Thursday, 18 February 2010

Vera Wan*, more like

I have a wedding dress! Or at least, I have chosen a wedding dress. Turns out you can't just walk into a shop and buy one, as with normal dresses. You must choose one first and then they make it for you. I like to think of "they" as a team of happy singing mice, like the ones in Cinderella.

However, I think we all know the likely reality.

Anyway, the important thing is I have a wedding dress. And it's not horrible, despite the best efforts of the lady in the wedding dress shop in Sydenham. Yes, Sydenham. "I am no snob," I said to myself. "The wedding dress shop in Sydenham is sure to be good enough for me. Why should it be any different to other wedding dress shops just because it is in South East London?" Because it is in South East London, I should have answered myself.

The lady in the wedding dress shop was very nice, and I cannot fault her in terms of cheerful demeanour. However, I think my vision of my wedding dress (stylish, sophisticated, understated yet impactful) clashed with hers (what would happen if the Emmanuels, Jackie Onassis and Anne Summers got drunk near a sewing machine).

The lady brought me dress after dress, and forced me to try them on even when I said things like, "Hmm, I'm just not sure about the giant crystal bow, especially what with all the lilac netting." I had to stand on a podium in the middle of the shop so Alice and my Mum could look at me and try not to cry. Mainly with laughter.

At one point I agreed to try on a necklace. The lady came back with a tiara, which she jammed onto my head as though experimenting with a glamorous new method of trepanning. I looked at myself in the mirror, on the podium, and gave a little wave. I can't think what it all reminded me of.

"I think I ought to go away and have a think about things," I told the lady.

"Just so you know, you can buy this sample dress if you like," she said. "It's much cheaper. Only £450."

"Um," said Alice, "I'm not sure it quite fits."

"Well," said the lady, jamming two fingers into the bodice and halfway through my spine, "She'll just have to lose weight, won't she?"

We made our excuses and left.

So I didn't end up buying my wedding dress in Sydenham. I bought it somewhere else, but I'm not going to reveal where or what it's like in case Pete is reading this. Here's a hint, though; imagine what this dress might look like on the other side of the pond...

Now I just have two more dresses to find!

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