Yep – all material bought and the Mother in Law to be (MINLTB) has 3 months and counting to get her sew on!
So a couple of weeks ago we headed to the London Town and found our way to the famous Berwick Street (near to Oxford Street) which is lined with glorious fabric shops. Thankfully we came prepared – the MILTB worked out and measured all material we would need for “The Dress” and I printed out some of the pics of the dresses that I like so the shop assistants could see what we were trying to achieve.
And all the shops were fantastic, really helpful staff who knew exactly what they were talking about. Once we explained what were trying to do, they pulled out some stunning fabrics for us to touch and feel. We got the main dress material sorted pretty quickly – silk for the lining, and silk georgette for the top layer which is lovely and light. However it was the lace element that really stumped us as there was so much choice! Initially I wanted a fine lace but the super assistants draped me in the material and then added the lace so we could see what it would look like. With so much white material, a fine lace got lost. It seemed that a heavy corded lace was the way to go.
We thought we’d keep looking but seriously after the 3rd shop, I was losing the will to live. There really is only so much material you can be draped in. Thankfully the last shop had the most gorgeous lace I’d seen, all the dress material and the material for the veil. Phew. Time for some wine.
After a yummy lunch and a bottle of wine, we
stumbled wound our way to MacCulloch & Wallis, a huge haberdashery which is just off Oxford Street, half way between Oxford Circus and Bond Street tube stations just to pick up some additional bits like boob cups (attractive!), trims and zips. We may have stopping in a few shops before we meandered home. It’d be criminal not to have done really.
So my advice for shopping for wedding dress material:
- Research where you want to go – I knew Berwick Street had lots of fabric shops all close together. We hit Broadwick Silks, The Berwick Street Cloth Shop, The Silk Society and the Cloth House.
- Be prepared to spend money. French Lace is VERY expensive. Yes it may seem alot of money there and then, but think about how much a wedding dress is if you bought it from a boutique. The material we bought was a fifth of the cost of the dress I had in mind.
- Shop around to get the best price. Tulle in one shop was £45 a metre – ok granted it was the softest silk tulle in the world but another shop, practically the same tulle was £8.50 a metre.
- Negotiate. If you are buying all your fabric in store, be cheeky and ask for a discount. We got 10% of our bill just by asking.
- Wear flat shoes. You’ll be walking for what seems like miles.
- Make sure you know exactly how much you need and a rough idea of the kind of material you want. You’ll probably want to have a rough esitmate of your budget too.
- Be decisive!
I’m so excited to see how it’s going to look and hopefully all these crazy ideas in my head work out. I think the MINTB is a little bit scared to start chopping up into the material but I know she’ll do a stellar job. Will keep you updated.