So it's time to shop for a wedding dress, and you're unsure of which route to go: an off-the-rack gown or a custom wedding dress. If a custom gown is something you've got in mind, this is the blog for you. We wanted to give you some more insight, information, and ideas when opting for a uniquely designed custom wedding dress.
First things first, what exactly is a custom wedding dress?
A custom gown is a dress made specifically and uniquely for you and your personal choices & style. A custom wedding dress is designed from scratch to fit the ideas you and your designer will come up with together and are a one-of-a-kind garment and generally have far more handwork & detailing than the average off-the-rack gown. Custom wedding dresses also won't need alterations as they are made to fit your exact body.
Why should you buy a custom wedding gown?
Commonly, it's a surefire way to showcase your individuality and style in a way that you haven't been able to find in an off-the-rack gown, or maybe you want a more hands-on approach; you want to be involved in bringing your dress to life with designers and seamstresses. Whichever reason you gravitate to for your wedding gown, always make sure the designer you're working alongside is trustworthy: it breaks our hearts seeing brides not get their dream gown on the most special day ever. Be sure to check reviews, Google the name of the brand you're considering and pay attention to what others are saying on social media because it's usually the best way to get an idea of how a brand operates and if you can trust them or not.
Once you've found a potential designer/dressmaker for your gown, the next step would be to reach out: book a consult with them to sit down and discuss any ideas or inspirations you have in mind. At these initial consults, it's usually a good idea to take along any pictures you've come across in your travels around the web: Inspo from Pinterest or blogs, screenshots from Instagram, etc. so the designer can start to form an idea of what you're after and the style that fits you the best.
How much does a custom wedding dress cost?
The average cost of a wedding gown within the industry can range anywhere between $2000-$5000. Occasionally it'll cost less, and in some cases, it can also cost a lot more. At Euphorie Studios, our custom wedding gowns start at $3000 + cost of materials for the entire process, including having your fabric sourced, designing the dress, consultations, and fittings with an optional complimentary photoshoot when you pick your gown up. Ultimately though, each bridal house will have its costing methods, and they'll generally be able to tell you an approximate cost after you've sat with them for a consult. It's ideal to have some budget in mind before attending a consult, though; getting lost in the design phase can lead you to add in or changing parts of your gown that bring the cost up further than expected, so setting a guideline on how much you're willing to spend is vital. Remember that the types of fabrics you choose and the hours it will take to craft your gown will be huge factors in the finalized costing. It's also imperative that you and your designer agree on a time frame that can guarantee you'll receive the finished version of your gown in time for your wedding. You'll want this while still keeping it as close to your actual wedding day as possible to ensure you're the perfect fit on your special day.
How many consultations/fittings will I need?
This continuously varies depending on several factors: how much detail goes into the dress, what changes are made throughout the process to the dress (for example, you may decide you want to add sleeves, and this could change things), and an array of other reasons. With that in mind, you can usually get a pretty good idea of how many fittings will be needed. At Euphorie, if you've had the first consult and will go ahead with choosing us to make your gown, at your second consult, our head designer, Keoula, will often sit down with you and plan out fittings to fit your schedule. Keoula will block out time on her schedule to ensure she has more than enough time to deliver on the same gown you're after. So, generally, after the second consult/finalizing of the design, you'll know how many fittings it will take to get to the finish line!
There are always reasons to consider why a custom gown isn't the right pick for you, and being aware of that before you make your decision is an essential factor to account for. The reality of a custom wedding gown and it's uniqueness is the fact that it will take a lot more hours to complete, with far more time and work put into it, generally speaking, and because of this, it tends to mean a custom wedding gown will cost more than an off-the-rack or ready-made style. It also takes up a lot more of your time - if you buy a size 12 off-the-rack wedding dress and you're around a size 12, you'll only need to go in for alterations for a consult and to pick your gown up, whereas a custom made dress can be anywhere from 4 or 5 fittings to 20+ fittings depending on the sheer level of detail and work that goes into it.
Ultimately, when it comes time to choose which route to go, custom made or off the rack, there's two ways we suggest brides help narrow down their choice if they're stuck between the two: firstly, budget. You'll have to ensure you can afford the custom-made option and stay within your wedding budget before you can commit to it. Secondly, how important is it to you that your dress is totally and unique? Many brides worldwide would rather just opt for the gown that takes their breath away rather than meet with a designer and find a style they want and have that made up from scratch.
No matter which road you take, above all else, just make sure the dress you decide on is 'the one'. Your wedding day is a significant moment in your life and making it the best it can be is the prime factor to think about!