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Bridal Manor Saves Day

August 2017

Bridal Manor Wedding Dress Saves Day for Pretoria Princess

Once upon a time, there was a Pretoria princess...

...who needed a wedding dress worthy of a queen. After a few mortifying misunderstandings on Google, she turned Safe Search on and was getting much better results, when she was distracted by a call from the caterer about the cake.

Yes, the princess explained patiently for the third time, the little statue of the groom had to be wearing a Springbok jersey; her future father-in-law had insisted. As the call ended, she was struck by a brainwave... teamwork – of course!

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She had seen enough weddings to know that getting the wedding dress absolutely perfect can mean the difference between a bride who floats around on a cloud of serene confidence and one with yet another niggling worry to stress her out, on what should be her happiest day.

“This is too important a decision to be made alone,” she decided, wisely.

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So she called in her sister, her mother, her best friend and her beloved childhood nanny; all of them thrilled to be consulted.


“Such a surprise she’s getting married at all,” her mother trilled innocently. “Just a few years ago, she announced she’d completely rejected outmoded conventions and flatly refused to, as she put it, ‘sit around a castle while her father paraded a series of princely suitors past her in the hope that she’d overlook their embarrassing personal flaws, like foot fetishes and croaking’!”

“Yes, Mother,” the princess protested, “But instead, I jolly well went out and made my own way in the world! I’ve created a full and varied life, blessed with friends and work and charitable projects and interesting pursuits, and yes, even the occasional boyfriend who didn’t catch flies. And one of them, lo and behold, turned out to be... The One.”

She giggled with the others as Mother rolled her eyes, and together they began poring over bridal magazines and comparing wedding dresses. Then her aunt joined them, and at that point it seemed rude not to ask her future mother-in-law and the prince’s sisters for their input, too.

And after that... well, the princess didn’t have to argue much about what dress she should wear. She got to listen to everybody else argue about what dress she should wear instead, which at least allowed her to rest her voice for the big day.

Imitations
At last, if only to shut them all up, she told them the story of The Proposal again. “One magical night,” she began, as the younger girls sighed, “On a balcony under a full moon, with the scent of honeysuckle and jasmine stirring on the breeze, and a specially trained nightingale performing Kenny G covers in the woods – because a girl can be modern and still enjoy a romantic moment – he went down on one knee and popped the question. And I said yes!”

This prompted squeals from the sisters, but the princess hadn’t finished. “And then, he insisted on sipping champagne from my slipper to celebrate! What is it with princes and footwear?”

“Well, at least you’re marrying a decent Pretoria prince, not some frog!” her mother-in-law-to-be chipped in. “You girls today! What’s with all these imported wedding dresses you like so much – designers like Justin Alexander, Sophia Tolli and David Tutera, Spanish labels like Pronovias – why, I can make you a gown just as good! I could make an exact copy at a fraction of the cost! What do your fancy international designers have that I don’t?”

“Er, an international reputation for excellence, innovation and quality, in a range of styles that feel as good as they look?” replied the princess, but the old lady wasn’t listening – she was too busy sizing up her future daughter-in-law as a candidate for her own seamstress skills. She took down the princess’ measurements, and bustled off home to her sewing room.

A few days later, she returned with the dress. It was almost like the stunning Pronovias gown the bride-to-be had really liked, but the materials weren’t quite as luxurious, and it didn’t fit exactly right, and it draped oddly when the princess put it on and took a peek in the mirror. “I look like a neurotic ballerina!” she wailed, as if there were another kind. 

Penny







“There, there,” said her mother soothingly, trying to pat the bits of her that weren’t damp. “I knew something like this would happen, so I planned ahead. I found a site online that sells beautiful wedding dresses just like the styles you want – but they’re ridiculously cheap!”

And with a flourish, she revealed her bargain buy. Which did look a little like that gorgeous gown the bride had fancied – until she put it on and heard a rip.

“Ah – that seam appears to have given way,” her mother admitted. “No problem, I’m sure Nanny can fix that for you...”

“Mom, this is rubbish!” the princess protested. “It’s a cheap knock-off that uses scratchy synthetics, where the designers I like use luxury fabrics, and it’s so poorly put together that I’ll be in danger of indecent exposure the whole time I’m taking my vows with my husband!”

“Still, it would get his mind off your shoes,” murmured Nanny.

Ill-timed levity was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“I can’t take this!” the princess screamed in frustration. “I wish someone could just wave a wand and find me the perfect wedding dress!”

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As the words escaped the bride’s lips, there was a tinkle of bells and a twinkling of fairy dust in the air. In a swirl of shimmering rainbows, the bride and her entire entourage were whisked away and deposited in the impressive palace of Bridal Manor. A fairy godmother appeared, surrounded by her fairy consultants. They looked just like normal fairies – ethereal wings, sensible court heels, chiffon tutus in a tasteful pastel – except for their clipboards. 

“Okay... looks like we have a bride in despair,” said the Bridal Manor fairy godmother to her fairy consultants, who were busily taking notes on their clipboards. “Too many people giving opinions: check. Tried the local over-promise and under-deliver merchant: check. Went the cheap-import-from-China route and regretted it: check. Looks like I got here just in time...” 

“Right! Everybody except the mom and the sister: out!” she continued, and then turned to the bride. “Now, we’ll have a look at a few dresses on you, and when you’ve decided on a short-list that you like, we can get some input from the support group.” 

And she waved her wand, and the princess gasped, as she felt the elegant drape of an international designer wedding dress enfold her. “Hmmm... lovely, but I think we can do better,” said the fairy godmother, and waved her wand again.

The princess looked down and smiled; now she was wearing the exquisite lace of a Maggie Sottero. Next came a gorgeous Bohemian-inspired Lillian West gown, followed by the exquisite romance of a Vintage-inspired Justin Alexander wedding dress – the fairy godmother’s wand kept flashing, and in quick succession, an all-white kaleidoscope of gorgeous dresses flickered over the princess’ frame. 

She had a list of favourites to choose from in no time, and with the Bridal Manor fairy consultants’ expert advice, the three women quickly decided on a breath-taking blend of imported style, perfect fit and uncompromising quality: in short, the ultimate wedding dress. And just as the princess had known in her heart all along that it would be, it was a glorious confection of silk tulle and Mikado satin, fit for a royal bride. 

“So much stress, so easy to avoid!” the princess sighed happily, as the fairy godmother magically whisked them all home with the precious wedding gown. “I should have simply called on the Bridal Manor fairy godmother in the first place!” 

“Well, never mind,” said the fairy godmother. “Maybe you will next time... just kidding!” And she winked and disappeared, and they all lived happily ever after.

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