Agghh, Pinterest. We love it for it’s endless inspirational photos, and DIY tips. If you’re a bride to be, and planning your wedding, it is almost impossible that you have not been influenced by the boards, or styles that you have seen online. Maybe you even have a wedding dress board, where you pin images of your favorite lace wedding dress look. If so, more than likely, you have a least one pin of a young blonde, with her hair flowing in the breeze, looking effortless, gorgeous and carefree in her chic lace bridal gown and cowboy boots.
You want that look. You need that look. You won’t stop until you’ve found it.
The good news is that we definitely have that look in stock. Lace wedding dresses, are, after all, gorgeous. This you already know. What you may not know is that this look does not cost around three hundred to five hundred dollars. And, if you do find this “look” advertised online for this price, you may as well save yourself the extra money, and go to your local department store, and buy a “lace-look” tablecloth. The quality will be about the same. Cheap lace wedding dresses do exist, but trust us when we say you would not want to wear one.
So here’s what you need to know about lace wedding dresses BEFORE you visit that bridal salon, pinterest board in tow. Just as there different qualities of paper (think construction, photo paper, typing paper, etc.) there are many different grades of lace.
Lace, and the art of lace making, dates back centuries. In today’s world, lace is either handmade, or machine made. Handmade laces were traditionally made of gold, silver, silk or linen threads but are now made primarily from cotton threads. Machine made laces are made of synthetic materials (i.e., plastics). Of course, synthetic laces are less expensive to produce, but qualities of synthetic lace include scratchiness, pulling, irritation to skin site, wider holes in the lace pattern and a very thin, or plastic-like feel. A high quality lace will be handmade, and very soft to the touch. Since handmade laces is comprised of several single strands of individual threads woven together, it will not unravel, or pull apart like its machine made cousins. The pattern will be more intricate, and there will be fewer appearances of “holes” in the lace pattern.
Just as with any other part of your wedding planning budget, you should keep the cost of lace in mind when you are shopping for the perfect lace wedding dress. Something that has handmade details such as lace will start at a retail cost of one thousand dollars or more, and go up from there. If you are paying less than that for lace, than you are getting what you pay for – i.e., a cheap lace wedding dress made of plastics. We do not recommend this route, especially for a bride that may have skin sensitivities, or who wants to preserve the gown for heirloom purposes. Plastics turn yellow with age – your synthetic lace bridal gown will do the same. Fraying, pulling, and stiffness of material are also associated with synthetic laces. Handmade laces, on the other hand, will remain durable and true, as their strength is derived from many threads being woven together as one.
Details such as lace keyhole backs, lace illusion backs, and lace cap sleeves are also very popular in lace wedding dress looks. Again, as more of these elements of interest are added to the already handmade components, the cost will also rise accordingly.
So what’s a bride to do if she loves the lace wedding dress look, but does not have a budget in the thousands of dollars for the perfect lace wedding dress?
One popular option is to purchase a vintage lace dress from your local consignment or used clothing store. Here, you will be able to find wonderful handmade laces. Look for ones that are not stained, and still true to color. You also want to avoid any laces with mildew like smells. Once you’ve found the perfect lace, your seamstress will then be able to use this beautiful fabric to create a one of a kind jacket or strap for you to go with your wedding dress. This addition of lace works great with satin wedding dresses, as they are usually much less expensive, and pair well with other fabric accents. Other options include using lace from a family heirloom piece to incorporate into your wedding dress look.
Another option might be to consider a dress with lace appliques. Appliques are sewn directly onto a gown, and may be of high quality. However, as they are are usually sewn onto a tulle netting, and are not a true lace wedding dress, they will often be less expensive.
We hope you’ve found these tips enjoyable – remember, anyone can have the lace wedding dress look that they love. Just make sure that your budget matches your expectations. And, beware of cheap lace wedding dresses. Because while plastic is great for tupperware, it’s not so great for being the fabric that your dream dress is made of.