Wedding Dress
The Budget Savvy Bride

For many, this is a long and boring story. You’ve been warned. For others, I really do hope it can be a useful wedding planning idea.

The famous wedding dress has arrived at last. [It's not really famous, just in my head.] As many people in my life know, this dress has been quite the saga. [Again, not really a saga, just in my head.] At the beginning of this wedding dress journey, my mum and I searched dress shops high and low for an appropriate outfit for our upcoming offbeat wedding. Sadly it turned out I had a pretty concrete idea of the perfect dress in my head; it was nothing fancy or extravagant in any way, but even still it just wasn’t to be found in a traditional bridal salon. I was after the ultimate party dress, more of a fun whimsical number than a sparkly, sleek and sexy white gown. Swiss dots were a must, as was a pretty good quantity of tulle.

Once I’d come to grips with the fact that I wouldn’t be buying a dress off the rack, I began to look into my options to get a unique dress constructed. I met with a local fashion designer; I researched custom dress makers in Asia; I continued to browse dresses online in hopes of finding a pre-made number that I could settle for. After investigating several avenues, I settled on a lovely Etsy seller based out of Greece, Tami. First off, her going rate was just perfect. I loved that she made every dress on her own, with her own hands, in her own home. Every one of her dresses are one of a kind and are made exactly for each specific girl. I also loved that she was very responsive to my inquiries…despite our substantial time difference, she always got back to me so quickly. Back in February, I finally committed to my design and commissioned her for the all-important project.

Having a dress custom made from scratch is certainly not a project for every bride…I think I was on the verge of being too nervous for this option. In the end though, everything was perfect and I wouldn’t have done it any other way. If you decide to go this route you must trust your dressmaker 100%, especially if you go with someone in a location where you do not have the option to do fittings along the way. I didn’t have an exact idea how it would look until it was completed and I certainly didn’t know how it would fit me in all my awkward spots. I sent Tami photos from several dresses that I liked, as well as characteristics I wasn’t fond of and explained how I was hoping it would come together. After that I stepped aside and waited about five months. I’ll admit, about four months in…I was getting pretty excited [I suppose I could say ANXIOUS] to see a few photos of the project underway.

My fantastic dress arrived earlier this week. It’s just awesome. It fits me to a tee, I mean perfectly. I can’t believe how great I feel in it…it certainly seems as though it was made just for me.

As for future brides considering a custom dress, I absolutely suggest looking into it. And I would whole-heartedly recommend Tami. I’d just love to see one of my 2012 brides in one of her awesome dresses! I hope Adam might want to do a vow-renewal in five or ten years [The Bushparty, Round Two] this way I could have Tami make that dress too…is it bad that I’ve already concocted a few more designs in my head before I’ve even worn the first?

Based on my experience, I feel there are a couple of very important tips for brides considering this route for their dress; order the dress with PLENTY of lead time, and be very upfront about your expected/desired/necessary arrival date. My dress has, of course, arrived with extra time before the wedding…but it was a bit later than I’d anticipated, partly due to the aftermath of the Canada Post strike. In hindsight even though it turned out exactly how I’d imagined and it fit 100% perfect upon arrival, I would have requested [& happily paid the additional fees] a courier service for the piece of mind of having it in my closet a few weeks earlier. In addition, my dress is handmade…sewn by human hands. There are some very small imperfections, and I like it like that.

Below are just a couple quick little sneak peeks. Don’t fret…Adam already has a pretty good idea of what it looks like [there's no way I can keep a secret from that guy!] …but he has requested that I don’t prance/twirl/strut around the house in it…he does want a bit of a surprise on the wedding day.

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  1. I love that you were able to get a custom dress. Sometimes when you have such a concrete idea you just have to run with it. It's nice to know that even budget-conscious brides can get exactly what they want!

    • alex
    • August 23rd, 2011

    This looks similar to what I'm considering having created for me! Could you possibly email me a pic of the whole dress so that I can see if I'd like to hire Tami as well? Looks lovely from what I can see, but I'd love to see the rest of this dress! My email is dogbyte [at] gmail.com.

    Thanks so much in advance :)

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