It’s your perfect day, so you want the perfect dress – right? Here’s the lowdown on how to design your own wedding dress to tick ALL your boxes.
Dress from Glitterati
Wedding dress shopping is meant to be magical. You’re supposed to fall head over heels in love with The One.
But what happens if the dress of your dreams is simply not out there “ or elements of it are, but not all in the one dress?
That’s when it’s time to consider designing, or helping to design, your own dress. Here’s what you need to know¦
START FROM SCRATCH
Once you’ve found a dress designer do your homework before you meet up with them, considering shape, fabrics, style, theme and colour.
“It’s good to bring images from bridal magazines as it’s vocabulary for me,” advises Moira from Glitterati.
However, never expect your dressmaker to create a straight copy of another design.
“That is both immoral and illegal,” says Mette from Freja Designer Dressmaking. “But I love hearing brides’ ideas and I will do my utmost to understand which elements a bride is in love with.”
Most importantly, trust your designer’s knowledge.
“Different body types and personalities suit different fabrics,” says Joyce from Joyce Young Design Studios. “If you’re very petite, very floaty will suit but if you’re stronger-looking a more formal fabric will suit.”
Dress from Freja Designer Dressmaking
MAKE IT YOUR OWN
If the thought of starting from scratch sounds daunting, some designers will be able to show you dresses they’ve already designed which you can pick and choose elements from.
“Brides can try on our designs and select the bodice of one, the skirt of another and the sleeve shape and length of yet another,” explains Moira.
Mette adds, “This is the beauty of the process. It makes brides take ownership of their dress and make it truly their own.”
Dress from Joyce Young Design Studios
ALL THE TRIMMINGS
Yet another alternative is to buy a dress from a regular boutique and customise it by adding straps, sleeves or accessories.
Your boutique can suggest options but always ask what price these alterations come at, and remember, many designers won’t alter or adapt a dress bought elsewhere.
However, Glitterati can make detachable sleeves, shrugs, boleros and lace crop tops.
~ Meet the brides who went bespoke ~
Suzanne Marshall incorporated her fave colour into her dress…
Stationer Suzanne from Purple Willow Weddings gets to see gorgeous dresses all the time, but when it came to deciding on her own dress none were right for her.
So she turned to Isobel at A Scottish Touch – Designerwear by Isobel Drysdale to design a totally bespoke dress, complete with distinctive purple net underskirts.
Trying on the toile they worked together to perfect the final shape. “We spent a bit of time with me saying ˜maybe a bit shorter at the front’ and Isobel just got the scissors out,” Suzanne remembers.
Avril Smart not only designed her gown – she made it too!
Avril loves a challenge and, despite having no dressmaking experience, was determined to make her own French lace wedding dress from scratch.
“We wanted our wedding to be as cheap as possible and I’m also not a huge fan of a lot of wedding dresses and couldn’t see myself in about 90% of them,” she explains.
So with help from her mum, Avril set about designing a dress for her wedding.
“I had massive anxiety over it for a year,” recalls the bride. “My mum made the gold part that went under the lace and I sculpted the lace as a separate piece. Then a couple of nights before the wedding we put them together.”
On the wedding day, Avril felt fantastic. “To be wearing something that my mum and I had worked on together was the best feeling in the world.”