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Real bride diary: finding the wedding dress

Real bride diary: finding the wedding dress

Written by Harriet Lee

Paralympic swimming champion Harriet is getting married - and sharing her journey down the aisle exclusively with us


I love getting dressed up in nice clothes but 99% of my life, it’s been gym clothes and swimming costumes, trainers and flip flops. So, when the opportunity arose to try on some of the most expensive dresses I’ll ever wear, I dived straight in...

When it comes to finding what you’re wearing for the big day, you would think it would be the bride that would struggle to find the dress - but not in this relationship! It's Laurie and the lads’ suits that are causing the drama (#divas). However, while I've always had an idea of what I wanted my wedding dress to look like, finding the dream gown of my imagination was a bit of a challenge...

Mother Lee was very keen to get me shopping for a dress (like I need an excuse to shop!) and so, without a venue or date set, we went for our first dress shop. I tried on a fair few dresses that day but wasn't ready to choose. A few really made me think about what I wanted in a dress - a '50s style to puffball skirt - and it felt like I tried on everything. Why can’t brides have more than one dress on their big day?!

A peek at Harriet's bridal Pinterest board

August 2017 was set as our date and I suddenly felt the rush to get my dress. Instead of resting after training, I spent my time trawling through pictures on Pinterest and Instagram, trying to find a replica of the picture I had in my head.

And then - I found it! The excitement I had to contain was unbearable. I couldn't tell Laurie, who was sleeping next to me, so waking my mum up in the middle of the night seemed the only reasonable thing to do. The excitement continued to rise when I found a stockist in Laurie’s home town… It was meant to be.

With the bridal party in-tow, I went to try on the dress that I had fallen in love with. It was everything I had dreamed of and received thumbs up (and a few tears) from everyone there. Imagine the confusion when Mother Lee pulled out a photo of me on the first trip, wearing an identical dress… How had I missed it?

My advice for all brides would be to shop with an open mind. Try everything. I was lucky to pick a style that suited me, but even I missed the ‘one’ first time round!

So now it's back to the suits. I just hope, as I walk down the aisle, Laurie and the groom’s party won't be standing there in their pants!

Follow Harriet on Twitter and Instagram.