I've had many very similar conversations with so many of my customers, and the same concerns come up again and again when brides-to-be are thinking about getting a bespoke wedding dress made.
I thought it would be good to discuss some of these concerns, for anyone thinking about a bespoke wedding dress, but nervous about looking into the idea.
The most commons questions I get asked are;
What if I don’t like my bespoke dress once it’s finished?
It's just not really an option for that to happen. You get involved all the way along, from picking the fabrics and trims to deciding on the fit. If there’s anything along the way you’re not sure about, or you just absolutely change your mind about a detail, things can be changed. The reason I require a few months to make your dress is to ensure there’s enough time to have a few fittings, order fabric, make changes etc.
How many fittings are needed? I have a busy job.
Making a bespoke dress isn’t a formula, so there’s not a fixed amount of fittings, most dresses take 4-7 meetings. Often when more fittings are needed it’s when either a dress design is more complicated, or just that the bride wants to get really involved in the design process. An example of getting very involved could be playing around with the placement of engineered lace.
How do you work out the cost? I’m on a budget.
The cost of your dress is worked out from the cost of materials, time taken to make, and how intricate the work is. If you have a design in mind but it’s going to be more expensive than your budget to make, I can go through alternatives with you. An example would be using less expensive fabrics on underneath layers, or concentrating the detail in area’s rather than all over.
I can’t make a dress to suite everyones budget, however my customers are often surprised their dress isn’t as expensive as they thought it might be.
Can you copy a dress I like that I can’t afford?
I’m always happy to look at other dresses as inspiration, but simply copying a dress isn’t something that I do. Firstly I don’t think it’s ethical to copy another designers work, but also I could never guarantee it would look the same, and often I couldn’t make it any cheaper.
I’ve only got 3 months, is that enough time?
I generally ask for 6 months to allow for plenty of time to schedule fittings in, find the right fabrics etc. In the spring / summer months I could be working on a number of dresses at the same time, so it might be a month between fittings to enable me enough time to work on each of the dresses in rotation.
The winter is generally quieter so I might be able to make something in a shorter time, however, as weddings are getting less seasonal even the winter now gets busy. It’s always good to just get in touch as early as you can.
I just don’t know what suits me, but I know I don’t like anything in the bridal shops.
A fair proportion of my customers come to me unsure of exactly what they want, but they just know they’re looking in bridal shops and not finding anything they like. It’s often not that they want something particularly unusual, but just that they don’t want what happens to be in the bridal shops at the time.
There are always trends that you see over and over again, like illusion necklines and open backs at the moment, but if the dresses in the shops are not your style it might be an idea to look at getting something made that is.
I’m pregnant but the date is already set.
If you find out you’re expecting a baby once you’ve already set the date, don’t panic, you’d not be the first, and there’s plenty of dress styles that compliment a bump, just make sure you get in touch as soon as you can!
I like the traditional dresses I’m seeing in bridal shops but they’re all ivory or white, can you make one in a different colour?
Yes of course, I don’t have as many laces and trims available in colours as I do in ivory and white, but I do have a good selection. I have samples of hundreds of shades of plain fabrics. The best thing is to get in touch and come and see what colours I have available. To date I’ve made lots of traditional dresses in muted silver and champagne colours, and also bold colours; black, pillarbox red, daffodil yellow, sky blue and emerald green.
If you're looking and not finding, why not just get in touch to see if getting your dress made bespoke is the best option for you.