Image: Ashley K Weddings
From the intricate design, to the opulent pearls and shimmery sparkle, it’s hard not to fall completely head over heels with a stunning beaded gown. Whether you opt for glitzy sequins, iridescent pearls, or sparkly diamante-like beading, you can’t go wrong with a touch of glamour. But such lavish taste doesn’t come easy… with most couture gowns costing well and truly over the average budget, it can be hard to find the perfect gown that won’t break the bank. Whether you’re after a simple touch of modern-day charm or an extravagant and dramatic style gown, we have some great tips to help bring your luxurious vision to life without the expensive designer price-tag. It’s important to note, that while a fully beaded gown looks absolutely incredible, we aren’t such a fan of the sometimes heavy weight that comes with it. From reducing the weight, to achieving the perfect level of sparkle and shimmer, to caring for such an intricate masterpiece, we discuss the top five things that you need to know about wearing a sequin or beaded gown.
Image: Andrew Wavi
1. THE MORE BEADING, THE MORE EXPENSIVE
When you’re on the hunt for a beaded wedding dress, it’s always a great idea to have a budget in mind, as it can often be very easy to exceed that when exploring fabrics and embellishments. The majority of designer gowns and exclusive beaded fabrics are all hand-made and individually hand-beaded. It takes a long time to custom create a beaded gown and fabrics alone can take near to six to seven months to produce. Because of this, it’s very common to see the price-tag increase with the more beading and detail that is featured in the gown. Sacrificing that gorgeous beaded fabric you’ve fallen in love with doesn’t have to be the answer though. An easy way to incorporate that stunning embellished design without the hefty price-tag is to utilise it throughout the top half of your dress. After all, beaded fabrics on the bottom hem of your skirt may not always get noticed in comparison to a beautiful and intricate bodice feature. For those who love the look of beads and sparkle and don’t want to compromise on their vision of a fully sparkly gown, then consider using a glitter tulle or sequins. Like beads, sequins can achieve a stunning touch of shine and extravagance to any bridal gown.
Image: T-One Image
2. CLEAR SEQUINS ARE THE SECRET TO ADDING THE PERFECT SHIMMER
To all you sparkly-diamond lovers out there, we have the perfect embellishment to make your gown shine like a star without the hefty price-tag. One of the biggest misconceptions of achieving a shimmery gown is to select a silver coloured sequin or bead. The reflective surface of a silver, aluminium-like finish is fantastic to create a sparkle and glow like no other, however it can often change the appearance of a bridal gown by quite a lot. To retain that natural colour and traditional bridal finish, select a simple and clear sequin. Clear, transparent sequins are the best way to achieve a beautiful shimmer and shine whilst still remaining bridal in appearance and look. Avoid matte coloured embellishments as this will often only give you a little shine when the light hits the surface. Sequins can come in various sizes, depending on the design of the fabric. For brides, wanting a subtler glow, consider alternating both ivory-toned and transparent sequins throughout your gown. Sequin fabric is not only a lot more affordable than a heavily beaded design, but it is also generally less prone to unravelling due to its light weight nature.
Image: The Wedding Fair
3. REDUCE THE WEIGHT OF A BEADED GOWN WITH APPLIQUE
We all love a beautifully embellished gown, from the intricate design, subtle texture and sparkly glow, but wearing a beaded gown can often pose a challenge. Genuine pearls and beading are often slightly heavier in weight compared to a hollow pearl or plastic bugle bead. Because of this, it’s no surprise why a couture bespoke gown is super heavy in weight. Apart from being a tad uncomfortable from carrying a whole heap of extra weight throughout your wedding day, heavily beaded dresses can also stretch and manipulate with wear. To avoid this, your designer will need to ensure that your gown is constructed with a detailed in-built corset. This will ensure the weight of the beads are fully supported and the gorgeous design and patterns sit nice and flat against your curves and figure. Another great way to reduce the weight of a beaded gown is to select an applique method. Applique is a technical dressmaking term that means your beaded design is hand-cut out and re-assembled onto your gown. Applique allows you to have full control of how much or how little beading you would like throughout your custom piece. It’s a great way to scatter the beading sparsely throughout the gown without having it all over.
Image: Anchor and Hope
4. SCOUT FOR A PROFESSIONAL DRY CLEANER
From trekking through that vineyard, to guests stepping on your train, to dropping a splash of champagne on your skirt, we understand that keeping your gown spotless on your wedding day will be a massive challenge. But unlike other gowns, a beaded piece is definitely one of a kind. Whilst most brides get their gowns dry cleaned after their wedding day, it’s important to know that not every dry cleaner can care for a beaded gown. In fact, the beading and crystals can actually melt from the chemicals and high heat used by professional dry cleaners. It’s important to conduct some research beforehand and to select a very reputable dry cleaner that has extensive experience in cleaning and caring for embellished pieces. For those needing a quick fix on their wedding day, a damp cloth of cool water and a drop of mild detergent will do the trick. But remember to always ask your designer and dressmaker about what beading and fabrics are used to create your gown so you can best care for it when the time is needed.
Images: Haven Still and Moving Images
5. LARGE SCATTERED BEADS CAN BE A TAD IMPRACTICAL
When designing a custom couture gown, it’s always important to think about functionality and practicality. Some great questions to ask yourself are: Can I dance in it? Can I sit down in it? Will, I be comfortable all day and all night long? A sparsely scattered pearl skirt can often leave your gown with a very bumpy texture which can be quite awkward to sit down in. The larger the bead and the sparser the design, the more uncomfortable your gown will be. When opting for a fully beaded wedding dress, it is always recommended to select a beaded design that is sewn relatively close together. This will reduce that bumpy and uneven surface. Along with this, a smaller sized pearl or bead will reduce the weight and uneven finishing. This can significantly help in making your gown a tad more practical and comfortable for your wedding day.
About d’Italia: Bridal couture and custom made wedding dresses are a specialty of d’Italia. Whether you are looking for a vintage wedding dress stores in Melbourne, a lace wedding dress or any style at all – you are assured the exact bridal style you want, with custom-built corsetry to fit you perfectly, at a fraction of the cost of bridal-boutique gowns.