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Real Bride


Like most of us, I had always imagined the moment of picking my wedding dress with my mum by my side giving me that look of encouragement and hopefully with tears of happiness to cement that it was in fact “the one”. I lost my lovely mum, Kim, in late 2013, a few months before my 21st birthday, and in the hours and days that followed, I couldn’t help but focus on that moment of picking my wedding dress, and that I would never share it with her. I had never really sat and dreamed about a wedding and I was quite a while off being engaged, so it was a conversation we’d never had. We never shared our dreams for my wedding, my dress, or what she wanted for me. I will forever be grateful that she did know and loved my now husband, which is the most important wedding detail.

None of the Options 

Felt right

I went through a phase of thinking ‘should I use a part of her dress in mine?’, ‘should I wear her veil?’ or ‘should I have the same first dance song that she did?’ I felt that I had to do something as a nod to acknowledge her absence. Would that be what she wanted? None of the options felt right. Her 80’s dress certainly wasn’t my style, and deep down I knew that she really wouldn’t care, she would just want me to wear what I wanted and do exactly what I wanted to – not just do something because I felt like I should.

I felt so many different emotions

Traditionally the bride’s mum is integral part of the planning and preparation phase of a wedding, so there is no way to avoid the inevitable “will your mum be coming?” or “your mum must be so proud” comments from the people you meet on the planning journey. Of course, it is never said with ill intent, but it doesn’t stop it knocking the wind out of your sails. You get so worried about making other people feel uncomfortable about your grief and loss, which really doesn’t seem fair. I’ve spent far too much time thinking of the politest way to phrase “my mum died”, and then bracing as they apologise and probably feel rotten, so then you end up comforting them! I’ve felt so many different emotions, naturally the complete happiness of planning a wedding with my soul mate, but there have been days where I’ve felt like I have been drowning. At times all I’ve wanted to do is just pick up the phone and tell my mum everything that was going on, or ask for advice, and honestly, there is nothing you can do to replace that. There isn’t really anyone else that has the patience to listen to your endless and repetitive rambles like your own mum.

I wanted it to be about me

There is an immense feeling of vulnerability when planning a wedding, and for me, picking my dress was the most vulnerable and nerve-wracking experience. I knew that I wasn’t going to have the experience I thought I would have with my mum. I tried to reimagine what experience I could have, and what I would want now. For me, I didn’t want the entire experience to be about the absence of my mum, but I also didn’t want it to be a taboo topic. I wanted it be a happy day, I wanted to feel confident, empowered and loved. But most importantly, I wanted it to be about me. I think whether or not you’ve experienced the loss of your mum, this is ultimately what you want when picking your wedding dress.

I felt Completely safe

I had the best experience of finding my dress at Emily Bridal. I had made the mistake of going somewhere first with no research. They barely asked my name let alone acknowledged the fact my mum wasn’t with me, so I swiftly avoided returning there. I’d been following the shop on Instagram for a while, and just loved the energy –  and of course, I wanted my own Emily hanger! Before the appointment there was an opportunity to fill in some information about me and the wedding. It was here that I wrote about my mum and I wrote honestly about everything I felt vulnerable about. When I arrived with my bridal party, I felt like Emily already knew me and I just felt like she got me, and how sensitive I felt. I wasn’t sure I’d have “the moment”, but I felt completely safe and empowered, and I actually did have the moment that everyone describes! Inevitably enjoying this amazing experience without my mum did leave me feeling guilty and conflicted. I thought – how could I really enjoy it when she wasn’t there? But I did enjoy it and it was one of the most memorable days of my life.

Photos from Richard Perry and From Tasmin herself

She said YAAAAAS!!!

“I just wanted to send a quick email to say thank you! We finally had our wedding on Saturday and it was amazing!

I just wanted to say thank you so much for your kindness and support through the many appointments, from beginning to end, I just loved coming in. I was so so nervous about wedding dress shopping without my mum, but you made me feel so cared for on my initial appointment, I just knew I had to be an Emily bride. ”


She said YAAAAAS!!!

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