The recession has made us all that little bit more resourceful, especially when it comes to finding the best value wedding dresses. There are thousands of articles available on the Internet, in magazines and specialist websites designed to aid in this pursuit. We’ve all read about the 5p wedding dress on eBay, designer warehouse sales, charity shops and high street shops that offer affordable wedding dresses. But have you heard of the untapped Aladdin’s cave of wedding dresses in dry cleaners?
Think about it, a bride has had the most amazing day of her life, she is back from honeymoon and carefully chooses a reputable dry cleaners to take care of her special dress. Once the dress is there, the bills for the wedding start to come through, the credit card bills from honeymoon arrive on the doorstep and she can’t choose which photographs to have so she has them all. Something has to give – the answer she doesn’t go back to collect the dress and pay the large dry cleaning bill.
Dry cleaners have in their code of conduct, do keep any unclaimed items for a designated period after they should have been collected, but after that? From this point onwards a dry cleaner is just looking to cover the original cost of cleaning the dress so they are not out of pocket.
“It amazes me how many brides, simply do not come back to collect their dresses” Says Nick from Mr Ps Dry Cleaners, Bristol. “It has always been the case that some brides, simply did not return, but since the recession we have been seeing this more and more. We pride ourselves on our excellent cleaning and restoration service which includes fixing the dress for any beading or embroidery damage that happened during the happy day. The unclaimed dresses take up too much storage room.”
With wedding dress dry cleaning starting from £150, you could grab a bargain. So if your wish is to find a nearly new wedding dress – get on your magic carpet and head on down to your local dry cleaners.
Thanks to Laura Payne from Myriad Genii who wrote this insightful article – if you’re on a budget I would say its definitely worth checking out the local dry cleaner. I have also seen some pretty nice dresses in some charity shops in certain areas of London (Chelsea, Islington)
Luxury Wedding Planning Consultancy from a male and female perspective – check out Myriad Genii site for more info on how they can help you with your special day.
I love this Vintage Wedding shoot for Lindsay Fleming’s new 20′s inspired wedding dress collection shot by Mark of Archibald Photography (he just won an award for one of the pics from this shoot which I featured in my round up of wedding blogs last week)
(There is actually an updated version of this post with many more photos for inspiration to have a look at 1920′s inspired wedding dresses )
Lindsay Fleming are award winning designers normally highly regarded for their celtic wedding dress designs. However Lindsay Fleming have just launched something totally different -their new vintage inspired wedding dress collection is called ‘All That Jazz’. The thrilling care free period of the roaring 20s provide the inspiration for Lindsay Fleming’s new collection and I think it’s going to create a huge buzz.
1920's wedding style shoot - shot by Archibald Photography
Photography all by Archibald Photography – award winning photographers based in Scotland
Lauren Tempany modelled the creations and House for an Art Lover in Glasgow was used to provide an authentic backdrop. Baba-C Designs created some 20s inspired headpieces especially for the shoot which looked amazing too, whilst Authentic 20s makeup was by Ainsley M and hair was by Volume Hair.
What a fantastic shoot – its clear that there were lots of talented people involved and the photos are just gorgeous. I can see these dresses are going to be so popular with all the brides that are loving their vintage inspired weddings.
Thanks Mark for sharing these with us – if you are loving the look of his work then do make sure that you check out their Archibald Photography blog where there are loads more examples of his wedding photos. You can also see the shot that recently won him Gold at the SWPP monthly competition from this fashion shoot.
Clearly the team at Archibald Photography had a great time on this wedding shoot
“What a blast we all had on this project. My aim was to create a classic art deco feel to these images and give them a relaxed vintage atmosphere. The dresses by Lindsay Fleming are so classy and elegant and I wanted the photographs to reflect that. It’s always lovely to work with talented people who are 100% into what they do. These images simply reflect a very very beautiful range of dresses. On the day the photography was kept very spontaneous and fun. I like to incorporate this in my fashion work as I think a bored looking model won’t do any product justice. We all had such fun and a great laugh that I can’t wait to shoot the next range of dresses! Hurry up and get designing Grace!”
Let me know your thoughts on this collection – would love to hear from any brides to be that are going vintage and where you get your dress from.
Getting bridesmaid dresses made to measure is a real treat but can end up being quite expensive (and time consuming with all the fittings) so hear are a couple of great alternatives.
Check out these lovely bridesmaid dresses below from Just Dresses, who specialise in flower girl dresses and childrens bridesmaid dresses – I think that they are really cute but most importantly are an easy, good value solution, with prices ranging from £30 to £60.
They can all be bought off the peg so if they’re in stock you can have them almost immediately so it can be a good option for people like me that leave everything to the last minute. I would, however, suggest ordering in good time prior to the wedding due to the popularity of some of the styles. I learnt the hard way at my wedding leaving it all too late and having to have my bridesmaid dresses (from Dessy) expressed over from the US and paying a hefty charge for doing so…. there is something to be said for the early bird catches the worm!
