With an average cost of over $35,000 in the United States, a wedding day is something that takes years for most couples to save up for. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that an increasing number of couples are pulling out all the stops to enjoy an affordable wedding. These days, you can have a basic ceremony in Las Vegas, which just includes the use of a chapel, for under $100.
However, if you’re visiting Sin City and plan to get married, there is one thing every bride needs; a custom wedding gown. For most brides, the surroundings are almost irrelevant as long as they get to marry the person they love in the wedding dress of their dreams. Although custom-made dresses start at $2,500, it is a small price to pay because the bride will look like a million dollars! When it comes to a tailor-made dress, only the best will do, so here are five important tips to choose a custom wedding gown you’ll remember forever.
1 – Create a Budget (But Don’t be Rigid)
By setting a budget, you’ll be able to decide which fabrics the designer can use, as well as the style. For instance, if you want a full-length ballgown skirt made from premium quality tulle, it may be impossible to fill out the skirt while remaining within budget. At this stage, you can either use cheaper tulle or change the design of your custom wedding dress.
Bear in mind that top-end designers have their reputation to consider, so they tend to use expensive fabrics only. Although some designers allow a ‘capped price,’ the situation changes if you want embellishments not included in the original agreement. Make sure you ask the designer about the ongoing price before you make alterations to ensure you’re not stung with an unexpected bill.
2 – Start Early
We can’t emphasize this enough! It often takes up to six months to complete a custom-made dress from start to finish. In reality, the final version of the dress is unlikely to resemble your original plan. Creating a custom wedding gown is an intensely creative and personal process, which means it is guaranteed to evolve and change as you and the designer have more ideas. Do not close your mind to different styles, silhouettes, and fabrics because they may suddenly look fantastic in a brand-new design concept.
3 – Be Honest with Yourself & Learn Which Styles Work Best on your Body
You could pay top dollar for a custom wedding dress with the best possible fabric, but it won’t bring out the best in you if the style is all wrong. For example, a woman with a pear-shaped body would look great in a dress with a low neckline and a lot of structure up top to make the most of her small bust and waist. She should also have a dress with a ruched waist and a flowing bottom to emphasize her wide posterior and hips.
4 – Prepare for a LOT of Fittings
Perfection takes time and patience, and you’ll need both to get the best out of your custom-made outfit. On average, you can expect at least one fitting a month although it varies according to your choice of style, fabric, and designer. It is normal for the dressmaker to begin with a test version of the dress made from a very cheap fabric; this template is known as a toile. The first couple of fittings focus on determining the shape of your wedding dress. The next step involves embellishments and once again, the time it takes depends on your vision for the gown.
If you’re planning to lose weight for the wedding, please tell your designer in advance so they can prepare. If you want a more svelte physique for your big day, it will take even more fittings to get the dress right.
5 – Keep Your Eye on the Prize
If you come from a ‘typical’ family, there will be at least one or two opinionated members plus a few friends who all have their own vision of what a custom wedding dress should look like. Remember, it is YOUR dream gown, NOT theirs, so don’t allow anyone else to steer you away from the fabric, style, and embellishments that YOU want.
Unfortunately, it’s likely that you will over-analyze everything and allow yourself to get stressed out on occasion. The pressure is only heightened when the gown is part of a ‘themed’ wedding. It is normal to feel this way because you are the centerpiece of the entire occasion. Just know that if the dress accurately represents your personality and style, you have nailed it! We would tell you to forget the minutiae, but we know that will never happen!
6 – Photos Are Your Friend
Make sure you choose a designer that allows you to take photos throughout the process. Take pictures with and without flash and use the time between fittings to ensure your custom wedding dress is taking the right form. As a result, you’re ready to make changes at the next fitting if necessary.
You should also bring pictures of the garment construction, color, fabric, style, and anything else you want before the designer gets to work. Just remember, this is a custom wedding gown which means you shouldn’t look to copy another design. Reputable designers will usually refuse to comply in any case.
Final Thoughts on Designing the Perfect Custom Wedding Dress
Although there is nothing wrong with an off-the-rack dress, nothing will make your big day more spectacular than walking down the aisle in a custom wedding gown perfectly suited to your shape and style. It is a truly unique creation which you will look upon fondly for the rest of your life. While it is only one day, the memories last a lifetime, so it is worth paying extra even if you’re planning an affordable wedding. Get creative, enjoy the process, and don’t settle for anything less than your dream dress!
Our master dressmaker, Anna Putignano has been designing and creating wedding gowns for decades and has had the honor of working in Beverly Hills, Italy, and now Las Vegas. Her gowns have been worn by hundreds of brides from all walks of life, and her passion for wedding dresses is unmatched.
Make an appointment and see how Bridalxoxo can give you the wedding dress of your dreams!