If you want to be truly unique on your wedding day, a one-off wedding dress designed exclusively for you has to be the perfect answer. While ready-made and designer label wedding dresses can be fabulous, nothing can beat a dress designed with your ideas, style and figure in mind.
However, commissioning a custom-made wedding dress isn’t for the last-minute bride. The whole process can take six months or more, from the first consultation to the final fitting. Here is a guide to what to expect if you are thinking of taking this route for your wedding dress.
1. Choosing your dress designer
Most couture wedding dress designers can design in a wide range of styles and fabrics, but as you look through their portfolios you will notice that they each have a signature style of their own, whether it is elaborate beading, elegant simplicity or clever use of lace and intricate fabrics. Make sure that you look through a number of portfolios and ask to see actual dresses made, as well as photo,s before making your final choice. Get references too, so that you can speak to previous clients.
2. The first consultation
This is when you bring all your ideas along and discuss themes, designs and possible styles for your dream wedding dress. Your dress designer will be able to tell you which of your ideas will work and which really won’t do you justice, and will add her own creative input and suggestions. You may be able to try out different styles of dresses to get a better idea of how certain cuts and lengths look on you. Make sure that you share all the other wedding details, such as day or evening, formal or not, the venue, any decor and color schemes decided upon, so that you can work out a design that fits perfectly with your overall inspiration.
3. Preliminary sketches and second consultation
Your designer will come up with a series of preliminary sketches based on the ideas you discussed together. At your second consultation you will make a final choice of design and choose fabrics together, draping various fabrics to see how well color and texture work on your particular complexion and hair coloring.
Various fittings will be required at different stages of the making of the dress, according to the style of dress and the designer’s work methods. Expect at least two fittings and perhaps several more, depending on the complexity of the dress. Final alterations and bead work are often left until only two months or so before the wedding, to allow for possible weight fluctuations, so that the dress will fit perfectly on the day.
All in all, if your dream dress is proving hard to track down, it is well worth going to a couture wedding dress designer to commission your own unique wedding gown. Just allow enough time for it to be completed without any rush.