Celebrity bridal designer Vera Wang has come to the rescue of budget conscious Irish couples forking out for bridesmaid dresses.
The New York-based designer has just launched her first range of affordable bridesmaid dresses specifically designed to be worn again and again.
The dresses, which cost from €275 to €410, aim to be a welcome alternative for modern girls on a tight budget who know the pain of forking over money for a one-wear-only special frock.
The new Spring Summer 2010 line includes wispy Grecian-inspired chiffon gowns, structured satin cocktail numbers and silk halter frocks.
A selection from the stunning collection of 37 dresses has gone on sale in Wang's only Dublin store in Brown Thomas on Grafton Street.
Speaking to the Herald, spokeswoman Sarah Kelly said: "There are no specific trends in bridesmaid gowns so all the dresses are proving to be very popular because they are so incredibly stylish.
"Although it is a bridesmaid collection, we've had girls come in to buy them for their debs, black-tie events and even to attend a wedding as a guest. Longer and short dresses are both really popular but one trend that has emerged here is that brides with several bridesmaids like to choose different styles in the same colours and fabric -- which is great if they are different ages and means they can all have something which is comfortable while still being uniform.
"In the US, there is a real trend of brides to have loads of bridesmaids so they often pay for their own dresses, but in Ireland it is still more common for the bride and groom to pay for them.
"But regardless of who is paying, most people would love to have something they could easily wear again and this collection is perfect for that," she added. The designer said: "Today's bride is increasingly sensitive to the tastes, feelings and finances of her attendants. The Vera Wang Maid-to-Order collection brings a new sense of fashion and versatility to the tradition of the bridesmaid."
The dresses, which come in numerous colours, are available in all sizes as they are made to measure but must be ordered three to four months in advance although a small number are available in store.
Meanwhile Irish brides are also set to take advantage of the significant savings on Wang's hugely popular wedding dresses.
Price tags are said to have been reduced by a reported 40pc in the US and Irish staff say gowns are "definitely a lot cheaper than they were in previous years" here too.
"We have dropped prices a little bit to maintain competition with markets in the US and the UK; it's also because of the exchange rates at the moment."
And brides can bag bigger savings at the moment with a further 10pc off in Vera Wang in Dublin until the end of the month.