“Everybody says to you, you’ll know as soon as you put it on. I thought it was going to be a magical little experience, where you do research, zone in on the kind of dress you like, go in and have some champagne, and all of a sudden you put on a dress and your mum tells you it’s perfect,” radio host Henry tells Mamamia.
“It was freaking hard work.”
Henry was in London for the royal wedding and thought, perhaps, it would be a nice way to bring some of the royal wedding to her own wedding: Buy a dress during the world’s most contagious wedding festivities.
“I was over London for the royal wedding with my mum and I had in my head I would be able to get a dress and have a piece of Meghan and Harry while walking down the aisle.
“What they don’t tell you there is a lady who stands in the dressing room with you the whole time.
“For some of these dresses, there’s massive panels in them, so when you’re getting changed, you’re completely naked in front of a stranger. They’re pulling you in and out of the dresses. I definitely needed a little more champagne.”
Henry found the other thing brides aren't often told is how unique so many of the dresses are.
"I don't know if it was just where I was looking, but everything was really next level. Everything was really poofy, full of lace, really tight and really left of centre," she said.
"It seemed to be like brides are really trying to wear something different, and therefore all the styles are really out there. I was trying to find something a little classier and more plain, and maybe something more runway than bridal, and everything had panes and mesh and bling all over the back. It really was next level."
The other thing, of course, is the cost.
"The other thing is you obviously want to feel really great and I am happy to throw a couple of thousand at it, but in many cases it's $5000 or $6000 for a dress you cannot sit in. I am never going to be wearing this dress again. It's just so expensive.
"The trains are really big, you would have to have someone following you around all day. So many of the dresses I tried on, I would immediately wonder how you even wee in this?"
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Henry laughs when she talks about the absurdity of needing to get a "game plan together" when going shopping again.
"We've tried to get a game plan together. From here on in, Mum reckons if we go to David Jones top floor Sydney and try a few different designers we might have more luck. I have given a bit of a time frame, after three days of shopping, if I don't have anything I will just find a designer and get it made.
"It's hilarious, having to sit at the kitchen table with a glass of wine wondering what our strategy is. It's all a wonderful experience and a first world problem, but it's just so much bigger than it would ever i thought it would be. A lot of brides want something really extraordinary."
Overall, Henry said the experience was one she probably wished she didn't expect to be so simple.
"When my girlfriends asked me how it went, I said it was hell on earth which maybe a bit extreme. But I think where I fell over was that I underestimated how it was going to take a bit of time.
"It was stressful and a test of my relationship with my mum. We had a couple of rough and false starts but hopefully it gets better from here."