Getting Married in 2018 and looking for the perfect wedding dress?
We compare off the rack vs custom-made wedding dresses, and which might be the best option for you
Are you wondering what the best option is and what the benefits are between purchasing an "off the rack" vs a "custom designed" bridal gown? To put your mind at ease we answer some of those burning questions to help you make the right decision.
Made to measure vs off the shelf
Rather than the sales assistant offering you something that they have chosen to stock, a made to measure dress provides you with the opportunity to have something that shows off your figure, illuminates your best assets and hides any part of your body you prefer not to show - we all have them! When choosing an off the peg dress, you will need to order it many months in advance and it won’t arrive until close to the wedding day. Alterations will also need to be scheduled in and some brides even forget what they have ordered!
Your wedding dress designer will provide you with a more personal experience and buying your wedding dress will feel that bit more special. You will have the undivided attention of your designer who will take the time to get to know what you like, what dress suits your frame and talk through different fabrics. The experience of high street wedding shops is not for everyone, if the thought of lots of people looking at you as you choose the most important dress of your life fills you with dread, (some even have communal changing areas!) as well as visiting a number of different shops trying to find the right dress terrifies you as well, seeing a wedding dress designer might suit you better.
Last minute wedding dress shopping
Many brides underestimate how much time they need to get a made to measure dress. If you’re in a hurry, having a wedding dress made might not be the best option for you. You should look to speak to your wedding dress designer about nine months to a year in advance if you are getting married during wedding season (April through to beginning September). Designers will need less time outside of these dates, typically between 5 - 7 months.
How do the costs compare?
According to Harper’s Bazaar, the average amount of money spent on a wedding dress in the UK is £1,385, while in London the price sits a little higher at £1,677. If you are buying your dress on the high street, you might look to spend between £1000 to £1400. However, prices for a wedding dress designer start from between £500 - £600 for a simple gown, plus fabrics. It’s also worth noting that when a designer makes your wedding dress there are no alteration costs to add on at the end, which can save you a fair few pounds and avoid unexpected budget surprises.
It is amazing how affordable and easy it is to get your wedding dress made so don’t think that getting your wedding dress custom made is going to cost more than the high street!
Some brides may also be considering choosing an overseas online source for lower prices, to avoid disappointment I always recommend working with a designer face-to-face. This is to ensure that the design and details – from the feel of the fabric to the quality of the stitching and beadwork - are exactly what you envisaged.
Remember - having a wedding gown made should be considered at the beginning of your dress hunt rather than when you are finding the 'shop route' disappointing and are not finding your special dress.
If you are thinking about getting your wedding dress made, why not make an appointment to pop in to see me for a free consultation. At this consultation we can discuss all your ideas, look at fabrics and budget and let you know how it all works.