Frocks, jocks and polka dot socks – The Wedding: Part One

3 Dec

So here I am again, post-wedding. We had an absolutely wonderful wedding day. The weather held out, the venue and its staff were amazing, the bridal party did a top notch job and everyone seemed to have a good time. It was definitely one of the best days of my life, probably THE best to date, which is as it should be.

The whole process leading up to our wedding day was a really interesting one. There was so much to do, but I relished every aspect of it. So many people asked if I was nervous and balked at our nine-month time frame from engagement to W-day, but really there was plenty of time to do everything we needed to and my focus was on enjoying the process rather than getting stressed out about it.

Something blue?

Something blue?

I received one piece of really valuable advice from a friend who got married earlier in the year: Just let it go. There are so many pieces to the wedding day puzzle that it is almost inevitable that something doesn’t quite work out, but on the day the important thing is that you, your spouse-to-be, the celebrant, and hopefully some guests are there and, even better, everyone has a good time. All of the little things don’t matter, even though you may have spent months painstakingly getting them right. If something does go wrong, let it go! Or, as a former colleague would say, put on a blue dress, build a snowman and let it go! Yes, that is a Frozen reference for those who are confused. I apologise in advance for the ear worm.

Challenges along the way included: dress woes, special underwear and the search for the perfect sock (hence the blog title), plus the time it took to make the bouquets and to sort out the guest list.

Finding the perfect dress

I had this grand idea of what I wanted. It was quite different, it was not very bridal, it seemed it could be achieved easily and cheaply. Unfortunately, this was just not true. I ordered a dress online from an overseas bridal website. Now, this can and has worked out for plenty a bride, but buyer beware! This is not always the case, and certainly wasn’t for me.

I think the main issue was that I didn’t just pick one of their dresses and then ask for it in my size. No, I had to be difficult. My order was more like ” Could you combine this element of this dress and these elements of this one and then also change the colour … and the material?” Yep. That was probably asking for trouble even from a dressmaker I could physically meet. But throw in a few thousand miles and a language barrier and you’re bound to end up with something that isn’t quite right. Or, in my case, completely wrong. When it arrived it was the wrong colour and the wrong size. Now, I had lost some weight in between ordering and receiving said product but, how did they get the length wrong too? And the colour was several shades lighter than requested. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to on-sell the dress, so if you know anyone who needs a ballgown (as this is decidedly not bridal, as stated above), then let me know.

Fortunately, with the help of my trusty MOH/COB (see previous post here), we found the perfect dress at a physical store. It was an hour out of central Auckland and it was a long-shot, but it was totally worth it. We arrived to find that not only did the dress I had seen on their website fit me perfectly, it also had pockets (!!) – very handy for storing emergency tissues for the potentially emotional bride – and another little secret feature which would come in handy for the first dance (all shall be revealed in part two of this blog). It was definitely bridal and also cheaper than the disaster-dress!! And, though it was nothing like what I originally had in mind, it was actually the perfect dress for me. My advice is to spend plenty of time looking for the right dress and not to settle for anything less than you deserve, but to also be realistic about cost, availability and the ability of the dressmaker to read your mind :).

The perfect wedding dress

The perfect wedding dress

Walking round in special underwear

There was a theme to the wedding – vintage, particularly polka dots. I decided very early on that a polka dot wedding dress would be way too OTT, but managed to find awesome polka dot bridesmaid dresses (see photo below). However, I had to get in on the action somehow, so I found some polka dot underwear. It took a while, but eventually I spotted some in Farmers. Good old reliable Farmers (a NZ department store for my non-kiwi friends). I will not be posting a photo of these since they were for the BF-Groom’s eyes only ;).

Bride and best girls' outfits

Bride and best girls’ outfits

The perfect, manly, polka dot sock

Surprisingly, it was easy enough to find polka dot ties online.  Socks for the BFG and his boys were a bit more of a challenge. We looked in several stores and all over the internet but we were struggling to find socks that were dark blue with white polka dots, so that they matched the ties and the bridesmaids’ dresses. In the end we settled for lighter blue socks, rather than dark, and white dashes which, from a distance, could be mistaken for polka dots. After all, we wouldn’t really be seeing the blokes’ socks all that much on the day, except for the odd photo or two. They ended up looking quite smart. Check out the awesome cuff links too!

Spot on socks

Spot on socks

Bl**dy bouquets and button-holes

I wanted to do a few DIY things for the wedding for three reasons. Firstly, I knew it would save us some money. Secondly, I wanted an excuse to create things (something I hadn’t done for a while) and to have my creations be part of our wedding. Lastly, I knew that it would add a point of difference and would represent “us” more.

So, the biggest DIY job (for me, anyway) was creating the bouquets and button-holes. I also made my garter, but that was the work of about ten minutes, so nowhere near as trying by comparison. I decided to make ribbon rose bouquets, as I didn’t want to use fresh flowers, which are both expensive and perishable. Ribbon rose bouquets can look amazing, but it’s a matter of learning how to make them, refining the technique so the roses are similar in size and shape, making a whole sh*tload of them and then figuring out how to attach them to a handle of some sort. As you can tell from the *censored sweariness*, this is the only part that got me a little stressed!

Fortunately, I had (yet again) my COB on hand to help. Many a night was spent making flower after flower while watching TV or doing anything else that didn’t require my hands.  The button-holes, fortunately, were pretty simple as they only required three small flowers, but the bouquets required around 40 flowers each and I was making four of them. Soooo, you can imagine that I got pretty good at making ribbon roses over the course of several months. The BFG was also instrumental in helping me to figure out how to attach the flowers (reasonably) securely to the bouquet-holder base. And I’m quite proud of the result. The BFG also designed and printed some amazing “Wedding Survival Guides” for our guests.

Bouquets and shoes

Bouquets and shoes


Handmade bouquet - boom!

Handmade bouquet – boom!

Letting it go

And so, I let it go. And really nothing went wrong. At least, nothing that I noticed. Nothing that ruined the day or even made it less awesome. As I said, both I and the BFG think it was a perfect day.

The wonderful BFG (Big Friendly Groom – is he still a groom after the wedding day??) is making me his own special version of macaroni cheese, so I’m going to sign off for now.

BUT, stay tuned for part two, where I discuss the suppliers, the highlights of the day, the honeymoon, and, most importantly, THE FOOD!




One Response to “Frocks, jocks and polka dot socks – The Wedding: Part One”


  1. The Wedding: Part Deux | Ambrosia Baby - November 9, 2016

    […] and there (while baby is napping, for example) to put fingers to keypad and get this post done. In The Wedding Part One, I promised that Part Two would dish the deets on “the suppliers, the highlights of the day, […]

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