Wedding Dresses: Brand-new gowns at bargain prices
Fashion editor Bairbre Power finds brand-new gowns at bargain prices
Why does saying "I do" have to cost such a fortune? Kate Middleton and all that hoopla aside, there is a growing practicality entering the bridal market.
For those of you who don't have the cash for -- or the inclination to buy -- a big show-off frock; there are lots of alternatives, as I discovered at Barnardos' new bridal rooms in Dun Laoghaire and Carlow, where prices start at €250 for a new gown. And that's new -- not barely new or 'raced down the aisle' new.
The stock of dresses and accessories has been donated by some of Ireland's top bridal retailers, wholesalers and designers, and are retailing at a fraction of their high-street cost.
Put aside superstition -- this is not runaway brides stuff. It's a forum to seek gowns in sizes eight to 18-plus. Brides-to-be are invited to attend individual consultations with bridal experts, who can offer help and advice.
All dresses are donated seasonally, so the two boutiques are filled with the latest styles that track international designer trends.
Bridesmaids' dresses, designer shoes, veils, tiaras and bags are also available -- everything a bride needs to plan her big day. The rooms are open 10-4 Monday to Friday, and until 5pm on Thursday.
For wedding guests looking for special outfits, check out Divine boutique's sixth birthday fashion show at Manor Mills Shopping Centre, Maynooth next Thursday at 7pm.
Be sure to come and say hello at the 'Irish Independent' stand at the Ploughing Championships next week.
I will be there between 11am and 2pm on Tuesday, keeping an eye out for all things fashionable.