The Wedding Dress
Life after the big day?
You’ve worn your wedding dress. It took you hours to choose it; a small fortune to buy; and months of fittings. Some of the lace has perhaps got caught on something and is a little ripped; it’s no longer pristinely clean after a day of partying (why does it always get muddy in the summer in the UK?!). You love that dress and all it means but are you ever likely to wear it again? What on earth should you do with it? Is it going to sit at the back of your wardrobe for ever?
The Beautiful Frame Company
Fortunately a company based in beautiful West Sussex, near the ancient cathedral city of Chichester, has the answer. From their studio in the lovely Sussex countryside mother and daughter Charlotte and Samantha do everything to transform your dress into a mounted work of art. They work with a partner who carefully cleans and where necessary delicately restores your dress, finally hand preserving it and using only pH neutral products.
We caught up with Sam between vet’s appointments on a busy day…
How did you get into this?
“Charlotte didn’t want her wedding dress just hanging in the back of the wardrobe. We did two courses – in framing and 3D framing – and are now fully qualified to conservation standard, including being members of the prestigious Fine Art Trade Guild. We were also lucky that one of our first clients was a joiner – we learnt a lot from him”.
What sorts of frames are available?
“Each box is completely bespoke – we even have our own way of mounting each dress. It’s sewn in in such a way that it could be taken out and re-used in future – for example when your daughter says she wants to wear your wedding dress.
Most people go for a black mount, but we’re currently working on a dress set against the husband’s family tartan. It’s going to look stunning! If you have a veil, then we put that behind the dress, which looks pretty.
For transporting dresses an acrylic box is lighter and safer than glass and wood, but whether you have acrylic or glass glazing, it can provide up to 99% UV protection and is also anti-abrasion. Acrylic frames are made from recycled products, and we’re interested in the possibility of using recycled wood products too – though if your heart’s desire is a gorgeous, hardwood frame then we can provide that too.
You’ll see us busy at our saw or lathe – we do it all ourselves”.
How far afield do you deliver?
“To date we have hand-delivered every framed dress, all over the British mainland – but we’re so busy we’re now looking at other options. We’ve just had a quote from TNT for delivery to Ireland! The frames have a Z-cleat on them, which is more than adequate for the weight of the dress and frame (c.25-30 kg). We put one part on the back of the frame, and the couple then needs to put the other part on the wall of the house”.
Any funny stories – or challenging ones?
“Probably the time we were delivering a dress to a top floor flat. A guy asked if he could help – he didn’t realise how heavy the frame was and that we had to carry it all the way up the stairs!”
The dress in the studio
MamaCake’s Claire had her wedding dress framed and it is on show in the new studio in Walton near Brampton.
Come to have a look – and if you decide this is something you would like for yourself, The Beautiful Frame Company is offering couples who order a MamaCakes cake a 10% discount on framing until 30th September 2017.
Getting the dress framed is just one of many unusual gift options, in particular if you’re trying to buy something for the couple who has it all. The Beautiful Frame Company offers vouchers for wedding guests and family members wishing to club together to purchase this as a gift for the bride, leaving the choice of frame style and mount to the bride and groom. Alternatively it makes a great anniversary present – new husbands take note!