Your wedding is a unique and special time in your life. Having your gown designed to reflect your personality, taste and style is best achieved by having your dress designed especially for you. Here are some things to look for as you go through the search for the right designer for you:
Make sure you see other gowns created by the designer. Do the dresses flatter and fit the individual brides? Look to see how much of the work has been done by hand such as finish work, beading, trim and lace.
Although a custom couture gown is usually more labor-intensive due to special requests and original patterning, it doesn't necessarily have to be more expensive than higher-end designer gowns shown in many bridal salons.
Remember that custom gowns can save you alteration costs necessary for most gowns purchased off the rack. Off-the-rack gowns are ordered to fit your largest measurement, so if, for example, you have large hips and a small bust, you may incur extensive and very expensive alteration costs.
Custom frees you to be creative by using only the finest in silk, lace, trim and ornamentation. Your designer can help you select which ideas will be most suitable in completing your dream dress. They should supply you with a sketch of your dress so you can collaborate on its every detail.
Always get a written estimate of all the costs involved in making your gown. Deposit, balance due and what you need to provide for each fitting should all be made available to you from your designer.
A custom gown can take three to four fittings from start to finish; however, alterations to off-the-rack gowns may require the same number of fittings.
A muslin mock-up is designed early in the process to show the dress' exact fit before completion. This is the time to speak up and let your designer know if there are any changes you wish to make before completion of the gown. If trim, veil, or other embellishments are to be added to the dress, make sure you see sketches and samples of the beading or trim that is to be made to accompany your dress so that you can have input into the crafting of a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.