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with Jane Furnival

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Wedding dresses

Marriage need not be expensive

Mention 'wedding' and people take leave of their senses. Buy beautiful, but don't bankrupt yourself or your Dad in the process.  No one wants to start married life in debt....

Donít buy an expensive dress imagining that you will ever wear it again or that you can re-sell it for more than a few pounds. It is much cheaper to hire or to buy in a sale.

You can make amazing savings on the Net. For a bride-to-be on the Smart Spenders programme, I found wonderful dresses, with veils, for a  few hundred pounds. Try

People spend pounds having a dress professionally packed away and, then after years under the bed, they just give it away. The traditional thing to do, is to have it made into a christening gown for the first baby.

Find a dress you like the look of in a magazine - it need not be a bridal mag, but could be Vogue etc. Then go to a few dry cleaners who also offer Ďrepairs and alterationsí or look in newsagents' window  for adverts for local seamstresses. They can copy anything for a fraction of the cost. 

But donít let the seamstress buy the fabric. To buy online try my favourite suppliers are MacCulloch & Wallis Ltd. 25 Derring Street, London, W1R 0BH : 0171

629 0311 and Allans of Duke Street 75 Duke Street, Oxford Street, London W1M 5DJ, 0044 (0)207-629-5947.

Accessories like coronets for your veil and bridesmaidsí posies add to the cost considerably. Donít buy these in posh wedding shops Ė look in Hobbycraft ( or craft shops for basic ones which you can simply adapt to suit yourself.

Look in charity shops in smart areas like Chelsea. Notting Hill Housing Trust shops carry particularly posh frocks. It is worth phoning around charity shops before going to ask if they have any good dresses in as these tend to be snapped up quickly. Ask to be tipped off when something comes in.

Oxfam has nine specialised branches selling  NEW and secondhand wedding dresses and accessories from petticoats to garters. 

95 Corporation Street, Birmingham 0121 236 7376

54/58 Darley Street, Bradford 01274 306700

5 The Bridge, Chippenham,Wiltshire 01249 447061

300 Walsgrave Road, Coventry 024 76 448909

258/258a Telegraph Road, Heswall 0151 342 8416

17 Terminus Road, Eastbourne 01323 640731

22 Market Street, Leicester 0116 2556455

358 Rayners Lane, Pinner 0208 8669616

76/78 High Street, Shirley, Southampton SO15 3NE.
By appointment only, please call Sue Hutchings on 07969 668939.

See Jane's top tips on VideoJug: Cheap Cooking Ideas, Saving Money On Your Shopping, Budgeting Tips, Identifying Shop Tricks, Reducing The Cost Of Air Travel, Saving Money On Mobile Phones, Saving Electricity, Offers And Bargains Explained, Cheap Cleaning Alternatives, Reducing Your Car Costs



© Copyright Jane Furnival 2007, 2008