Earlier this week, ten finalists showcased their work at the 11th Annual Toilet Paper Wedding Dress contest’s finale event held at Kleinfeld Bridal’s New York City location. Contestants crafted dresses out of nothing more than Charmin toilet paper, tape, glue and/or needle and thread, and this year, 1,498 entrants were up to the challenge. Celebrity weddings and events planner, Michael Russo, along with Kleinfeld Bridal co-owner Mara Urshel, were in attendance to help select the winning designs. By way of disclosure, Kleinfeld’s used to be in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and many of my spouse’s family bought their wedding dresses there, and Peter’s aunt even worked there for several years!
I was also in attendance to cover this event as a new member of the Charmin Influencer team. Designers used up to 74 rolls of Charmin Basic, Charmin Ultra Soft, Charmin Ultra Strong, and even a vintage Charmin product from the 1970s. Yes, people are saving toilet paper from over 40 years ago! So when you see pink toilet paper in some of the pictures, that is where it is from, private collectors sell it on-line.
Here are some of the designers with their models and creations:
“I have planned many high-profile weddings, and at each, the dress is always the show-stopper,” says Russo. “These gowns made from Charmin toilet paper are no exception and the level of detail the finalists brought to the table this year is stunning. I can’t wait to see the winning dress brought to life in a ready-to-wear design!” I agree, and the fact that only toilet paper is being used makes the incredible detail even more striking because we all use toilet paper and we know it is not a very strong material. I shudder to think about the amount of time to correct toilet paper mishaps these hardworking designers went through!
Here I tried to capture some of the detail from the dresses of two of the contestants, they ended up in the second and third place spots, it is clear why:
I am not sure if the photos can convey how incredibly remarkable the workmanship was on each dress. One looks like meringue, they actually burnt the edges for that effect, and when she walked the runway I also felt like they might pass for goose feathers. Whatever toilet paper jokes were in my head before the event are gone, I have a new found respect for the product! And don’t forget, these women are walking around in toilet paper, trust me, having been there up close, that requires a very delicate gait! It was interesting just to hear the rustling of the fabric as they walked!
Cheap-Chic-Weddings.com, which operates as a money-saving website for brides-to-be, began the annual contest eleven years ago based on the popular bridal shower game. As the contest has increased in popularity from year to year, so has the level of competition.
“Each year our contest gets bigger and better,” says Laura Gawne, co-founder of Cheap Chic Weddings. “We are continuously amazed by the great designs and love seeing the creative talents of each contestant come to life.”
This marks the fifth year Charmin has partnered with Cheap Chic Weddings by providing coupons to help cover the cost of purchasing Charmin toilet paper used in creating each dress. “We always look forward to seeing Charmin’s strong & soft qualities being showcased in such a unique way,” says Eric Breissinger, Vice President, North America Family Care, Procter & Gamble, “Congratulations to Donna Pope Vincler and all the finalists.”
What a great program Cheap Chic Weddings is, and it is very impressive that Charmin helps out and sponsors the contest. Anything that helps folks afford the dress of their dreams, for their dream event, is wonderful!
Donna Pope Vincler won the Grand Prize of $10,000 and was joined at the finale event by the other nine contest finalists. Runner-up Mimoza Haska from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, received a check for $5,000, and third place winner Carol Touchstone from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, received a check for $2,500. Photos from the contest can be found at www.cheap-chic-weddings.com, their Facebook and Twitter pages and across Charmin’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Again, every item on the models is made of toilet paper: the hat, the veil, the bow tie. Everything!
And here are the top three dresses:
Disclosure: I am a compensated member of the Charmin Influencer team. All opinions are always 100% honest and my own.
(The top photo and the photo with the giant check are courtesy of Amy Sussman/AP Images for Charmin)