Should You Say Yes to a Custom Dress?
By Teri Butler with Inspired by the Dress
You’ve gone to all the bridal salons, sipped champagne with your crew, and tried on countless numbers of dresses. With every dress, you think you’ve found your perfect one, but when you turn around and look at yourself in the mirror, you don’t hear the angels singing.
You know what you want, so why not custom make the dress? Having it custom-made gives a more personalized choice and captures your individual taste and style. The seamstress will take your inspirations and create that one-of-a-kind gown that fits you perfectly.
If you desire a custom or bespoke dress, here are a few things to consider before starting the magical journey.
Be Open to the Process and Prepare for Your Ideas to Evolve
Creating the perfect custom gown is a very individual, extraordinary, and creative experience, and like most artistic endeavors, it can organically evolve. Be prepared for deviations in the dress design if warranted. For example, sleeves/no sleeves or neckline modifications.
It’s important to remember that a portion of the journey with a custom-made gown is for you to be captivated by the creation of your dress. It is exhilarating to see the progress unfold right before your eyes. Upon each fitting, your gown will transform into an exquisite original that fits you perfectly, reflects your vision, and enhances your best features.
You May Need More Fittings Than You Think – Especially If You Plan to Lose Weight
A made-to-measure gown requires time, usually four to six months. The number of fittings you will have depends on your dress style, fabric choices, and schedules. You will be measured extensively, and from those measurements, the drafting of a pattern gets underway. A muslin, or test version of the dress, is created and will be used for the first fitting. The muslin identifies the basic shape and design lines of the dress and offers an opportunity to make design changes.
If you are planning to lose weight, you should let the dressmaker know early on, as she or he can draft the pattern to allow for weight loss.
Stay True to Yourself and the Vision ofYour Dress
You have an explicit look in mind and the design of your dress is important. A bespoke wedding dress can be a bit overwhelming; it creates a lot of pressure and can make you lose sight of what you really want. While friends and family may have opinions about how you should look in the dress, ultimately YOU have the final say. Stay true to the style and vision of what really makes you happy and comfortable.
Be Aware That the Price May Change
Say you originally wanted a simple dress with no embellishments, but you change your mind and opt for beaded lace, sequins or other embellishments. Modifications like these may increase your price.
It’s important to ask your dressmaker where you are in price when making changes before they’re done. If the changes will crash your budget, ask what other fabric options or design choices would make a similar effect.
Custom is NOT cheaper than retail dresses. Keep your budget number in mind and tell your dress designer up front. They may be able to offer options. Your budget controls the inspiration for your gown, fabric choices, embellishments (how you will decorate your dress), and even its design style (amount of fabric required).
You Are Likely to Become Over Critical
The pressure to create a perfect dress can cause you to overanalyze every detail and question each decision. If that is the case, try asking yourself these questions: How would you feel about this dress if it wasn’t for your wedding? What parts of it do you really love? Does it represent your style and personality? Does it suit your figure well?
Trust the Professionals
It’s important to ask questions throughout the design and fitting process, especially if you don’t understand something, but it’s also very important to have trust in your dressmaker. Try to relax and enjoy this magical experience.
Take Pictures, Pictures, and More Pictures
Take photos at every opportunity and every fitting. You are making memories! With a few weeks between each fitting, taking pictures allows you to look at the progress and decide if you really like the way your dress is coming along, as well as consider the elements you love or don’t love. Having pictures to refer back to will also help you see how the dress photographs on your figure – good to know for the wedding day!
The memories made will be specific to you as you walk down the aisle in a one-of-a-kind, made just for you, bespoke wedding gown! You are worth it!
Inspired by the Dress is a design studio where inspiration meets creation and captures bride’s distinctive style and vision for “her perfect dress.” As Owner/Designer, Teri Butler, translates her brides’ inspirations into bespoke couture wedding gowns. The bride’s memories are exceptional to none other as she walks down the aisle in her one-of-a-kind, custom gown.