Custom Dresses: A Fitting Option For Brides?

OK, so level with me here: What are your thoughts on custom dresses? What about custom wedding dresses? I’m 99.9 percent positive that I’m going to get a custom wedding dress, and before you call me fancy-shmancy, it isn’t a made-for-me Vera Wang or custom Oscar de la Renta. Even better, as far as I’m concerned—it’s from a dressmaker on Etsy named Sarah Seven. She does these gorge, ethereal, floaty dresses and I’m thinking the above one—in white—will be the perfect dancing/reception dress. (What do you think? Be honest!) Yes, it’s strapless, but my walking-down-the-aisle dress has definite straps and I wanted a total departure. (Also, don’t think I’m breaking the bank on gowns here; together they both cost way less than the cheapest of the seriously cheap dresses I looked at—I was practically laughed out of shops when I mentioned my budget.) But here’s the thing: it’s custom. And while pretty on the model, the model I am most definitely not, which creates major room for error (aka a dress that looks like crap on me). Should I pull the trigger and order one? I got a bit of advice, which helps …
I watch all those stupid TLC “Say Yes To The Dress” shows (can’t believe I’m actually owning up to that!) where you see loads of brides that come in last minute looking for a dress, because their first custom-made dress just looked like a big heaping pile of wrong on them. They are mostly S.O.L. at that point and looking for anything that’ll work for them. I don’t want to be that girl, so I’m mulling over a bit of advice from a dressmaker I talked to:

  • Research dress-maker styles. Not everyone is good at creating the same thing. Find someone with a similar style track record.
  • Know what you want, and what you don’t. There is nothing worse than a woman who doesn’t have opinions about what she wants the dress to look like.
  • Get a look at the fabric before it’s turned into a dress, if you can. If you don’t like the fabric on the roll, you sure as hell won’t love it any more on you.
  • Think about creating an inspiration board—sounds cheesy, but pinning up what you like and are into for your dressmaker can only make your vision clearer.
  • Discuss accessories and hair and makeup. Again, sounds ridiculous, but it’s actually helpful!
  • Be prepared for a lot of fittings. Like six. Or more.

Got anything else to add? I’m all ears!