Bespoke wedding dresses are an alternative to off the shelf dresses that you find in bridal stores. Searching for the perfect wedding dress has to be one of the most exiciting parts of planning for a wedding and I encourage you to try it! It's a good idea to try different styles to work out what you love and what flatters your unique shape.
However, when it comes down to the business end of selecting and purchasing a dress "off the shelf", you may realise that you love different elements of different dresses. Or, you may find one style that would be perfect, if only the length was longer, the fabric a little softer or the sleeves a different style. Or, your budget might simply not stretch to that designer tag you had your eye on. Whatever the case, bespoke wedding dresses allow you to carefully select all the elements you love the most, and combine them in a way that flatters your unique individual body shape and style.
How is a bespoke wedding dress created?
As with all designs, they start with an idea. I encourage all brides to try on different styles. Take along a friend who can take some snaps of you in each style. Take note of the elements of the dress that flatter your unique body shape. You may come across a certain bodice or skirt shape, or a sleeve style or it could even be a waist placement that really makes you feel confident, relaxed and beautiful.
When you book an intial consultation with me, I will listen to your ideas and you can explain the elements that you love. I will bring along a few materials in order to do a few initial sketches of your dress style. I am able to meet you at my countryside atelier in East Grinstead, or I can meet more locally to you.
Visit me at my Atelier
After the initial sketches, you are welcome to visit me in my working atelier. My atelier is based in the beautiful countryside near East Grinstead, around 1 hour south of central London. By choosing a bespoke wedding dress, you are going direct to the maker. I have been creating and finishing wedding dresses here for the last 6 years. My atelier is a working studio where dresses are crafted on site.
My simple atelier is fully kitted out with sample fabrics, sample beading, sample finishes and of course, toiles. It is here that your wedding dress will be handmade and it is here that you will be able to try on 'toiles' of the different dress elements, such as bodices, skirts, veils, boleros and more.
What is a Toile?
A toile is a French word that dressmakers use to describe a garment that is made to test a pattern. Couture fashion houses use these for every single garment they make, such as these beautiful Dior toiles as shown in the picture.
These test garments are usually made from a basic fabric, but I have a variety in house. You can try on different toiles in my atelier which you will help you to envision what the end result will look and feel like to wear.
If you decide to go ahead with a bespoke design with me, a toile of your dress will be made before the real garment is crafted. Yes, you read that right, your dress is sewn twice! I offer this as a couture service to all my bespoke brides and to ensure that the dress of your dreams fits you perfectly.
Not sure if bespoke if for you?
It's understandable that going bespoke can feel like an intimidating process.
To help with that, we've developed a list of FAQ's, which cover everything from "What kind of fabric can I get?" to "Do I have to be good at design to go bespoke?" to "Can I really afford a bespoke dress?"