Why custom bridal is more than just a dress.


Congratulations! You’re engaged.

There is a rush of joy, excitement and anticipation, all of which slowly morphs into slight panic – where to from here?
How do I organise potentially the biggest and most expensive celebration/party of my life?
More importantly, where do I start to find the ultimate gown, one that will be everything I wanted and envisioned? But, WAIT… what do I want?
Starting the journey to find the perfect gown can be a daunting task, even to the most organised, style-driven fashionista. There are just so many options, so many decisions to make:
Does a bride go trend driven, classic, ball gown, mermaid, trumpet, strapless, v-neck, backless, ivory, white, lace, beaded, and the list goes on, for like 2 pages.

To add to the melting pot of emotions, all brides know that she will be the star of the day (sorry grooms, its true!) That anticipation before that first glimpse and the teary eyes of happiness as the bride makes her first appearance are poignant moments, memories that will endure for a lifetime.
With all that in mind, it’s no wonder wedding dress shopping can become a burden than an exciting endeavour.
In theory it seems simple enough to find a gown. Looking through the pages of glossy magazines, attending online bridal runway shows and saving countless pins, it can all become misleading and a real confidence deflator. Yes, those gowns look stunning, breathtaking and jaw dropping, but why wouldn’t they, when worn by 6ft glamazons, long limbed with flawless skin.

All brides are unique and captivating, provided they pick a gown that speaks their style, personality and body shape, not chosen because it looks phenomenal on a model.
Yes, it’s great to research and look before you start, to understand what’s available and what catches your eye, to direct you to the right designer or bridal boutique to start trying gowns on, but don’t look too much. All your ideas and vision can change in a flash when you start to try the gowns on. That gorgeous mid-thigh flair in a gown can quickly turn into a knee-high frufru, and that sexy plunging neckline turns more into a peep show. Trying on gowns is time consuming; but consider it a good investment. It doesn’t mean you need to go to every bridal store and try on hundreds of gowns (though it could be considered a full workout routine!).

Pick a few stores/designers that catch your eye and try on a variety of shapes, even ones you think wouldn’t work, as it’s amazing how many times a bride has said to me, “I don’t think I will look good in x or y style”, only to try it on and be surprised.
Once you have the shape, it all comes down to fabrication and fit,lace, beading, jacquards and organza’s. There‘s a lot of choice which comes down to personal preference. The fit, on the other hand, should be something a good designer/bridal boutique will look after.
Which brings me to the decision to custom or not to custom. You have found the shape, but it comes in a lace or fabric you don’t like, or you found a stunning fabric but the style is not what you are after, or everything you have seen looks like alike and you’re not loving any of it. Do you settle on something you like but don’t love?

The option to customise or modify a showroom sample or even have a gown designed and made from scratch can be a really exciting and rewarding process. It allows a bride flexibility and choices, it ensures she has the gown that will match her style and personality. No bride is the same, so why should your dress be?
A custom gown is designed and made just for you. It’s a work of art, not a reproduction of a sample from off the rack. It’s made to your measurements and designed to ensure it highlights your best features.
With a custom gown you won’t have to worry about the unknown additional cost of alterations, and believe me they can get very expensive very quickly. Custom gowns are made in stages and to a bride’s measurements, alleviating the worry of add-on expenses as your gown come to life.
Choosing to go custom in many ways can also be less stressful for a bride.

Really, it’s true!

Working closely with the designer, you are able to discuss what you love in a gown, what you are unsure of, and even areas of your body you may want to highlight or disguise. It’s the designer’s job to listen, research and sketch, in order to offer concept gowns that you will love and feel worthy of on your special day. Something unique, personalised, special. Something that will make an impact.

A custom gown offers peace of mind, knowing your gown will be looked after and watched by the designer, from concept to reality.
A custom gown is a one-off design, an original work of wearable art made in a design studio by a team of crafted artisans, not mass produced in a factory. For this reason, custom gowns usually start at a higher price point than ready-to-wear or dresses made-to-order from a sample; however, brides benefit by the value added by having the attention and expertise of the designer to guide and assist you in creating a work of art , alleviating the stress and worry of settling on an average wedding dress or a dress that does not fit, leaving you to feel less than spectacular on your special day.
Another wonderful aspect of custom is that the bride can see her gown along all the stages of craftwork, where there are opportunities to alter and tweak to ensure it will be fabulous.
I personally always like to have a chat and get to know the bride, her personality and style, what she likes and dislikes, her ideas and vision. Sharing pins and images provides insight, a picture is worth a thousand words and I find it an effective way to understand what a bride is thinking and loving when it comes to her dream dress.
Sketches are drawn, discussed, revised and then settled on.

Then a toile(prototype) is created in basic fabric to the measurements of the bride so the design can be fitted, altered and evaluated. Sometimes a gown requires two prototypes to ensure the correct fit and proportion and design lines are spot on. At the same time, fabrics are discussed and selected; any custom beading or embroidery is designed and sampled, any special lace or textile is sourced, all to ensure the bride has options and can see the element that will make up her gown along the way.

The gown then goes into creation, during which there can be anywhere from 3-5 fittings to check the gown as it becomes a work of art.
As a designer, I adore custom. It’s always an honour to create a bride’s dream gown and know that when she walks down the aisle or enters her ceremony venue, she will hold her head up high with the confidence of knowing she is wearing something that was made just for her.

She will make an impact and be unforgettable.

Cassandra – Guipurean