Updated: Oct 12
How the Things That We Love Become Who We Are
“Something old, something new, Something borrowed, something blue. Happy is the bride with a sixpence in her shoe”
Today, I am truly proud to be able to share the unique Upcycled Wedding Dress story, born out of a lasting love of heritage and a love of the arts. Our bride, (and I say that loosely as you will soon discover) is a true artist in every sense of the word. Amy, is a passionate creator and lover of upcycled products and nowhere is this passionate more obviously shown than in her desire to create a truly unique wedding day packed full of familiar and repurposed cherished items.
Designing Amy’s Upcycled Wedding Dress
Designing a making your own wedding dress IS by any means a huge challenge to pull off. Particularly if you don't have access to a skilled seamstress who is able to assist with those difficult areas and, especially if you have never made anything really challenging before. But, for all but the faint hearted, who are handy with a sewing machine, and who chose the right types of materials to work with, it is absolutely doable – something that I will address in a later post if you are interested? So do drop me a line by email to say ”I’m up for this”.
Amy reached out to ask for help with her wedding dress that she had made for herself. As I suspected, she was uncertain how to tackle a few areas but her ideas and execution so far was commendable. Well, naturally, with my background as a fashion tutor, I look at everything from a teacher/student perspective but, with a fondness for helping others to achieve their goal. I know firsthand the passion, love and patience behind any lovingly made garment – and here is a student who passionately wants to learn and deepen their skill level – so I said 'Yes to the Dress'.
The Inspiration | Amy's Story
My journey began with my Granny’s wedding dress which she had given to me when I was studying historical fashion at secondary school and I was determined to use its beautiful lace.
.Designing my upcycled wedding dress project took several attempts on paper and it wasn’t until we were relaxing on holiday in India, and my [now] husband commissioned a bespoke jacket, that my plans began falling into place – (deciding on the jacket style and fabric was a marathon in itself... as since he wears a suit to work every day, he wanted something super special for his big day and they certainly delivered!).
Finding My Own Wedding Day Style
Without him knowing, I purchased a little extra of the fabric and created a sweetheart, strapless bodice out of it (the same romantic neckline as featured on my Granny’s wedding dress!). This led me to start researching bridal separates and I discovered the joy of mixing and matching styles until I found one that completed my look – n A-line full length skirt with a train (and pockets!) which was simple but so elegant.
The Little Details
I was also given a beautiful Alencon French lace from Alex’s Grandmother when they cleared out her house and amongst the dollies and trim there was this incredible section of gorgeous gold lace, it was so beautiful and matched the gold in Alex’s Indian jacket so perfectly I just had to use it.
Again, there were lots of different ideas but since I only had a certain length, I really had to think carefully about how to upcycle it with zero waste. I took my time to cut it neatly up and reworked the lace design into a belt to compliment the design pattern of the bodice and the A-line princess skirt. I also decorated the train with it and played around making the flowers 3D to attached to a headband to complete the look!
I then added beads and pearls on to the lace, everywhere, to add a little sparkle!
Designing Our Bespoke Rings
In terms of other wedding items, we actually made our own wedding rings and Alex designed my engagement ring with THE JEWELLER so there really wasn’t a part of the wedding we didn’t get stuck into!
My beautiful necklace was a wedding present from Alex (opened the night before because I was far to excited!) and it was lovely to have something completely new, just for me!
The Final Look
I purchased an additional bolero style fluffy jacket off Etsy to go over the top of everything since it was November I thought I’d better be prepared! My bridesmaids had white ones too! And my shoes were simple Victorian style ankle boots with a low heel which I think I got off eBay, love a bargain and they were so comfy all day!
A Little Helping Hand from Cynthia Grafton-Holt
I couldn’t work out how to take up the skirt without ruining the beautiful lines and hiding my stitching, nor how to best join the bodice to the skirt or alter the train to be swept up in the evening. I really needed the help of someone who could and would be willing to just help me to bring the whole outfit together. I needed to put my dress in the hands of a capable professional who knew exactly how to make a wedding dress work, with excellent stitching and years of experience which was how I found Cynthia. She was so helpful. She really listened to my story and what I wanted to achieve, gave advice when required and helpful tips for the day!, I would recommend her to anyone looking for a personal touch to their wedding outfit.
Our Wiltshire Wedding Day
Alex and Amy tied their loving knot at St Michaels Church Kington, Wiltshire and their reception was held at Guyers House, Corsham.
Wedding Photographer | David Scammell
Wedding Venue | Guyers House
Behind the scenes of the Grooms Jacket | The Grooms Jacket
Links to see more of the making her dress | The Making of the Brides Dress
To see how Amy created her head piece | Wedding Hair Piece
Jeweller and Ring Designer | Andy Young
Marketing Strategist and Professional Writing Consultant | The CopyWordshop