Following the success of local art students’ styling and promotion of our charity shop prom and party dresses last year, we have once again joined forces with them – and this time they’ve been lending their creative flair to the wedding dresses that adorn the rails of our Drake City Centre store.

The students from Plymouth College of Art have been busy styling the wide range of elegant, great-value wedding dresses, some secondhand and some ex-display gowns, showing that you don’t have to spend a fortune to look a million dollars on your big day.

Maria Nadine Barlow, Assistant Manager at the shop, said: “The students came and picked a variety of wedding dresses to showcase all our styles. Then they worked really hard on photoshoots and videos to promote just what gorgeous items we have available. It’s a brilliant way to show you don’t need to spend a lot of money on a great dress.”

Already-loved wedding dress sales are a growing market, with one survey of a thousand women showing around half would be happy with buying a pre-owned dress. Maria added: “Buying from St Luke’s may not come with the glasses of champagne you get in expensive stores, but smart brides know that with the saving you make you can use your cash for an amazing ceremony.”

Three different models took part in the professional shoots, capturing a range of fishtail, mermaid-style and slender, elegant dresses. They were joined by photographers, make-up artists and stylists, all working to showcase the beauty of women of all different sizes.

Ali Humphrey, a second-year student on the Commercial Photography for Fashion, Advertising and Editorial course at the College said: “When you come in it literally takes ten seconds to pull out a couple of dresses, and there’s some amazing looks available. I hope people consider charity shops when looking for a wedding dress because there are so many options, why wouldn’t you have a look?”

Fellow student Tilly Warbuton added: “It almost has more meaning because it has a story behind the dress that you’re wearing. You can add a new story to it, and then you could also pass it on to someone else.”

Sales of wedding dresses from our charity shop bring in income that contributes to the £1m our retail division brings in each year to support the compassionate care St Luke’s provides.

Seeing the stylish looks created by the students just goes to show there can be a lovely longevity to a wedding dress as it changes hands from one beautiful bride to the next, each with her own special story.

Find your nearest St Luke’s charity shop!