So, you've got the ring on your finger, a date is set, and now it's time for the bit all little girls dream about. Buying THE DRESS. But what is wedding dress shopping really like? Bring on the frocks...

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1. Bride squad assembled!

Wedding dress shopping

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This is the stage of utter excitement. You’ve got your maid of honour, your mother and a bridesmaid or two in tow, made several appointments in bridal boutiques. You’re wearing a strapless bra, suck me in knickers and you’ve scraped back your hair. Let’s do this!

2.Wow, there are A LOT of dresses

Wedding dress shopping

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Rows upon rows of frilly frocks are jammed into racks so tightly you can’t really tell what they look like. The wedding dress consultant asks you what kind of dress you think you’d like, but as you nervously finger through them you’re totally overwhelmed by all the choices!

A-Line, ballgown, fishtail, mermaid, flare, flitted, slim, flute (flute?!). Then there’s lace, organza, silk, satin, chiffon, tulle, Mikado, taffeta, grosgraine. Strapless, halterneck, v-neck, scoop, sweetheart, off the shoulder, illusion, one shoulder. Ivory, white, diamond white, champagne, pearl, blush, platinum, gold. *gulp*

3. This is it!

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You’ve picked out your favourites. Now this is the moment you are going to try on a wedding dress for the very first time! You’re both excited and nervous. You’re putting on a WEDDING DRESS! How will you look? How will it feel? Will it be the one? Eek!

4. Oh, you’re coming in with me?

It suddenly dawns on you that the wedding dress consultant / stylist lady is coming into the changing room with you. She doesn’t even turn her back as you strip off to your underwear. You start apologising for/explaining your big Bridget Jones pants…

5.Thank God she’s here

These things are heavy! Suddenly you’re glad the bridal shop lady is there to help you in and do you up. You’d have probably drowned under all the layers of tulle. Are all bridal gowns this awkward to get in to?

6. I look…weird

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Finally, after a good five minutes, you’ve been wrestled into your first wedding dress. Only as you glide (lurch) over to the mirror, a princess does not look back at you. You’ve never been in such a big dress before! There’s so much material its like you’re enveloped in a giant fluffy cloud. A pretty cloud, but it takes a few minutes to adjust.

7. Where’s my champagne?

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In the films they always have champagne! But you’ve not been offered so much as a sniff! Is it all lies? You wouldn’t mind if it was prosecco! Or an orange juice? No? OK, I’ll have a water. Thanks.

8. I’m getting really sweaty

Heaving these gowns on and off is a right work out. Am I starting to smell? I wish I’d brought some deodorant.

9. OK. This isn’t as fun as I thought it would be

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You’ve tried on loads of dresses. You’re tired, confused, losing all hope of finding ‘the one’.

10. Why don’t they fit properly?

Some you have to be pinned into with great big sponges down your back. Others your almost bursting out of. How are you supposed to really know when they’re all so ill-fitting? ‘You need to use a bit of imagination’ the bridal stylist says. Imagination?! For the most important, most expensive dress you’ll ever buy? Yikes.

11. They’re all merging into one!

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You can’t remember what the first one you liked even looked like. And they’re being really funny about you taking photos. How are you supposed to compare if you can’t see them at the same time? Argh!

12. This one looks quite nice

I don’t look like a meringue and it’s just the right amount of puffy. But I’m not crying. Mum isn’t crying. Aren’t we all supposed to be weeping?

13. Does anyone actually have that ‘this is the one moment’?

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I mean, a few look nice. Should I just pick one of those? Or actually keep trying on these things until Mum cries?

14. Maybe I should just get one made in China?

It’ll be tons cheaper. And it’s not like any of these are perfect anyway. They all look the same now anyway.

15. Oh, actually, this one’s gorgeous!

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And is that a tear in my mum’s eye. YES! Just one, but it’ll do! This one please!

16. How much?!

Deep breath. It’s a little over budget. OK, a lot over budget. But it’s my wedding dress. Maybe I could sell some stuff on eBay? We can always scrap the fairy light canopy. No, I want the fairy lights. Wedding favours, yes, we can ditch the wedding favours. People leave them on the table anyway. I’LL TAKE IT!

17. Relief!

Wedding dress shopping

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You did it, the dress is bought! You’ve been measured, paid the deposit and now you can start picking shoes, a veil, maybe a tiara or a headpiece, underwear, something borrowed, something blue. You’re excited again! YES!

18. Regret

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Did I definitely, definitely pick the right one? Maybe I should have been more adventurous? It wouldn’t hurt to have a little look online. Oh, that’s quite pretty. I wish I’d seen this one. Although it does kind of look like the one I’ve picked. Only I won’t see that again for four months! Argh! Should I go back and try the sample on again?