Friday 22 March 2019

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

'Nevada' top, €1,400 and 'Vegas' skirt, €3,750, from Stephanie Allin's SS19 Love Stories collection. Can be ordered from Myrtle Ivory, 3 Anne’s Lane, Dublin
'Nevada' top, €1,400 and 'Vegas' skirt, €3,750, from Stephanie Allin's SS19 Love Stories collection. Can be ordered from Myrtle Ivory, 3 Anne’s Lane, Dublin
'Ariane' lace two-piece with scalloped, open-back top and high-low skirt, £599, available from next month on whistles.com
'Annie' suit, £528, whistles.com, available from next month
'Florence' jumpsuit, €4,750, available exclusively in Ireland at Sinéad Corcoran's The One, 3B Castlewood Avenue, Rathmines, Dublin 6, info@theone.ie
'Elizabeth' embellished bridal dress, €638, and bag, €53, monsoon.co.uk
'Sophie' lace bardot bridal maxi dress, €638, 'Briella' bow two-band mule, €92, monsoon.co.uk
'Clandre' vintage-style one-piece jumpsuit which has a flattering wide-leg culotte shape with a fitted long-sleeved body, €245, frenchconnection.com
'Harriet' dress from Australian designer Moira Hughes' new Lovestruck collection, €8,000, featuring a relaxed bodice which conceals a structured corset and a shimmering slit in the skirt, available exclusively in Ireland at Sinéad Corcoran's The One, 3B Castlewood Avenue, Rathmines, Dublin 6, info@theone.ie
Inspired by the dress Stella McCartney made for Meghan Markle's evening reception, this limited edition dress, €3,200, is part of Stella's Made With Love bridal collection. It is available exclusively at Brown Thomas Dublin and available to view by appointment only, call (01) 617 1108
Theia creative director Don O'Neill
'Abbey' silver satin bow midi dress, €169; 'Grace' bardot midi bridal dress €332, 'Mally' marabou feather clutch €77; 'Abbey' seen from the front, monsoon.co.uk

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.

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Inspired by the dress Stella McCartney made for Meghan Markle's evening reception, this limited edition dress, €3,200, is part of Stella's Made With Love bridal collection. It is available exclusively at Brown Thomas Dublin and available to view by appointment only, call (01) 617 1108

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.

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Theia creative director Don O'Neill

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”.

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