Monday, September 11, 2006

Customize Your Wedding Gown

I had the pleasure of helping my dear friends Tony and Gipsy Williams host their annual fall bridal show Enchanted Brides yesterday. What fun! It is wonderful to reconnect with all my friends in the industry and to get a chance to talk to the brides.

I am always amazed when I talk to brides and find out what they don’t know. We in the industry take so much of our knowledge for granted that it never occurs to us to share it. NOT ME. So here is my tidbit for today.

I was talking to two lovely sisters that where both getting married and I asked them what gowns they had chosen. One sister said she was having a hard time finding a satin ball gown that wasn’t covered in beadwork. So I asked her why she didn’t just order on she likes the cut and fabric of without the beadwork. “You can do that?” she was blown away by this bit of news. Well ladies here is the lowdown.

When you order a wedding gown it isn’t cut until the order is placed. Unlike ready to wear your gown isn’t just sitting in a warehouse waiting to be shipped, it is still on a bolt of fabric. If you are ordering your gown from a bridal salon (as opposed to a big box store or the internet) you can customize just about every aspect of your gown. Want sleeves, of course. Sweetheart instead of scoop neck, we can do that! To much beading for your taste? Order it with less. I even talked to a salon owner that had a bride love the top of one gown and the skirt of another. Both gowns were from the same designers collection and last I heard the salon owner was in negotiations with the manufacturer to get it done. You can do that. Every line is a bit different and these changes will cost you, but to get the perfect gown instead of settling for a close second it is well worth it.

The key to getting what you want is to find a good salon that knows their lines and is there to help you. I’m not just talking about the really high-end couture lines either. This policy holds true for the more moderately priced lines as well. Lines like Mon Cheri and Allure . Again, each line is different and the salon owner will be able to steer you to a line that does a great job at custom orders. The other key is to openly communicate with the salon consultant. Don’t just say “I don’t like this gown,” tell them why. If you talk to the consultant you will find that they are a wealth of information. And if they aren’t, find another salon. If they are not aware of possible changes to a gown they haven’t been paying attention. When they view a line at market the designer always emphasizes the possible changes available to each gown. You need to ask.

I will also tell you that you are not going to get this at a big box vendor or on the Internet. This kind of service takes a trained professional.
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