When it comes time to choose your wedding gown, there are two options. The first is to buy your gown 'off the rack' from a store, essentially buying a gown designed and made in standard sizing. The other choice is to opt for a custom-made wedding dress created and designed specifically and individually for you. Today, we wanted to dive into bespoke wedding gowns and if they might be the right choice for you while also covering a bunch of frequently asked questions we've had this year!
What is a custom-made wedding dress?
A custom wedding gown is a bridal dress designed uniquely for you and brought to life to fit your exact body measurements. You'll work alongside a bridal designer or dressmaker to create the gown of your choice entirely from scratch. The designer/seamstress will work with you to make choices on laces and fabrics, sketch a design and then bring that design to life with fittings to ensure it fits your body's measurements.
What are the pros to choosing custom-made?
There are a few main reasons brides may opt for a custom-made dress, and one is the unique aspect of it. Your dress is designed specifically for you, completely one of a kind, so you'll be the only bride ever to wear that gown. Another big positive to a custom-made dress, with it being made specifically to you, is that it is made to fit your exact body type - no alterations or extra work needed.
The custom gown journey can be the perfect choice for a bride seeking something unique or a bride that wants to be a bit more hands-on with her gown. At Euphorie Studios, our initial consult consists of a bride-to-be sitting down with our head designer & Creative Director, Keoula, to discuss the type of gown you may be after or provide advice and examples for dresses that may suit you. You'll have the chance to throw ideas around and get the possibilities to suit your budget before the dressmaking work commences.
The custom-made wedding dress process is a good choice for any bride with a vision for what she wants her gown to look like on her body. Having a designer help you to bring that vision to life means you'll be satisfied with your dream dress and won't have to search through stores to find something that'll be 'close enough to what you've been dreaming of. It's also an excellent option for anyone that may not know where to start: a bridal designer will be able to guide you with expert advice and styling opinions while knowing the type of dress that will be perfect for you as an individual.
What are the cons to choosing custom-made?
When it comes to wedding dresses, making choices can be a stressful time. If you don't have a decent idea of what you might like, it could be more beneficial for you to allow a bridal store to help you pick out a pre-made gown off the rack so that you can avoid the stress of choosing.
It takes up a lot more time than selecting a gown off the rack. Having a gown custom made requires multiple fittings, consultations, and more communication to achieve the final result compared to going to a store, finding a gown you love, buying it, and taking it home.
Note: this may not always be the case. Some bridal stores that source gowns from overseas have significant delays with having stock delivered to them currently.
How does getting a custom-made wedding dress work?
While all bridal houses will have their processes, I'll give some inside into how things work at Euphorie Studios.
Once a bride-to-be contacts our customer care team, they'll be booked in for an initial consultation with our Director & Head Designer, Keoula. At that consult, the future bride will sit down and discuss ideas with Keoula, look through some of our samples in our showroom to get an idea of things like silhouettes or lace styles and colors of lace or fabrics, among other things. After the initial consult, you'll get quotes on your gown's potential costs, including the options that fit your budget. After which, you'll be able to take some time to think about your options. We never want to force a bride into buying a gown until she's had time to think it over; a bride having her dream dress is our number one priority. If we're fortunate enough to be a part of that, then we love it. Still, if it's another designer or store, we're happy as long as the bride has the one.
When brides choose us to make their gowns, we then block out portions of our calendar to ensure their work is done to the maximum standard of quality with plenty of time. Also, we book a follow-up consult to finalize design and lace choices before work begins. After the follow-up consult, we'll work with the future bride to book consultations and fittings that operate within their schedule, and the process moves ahead towards their final fitting & pick up of their dream gown.
Did you know: we also have a photoshoot room set up in the back of our studio & offer brides an optional photoshoot to see themselves in their gown before their big day and get a feel for being in front of the camera before wedding day portraits.
Extra tips for choosing a custom wedding dress
The number one tip to keep in mind will always be budget. Before you decide to start looking into designers or dressmakers, think about your budget. How much can you spend & what range of costs you're willing to pay will play a big part in what options you'll have? Once you've decided on the budget, you'll be able to give that information to the designers & sewists you speak to, and you'll be able to get information on what's within budget relatively fast, saving you a lot of wasted time or stress! The other bonus to having a budget is that you'll be able to work with a designer to find the perfect gown and then have them help you find budget-friendly alternatives. For example, maybe you love a specific shape of the dress, but your initial fabric choice pushed the price out of your budget range - you'll be able to speak with the designer and find alternative options to bring the price more into your ballpark. However, one crucial factor to always remember is that if your design deviates from the original design, the cost of your gown may increase, so keep that in mind with your budget when making dress-related decisions.
Secondly, take some time to do some research before you meet with your seamstress. Pinterest is a good start. Look up some simple phrases like 'wedding dresses' to find ideas of gowns that you like (Clicking on an image and viewing 'more like this' is a good tip too once you find images you like!) So that you can take that to your first consult with a designer and help point them in the right direction. It's not mandatory, most designers will have an eye for what will suit you best, but it is an excellent bonus to help get some ideas across for the designer.
Another good thing to keep in mind is that a middle ground exists: if you love an off-the-rack gown. Still, you wished you could change some aspects (like adding sleeves). You can have alterations carried out on your shift to change up an existing multi-produced dress into your unique version of it, allowing you to stand out!