Have you ever considered designing your own wedding dress?

So many brides have a good idea of what they want for their wedding dress, but sometimes having an exact picture in your head, means you’re disappointed when you can’t find quite what you’re looking for. If that sounds like you, then a custom-made wedding dress could be just what you need.

Creating a custom wedding dress with a designer or dress-maker is such a fun process, and it will give your big day dress an even more special meaning for you. It can be daunting; how long will it take, how much will it cost, and will it meet your expectations at the end? – but any designer worth their weight in tulle will be clear, honest and able to guide you through the process step by step.

So, to help you decide if a custom-made wedding dress is right for you, we’ve recruited the lovely Chelsea Lovett, owner of popular design house, Modehaus Bridal in Minneapolis. She’s put together her helpful guide to why designing your own wedding dress is such a special experience – and explains a little more about what to expect from the process.

Over to you Chelsea…

1. Individuality

No one in the world is just like you. Your unique taste and a personal vision for your wedding and your wedding dress make it distinctively yours.

Working with a designer to create your custom wedding dress allows you to express your individual style on a day when your family and friends will be celebrating you!

2. Style

The design process is all about your personal style. From inspirational images to Pinterest pages, your designer pulls from your ideas to a custom wedding design.

You will discuss sleeves, silhouettes, necklines, and fabrics. By working with a designer, you are able to guide the creative process from inspiration to sketches, fabrications to test fittings, and finally to your dream gown.

You have full creative control as the process unfolds.

3. Comfort and Fit

A good designer will celebrate your unique figure and customize the gown to fit you perfectly. Instead of purchasing a dress to conform to your figure, why not build one from the ground up!

Having a gown custom made ensures it will be comfortable and tailored to your body.

Fashion doesn’t have to hurt. A beautiful bride can have a gown that is comfortable throughout the entire wedding day; from “getting ready” photos, to the last dance of the night.

4. Experience

You’ve long envisioned your wedding day to be unforgettable, shouldn’t your dress be too?

Nothing compares to the experience of designing your own wedding gown. Many of brides say that having their dress custom made was the highlight of their wedding journey.

5. Support Local Business

By working with a local designer, you are also supporting small business. Through your custom gown experience, you have the piece of mind of knowing exactly where your gown was made and and by whom.

Not only that, but you ensure that your gown was not made for the masses. It was created just for you. Like you, it is one-of-a-kind.

The Process

The design process takes anywhere from six to twelve months. Project length is determined by the complexity of each dress and the bride’s timeline.

Modehaus custom wedding dresses begin at $4,500. This includes materials, fittings, and general alterations. Materials covers fabrics, trims, and accents – from the most delicately fine lace to meticulously patterned embroidery.

The first appointment is all about getting to know you. Your personality. Your taste. Your wedding style. You and your partner’s story. During this free consultation we’ll look over images, brainstorm ideas, and start discerning a vision for your dress.

During our next meeting I’ll present my preliminary ideas for your gown. This a collaborative process, so together we’ll discuss sketches, fabrics, and finishes. Before you leave we’ll take your measurements, decide on the design, sign our contract, and finalize your timeline and price.

After I’ve taken your measurements and the details are in place, I start with draping a muslin dress pattern. This mock-up helps us both visualize what my sketches will look like in reality. Additionally, it allows us to make any adjustments before I’m working with the fabric. From there I’ll start creating your custom gown!

The length of construction is dependent upon the fabrics we’ve selected; sewing delicate lace, draping flowing silks, sculpting luxurious chiffon, and applying intricate beading all take time. Time is built-in for regular alterations and fittings, which allow you to monitor the evolving design throughout the tailoring process.

How To Prepare

The best way to prepare for our initial consultation is to gather ideas about your personal bridal style.

Ask yourself questions like: What trends am I drawn to? What fabrics do I love? What silhouettes make me feel beautiful? Next, set aside time to research.

Page through bridal magazines, browse Pinterest for ideas, perhaps even try on a few dresses at a boutique. Make sure to take pictures and save examples of what you like and dislike and bring them to our meeting!