Lockdown Wedding Dress Shopping
Not many newly engaged ladies don't get excited about going wedding dress shopping! If you're recently engaged our new year lockdown has put a stop to that, but although you're limited to browsing online for now, it's doesn't mean it can't be fun.
If you're considering a bespoke dress, but you're waiting until restrictions get lifted, how about doing a bit of research while you wait.
I use only the best, most trusted suppliers for all my fabrics and trims, and here's a little taste of what they have to offer. I've included links through to their websites for you to continue your research in full.
I have to start with lace, as I absolutely love it! I could never get bored of lace, as the designs are just endless, with new ones being added all the time. It's so versatile to work with too.
I buy mainly from my two most trusted lace suppliers. Michaels Bridal Fabrics and Bridal Fabrics both offer a vast range of only the best quality laces. Their ranges cover both traditional and super modern designs, and I'd be surprised if between them they don't have everything covered!
I'd put aside a good few hours to peruse both their websites, and most definitely save your favourites or write a list as you go along.
Bridal Fabrics have everything from traditional lace, to breathtaking super modern quirky designs. They also stock a great range of plain fabrics to compliment them. Have a look for yourself, and you can even order a few free samples from their website. It's impossible to sum them up with a few images, so why not have a look at their website.
Michaels Bridal Fabrics, again, it's simply impossible to pick just a few images to show the offering from this amazing family company. They've been trading since 1996 and are constantly adding to their range to keep up with bridal trends. I have their full range of samples, which when restrictions are lifted I can show you in person.
To go with these beautiful laces you might want to think about plains, whether that's to go underneath, or to be complimentary. The above companies offer plains, as do the following other suppliers.
Like many of the companies I buy from, Bennett silks is a family business, now run by it's founder William Henry Bennett's great grandsons. They offer a vast range of silk and silk blends, in satins, crepes, chiffons and many more qualities. The fabric above is a silk crepe satin, and this screen shot from their colour chart shows that it's not just a case of ivory or white, this is just 10 of their neutral colours, in just one quality. As silk is a natural fibre, it dyes perfectly with natural rich colours.
Pongees is one of the UK's biggest silk suppliers. Satin is a fabric everyone's heard of, but what actually is satin? The weave of this lustrous fabric has long floats which gives it it's sheen. The amount of shine on a satin comes down to what it's made of, silk being the least shiny. The drape comes down to the fabric weight and finish. The image above is from Pongees website, who offer a great variety, they have 19 satin qualities alone, each of which comes in a beautiful spectrum of colours.
James Hare (above) offer a fashion forward range of plains and decorative fabrics. They've been around for 155 years and certainly know what they're doing. Their range covers so much you need to look for yourself.
Once you've looked at laces and plains, you might want to look at a bit of sparkle or colour to add to your dress, or some accessories.
Bridal belts and hair accessories. There are lots of places to go to for this type of thing, but I really like Twilight designs (photo's above), they're great value and quality, and a company you can trust. (Many online shops offer similar looking accessories, but the quality is not always as good as you'd hope).
VV Rouleaux is great for ribbons, trims and fabric flowers. They offer beautiful silk ribbon and trims suitable for dresses, but also bright colours and textures suitable for decorations. Likewise, their flowers suit every budget, and are great for dresses, accessories and decorations.
MacCulloch and Wallis have been around since 1902. Their amazing retail haberdashery shop is just off Oxford Street in Central London. It's an Aladdins cave, but luckily they offer most products on their website. If you don't see what you're looking for on their website, they are incredibly helpful and knowledgable over the phone.
I could go on, and include more, but these suppliers are all my absolute favourites who have been supplying me with excellent products with outstanding customer service for many years.
I hope despite the current lockdown these links can bring a bit of joy to your wedding prep until you can get out again. I must add, I'm feeling optimistic things will get better very soon and wedding planning will be much more fun, and less challenging again.