Mum's £1000 redesign gives Andrea a wedding dress just like Pippa Middleton's £40k gown
A Portadown bride who got married on the same day as Pippa Middleton stepped down the aisle in regal style in a vintage gown she spent a year customising, which turned out to be a dead ringer for the frock worn by the Duchess of Cambridge's sister.
Andrea Kilpatrick (30) spent months working with her mum Arlene and dressmaker Lorna Reid-Mullen from The Pinked Edge Couture to redesign Arlene's high-necked Eighties wedding dress.
After shortening the sleeves, adding embellishments and an overlayer, making the most of the original lace and veil, the trio believed they had created a truly unique wedding dress.
On Saturday, after her own wedding to Dr Stephen Herron in Seagoe Parish Church, Andrea was thrilled when pictures of Pippa emerged showing that the English bride's bespoke frock mirrored her sense of style.
"I couldn't believe it when I saw Pippa's dress and how similar it was to my own - it looks like we got it on trend," laughed Andrea, who works as a communication and engagement officer at Disability Sport NI.
"I had always loved my mum's wedding dress, which she wore 35 years ago, and we got married in the same church as she and my dad did.
"When I first tried my mum's dress on it didn't fit, but we customised it with shorter sleeves, added embellishments to the sleeves and bodice and added an overlayer due to a bit of discolouration of the lace.
"The original lace veil was shortened too.
"My mum enjoys designing things in her spare time and she worked with Lorna to get it right.
"It was all modelled on my mum's style - a high neck is one of her signature looks. It was on trend 35 years ago and it looks like it's still on trend now."
While Pippa wore a bespoke Giles Deacon dress rumoured to have cost around £40,000 for her Berkshire wedding to hedge fund manager James Matthews, Andrea was able to achieve the same look for a fraction of the cost with a little help from friends and family.
"I would say that with the alterations my dress cost around £1,000, which is just a fraction of what Pippa must have paid," she added.
"I don't think there is any comparison between my wedding and Pippa's, but I am a fan of hers and I was over the moon to see the pictures - all my friends were laughing.
"It was really important for us to personalise our wedding, so in addition to my mum designing the dress, my mother-in-law arranged the flowers, my sister-in-law made the headpieces and my nanny even baked the cake, which my mother-in-law iced.
"My good friends also provided the photography, hair styling and music so I knew everything would be perfect, as I trust them implicitly.
"It was the personalised touch which made it so special. It did help to keep the costs down, but really it was about involving everybody.
"Afterwards we had a reception for 140 people at Ballymagarvey Village in Co Meath, but we definitely didn't have a large glass marquee in the garden or any paparazzi waiting outside!"
Following their wedding, Andrea and Stephen spent their honeymoon in Tenerife.