- 4 years ago
When I first decided to go the custom route, I searched these boards for other experiences since it can be a nervewracking experience. I hope this can help someone else thinking about getting a custom dress. My experience is a bit unique in that my good friend is a talented wedding dress designer. She used to live 20min from me, but now resides in Vietnam, which was an extra challenge. Please PM me for her information, I’m not sure if I’m allowed to post or not (if I am, please let me know so I can edit with the link)
Before I fully committed to getting a custom dress, I probably went to at least 7 or 8 bridal shops and tried on close to 80 different dresses. In that whole process, I only found two that I liked, but didn’t love. So I decided that custom might be the best option for me. The two dresses I liked were the Pronovias “Vicenta” and Julie Vino “Mariposa.” Here’s a pic of me trying on the Vicenta:
Basically, I liked sheath dresses with a low back made of silk crepe and minimal lace on the skirt. Based on that, my friend sent me a few initial sketches:
Shortly after receiving the sketches, I ended up trying on a Berta dress that I REALLY liked. Maybe even loved enough to consider buying it, but again there were several things I did not like. I really didn’t want a fully lace dress, I hate this type of train that comes out of the butt, didn’t like the butt ruching, and I thought the zipper + off center buttons looked strange. Here’s me trying on the Berta dress:
So I was sent a new sketch combining the different elements I liked from the dresses I tried on and a pinterest board of other ideas.
I was also sent fabric and lace samples. The dress was made shortly after and I was able to try it on while she was back in town for the holidays. Overall I liked it, but there were several changes I wanted done to the back, which proportionally didn’t look right on me. I also wanted my shoulders to be more covered, for there to be a little less cleavage showing, and more cohesiveness throughout the whole dress with the types of lace used.
When she went back to Vietnam, her seamstresses told her that it would be too difficult to make the changes I wanted and that a whole new dress would have to be made. This was now a few months before my wedding, but they were very fast in making me a new dress. At this time, I also decided I needed a reception dress because there was no way I could dance salsa for our first dance in the ceremony dress. So I was sent a few sketches and chose the one on the right, especially because the lace she had in mind for it was the most beautiful lace I had ever seen.
I’m going to skip a few steps here now. There were a lot of back and forth communication as the dresses were being made. They were shipped to me when completed with a few minor fit issues (mostly just comfort issues for where the mesh hit my neck and such), lace that I wanted removed or added (way too revealing for my reception dress), etc. – so the dresses had to be sent back. Excuse the mess in these pics, we were in the middle of moving in to our new place after a lot of remodelling.
I had my completed, perfect dresses in hand a month before I had to leave for my wedding in France. She also made me a veil! They ended up being absolutely beautiful and I was so happy with them! Here are some pictures of the dresses from my wedding a couple weeks ago. I also posted a full recap here: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/chateauwinery-wedding-in-provence-france-5-26-17-pro-pic-heavy/
First my ceremony dress which I wore until dessert time. It was super comfortable to wear for almost 9 hours (French weddings are very long).
And my reception dress – which moved beautifully while we danced because the silk chiffon is so light. I wish I can find another occasion to wear this!
Overall, it was a wonderful experience and I couldn’t be happier with the results. However, it was definitely a stressful experience not knowing what the dresses would look like, being told a new dress would have to be made a couple months before my wedding, having fit issues needing last minute changes, etc. It would have definitely been easier to find a dress I mostly loved at a store and have it altered to fit perfectly afterwards, but then I wouldn’t have had these dresses that I absolutely loved which were made just for me! Going the custom route is definitely not for everyone, you need to be pretty relaxed and trusting throughout the process. I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have!