Tuesday, 27 August 2013

DIY I Do : My Wedding Reception Dress : Inspiration

Yep, you read that correctly, this post is all about the inspiration behind my Wedding Reception Dress, because…I made it!


When I first started looking at wedding dresses I went and tried on a few, including the beautiful Justin Alexander dress above. It was love at first sight, but at £2000*, it was over my budget. My top tip for brides just starting out in their quest to find the perfect wedding dress – don’t try on any dresses that are over your budget…it will only break your heart!

At the same time as trying on dresses I also had a wee thought in the back of my mind that I may try and sew my dress rather than buy one. I mentioned it in this post back in August ‘12, but the majority of comments back were warning me against it, saying I would have enough to worry about without adding to the load. Plus most of my family and close friends and acquaintances also suggested against it. To be honest, do you know how that made me feel? I know this is totally not what they were implying, but I honestly did feel that there was a general consensus that I didn’t have the skills to make my dress. And perhaps that’s true, but doubt fuels my fire and just made me want to prove them wrong! I had a style, the fabric and the franken-pattern all worked out. But I knew it would be a massive undertaking, and I began to doubt myself.

Then I tried on a dress in a bridal shop that gave me the wow feeling – and it was in the sale! At £300 I was sold. It’s the dress I ended up wearing on the day, so you will have already seen some photos of it. BUT – because I had saved so much money on my main wedding dress it was the perfect excuse to have TWO dresses on the day…which meant I could have a go at making the second dress!

Since my main wedding dress had an outer layer of delicate, floaty chiffon that couldn’t be bustled I decided to make a short reception dress that would allow me to bust a move on the dance floor that evening. My mum also told me that she had been able to source some very reasonably priced silk dupion. So, the search began for inspiration (all photo sources can be found on my Pinterest board here):


WD Inspiration1

WD Inspiration2

And then I came across this gorgeous dress by Alexandra King (OMG – check out her work, it is fabulous!):


I just loved all the fabulous spotty tulle and I also loved the sweetheart neckline and the asymmetry of the tulle at the neck. However, I noticed that all my previous inspiration pictures had either a pleated or gathered skirt made out of ‘stiff’ fabric, which I really liked. So I decided to make a hybrid of the two. Again, some more inspiration pics:

WD Insp3

WD Insp4

I had the silk dupion base fabric, and was able to source the perfect polka-dot tulle from a local fabric shop (for a very reasonable £7/m rather than the crazy price that lace is per meter – another reason for loving the spots!). Next I had to find a suitable pattern – has anyone got any ideas what I might have used? I’ll give you a clue – it’s a pretty recent pattern from a fantastic Indie pattern company. I’ll reveal all in my next post, the muslin!


* I know it’s not the ‘done’ thing to talk about costs, but do you know what – it was the MOST frustrating thing when I first started researching my wedding and I couldn’t find any prices for wedding dresses online, so I had no idea how much they would cost…which is one of the reasons I ended up trying on a dress that was way out of my budget. And by the way, when I say out of my budget – I could have afforded to buy the dress, but I would have had to compromised on some other aspect of the wedding. And to be honest, I couldn’t physically bring myself to shell out £2k on a dress that I would only wear once. But that was due to my own personal priorities (honeymoon was top of our list!). Plus, my logic was that by spending only £300 on my dress I had extra to spend on shoes…which I did! I may have treated myself to this pair of gorgeous Jimmy Choos. And guess what – I will definitely get to wear them more than once (and my dress and shoes combined cost less than the Justin Alexander dress)!

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