No one ever tells you about having a dress made…

Shhhhhhh apparently I have stumbled across a secret. It’s something that people know and do but nobody talks about it. It’s not the done thing. A bit like other illicit activities….. You know… drinking fruit juice straight out of the carton and not using a glass, or going to sleep and not taking off your makeup.


The secret is, from what I can see and read, no matter what you do, having a dress made is cheaper than buying one off the rail. * Important note* A hand made Vivienne Westwood or Marchesa Gown may be the exception to this rule! If you are working to a budget of that size then this may not be the post for you!


A dress made for you even with silk, satin, specially dyed fabric, imported fabrics, custom pattern making and cutting etc etc its cheaper!


Some of the reasons for this are

Alterations are included in the price (it’s made for you and your shape) and you can pick all of your favourite bits of everything and have what you want ( as long as it’s not impossible).

Even if you do buy a dress from a shop find a reputable dress maker to do your alterations as it’s cheaper still. Shops add a premium to the seamstress to work there.

Time wise it’s less pressure as it’s not an order that is bulk made in a factory in China and then shipped over.

I was one of those brides that thought it took 6 months because it was made for you! I didn’t realise it’s because they stock pile all the orders of a particular dress until they have a large enough volume to make them all at once. I also thought the couture ranges were so called as they were then bespoke made or you had options. I didn’t realise that meant you could order it without a train and that cost more! (Yes – less fabric but more cost as it isn’t a standard format on the factory process line!)

With this in mind I have decided to have my dress made. All part of keeping the wedding locally produced and as budget friendly as possible. I went to lots of dress makers who ranged from women working out of their spare rooms to shops with a team of seamstresses.

The types of dresses vary in cost quite a bit so it’s really worth shopping around. I can not stress this enough! You may find a £200ish for a dress from a ready made pattern with a cheap stock fabric to £400 for a complete restyle of a dress to £1000+ for a custom pattern silk bespoke dress.there are many options in between these also a £1000 dress would be pretty special! Options and choices are huge! They vary so much you have to meet them and go through ideas.

All the people I met were really great at advising me on fabrics and what can and can’t be done including why. I was able to look through their previous designs and also some dresses they were currently working on.


We were able to discuss bridesmaid alterations and a style that would be great for my daughter and include it in the plan.

The feeling of relief in finding someone who can do the dress I want for a price that was reasonable was overwhelming. Probably the first time I came close to getting emotional over ‘the one’!

My first fitting was Saturday which was and is very exciting and nerve racking and scary! No going back now!
I would love to hear from anyone else who had their gown made.


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