Written by Cassandra Ortega. Photography by Amanda Temple.
The story of how one Bermuda bride found and fell in love with her dream wedding dress
IN PREPARING FOR HER WEDDING to Ben Zoellner on May 21, 2016, Helen Jardine awarded plenty of consideration to the style of gown she wanted and the details it would feature.
Having had a relatively short engagement of just six months, the bride decided that one of her first wedding-planning tasks would be shopping for a wedding dress. And so, only a few weeks after getting engaged, Helen travelled with her mother to Boston, prepared with appointments at no less than four bridal shops.
Before making the shopping trip, Helen had an idea in mind that “was actually quite specific about what [she] was looking for in a dress: something A-line, with lace, that wasn’t strapless.” A top with straps was an important feature because, as Helen says, “I planned on some serious dancing…and didn’t want to be constantly hoisting up my dress!”
As it turned out, the perfect dress presented itself at the third bridal store on the list. The gown was a stunningly elegant number designed by Allure and featuring a lace top with a deep V-shaped lace back and a full A-line tulle skirt. Helen quickly fell in love with it and, while travelling home the next day, “felt such a huge relief ” to have one of the most
important wedding-planning tasks so neatly completed.
However, as time went on, Helen began to have small doubts about the dress she had chosen. Thanks to plenty of time browsing photos of wedding dresses on Pinterest, the bride began to wonder if “perhaps it was too… plain.” In fact, she had come across a photo of a “gorgeous dress… that had the most stunning lace trim on the bottom of the skirt, which fanned out beautifully in photos.” Helen then showed the photo to her mother, who suggested that they “simply add lace trim” to the bottom of Helen’s own dress.
And so the labour of love and lace began. Helen’s mother ordered a large selection of lace samples, and upon finding one in the right colour and pattern, painstakingly cut out the details. She trimmed “carefully around every petal of every lace flower” and then brought them to a local seamstress, who attached each section to the skirt of the wedding gown for a result that was breathtaking. “She is the absolute best mum!” Helen exclaims.
When the wedding day finally arrived, Helen felt spectacular in her dress, which she complemented with a lace-trimmed veil, all the more because she “could look down at the lace trim and almost feel the love that went into cutting out every inch of it.” It was, all in all, a huge and stunning success.
In reflecting on her beautiful gown, Helen says her favourite elements were, of course, the lace details. “I loved the openness of the lace back and the scalloped edging of the lace on the trim of the skirt. There were little sparkly buttons carrying on from the V-shaped back all the way down the skirt of the dress [that] were subtle, but very dainty,” Helen remembers.
And the groom was no exception to all those who admired the bride’s elegant wedding dress. He thought it was absolutely beautiful and the perfect fit for his bride’s girly style.
When asked for advice for brides-to-be on choosing the perfect dress, Helen suggests: “Don’t rush [it]! Trying to [visit] a bunch of shops in one day is stressful and can leave your head in a spin. Map out the kind of dresses you like before you go, and show the shop assistants. Also, go dress-shopping as far in advance as possible. I didn’t realise that most designers need at least six months’ notice to order your dress.”
In a final note, Helen adds: “My dress is actually for sale! A lot of people were mortified to hear that I would sell it, but I would love for someone else to enjoy wearing it as much as I did.”