Paige Joanna


My Wedding Dress Up-cycle Transformation | Charity Shop to Dream Wedding Dress

  • Paige
  • July 16, 2019

Our wedding day has come and gone but this dress story will always stay with me. I brought my dress in a charity shop and transformed it into something unique. In this blog post, I share the transformation process on how we created my dream wedding dress on a budget. This blog post has been in the making for over a year and a half ever since I laid eyes on the dress in a charity shop window. A family friend and I worked our magic on creating something unique to me. Keep reading to see more on my Wedding Dress Up-cycle Transformation

Finding the dress, how it all started:

I knew as soon as I got engaged what style of dress I wanted, after many years of Pinterest searching. Airy tulle style dresses adorned with flower embellishments and lace was my thing. I also really liked blush coloured styles with an ombré skirt and pink petticoats.

After work one day I walked past a boutique charity shop near where I live and saw this dress in the window on a mannequin. The shop had already closed but I knew I needed to try it on. That night I contacted them on their Facebook page so they knew to expect me first thing 10am the following day. With my heart racing, I headed to the shop that morning and tried on the dress. To my delight, it fit me so well, though the straps were a little bit big. The shop owners shared in my glee and the experience was so surreal. I brought the dress which appeared brand new, for only £120! It was fate then, even though I didn’t have the traditional moment trying on with my family I just knew it felt right. The dress was such an amazing price I didn’t have to worry about taking a chunk out of our budget but it also gave me wiggle room to adapt it and make it unique. That’s when I knew I could easily adapt it and make it something even more special.

The transformation process:

After trying on the dress a few times and searching Pinterest for inspiration I knew I wanted to give it my own personal touches. Luckily for me, I have a wonderful family friend who has worked for years as a dressmaker and seamstress. Sharon, also made my mum’s wedding dress and I worked my very first job with her in dressmakers when I was 14! It felt very special for me to have her help me with my dress alterations and upcycling process.

I did some research and came across an Etsy store that sells beautiful lace pieces, called Lacetime. All the lace pieces are sold individually so I chose a few variations as they were a really great price. I purchased some pastel floral lace panels in the hope we could use them to applique to the dress bodice. Once they arrived we were able to pin onto the bodice and have a play around with placement. As well as the lace panels I also ordered some white lace daisies and daisy ribbon from eBay. As I was able to hunt down applique and lace at such a great price I felt the more options the better.

The process was very much trial and error, lots of pinning and trying on. I thoroughly enjoyed each moment, seeing my vision come to life with Sharon’s help.

My Dream Wedding Dress

On the day I felt so magical in my dress. I went braless but ended up using a stick-on bra, as I couldn’t quite fill the bust, so it meant I felt more comfortable. Knowing that I found my dress in a charity shop and how we made it so unique makes me so happy. The total cost was around £150 including the lace pieces and extras. My Wedding Dress Up-cycle Transformation truly was such a special part of my life and wedding memories. I hope this shows how much you can achieve on a small budget. Buying thrifted or second hand can be an incredible way to save money but also help the environment. Have fun with it and try not to consider what the normal dress process is. I felt amazing in it and that’s all that matters.

Wedding photos by Chloe Lee Photography