Un-Costumes — 03 February 2010

with an 1890's twist

Dear Bride-to-Be,

I am a seamstress in a high end wedding gown boutique. I have worked in fashion and costume design for over 10 years. I love what I do and I work with the best. In my particular boutique, the option of having a custom gown made is available and many of you call in with questions about custom wedding gowns. Here are some of the questions I get frequently:

Q: I found a picture of a wedding gown that I just love, but it is $3500. If I had it made custom, would it be cheaper?

A: Probably not. Custom is, more often than not, more expensive than buying from a designer. A custom gown is usually a one-of-a-kind piece. It is built to fit your body like a glove and usually holds a little of your own personality. Most designers have their gowns mass produced in China or Thailand which lowers the cost significantly. They also buy their fabric in large quantities which also helps keep their costs down.

Q: Is it possible to combine different styles of wedding dresses into one?

A: The beauty of having a custom wedding gown is that you can combine different styles of wedding dresses into one. You know all those magazine cutouts you’ve been saving since you were little? Bring them all out! Meet with your personal designer and take all those photos with you. If you have a good designer, she will be able to take the details you like from each dress and make you a truly unique and inspiring gown.

Q: Do you make designer “knock off” wedding gowns?

A: Copying the work of another designer is frowned upon. Your personal designer will take the elements of the gown that you like and make you something even better!

Q: How long does the process take?

A: A custom wedding gown takes 3-4 months to build. Some places get booked up early though, so plan ahead and reserve your slot!

Q: What is the process of having a custom wedding gown made?

A: The first step is to meet with your personal designer. You’ll chat for 1-2 hours about your gown ideas, your wedding venue, date, budget. Then the designer will begin to sketch a gown based on the information he or she has gathered. The designer will change the sketch until both of you are satisfied with the design. Once the design has been chosen you’ll talk fabric! Do you want silk or polyester? Satin, Dupioni or Charmuese? These details then play into the last step, which is the estimated price. Make sure the designer gives you a written estimate of the price, but realize that it is just an estimate. This price could fluctuate. When the design and price are right, you’ll begin fittings. The first fitting is out of a cheap cotton or lining material. The second fitting will be in the gown fabric. The 3rd-5th fittings are the fun ones! You start to see all the details bring your dress to life. The final fitting is for fine tuning and then it’s ready to go home with you!

If you have more questions about custom wedding gowns, Please leave a comment and I will respond quickly!

For more pictures of custom wedding gowns visit www.nancybarruscouture.com of www.aveniabridal.com


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