Design Your Own Wedding Dress

Photo of a couture wedding gown on a dress form

If the only way to have your dream wedding dress is to design your own, a few guidelines can help you get started. You can use a free online wedding dress program to test out your design and determine if designing your own dress for your wedding is the best way to go.

One of a Kind

Designing your own dress means you will have a one-of-a-kind gown to wear on your wedding day. Not only will it be the only dress of its kind, it will also have a perfect fit without any extensive alterations, having been made to fit your body perfectly.

Women design their own dresses often do so for various reasons. If you know how to make patterns and sew, you can save money by making a cheap wedding dress. On the opposite extreme, it may have always been a fantasy to work with a top designer to create an exclusive design that is all your own. Other reasons to think about designing a dress include:

  • Style: Today's fashions are not right for everyone's taste. Strapless dresses have been popular for years and the trend seems to be holding. If you are looking for a more modest wedding dress, you may want to consider designing your own.
  • Theme: Planning a theme wedding? You can either choose to have a full costume or a more traditional dress. Design your own to get the best of both.
  • Size: Sizing issues can be a big problem for many brides. Whatever your sizing issue, from broad shoulders to a long torso, you can eliminate those problems with a custom dress made to fit you alone.

Whether you hire someone to create your dress based upon your vision or make it yourself, you cannot go wrong with a custom gown.

Ideas to Design Your Own Wedding Dress

Even if you all ready have a picture of the perfect dress in your head, it is a good idea to look for additional ideas. Head to a bridal boutique and try on dresses in all shapes and styles. You want your custom designed dress to look fabulous, so be sure the style is one that flatters your figure and your personality. You may need to change a few things in your ideal design if you discover a sheath dress creates a tummy pooch or that certain types of lace make you itch.

Some websites allow you to experiment with designing your own wedding dress. One is Wedding Dress Creator. Choose hair and skin color, then move on to picking options for neckline, silhouette, sleeves, and gloves.

Custom Designers and Dress Makers

Finding a designer or dressmaker in your local area is crucial if you are not able to sketch out your dream design or sew the wedding dress yourself. Just because you are not able to do it all yourself does not mean you will have had any less hand in designing your own wedding gown; you just got a little help from professionals.

Start by asking friends and family for recommendations. Dry cleaners may also employ tailors. Even calling a local fabric store can result in a reference to a customer who frequents the shop. You want to have a few people to meet with in order to choose the one who understands your dress image the best.

If you have a design already created, you can also call around to find someone to make the dress for you. This is often a good compromise for brides who can design but not sew, or for those who simply do not have the time to actually make the dress themselves.

When visiting with the designers and dressmakers, ask the following questions:

  • Can I see your portfolio?
  • How many hours do you spend (on average) per dress?
  • What is your cost per hour for labor?
  • Does your price include materials?
  • How many fittings do you require?
A wedding dress pattern
  • Do you have a specialty area (embroidery, beadwork)?
  • Am I responsible for getting the dress pressed?
  • How soon do I need to book your services?
  • Is a deposit required - if so, what kind?
  • What if I want to change things in the design partway through?
  • Do you sew the dress yourself, or do you have a staff that creates it from your wedding dress pattern?
  • What if I gain or lose weight?

Additionally, you will want to chat about your ideas for the dress to be sure the designer is clear on what you want. Once you have chosen the best designer or dressmaker, be sure to read the contract thoroughly before signing.

Sewing the Dress Yourself

Sewing your own dress can save you a lot of money but requires a lot of time. Start as soon as possible in order to give yourself plenty of wiggle room as wedding planning builds up. After you have created your design, you need to make a pattern for the dress and gather materials.

Plenty of resources are available with tips and tricks to help you navigate through the dress endeavor. Check out the following books for help:

If you want to design your own wedding dress, you are sure to have a stunning dress with a flawless fit. Whether you create the entire gown yourself or get help from a designer, dressmaker, or both, all eyes will be on you as you walk down the aisle on your wedding day.

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Design Your Own Wedding Dress