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What to expect when going custom

Written by Kalisha Price


Posted on September 20 2019



I get a ton of inquiries asking what does the custom process look like.  So I have written out the the top things I think every bride should mentally prepare for before beginning their custom process. 

 Expect to spend more than you think.

Custom cost! This is a one-of-a-kind piece made specifically for you. Things will add up before you know it.  You may not even process all the cost at first because of all the excitement of planning a wedding! 

As a bride, you will have all these grand ideas in your mind and saved on your Pinterest board. These grand ideas are great but it will result in a good ole’ grand total! One you may not be expecting. You want to make sure your vision and your budget are a realistic match up. 

My tip: Have a budget in mind before hiring a designer. This will help you make the best design decisions and fabric selections.  If you desire a full mermaid style dress with a train and beaded lace, your fabric cost alone will probably send you over budget and you may want to revisit the design you have in mind. Please have your budget set so your designer will know how to make decisions moving forward.

Expect your ideas to evolve.

You may come in with one idea but as the process starts, you may feel the need to change some things up. After you sit with your designer, they may throw some ideas at you that catches your eye. You may have always thought you would wear a trumpet shaped gown but after trying some on and working with an expert, you realize it is not for you. Allow yourself to just go through the process. Be open as you work through finding the best silhouette and design style that works best for you. 

Expect multiple fittings.

This is not an off-the-rack experience. You are spending a pretty penny to get a custom dress made and you should want it perfect. You will need multiple fittings to make sure your dress is everything you want it to be.

As a bride, the goal is always to lose weight before the wedding. This is one of the main reasons to have more than one fitting and one really close to your wedding date.

There will be a lot of changes made from paper to pattern to sample. It’s rare the bride sticks to the design as it is originally sketched. As I mentioned above, ideas will evolve. This is the time to speak up and request all the changes you see fit. If there are major changes, then another fitting needs to be scheduled.  After each round of edits, you should begin to see your dream dress come together one fitting at a time. 

Expect everyone to have an opinion.

Getting a wedding dress made or even shopping at a store will leave you open to 100 opinions . While second opinions are sometimes great, it can be overwhelming to a bride if you receive too many.  It can have you second-guessing everything you thought you wanted in a gown, to being totally confused and unhappy. 

I know this is hard because it’s the people we care about most. Of course, we want them to love our dress but remember everyone’s style and taste is different. Be prepared to handle it. Stand up for what you believe. And don’t let their opinions sway you away from what you really want.  If you love the direction your dress is headed, that is all that matters. Because at the end of the day, you’re the one that has to wear it down the aisle and look at those pictures for a lifetime.

Expect to not have all the answers upfront.

If you aren’t in the industry or if this is your first custom experience, you may get overwhelmed with the amount of questions being thrown at you. It’s an extensive process. The more questions, the better the outcome. In the beginning you will not have all the answers and that is ok. You might not know what silhouette is most flattering on you or what type of fabric you want your dress made out of. That’s why you have a designer to help you figure it all out.

If there is fashion lingo being thrown around you don’t understand, then, you ask questions. It’s a two way street to get to know each other better. Don’t get stressed, just take your time, figure it out with your designer, and for anything like the rest of the world and “google it!” 

Expect to not have total control.

This is for all my bridezillas and type A personality people out there. After you have confirmed your design, it is time to let go a little bit and start trusting the professionals. Your designer will keep you posted along the way. There is no need to show up and hover over the seamstresses or try to micromanage your designer’s every move lol. They got it! This is why you hired them for their expertise. Try to let go, trust the person you hired, relax, and enjoy the process. 

Expect to be amazed.

You’ve got a custom designed wedding gown made just for you, tailored to fit your body and your body only. Expect to be blown away! This is your dress and your collaborative effort in design. You should be happy and proud. There is no experience like it.

If you did your vetting process correctly, you can sleep peacefully knowing your gown is in good hands and will be everything you want it to be and then some! Don’t over-analyze or be super critical of yourself. Just breathe and get out of your own head. This is an exciting time in your life. You want to look back on this experience and your big day with happy memories!



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