A Cheltenham woman who found several of her friends low-cost wedding dresses in China when she was their bridesmaid has launched her own business.
Nyima Pratten’s company Yes White Dress designs and makes beautiful gowns for a fraction of the cost of UK prices.
Website Bridebook recently found brides are shelling out an average of £1,385 to look their best for the big day, but Niamh’s workers in Suzhou can come up with a tailor-made dress for as little as £180.
Her company deals directly with wedding dress manufacturers in the silk and lace capital of China, where 80 per cent of the world’s wedding dresses are created.
Top brands from around the world use the same manufacturers that they work with, but Niamh cuts out the middlemen, dress studios and designer labels to offer the finished product without the exorbitant price tag.
Each gown is handmade to customers’ exact, self-taken measurements and delivered to their doors within three months.
They all include signature lace-up back detailing, which allows for some extra room in case the bride’s size changes before the main event.
“When a couple of my friends were looking for weddings dresses a few years ago, the cost blew my mind,” said former Balcarras School pupil Niamh.
“I did some research, went to wedding fairs and thought I could set up my own website.
“As a fashion journalist with a degree in management with Chinese studies, I studied in a place outside Shanghai called Ningbo.
“As part of it I learned to speak Mandarin. I knew I could make a successful business out of this.”
Nyima has been working with five different factories in Suzhou since February 2018 and she is always at the end of the phone if brides need to chat through their requirements.
One of the company’s most popular designs, which are named after her friends, is the Betty, costing £220.
Accentuating female curves, it has a sweetheart neckline and intricate floral beadwork and sequins over the mesh overlay of the lace-up bodice.
It is described as a ‘enchanting, ethereal beauty with a look that transcends the ages.’
Another dress, the £480 ‘Dawn’, has delicate needlework and is a more traditional look with its lace sleeves.
“People can find it daunting buying dresses online as you hear all the scary stories but I’m always on hand to speak to brides,” said Niamh.
“They are high quality. We have had some great feedback and women have been surprised at what they can get for their money- and they’re not second hand.
“As we don’t have stores we can pass on good prices to the customer.”
Head here to see the company’s designs and find out more.