When selecting a wedding dress, you have three choices: get a custom wedding dress tailored just for you, buy a semi-custom dress from Renée Grace, or buy one off the rack from a bridal store. The first two take time and planning but will guarantee that your dress will fit perfectly. The latter, however, means picking one that suits you based on available standard sizes.
Before you start your dress-hunting journey, you should decide whether you want to go the off-the-rack route or not because there are different factors involved, such as pricing. You may have special modifications that are not readily available or want a wedding dress that no one else will have. Regardless of the reason, you will want to have a firm decision before getting too deep into your search to avoid wasting time going back and forth.
With this guide, you'll have everything you need to know about buying a custom wedding dress to help you see if it's the best option. Once you decide, saying "yes" to your dress will become so much sweeter!
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What Is a Custom-Made Wedding Dress?
A custom-made wedding gown is, as the name suggests, a dress tailored specifically to the measurements and specifications of a client's body – a couture piece. To design the gown of your dreams, you'll need to collaborate with a designer or dressmaker specializing in wedding dresses.
The designer will start the creation process with a consultation. They'll discuss your visions and assist you with selecting laces and fabrics. Once they get a design sketched up, you'll be able to see your dreams come to life and get an idea of how the actual dress would suit you.
Buying a Custom Wedding Dress: Five Things to Know
If you decide to get a custom wedding dress made, you will want the process to go as smoothly as possible! Here are some things to consider before you get started:
Establish a Budget Beforehand
It's critical to have a budget in mind before selecting and meeting with your preferred dressmaker. Your budget is key to ensuring that you can get your dress made with the precise detailing you want. Having a budget will also allow you to consider other cost-efficient options.
Many designers prefer to work with a budget and can even suggest some fabrics that you might like without going overboard! In 2020, the average cost for a wedding dress was around $1,600 (semi-custom). This amount should serve as a decent starting benchmark, especially if you're not aiming for something too crazy.
Be Open-Minded About the Creation Process
When you first meet with your designer, you may already have a picture of your desired wedding dress in your mind, but be prepared for that concept to change. Creating a gown from scratch is a unique and creative process. It can spontaneously evolve, so be open-minded to any suggestions your designer may have.
You'll want to allow yourself to be open to fabrics and patterns you may not have previously considered, especially since you might find something better than your original concept.
Prices May Change Depending on the Concept
Some bridal boutiques set a price cap on their gowns; some even include the veil and accessories in that amount. However, depending on how your design concept changes, you may have to say goodbye to your pricing cap and pay more than you originally anticipated.
To avoid disappointment, accept that price changes with custom-made wedding dresses happen all the time. You will also want to encourage open communication with your designer so that you can keep track of all price changes if there are any. Better yet, add 20 percent on top of your initial budget to keep things safe.
A Custom-Made Wedding Dress Takes Time to Design
It takes time to get your wedding gown designed. The number of fittings, discussions, and alterations you'll have is determined by the fabrics you choose, the style of your dress, and how your designer works.
The designer may first produce a "toile," a test version of a dress made of cheap fabric, before beginning to craft the base of your actual dress. The first few fittings are usually spent fixing the shape of your dress. Once done, you and your designer can talk about the finer details.
Don't Become Over-Critical of the Details
The pressure of making the perfect dress might force you to over-analyze every detail and second-guess every decision. This can lead you to become confused about what you even want. We don't want you to go through that kind of pressure because the creation process is supposed to be fun!
When you're feeling too worried, know that it's fine to take a step back and relax. You'll want to look at your dress concept with fresh eyes to understand what's really bothering you.
Alt-text: Custom wedding dress buying guide infographic
Find Your Perfect Fit Today
A custom wedding dress can make or break your wedding. Making sure that only a professional wedding gown designer and dressmaker works on your gown is crucial to the success of your unforgettable day. So don't take any chances!
Here at Renee Grace Bridal, we're all about guaranteeing your happiness through our unique approach to semi-custom wedding dresses. With us, you're family, so you won't have to worry about anything as we'll walk you through every step of the way.
You can contact us today to book your in-studio atelier appointment.