Let’s go back a year or so, to a calmer time when the world didn’t feel like it was falling apart. I was a little nervous when I realised I was going to go shopping for my vintage wedding dress. It all started in Perth over a year ago when I went to a few vintage stores and none had a vintage wedding dress close to my size (everything was quite small and even then, quite limited). I thought about asking some store owners to perhaps source something for me but because I knew I might be a little picky, I didn’t want to waste their time and it also meant I could keep my budget flexible and not commit to anything to quick. I also knew I could go online but despite me loving a bit of online shopping normally, I thought my wedding dress should be tried on before hand, I was going to have to travel for it. It just so happened I was going to Sydney in a few weeks.
I started at my usual Sydney vintage shopping spots (read my favourite places here), but didn’t find anything so I went back to Google to search for something new. I found a place called Forever Vintage which was a little out of the city but looking at their website, they seemed to have a very large range of true vintage bridal dresses (something crazy like 600 gowns) so I thought, yep, lets make an appointment and check them out. My travel buddy had work that day so I chose a later time and she was happy to meet me at Forever Vintage after she finished up work.
After looking at their range online, I thought I would go a little earlier and browse their normal collection which turned out to be the best selection of vintage clothing I had ever seen in my life. You need a decent budget for some garments but knowing this little gem is tucked away in Sydney is very comforting especially if you have a very special event to shop for. I must also say that the lovely ladies working in the store are basically vintage angels. They know so much about each garment, were super accomodating and generally lovely and beautiful. After trying on a few pieces and falling in love with many many more, it came time to trying on some bridal gowns.
I was taken to the back of the shop specifically closed off for brides and it felt like I was surrounded by a sea of tulle, lace, satin and embroidery. I had a quick chat with Casey about what styles I liked and my prefered length (my mum said she was fine with most things for me but requested full length instead of tea length). I then had a whole bunch of dresses pulled out for me and we started the sorting. As someone with anxiety who can get overwhelmed, this is the part I felt most nervous about. With vintage, some things look a hundred times better on a body instead of on the hanger so after an initial cull; things were sorted into ‘maybe’ and ‘put it on my body right now’. From here, the girls also gave their opinions on what would suit me which I loved because they obviously know the garments better than I do. To the change rooms!
I can’t remember if I had shoes one (I dont think I did), but I was given two petticoats to put on and very slowly helped into some dresses. When choosing a gown, I had in mind full length, lace and sleeves, but I was also happy to deviate. I was even keeping in mind the possibility of a pink wedding dress. The first dress was lovely but didn’t really feel like my special dress, the second was a lot closer. Some other dresses were a straight up ‘no’ and some I just wasn’t sure of. I tried my best not to let my anxiety kick in as thats when I start second guessing, if I didn’t have that ‘excited, butterflies in the stomach’ moment, then it probably wasn’t the right dress. Also, I’m not used to this much attention when I’m trying on clothes. I did try on a gorgeous pink bridal gown but it felt a bit too similar to what I’ve worn on stage to perform in so I went back to more white/creamy colours.
I am sharing below just some images from the Forever Vintage website to show you just how stunning all their vintage bridal gowns are. Some of these I tried on and others I didn’t but if you are in Sydney and shopping for bridal gowns or just vintage in general, go check them out.
I’m not sure how many dresses I tried on but at one stage, I was shown a dress that peaked my interest. It wasn’t what I originally had in mind but I couldn’t stop looking at it. I had it quickly measured and sure enough, it would fit (if I didn’t eat anything a week before the wedding). So I tried it on. I instantly felt really beautiful, special and comfortable. It was absolutely stunning, unique and completely different from what I would have chosen. Not wanting to give it away too much but it was 1950’s bridal couture, never worn and in pristine condition. It was a soft oyster colour with stunning lace details. Could this be it?
I tried on a previously tried on dress again to see if I wouldn’t change my mind and just as I walked out of the change room, my friend showed up, saw me and got all gushy (sorry to ruin your tough girl image). She loved the dress but for some reason I said, “wait until you see the other one!”. The moment I said that, I knew I was closer to finding my dress, by wanting to show off the oyster dress, perhaps that was the one. So I put it on and got the reaction I was wanting, I found my dress, it was perfect and I loved it. Many strong, independent tears were shared and we tried not to cry all over the dress.
My dress was slightly over budget *awkward coughing* but it was love at first sight and I also thought because it wasn’t stark white, I could wear it out as a ball gown so I would get more wear out of it. Vintage definitely has it’s own unique style to it so I know some people will see my dress and think its odd or strange but I know I love it and I’m excited to wear it in front of my friends and family but most of all, my future husband as we get married. Of course, I can’t share photos with you all until the actual wedding date but just know I’ll have more wedding blogs coming out after our nuptials including some DIY blogs as well. For now, here is a teaser of my gown. After my wedding, I will share more photos of me trying on my dress but for now, I don’t want to spoil it.
Shopping for my wedding gown at Forever Vintage was truely a magical experience. Hands down, it is the best and most knowledgeable service regarding vintage and bridal vintage I have ever experienced (and I’ve shopped in LA, New York and Paris for vintage). I felt comfortable the entire time and never pushed or pressured into anything. I found the whole experience uplifting, relaxing and a lot of fun. I respected the girls opinions when they said a dress didn’t suit me and after telling them that I can get overwhelmed, they really took care of me which I greatly appreciated. I kind of wish I could get married many times over just so I can wear more of their beautiful gowns. I would whole heartedly recommend Forever Vintage if you are looking for a really spectacular piece for your own wedding or perhaps a prom, evening or day dress.
Now since I’ve just shared what it was like shopping for my true vintage wedding dress, I should also point out that I did shop in some modern dress stores. It just so happened (no idea how I did not know this sooner), when my friend as I were treating ourselves with this getaway, we stayed at the rather posh Intercontinental in Sydney (our view was the Sydney Opera house … we now know how the other half live). Within the hotels building was a Vera Wang bridal store. Of course I made an appointment, gosh it’s like you don’t know me at all! I will share a few images from that fitting below.
There was one dress which had a vintage style corset as the main bodice which I kind of loved but I knew that many people, my mother included, would think I was just wearing lingerie as a top. It would be perfect for someone big in bulresque if they were having that style of wedding. Honestly, I was surprisingly underwhelmed by Vera Wang which I found a bit of a let down. I don’t know wether I built it up in my head or they didn’t have the stock on hand (they were quite limited) but I didn’t find something that I got that “this is the one” feeling. Perhaps it was just me, I found the store a bit dark which didn’t make me feel bright or happy which also may have impacted my decision but I was a little sad to leave Vera Wang with no butterflies or excitement.
I will have more vintage wedding blogs coming soon and of course, share plenty of images from my own wedding after it’s happened.
More in the Vintage Wedding mini-blog series includes
My Favourite Wedding Dresses from History and Film.
Tips for Vintage Wedding Dress Shopping
Pre-Wedding Pampering at Cherrybomb Beauty Parlour
My Vintage Wedding: Bridal Shower
hours minutes seconds
Miss MonMon’s Wedding
Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way. There are no affiliate links and I do not benefit from any link clicks or purchases made.