So a bit over a month ago I married Brandon.
Best. Decision. Ever.
Our wedding was very much tailored to our individual tastes and interests. I had my dress custom made out of my mother's dress. Brandon wanted to wear a suit, no tuxedos. I wore glitter shoes.
I'm adding this picture because you can see my shoes and that I had my dress monogrammed. That was a really cool part about hiring a seamstress to make my dress for me; she added all of these kinds of custom details that I would never have gotten at a store. Also, I can say that my dress was one of a kind, and couture!
My mother was married in the 1970s and had a long lacy train and bodice. The seamstress took the lace off of my mother's dress and then pieced it together to make my bodice. It looks like one piece of fabric but it is actually dozens of smaller pieces of lace stitched up together.
As you can see I also did not wear a traditional longer veil. I wore a type of birdcage veil that I ordered on Etsy. I knew for years that I wanted a shorter, less formal dress and a long veil didn't feel right with that dress. I also knew that I wanted a dress that showcased my shoes. I've been collecting glitter shoes for years and when Brandon and I got engaged they were the first thing I bought for the wedding.
I would recommend that any bride consider getting a dress custom made. It was a fantastic experience. I knew that as a plus-size woman I wouldn't have a lot of options at a David's Bridal. or other larger retailer. I also knew that smaller boutiques wouldn't necessarily carry my size. Traditional shopping didn't seem like a good choice for me. When I first met with the seamstress I brought in pictures from maybe a dozen dresses to show her exactly what I wanted. Having my dress made allowed me to use all of my favorite ideas rather than sacrifice a lovely neck line for a shorter hem, or limit my color choices because I wanted three-quarter sleeves, etc.
Another wonderful thing was the cost. This did not cost a fortune; not even close. My family paid a bit over $600, which is only $50 dollars more than the average David's Bridal off-the-rack dress. This cost is also several hundred dollars less than the estimated $1,100 average dress price. Boutique dresses can cost $3,000-5,000 easily. This cost included labor, fabric, and the dozen or so alterations she made. I lost some weight, didn't originally like the sleeves, wanted the bodice to fit a bit more snug around the waist, etc. At David's Bridal you pay for alterations by the piece; meaning they are not included in the $550 average cost of their dress.
Finally, I really appreciate that I got to make my dress out of my mother's dress. My mother was a smaller woman when she got married so wearing her dress as it was wasn't a choice for me; it wouldn't fit me. Also, her dress was beautiful but not my taste. I knew I wanted to include my family's heirlooms and this allowed me to take something older and make it my own. Additionally I wore my paternal grandmother's earrings. Brandon proposed with my maternal grandmother, Nananette's, engagement and wedding bands that I wore as an engagement set. He got me my own wedding band; again, this blend of the historical heirloom and something that is uniquely mine.
I love my dress. I love the short, Swing-Era shorter hem, I love that it fit me perfectly, and I love that it was made special for me. If you're engaged and still shopping for your dress, consider finding a seamstress to make it for you. It was a wonderful experience and I would recommend it to anyone.