Talking of my wedding I chose Monsoon for my little flowergirl as I wanted something stylish, easy, good value (and also hopefully something that she could wear again). Monsoon seems to be a firm favourite for cute bridesmaid dresses and I had little Minnie dressed in this beautiful mink coloured dress with a cosy little cardigan to keep her warm.
My older bridesmaids all wore different colours of the same style long bridesmaid dress from Dessy (which we ordered in standard sizes). It did all add up with the extra costs of the alterations and the last minute express posting so that each dress ended up costing about £300 (still I imagine that you can pay a lot more than that if they are made to measure). The little shrugs were a steal at about £45 from Coast, they kept the girls warm and I thought that they all looked gorgeous. Whilst getting ready in the morning we all helped make each others bouquets from seasonal winter roses and berries, tied in antique white lace – another little way to keep the costs down.
So there are lots of great options out there that need not cost the earth or take forever involving lots of fittings and stress. Check out Just Dresses website for more information on styles and costings and if you are wondering who did the the cute photography for their catalogue shots it was Tino&pip – whose lovely work we have featured before in our real life weddings section.
If you are living in London and looking for a fantastic bridal boutique, I would say that Mirror Mirror comes high up the list of ones to visit. They have had a sample sale at their shop in Islington over the past few days and that will continue until 3rd August (10 AM to 5 PM) which is tomorrow.
This is your chance to pick up your dream dress at the fraction of the price that it would cost normally, with bridal gowns discounted between 50-70% from designers such as Cymbelline, Ian Stuart, Pronovias and Maureen Myring. Mirror Mirror Couture is situated in Penton Street Nr Islington in London and along with Morgan Davies Bridal (also in Islington) comes highly recommended, so if you can escape from work at lunchtime tomorrow or take the day off its definitely worth a visit.
I was recommended Morgan Davies in Islington by one of my great friends – I heard that they were absolutely amazing and its true they were. I had an appointment with Annalize, who had come highly recommended and she was fantastic. From the moment I arrived with my mum and maid of honour I felt completely relaxed. I loved the way that she knew all her dresses so well and could instantly see what would suit me (completely not what I had thought).
One of the things that I liked about Morgan Davies Bridal is that they stock numerous designers so you aren’t just limited to one designer, and in the same way the dresses vary in price so you will be likely to find something within your budget – from what I remember the dresses range in price from about £1300 upwards to £3000 (and then you pay for alterations -there are 3 packages and there is bound to be one that is right for you)
They stock dresses from a variety of top bridal designers including Alan Hannah, Rosa Clara, Suzanne Neville, Cymbeline, Jenny Packham and lots of other gorgeous bits and bobs. I had planned to just buy my dress from there when I fell in love with an Alan Hannah creation, but I ended up getting a beautiful ostrich feather shrug from Jenny Packham, and all my accessories too. They also fit me for a corset style basque which kept everything in the right place and provided support for me in my strapless dress. The accessories, Halo and co and Babe, are really stylish and vary in price too.
Once I had chosen my dress the after service was fantastic – it was ready earlier than I expected and I had at least 3 fittings to make sure that everything was in order and fit perfectly. The fittings are done in a little shop across the road where they do all the dress alterations and the lady there that runs the show is fantastic and I found the whole process really special.
Its definitely worth asking for Annalize– she is so experienced in this area that she is guaranteed to find you something that really fits in with your sense of style. She has lots of good bridal tips too and can help accessorize the perfect outfit. Rumour has it her husband is an excellent photographer so might be worth speaking with her about that too (more on that soon)
As a final word I have sent at least a couple of friends there too and both of them have decided on Morgan Davies as the place to get their dress , – boutique, stylish, good value and with a great taste in fashion I can’t see how anyone could have anything other than a fantastic experience. If you are getting your dress from there or know of anyone who did please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.
Rococo Wedding Dress by Angelina Colarusson
Wow! I saw this dress and instantly just fell in love with it. I spotted it somewhere on a photographers blog (which I am still trying to locate so that I can publish the photos) – a gorgeous british couple getting married in New York I think. The shots were taken all over the streets of new York and she just looked absolutely fabulous and very cool – I just love this ‘tutu’ inspired dress.
The Italian designer Angelina Colarusso is responsible for this amazing creation. Her dresses are unique as she likes to work with each bride individually to help them create something that expresses their personal style – she brings a sense of glamour and sophistication to all her designs and this is just the perfect example of one of her pieces of art.
Brides can make appointments to meet with Angelina and view her collection at either of her Boutiques in Richmond or Thames Ditton. During the appointment you will also have the opportunity to talk through your ideas and style, and to create your dream dress with Angelina’s expert advice. The dresses start from £2500 and its not surprising to see why when you look at the level of design, expertise and the uniqueness of these beautiful gowns. I really wish I could get married again!
There are many beautiful dresses out there, for each and everyone one of us. You can view all my posts about wedding dresses here.