Couture: Bride on a Budget

The current economic situation has encouraged brides to be a little more practical than they have been in the past.  It really hits home when many wedding gowns are equal in cost to several mortgage payments.  There have always been budget bridal gowns; but, it is obvious where corners have been cut to save costs.  The first design element that flies out the window is the back detail.  There goes her dramatic recessional! What is a bride to do when she has expensive tastes and a logical budget?


Watters and Watters has long been in charge of budget gowns for the couture bride.  Unlike the average budget gown, they are fabricated from various weaves of silk as opposed to polyester.  Limoges, by Watters and Watters, fits the couture bride’s many criteria.  Is it constructed of silk? Check!  Is it modern as opposed to overly traditional? Check!  Is the back just as stunning as the front? Double check! With Limoges, Watters has taken its cue from couture designers by creating a sculptural back via a crumb catcher further embellished with silk shantung flowers.


This new trend of brides thinking twice about buying their dream dress no matter the cost has not fallen on deaf ears when it comes to decades-old Priscilla of Boston.  In 2006 Mark Brower joined Priscilla of Boston to design their more affordable line, Vineyard Collection.  Brower has made it his mission to design gowns that are silk, fashion forward, and do not skimp on the details, like a dramatic back.  In his fall 2009 collection, Brower created the Tasha, a V-neck gown constructed of thick silk charmeuse that is double lined so as to avoid V.P.L.*  Not only is it constructed of high quality silk, but the deep V-back framed with a large, romantic flounce will ensure a dramatic recessional.


If an interesting back is what the bride-on-budget is looking for, Priscilla of Boston has done it again with her Lucy.  Granted, Lucy is not from their latest collection, but it never fails to please, especially when the bride sneaks a peak at the price tag.  Lucy’s rear view is complete with pleating all down the back forming a slimming V and culminating in a silk rose and mini train over another chapel train.


Another very budget-conscious way to create back drama is through accessories.  Whether it be through silk rose boleros at Mariée, veils smothered in shimmering Swarovski from Uptown Bridal, or open backs bejeweled by one of Claudia’s lariat necklaces, accessories help to turn a simple sheath into the dream dress…without adding another $500 to the bill. 


*V.P.L. Verify the panty line.


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