Wear a bespoke vintage wedding dress on your big day with Northampton charity shop contest

The ladies at the AgeUk store in St Giles Street with two of their vintage dresses.
The ladies at the AgeUk store in St Giles Street with two of their vintage dresses.
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A Northampton charity shop competition is offering one lucky bride-to-be the chance to wear a bespoke, one-of-a-kind dress for their big day.

They want to upcycle a vintage wedding dress and hand it over to an expert seamstress, who will refit and customise it to the winner's specifications.

Ian Tarvit with the head seamstress at the Zipyard.

Ian Tarvit with the head seamstress at the Zipyard.

Age UK, in St Giles' Street, Northampton, has teamed up with nearby fabric-specialists The Zipyard to hold the competition.

Yvette Prior, manager of the Age UK shop, said: "We've recently started to stock vintage wedding dresses and to launch our new collection we want to find a bride with exciting ideas to come and pick a dress - free of charge - and take it for alterations at The Zipyard.

"In the end, they will own something unique, a one-of-a-kind bespoke dress for their big day.

"Our collection even has a 1960s Harrods dress with its original box. You never know what you'll find in a second-hand store."

Co-owner of The Zipyard Northampton Ian Tarvit said: "The winner will pick out a dress and come to our bridal suite to be measured and to tell us how they want it to look. Our head seamstress will then oversee the dress' transformation.

"We can't add a 40-foot train, for example, but we could make alterations like lacing it with red ribbon and adjust it to perfectly fit you.

"It's nice to be able to give something back to the community."

The lucky bride will get their finished, upcycled dress free-of-charge, but can make a donation to Age UK if they wish.

Yvette said: "All the money raised at our store goes to help elderly people in Northamptonshire and the local community.

"Anyone who wants to enter should email the shop and give their name, address, the date of their wedding, a hundred words on why we should choose you and your dress size, to help us find the perfect dress for you.

"I think the idea of a second-hand store or charity shop has a stigma of not being very fashionable but you can find some authentic designer labels and hidden gems if you take the time to look."

Brides can enter the contest by emailing stgiles.shop@ageuknorthants.org.uk.