receiving the full collection it was obvious that the amazing dresses spoke for themselves. We’ve picked fantastic designers that offer a little bit of everything – sparkle, lace, volume, silk, column – you name it, we’ve got it.
It’s also nice to hear that brides really like the shop, we wanted that feeling of wonder like when you find a ‘secret garden’ so it’s great to hear the ooohhs and ahhhhs as soon as they walk through the door. I have the lovely Alison from Union & Co (http://www.unionweddings.co.uk/) to thank for that, we worked together on the shop styling and thanks to her amazing flair it is second to none.
So it’s needless to say that since September we’ve been rushed off our feet and 2014 is already looking like it is going to be amazing. We’ve got designer days booked to take us up to April and keep your eyes peeled for details on our late night openings and master classes in the coming weeks. I’ve loved every minute of it.
I shouldn’t end though without say this though, without our wonderful family and my fantabulous husband I wouldn’t be sitting here now ready for my next appointments. To you I owe everything, THANK YOU.