Dressmakers
Emma Margeaux Bride Online Columnist

Getting the Best Out of Your Wedding Dressmaker


You’ve worn all sorts of dresses in your life but none will be as discussed, anticipated and photographed as the one you’ll wear on your wedding day. Most brides have very specific ideas about The Dress, which is why they have it professionally made rather than bought from a store. Once you’ve picked the perfect dressmaker, follow these tips to make sure the dress you’ve been daydreaming about is brought to life.

(Courtesy cfda.tumblr.com)

Do Your Homework

Whether you’ve been planning this dress since you were a starry-eyed teenager or only from your engagement, page through bridal magazines and wedding catalogues/ galleries and scour the Internet to find some inspiration. Look at fabric samples but don’t buy anything until you’ve consulted with your dressmaker. They are experts in textiles and will have a better idea of how the material will translate (or not!) into your wedding dress. You want your personality and style to shine through, so think about details like length, neckline, waistline and sleeves.

• The more information you give your dressmaker, the easier it will be to produce your dress.

Have Some Fun 

Now that you have specific ideas, take your bridesmaids and try on a few ready-to-wear dresses. It’s fun and it makes your wedding day feel more real. It’s also a chance to see what cuts suit your body shape. Be brave and put on something you wouldn’t ordinarily pick - you may be pleasantly surprised.

• Trying on dresses will help you figure out what styles you like and dislike.

Consulting With Your Dressmaker

Weddings are big events and they take a lot of planning, so make sure you give your dressmaker enough time to finish your frock without having to rush. On average this is between 4 – 8 months but it depends on the details of the dress. Find out what you need to bring to your fittings; the shoes and underwear you’ll wear on your wedding day are recommended as they help with sizing. Designers are visual, so make sure you come armed with all your sketches, photos, magazine cut-outs and ideas. Be upfront and honest about your taste, the style of the wedding and your budget and expect the same frankness from your dressmaker.

What to ask:
• When will the dress be finished?
• Are there additional charges you’re going to surprise me with?
• Can I negotiate the terms of payment?

Compromise is Key

Even if you’re quite certain about what you want, banish bridezilla and keep an open mind. The style you love might not suit your body shape and the material you have your heart set on might not work with the style you choose. Your dressmaker may suggest a different cut or alternative fabric that will do a better job of accentuate your assets. You need to find a happy union between comfort and looking drop-dead gorgeous. Speak to your dressmaker about sourcing the material as they may be able to get it cheaper than you.

What to ask:
• What fabric do you recommend?
• What colour goes best with my skin tone?
• What style suits my shape?
• What do you expect me to supply?

Your Dress Fittings

Whatever you do, don’t rush your fittings! It’s so important to make sure your dress fits properly, so plan ahead to book your dates. Don’t squeeze the appointments into your lunch break, give yourself time to relax and enjoy the experience. When your dress is on, move around to make sure it’s comfortable, that it stays up and that you can breathe, after all you’ll be doing a lot of dancing on your wedding night!

What to ask:
• How many fittings will there be?
• When is the last fitting?
• What if my weight changes and I need final adjustments?

Say Yes to the Dress

A custom-made wedding dress turns a bride’s fantasy into reality. By making sure you know what you want, you can get the best out of your dressmaker and you’ll walk down the aisle in a dress that’s come straight from your dreams.




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