The person who was probably the most keen for me to get married was my five-year-old niece, Immy. In fact, a week before I got engaged she told me like a wise owl (with glittery face paint on), “When you and Furry Face get married, I am going to be your bridesmaid.” And yes, my niece and nephews call Andrew “Uncle Furry Face” (or just Furry Face for short) – it’s affectionate, I think?
Anyway, she had just landed herself the first job of her life, with that very brief interview (or was it an instruction? We don’t call my niece “Honey Badger” for nothing). When I asked her to be my bridesmaid she very cooly said “Yeah, OK” – no big deal, happens to her all the time.
But the next day my brother called me, sounding a little weary. “Immy has something to, err, ask you,” he said, handing the phone over to his daughter. Immy came on the line. “Um, can I have a white dress with a pink bit on it? And some shoes that I can keep?” Well, the girl has a vision for what she wants to look like and I applaud that (I didn’t have a clue about myself at that point).
So the search was on for a big white dress (hers, not mine). It was surprisingly hard to find. All the dresses I could find either looked like something off of Honey Boo Boo or a Victorian nightgown. There were appliqué butterflies and rhinestones stuck on to every dress. I was driven to despair and was frequently sending my grown-up bridesmaids and other friends photos and asking for advice.
Here are some of the things I found on Pinterest, which I couldn’t find a match for in stores anywhere (wedding hint: nothing on Pinterest exists in real life – it’s a total trap):
Then I happened on Nicki McFarlane’s website via a wedding blog. Her dresses were ideal and I fell in love with this one. She designed Kate Middleton’s flower girls’ dresses (not that I actually care about the Royal family), but they also cost a King’s ransom (well, £300, that that seems a lot to me for a dress she’ll grow out of in a few months).
Then I went on Etsy and found loads of options on there. Some were a bit “Boo Boo”, but others were lovely and reasonably priced. But then I ordered one and the seller whacked on £40 shipping even though we’d agreed something like £10. Agh. I cancelled the order as I felt annoyed about the whole thing. Utter nightmare. Are you bored yet? WELL IMAGINE LIVING THIS IN REAL TIME.
After that breakdown a miracle happened. I found this dress from the UK firm Belle Zara.
It came in no time at all, and was well packaged and it’s so so perfect for our little Honey Badger. It may look fairly boring but I’m just glad she won’t look like an extra out of Little Miss Sunshine.
She’ll also be wearing gold glittery ballet pumps (the adult bridesmaids are wearing gold shoes) and a flower crown in her hair with ribbons trailing down the back. I cannot wait to see her on the day. I remember being a bridesmaid when I was a bit younger than her and thinking I was an absolute Don in my dress. I hope she feels the same (cue photo of me aged four in a peach meringue – can you guess which one I am?).