One bride in Australia wasn’t going to just walk down the aisle in any old thing. Using 10,000 bread tags she collected from friends and family, Stephanie Watson spent months creating her one-of-a-kind dress from recycled tags and hand-me-down fabrics.
“I always liked the idea of a design challenge and thought a wedding dress would be the ultimate test! Besides, when Will (my husband) and I started seeing each other we started collecting bread tags. We decided that when we had enough tags to make a wedding dress we would get married. Ten years later I felt it was time to give it a go,” Watson wrote in an email.
The 29-year-old met her husband in high school geography class and later went on to study fashion design. She worked in the industry before moving an hour outside of Melbourne, Australia.
“Will thought the dress was excellent, although it was not a surprise on the day for him in line with tradition. I needed someone to help me fit it as I was designing and making it and he was the only one around! I’m choosing not to believe in bad luck with that one,” she wrote.
The dress only cost Watson $38, since she used fabric salvaged from other garments and tags donated from family and friends. This doesn’t include the countless hours she spent planning and stitching, which she documented on her blog, Constructing Nadine.
“One of the tags I found had the name ‘Nadine’ printed on it. I thought it might be nice to give the gown a bit of personality by naming her, that way people would not have to ask me ‘How is the dress going?’ but rather ‘How is Nadine?’” wrote Watson. “I later realised that Nadine is a variety of potato and the tag was probably used to close a bag of spuds! It makes sense as there are lots of potato farms in our area.”
One user commented on Watson’s blog that Nadine means hope, and the name stuck. A year later when Nadine was finally finished, Watson wore the stunning dress at her wedding in January.
“The dress was very uncomfortable and I would not recommend anyone making a dress out of hard bits of plastic! It was almost impossible to sit down in and weighed about 7 kilos,” wrote Watson. “I don’t intend on wearing it again! It was also rather noisy, the tags clicked against each other as I walked. ”
Since the wedding, Watson continues to sell her designs on her Etsy page. She’s also had one small surprise.
“I’m pregnant! We did not know it on the day, but it turned out I had a bun in the oven,” she wrote.