Getting a gown custom-made can be a very exciting, yet daunting experience for anyone who hasn’t done it before. Asking the right questions is extremely important to ensure you get exactly what you want…but what questions should you ask?
It’s important to be clear about your budget from the very beginning. Creating a gown isn’t as simple as smacking on a set price tag. Throughout the process you are bound to make slight changes and modifications to your gown, which is completely normal. With this, the price can often increase. Make sure your dressmaker and designer clarify all the associated costs and any possible future price increases.
This will better prepare you and will ensure that you don’t surprisingly exceed your budget goals. Along with this, the fabric is a very important topic to cover with your designer. Asking lots of questions about the process will also give you more ease and clarification as your custom journey begins. Here’s our top recommended questions that you should be asking your designer.
Image by Julia Archibald Photography
1. IS MY BUDGET REALISTIC?
If you are in the early stages of your research you will soon discover the importance of budgeting. It’s important to have a rough idea of what you would like to spend and what design you are after. Ask your designer if your dream gown is possible with your set budget. If the answer is no, then you may need to be open to compromising on your style and understand that certain features on the gown may need to be tweaked in order to bring it into your budget. Quite often, dressmakers can modify the style ever so slightly to reduce the cost significantly without compromising too much on the gown. Be open to discussing this option.
Image by Julia Archibald Photography
2. CAN I SEE PICTURES OF YOUR WORK?
Just because you go to a reputable dressmaker doesn’t mean they can nail your style and bring your specific vision to life. Finding the right dressmaker suitable for your style is crucial! It’s very beneficial if your dressmakers style aligns closely with you and your personality. This will ensure you get the best possible outcome. Seeing pictures of their work and the quality is a must!!!
3. WHAT ARE THE COSTS AND ARE THERE ANY HIDDEN FEES?
Throughout the custom process you are bound to modify your style and design features ever so slightly. This is commonly done throughout the mock-up toiling stage. It’s important to note that if you make significant changes to your gown, your dressmaker may charge an additional fee. This may be due to the style becoming more complex or needing more time to produce. Ask your designer from the beginning what hidden fees could occur so you are prepared.
4. WHAT ARE YOUR FABRICS AND WHY WERE THEY CHOSEN?
A great designer will not only show you a range of suitable fabric options to recreate your dream gown but they should also explain why those materials were chosen. Understanding the fabrics chosen will give you a better visual and idea of how the end product may turn out. Ask your designer why they’ve chosen those fabrics so you can be reassured that it will definitely achieve what you’re after. If not, now is the time to look at some alternate options. Be clear with what you are after. If you cannot describe it, then we always suggest bringing images along.
5. CAN YOU DRAPE THE FABRICS ON ME?
Getting a bridal gown custom-made can be a daunting and nervous concept for many brides. The main reason being, that most brides struggle to visualise the final product. Ask your designer to sketch up the gown and to then drape a bunch of fabrics and laces on you. When you see this on you in a mirror you will have a much clearer idea of how the fabrics will drape and how the lace will be placed and sit. It’s important to note that most dressmakers will do a calico toile (which is a mock-up gown from a cheaper fabric). At this point in the process you will have a much better idea of how the gown will look.
Image via Clarisse Weddings
6. DO I REALLY NEED A CORSET?
Corsetry is often used to provide structure and support in a bridal gown whilst also contouring and creating a clean, smooth finish. Whilst most brides love the idea of a corset, it can often be expensive. The price will vary depending on your dressmaker but quite often it will cost an additional few hundred dollars. Ask your Designer if your gown needs corsetry and if there is an alternate option that may be cheaper.
Depending on the style you may be able to get away with minimal boning and fusing. This is a much cheaper alternative that could save you heaps. But keep in mind it may not be suitable for your style dress. Trust the guidance of your designer and dressmaker as they will recommend what is best for your gown and your body shape.
About the author 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.