Saturday, 30 June 2012

Darling, Happy Anniversary

Tomorrow is our 23rd wedding anniversary.  We seem so young in the photographs, it feels like another world away ... and in other ways, it feels like yesterday.  It was a beautiful, sunny, day ... the previous day had been full of horrific thunderstorms and flash flooding, like lots of us have been experiencing this week, and we just thought our wedding day would be like that too.

We had a quiet wedding, as money was tight, we had a 2 year old son and had just bought our first proper home which needed total renovation, so fripperies were dispensed with.  I hired my wedding dress, and although I try to never regret anything I've done, I do regret that I hired, rather than bought.  To hire the dress was £35, to buy £70.  I know it doesn't sound much now, but at the time it was, especially as friends were telling me that I would just shove it in the loft and forget about it.

It really wasn't typical of the time, this was the era of huge, meringue-like confections, but that wasn't me at all.  It had a touch of the Kate Middleton's at the top (it was too big as I lost weight before the wedding, but because it was hired, couldn't be altered), but had a full, ballerina-length skirt.  This is a photograph of the back view of the dress from the brochure.

Three years ago, we went on a weeks holiday to London.  It was August and London was basking in a heatwave of massive proportions.  We were ambling along Carnaby Street (as you do) and my sister spotted a little alley with chairs that were calling out to her.  We strolled down and came upon a quadrangle of little shops on 3 levels.  There were craft shops, knitting shops, baby shops ... and a beautiful vintage clothing shop that had the most gorgeous American-prom style floral dress in the window.  Millie and my niece, Daisy were oohing and aahing over it, so we went in.  In the centre of the shop, taking pride of place was


I'm not for a minute saying it was the same one, but it was the same size.  I excitedly told the sales assistants that I had worn this dress 20-odd years ago and they asked me if I would send them a photo of me on my wedding day, so that they could put it on the dress with the date.  It was priced at £750, over ten times the price it would have cost me, had I bought it.

The value of it doesn't interest me, but I can't help thinking it would have made a beautiful prom dress for my daughter next year, who as you know, loves all things vintage.  Or even, in years to come, her wedding dress.

I didn't get round to sending a photo, but instead, the following spring, while attending the Country Living Fair, I took a photo round to the shop.  It was closed down, empty, with a few cardboard boxes lying around the floor.  Another victim of the recession. The shop was called Fur Coat and No Knickers.

Enjoy your weekend,

Love, Claire xxx


  1. Congratulations for tomorrow :) Your dress was beautiful x

  2. Congratulations both you and your dress are beautiful. Sad that you couldn't buy it at the time. But you have lovely photos and happy memories. I had another 'it's a small world moment' your flowers are exactly the same colour as mine. Must of been the in colour at the time. Hope you both have a lovely day. Ali x

  3. Congratulations on your anniversary Claire. Your dress is stunning and you looked beautiful. xxx

  4. Happy anniversary. Your dress was lovely. I would totally wear something like that. I like that it was different to what everyone else wore. People still seem to go for the meringues and I am never sure why.
    It is a shame the one you saw years later was so expensive an you never got to buy it. It wasn't meant to be.
    A girl I knew got married recently and her dress was quite similar to yours. Have you ever seen Lily allen's wedding pics? She wore a divine little headdress and looked so lovely.
    Have a lovely day. xxx

  5. Happy Anniversary. Have a great day.

  6. Happy anniversary Claire, what a beautiful dress! Have a lovely day!
    Victoria xx

  7. Happy Anniversary :)

    BTW I bought my dress (a friend made it) - however I no longer have it - I donated it to a CS when we last moved house. However like you I have the photos and the memories :)

  8. Aww 'Happy Anniversary' to you both for tomorrow ,Claire.....
    Loved this post, as so reminiscent.....
    Your dress and you look beautiful!!
    1989, ooh that was a busy year!!

  9. Happy anniversary! YOu looked gorgeous and the dress was too. Enjoy your special day.

  10. I loved this post. What a beautiful dress, it's utterly stunning. Happy anniversary. xx

  11. A lovely dress and lovely post too. Happy Anniversary!

  12. Ah yes, Fur coat and no knickers... you look so gorgeous in THE DRESS. I bet it was the very same DRESS and you were always to find it again on that day! I think it was perfect that you hired it and found just the right style for you...yes, it would be perfect again now, maybe you could have a copy made in teal coloured lace a la Kate, for your daughter?

    Sarah -x-

  13. Happy anniversary to you both, what a beautiful dress and such lovely flowers in your hair too xxx

  14. Hi Claire,
    Congratulations on your Anniversary hope you are doing something special tomorrow to celebrate. I loved the story of your wedding dress, it looked so lovely. My dress was given to me by someone who had married about 5 years earlier so it was not fashionable but as with you money was tight!
    Sarah x

  15. Great post Claire and gorgeous dress.......congratulations on your wedding anniversary...that would be the silver plate anniversary and the stone...Topaz.
    Hope you had a smashing day!

    Amanda x

  16. Happy Anniversary to you both, I wonder where you dress is now - Julie xxx

  17. Happy Wedding Anniversary, what a wonderful story about your dress, you look so pretty in the delicate lace. Even though you do not have your dress, you will always have you lovely memories
    Thea x

  18. What a lovely post Claire! Happy Anniversary ..your photos are lovely ! Gail x

  19. What a beautiful bride you were! Belated Happy Anniversary wishes to you both. :0)

  20. I must be going mad ... I read this when you posted it and was sure I'd commented.

    A belated Happy Anniversary xxx


I love to hear what you think of my ramblings and value all your comments ... I will try and get back to you, but am sorry if I don't always manage this ... sometimes real life just gets in the way! Claire xxx