THE WEDDING DRESS YOU HAVE ALWAYS DREAMED ABOUT
Imagine yourself in a wedding dress that no one ever saw before. A dress that is just “You”.
You’re probably thinking “Sure, but I can’t afford that!” Well you can and several brides we have helped have done just that and for $600 -$900.
It isn’t the usual saving money by looking for a bargain at a discount bridal factory, making the dress yourself or having some friend’s aunt who used to work for Bloomingdale’s in alterations do your dress.
But it does take some time, a little perseverance and schlepping (but no more than going from Bridal salon to Bridal salon). It is not for everyone but it is fun and very unique and can save you oodles of money.
You start with finding at an antique clothing store, a second hand store or a hospital or charity Thrift shop an old wedding dress made of real satin, silk, peau de soie etc. Never mind it has a rip, stain or isn’t even close to the real size you need. The style doesn’t matter either! What does matter is the quality of the fabric.
We did a wedding dress quite recently. The original dress was real silk satin made around 1885 – it still had the hem made for a hoop. The hand beading down the long sleeves, bodice and down the center front of the dress was exquisite. There were a few small light stains and the size was all wrong. However there was so much material in the original dress that is was easy to let out, take in, add a train (that after the church was buttoned to the back of the dress in four elegant folds so that the skirt became a beautiful ball gown with lovely motion). The wedding was a late winter wedding so the material was great. It had turned ivory over the years, so we found ivory tulle to create a veil and we hand-beaded it to match the dress beading.
We also bought 2 yards of finest gauge ivory wool and created a ruana for the 20 degree temperature.
The dress alterations were handled by a professional tailor/seamstress (cost about $350) plus the dress was purchased originally for $275 from an antique store.
The theme of the wedding was a Victorian wedding – The groom wore a vested tuxedo, derby, carried a pearl handled cane. It was just slightly hinted at rather than a costume look. The flowers and attendants all were suitably attired with just a hint of elegant Victoriana.
The dress could just as easily have been totally modern made into a halter dress or even strapless ensemble - with a bolero jacket.
One can start with an elegant silk slip dress or even nightgown and by adding, gathering, etc. make a wedding dress that everyone remembers, and most importantly you will love because you dictated every nuance.
Again this is not for every bride. Bridal salons are wonderful places to get a beautiful dress, the staff is friendly and helpful.
This is a different approach, the fittings are at your leisure and if you need five of six visits or more the seamstress is available and only a phone call away. Remember you are not ordering a dress – you are bringing the dress and simply changing this or that, adding, subtracting, gathering, folding etc.
You need a professional tailor/seamstress who makes clothing and does quality alterations – someone who is full time and has been established for years in the same location.
The dress we had discussed earlier began alterations in the week after Thanksgiving and was ready the second week of February (three (3) ) months from start to finish). The wedding for which we helped plan all the details was for two hundred guests, a five hour reception ,church ceremony, eight piece orchestra, harp at the church and strolling violins for the cocktail hour. It was completely organized from Thanksgiving week to the third week in December. Invitations were sent out Christmas week. January and February all the bride and groom did was relax, set up their new home, with the last fittings of the wedding dress in January and February. No Stress, Gorgeous Dress! A Fantastic Affair.
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