Welcome to the first proper edition of Wedding Wednesday. I decided I would start by talking about one of the most exciting aspects of the day for all us women …. The Dress!! Now when I say I was useless when it came to picking my dress, I really mean that. So the first thing I will say is, ladies try on all different styles. There were some dresses I tried and knew I would love, there were some dresses I thought I would love and I ended up hating and then there was one dress my mom got me to try on that I thought would be ‘meh’ but I instantly fell in love and had the ‘this is the dress‘ moment. But something wasn’t sitting well with me, buying a brand new dress, spending a fortune on the dress and I would only wear it for one day. Last year after I learned about fast fashion and the damage it does, I swore that unless an item of clothing came from an ethical, sustainable and cruelty free brand, it wasn’t for me. But my knowledge of wedding dress designers and brands is not great, I don’t know the ins and outs of the brands. After some research what I did do, made me feel 1 million times better and I will share all those details at a later point 🙂 Today I would like to share with you some tips for when it comes the time to buy your dress. These are tips both from my knowledge and then from my research to help make your dress more eco-friendly & sustainable too.
Eco-Friendly, Ethical & Sustainable Wedding Dress Tips
- Start A Board. Start a Pinterest board or Instagram folder and start picking out the dresses, styles and brands you like. I would personally advise with Pinterest, to have separate style folders within one board, maybe perhaps if you liked lace full length sleeved dresses and another folder with strapless dresses. This way when you book in to a bridal store you will be able to show the shop what sort of styles you like and the may even have a dress you chose in stock. If there is a particular brand and style you like Google to see if they have any Irish sellers.
- Choose Your Shop Wisely. If your budget allows it I would advise booking in with a shop that charges €20 – €30 for your appointment and I will explain why. This appointment is to be for you to try and find what dress and style suits you and you love. If you find a dress during the process of this, great. But this is the time for you to get one step closer to your dream dress and as there is a chance you might not buy something from this shop I feel it is only fair that the shop and the workers here are paid for their time, as most likely you will have a private appointment, with the boutique booked out strictly for you for about 1-2 hours. I was in boutiques that charged nothing and I walked out with nothing, but I felt like I took away time ad money from the small boutique over a bride who could of bought from them and I suppose it just didn’t sit right with me. Then when I booked into the final boutique I paid €30 for two hours and I found ‘the dress’. This is where we can move to the next few points, as if you find ‘the dress’ you have the option of buying it there & then or ….
- Pre-Loved. Is a secondhand dress something that might be of interest to you? If so this is a very eco friendly way to dress for your day. We all know that fast fashion is quickly becoming one of the most damaging industries to our planet and wedding dresses are no different. Especially as most people will want some of the sparkliest, beautiful dresses they can find, do we really need a new one for each bride? Don’t get me wrong, I would never expect anyone to wear a dress with red wine stains… or any sort of stains on it for their big day, but if you can come across your dream dress that is preloved … would that really be the worst thing? Most brides will have paid a heavy price for a brand new dress and after the wedding, obviously will never wear it again and will try to sell it. There are many different websites out there to cater for a pre-loved dress, some of my favourite ones to look through are – Still White & SellMyWeddingDress.ie, another great way to go for a pre loved dress is to book into charity bridal store, most of which will not be selling ‘pre-loved’ dress as such, but dresses given to them by boutiques and designers, the best two charity bridal boutique that I would recommend to see are Oxfam Bridal & Bernardos Bridal
- Handmade Magic. Now to go the total opposite of a pre-loved dress. Get your dress made by a dress maker who knows the best eco friendly and sustainable fabrics to use. If your materials are sourced from the right places and by the right people your dress will will be beautiful and have all the extra benefits of being good to the world. A designer I spoke with and hoped to work with, before I found my dress, is a lovely woman called Caoimhe, who had a workshop just off Grafton Street, her company is called Que-va (link to site) and if you would like to see her instagram please click HERE, as she has some fabulous dresses on display.
- ECO-Brand it! If you have a dress that you have fallen in love with from an ethical company using sustainable materials you are on to a winner. Always check to see if they have any stock lists in Ireland so that you could go in and try the dress on. If not try a similar dress on in a boutique (like mentioned in point 2) and if you are brave enough, buy your dream dress from their website (make sure it’s the right website please). Buy it with enough time so that once it arrives you will have time to get it altered and any changes that you need to make can be made. Some brands to view are – Minna (UK Based) & Larimeloom Bridal (Based in Italy)
So there are some of my tips when it comes to picking your dress, above all though, you have to love it 🙂 If you have anymore tips you can add please feel free to do so below