Save or splash: how much should you spend on a wedding outfit?
How much do you want to spend on a wedding outfit? Will it be the dream designer gown you've been sketching forever or maybe you're thinking contemporary, vintage or affordable high street? Bairbre Power went shopping and ended up saying 'Yes' to lots of looks, from dresses to trouser suits
Show me a bride who wants romance with a big budget and I'll match you with a bride who wants 'wear again' possibilities. Then there's the woman who craves registry office simplicity, or a second day jumpsuit to keep the wedding mood going.
How much does a dress cost these days? Well, how long is a piece of lace or strand of marabou feathers? There's plenty of versatility in the two-piece look from Stephanie Allin (above) who has dressed lots of Irish beauties from Amy Huberman to Rosanna Davison. For sheer drama, it's hard to beat the tulle Eve of Milady Boutique gown on our cover. Or there's the luxurious Moira Hughes dress from The One bridal boutique which Sinéad Corcoran has just opened in Rathmines, Dublin, after her own fairytale wedding to Ireland and Leinster rugby player Jack McGrath.
The high-necked gown Stella McCartney designed for Meghan Markle's evening wedding reception inspired a limited edition lily-white dress (pictured above) from Stella's new Made With Love collection. Two styles from the collection are currently available to buy at Brown Thomas.
The high street continues to surprise and please brides. Monsoon and French Connection have achieved lovely luxe touches on a budget, as has Whistles which is adding several new shapes to its bridal offering next month - including an open-back lace top with high-low skirt, and a sleek, tailored suit.
Hannah Coffin's Needle & Thread brand has also seduced us with its distinctive embroidered handwriting and beaded dresses.
Theia creative director Don O’Neill (above) poses in his New York studio with the ‘Athena’ gown he designed for Meghan Markle’s tour of Australia. The exciting news is that an exact replica, right down to the same stretch crepe fabric and crystal bead-work on the flanged shoulders, will be available to buy at Kalu Emporium in Naas in May.
An ivory dress in the original long hemline costs €995 and also comes in a shorter, cocktail style (€599) which falls mid-calf. French Vogue called it one of Meghan Markle’s “best pregnancy looks”.