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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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What started out as a promotional gimmick for a tips and hints for weddings website turned into a crafting craze that draws international attention. Six years ago creators of cheap-chic-weddings.com thought of a way to bring attention to the site by having a competition to find the best wedding dress made of toilet paper.
“It gets a lot of attention every year,” said co-creator Susan Bain. “I even got an interview from South Africa one time.”
The contest was inspired by a game that is played in many wedding showers and bachelorette parties where guests are given a roll of toilet paper and a short amount of time to make a wedding dress. This competition has thousands of self-proclaimed designers entering their dresses head pieces.
“It’s a whole different level, there are some seriously crafty people,” Bain said.
The dresses and head pieces are constructed out of toilet paper with tape and glue to keep it together. Sewing was added to the repertoire this year. “We try and change it a little bit every year and people get more and more crazy about it,” Bain said.
The entries are judged by Bain and her two partners, as well as a celebrity judge. Bain did not know who will be this year’s judge. The judging criterion includes creativity, originality, beauty and the use of toilet paper. Grand prize is $1,000, second prize is $500 and third prize is $250.
“Last year’s winner was crazy good. It was ‘Gone With the Wind’ inspired and is now in Ripley’s Believe it or Not,” Bain said.
Ripley’s sponsored the contest for a few years and as a result, several of the dresses have become part of the collection. The contest has no sponsors this year but Bain said they make the money back quickly with the attention the competition brings to the site.
“There are no outside sponsors this year but we’re still accepting sponsors,” Bain said.
Bain is one of three creators of cheap-chic-weddings.com based out of Boca Raton, Fla. Laid out in an online magazine format, the site offers pages for advice and ideas for weddings as well as blogs.
“It’s all just ideas,” Bain said. “We only recommend something if we try it or check it out ourselves.”
Bain plans to the toilet paper wedding dress contest.
“It has turned into such a phenomenon and gets lots of attention, it’s great,” Bain said.
Contest guidelines
• Contestants must be 18 years or older
• Submit photos with a front, back and side view of the dress on a model or mannequin.
• They may enter once a year and twice in a lifetime
• Entries must be in by May 15.

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