Wedding season: behind the design of the all-important bridal dress

Wedding season as we know it has returned this year, so South West Londoner took a look at the design behind an important feature of the occasion: the bridal dress.

With a large majority of weddings occurring between 1st April and 31st October, the industry became significantly affected by the pandemic and the restrictions placed on the events business as weddings were cancelled, postponed or reduced significantly in size.

Putney resident and bespoke wedding dress designer Charlotte Hardwick, 35, owns a workshop in Epsom, and has been managing her business, Wilden London, for the past ten years.

ONE OF A KIND: Charlotte Hardwick in her Wilden London workshop in Epsom

After studying costume design in Wimbledon, Charlotte made the switch to wedding dresses to design and create clothing that could be treasured.

She said: “It’s really nice to get insight into people’s special moments and the things that are important to them, and to translate that into something that they can wear.

“I just find really magical.”

Bespoke wedding dresses are one of a kind dresses created from scratch and tailored to an individual according to their needs, from start to finish.

The mother of one manages her business alone, and often takes in 10 to 25 bespoke clients per year.

She told South West Londoner how exciting it was to have weddings return after lockdown restrictions eased.

She said: “It’s literally unbelievable, because it hasn’t happened for so long. It’s almost like I don’t dare believe it when I’m waving off the dress out of the door that it’s actually going to get married!”

WATCH: Bespoke wedding dress designer Charlotte Hardwick reveals the art behind the process

In the video, Charlotte explained the design process, its challenges, how the pandemic has affected her business, and what exciting projects she has planned now that weddings are back.

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