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Corston Paddington showroom

How to go about getting a custom wedding dress made

Getting a custom dress made is ideal for:

  • Girls that want a dress that is uniquely their design, or
  • Girls who have a body shape that is not standard, and therefore are finding it impossible to get a dress to fit off the rack.

It is usually quite a bit more expensive, because of the individual attention you will require to design and then create the dress, not to mention paying for the designer’s years of experience and expertise.

It is a very decadent experience, and well worth the money if you can fit it into your budget.

The most important thing to get right is choosing the right designer for you. Some designers are very consultative, others very much take charge of the process and tell you what you should have. Others expect you to have decided on the design yourself. Each one of these ways of designing can suit different types of client personalities, you just need to see which style makes you feel most comfortable.

Here are 3 important things to consider in making the choice:

  • Find someone you feel like you can trust, feel comfortable with and that you have a rapport with.
  • Make sure they come highly recommended; they are working on an especially important part of the wedding, possibly the most important part of the wedding. (Ideally, look at Google reviews, Facebook reviews, and talk to friends that have already been married)
  • Make sure they are not going to charge you wildly over your budget.

Although many designers will work somewhat similarly, I can only discuss our process here.

I really like getting to know my clients, their wedding day plans, the type of wedding they are planning, and a little about themselves and their preferences. I just feel like I am more useful to a client if I can get a little bit inside their heads. I also like to ask about their budget, what looks you have been attracted to, either online or while shopping around, also how many dresses have you tried on and how much have you narrowed down your preferences about the design of the dress.

If the bride has not tried on any dresses (or very few), I like to have them try on some of our Ready-To-Wear collection, just to find a shape that they love and feel comfortable in. From there we have discussions about fabrics, lengths of trans, etc and I can sketch a design or two,as well as cost the designs for the bride to choose from.


Once a design has been decided on, deposits paid, fabric swatches given, measurements taken and appointments all booked in, the process of creating the dress begins.

We start new designs with a toile (a cheap fabric version of the dress, usually in calico). This gets fitted on the bride and adjusted to fit perfectly; the original patterns are then changed to reflect this perfecting of the pattern. Next we cut out the base of the dress (not the fancy beaded fabrics or appliques), sew this up and do another fitting to make sure this is perfect before we go ahead and add all the embellished fabrics.

We do another fitting to make sure it is still a perfect fit, allowing for any weight loss or change in fit because of the addition of the embellished fabric. Finally we finish the dress and have the bride return about 3 weeks before the wedding to try the fully finished dress on one last time and, assuming the fit is perfect, the dress goes home with the bride.

May all your wedding dreams come true.

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