Red Cross opens charity wedding boutique

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THESE wedding dresses can be something old, something new, something borrowed or something blue.

Brides-to-be hoping to find their dream dress will be able to bag a bargain while helping another good cause after Red Cross opened Edinburgh’s first dedicated charity wedding boutique.

Sharon Easton tries on one of many dresses. Picture: Greg Macvean

Sharon Easton tries on one of many dresses. Picture: Greg Macvean

The Stockbridge store, which launched today, has managed to gather hundreds of designer and vintage gowns which will go on sale at a fraction of the original price.

And as well as wedding attire for the bridesmaids, grooms and even the mother-of-the bride, which have been donated to the charity at branches across Scotland, the shop will be looking to sell second-hand wedding dresses – which will almost certainly have only been worn once.

Katie Thomson, Red Cross area retail manager, said the charity wanted a specialism “different to music or books” and is confident it has something to suit all tastes and budgets.

“Everything has been donated to us,” she said. “Some of them have come from wedding shops where they might have been used as samples, some have been handed into our shops on the west coast and we have brought them all together.

“The value of the brand new dresses range from £650 to £2500 and will be sold for between £200 and £700.”

The former Sony Centre has been transformed to include a mezzanine bridal level, complete with changing rooms and a waiting area for those helping the bride make that all-important decision. As well as wedding and bridesmaids’ dresses by designers including Alan Hannah, Mia Mia, Lisa Marie, Ritva Westenius, Charlotte Balbeir, Dizzy Lizzie Couture and Elianna Moore, there will be a range of accessories by Lindsay Fleming – recently named Scottish Wedding Dress Designer of the Year at the VOW Awards.

The displays have already caught the eye of passing shoppers, with many asking when the store would be opened.

Wedding planner Roni Hyslop, who runs Edinburgh based All Wrapped Up, welcomed the addition – and said a second-hand dress would not be an issue for many brides-to-be.

She said: “The vintage scene has been around for a while now and it’s amazing what you can get. Obviously it’s up to the bride and what she wants but I’d say why not get one from a charity shop if it’s the right dress? No-one need know, it’s for a good cause and many have never been worn anyway.”

kate.pickles@edinburghnews.com