For me, the thought of spending hours browsing Pinterest and then traipsing around bridal boutiques looking for the perfect wedding dress simply wasn’t appealing. For many brides, finding THE dress is one of the most important things on the agenda, but I was much more interested in getting other things sorted first. I also knew that my fiancé would find me beautiful if I walked down the aisle in a potato sack, so the dress was low down on my priority list.
Nevertheless, when I first got engaged, I started the inevitable Pinterest browsing for plus size styles that I liked. I also looked at some plus size bridal retailers such as London Bride UK and Bonny Bridal, where I found some beautiful dresses but there was nothing I loved enough to buy. I very quickly got frustrated, and then bored. I just wanted a quick and easy fix that would make me feel like a princess on the big day but wouldn’t take up days (or weeks) of my time.
It was a couple of months into my engagement when it occurred to me to contact a dressmaker whose designs I have been in love with for many years. I sent a quick message asking about the possibility of a bespoke gown, and to my delight she responded within a day. All she needed was a rough idea of what I wanted and my measurements.
I flicked through a few wedding magazines and snapped three or four dodgy camera phone photos of the things I liked, which all consisted of elaborate ruffled tulle skirts. Next, I sent these, along with my current measurements along to the designer. Within a month, she had combined the images I had sent with her own unique style to create a draft design of my dress. I couldn’t have been more in love, and I had managed the whole process without leaving my house! What’s more, because I gave the designer my exact measurements, the dress should fit like a glove. I often buy clothes from different plus size retailers and things don’t always fit perfectly because of slight measurement differences between brands, but with a bespoke dress there’s nothing to worry about!
There are now under four months to go before the wedding, and my wonderful dressmaker has finalised the design and is due to start pattern cutting in the coming weeks. I will have a fitting a month before the wedding to make sure everything is in order and then any final adjustments will be made.
I’ve not had to spend large amounts of time searching through catalogues and shops looking for something I like, and yet I am utterly besotted with my design.
While I would thoroughly recommend having a wedding dress made from scratch, there are a few things to bear in mind;
- Money. If you approach a well known designer then it’s going to be a pricey option. We’re talking thousands, not hundreds. If you’ve got the cash to splash around then definitely go for it! On the other end of the scale, there are many people who’ve made their own dresses and saved the pennies!
- Time. It can take many months for a design alone to be finalised, let alone all the steps taken to turn the design into reality. If your wedding is in six months time or less then this probably isn’t the right option for you!
- Size. You need to have a fairly good idea of what size you’re going to be on the day for this to work – I imagine this is the same for any dress you buy in advance! Over the last few years I have bounced around anywhere between size 16 and size 22 which has led me to have a few panics about my dress. My wonderful dressmaker has assured me that there is a couple of inches breathing room either side of my current measurements, so there is room for some fluctuation and the dress will still fit perfectly!
Overall, if you don’t fancy hitting the shops to find the right gown for you, thenhaving something custom made is certainly worth considering. It doesn’t matter what shape or size you are – the dress will fit because it has been made for you, and you alone!