Archive for June, 2013

The Top 5 Questions I Get Asked by Brides About Having a Wedding Dress Exclusively Designed & Created:

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Hi lovely people,

Every day I meet with brides and discuss what their dream wedding dress would look like. As we sit down and look at ideas, photos, sketches and fabric samples, I get asked a number of questions from each bride which are usually around the same topics. So I realised it might be very helpful if I wrote a blog answering these questions!

My TOP FIVE questions I get asked by brides are as follows:

1. How much time to do I need to have a wedding dress made?

Good question! Some of my bridal clients book in as early as 12 months ahead. While others book in around the 6 month mark and sometimes we even have last minute brides with only a few months to go.

It’s good to get locked in as early as you can so we can get your design finalised and choose the fabrics. Some materials and laces can take several months to arrive if they’re coming from France, so if you book in early we have unlimited options to refine the design, choose the materials and laces and arrange fitting dates.

But we don’t need to start your first fitting too early. Many brides loose weight or tone up  for their wedding day. So if we start fittings 12 months ahead, then by the time it gets close to your wedding date your body will have changed and we’ll have to keep altering the shape and size of your gown.

However we do get busy here as most weddings tend to happen close together. The more we can plan and pace the work we do on your gown over the coming months, the better service we can give to you.

So what I would advise is – just contact me as soon as you can and let me know your wedding date. I prefer more time rather than less so don’t wait to set up your consultation with me!

However if you have only just found us at the end of your wedding gown search or you have a very short engagement period, please don’t be afraid to still contact me about your wedding dress. If we can fit you in to our busy schedule we will!

2. Can I make changes to my wedding gown design later if I decide I don’t like something?

This is an awesome question and I’m glad you asked! We do a first fitting in calico cotton where you can see how the whole gown is going to look and we will discuss ALL changes at this first fitting. You’ll be able to see the whole gown shape, neckline, skirt shape, straps, train – basically everything will be there in fairly clear detail.

This is an example of one of our gorgeous brides at her first fitting wearing the “calico cotton toile” version of her wedding dress.

While you are wearing the (calico cotton toile) gown we will discuss things such as the neckline and we can actually cut away the fabric while you’re wearing it (but very carefully!) to make it lower or more v-shaped or rounded or sweetheart right before your eyes.

You will be able to see roughly see how your gown silhouette is going to look and we will be making lots of small adjustments to the fit of your gown and minor design changes. So this is the optimal time to make any small changes you would like.

3. What is the latest stage that I can still make changes?

When I design for a client, we look at examples of my previous clients gowns, lots of sketches and other photos, your ideas and also the type of wedding ceremony and reception you are having. I then create a final illustration gleaned from the ideas we have discussed.

After I have done this sketch – of course you can change your mind! Even big changes are ok at this stage as long as we haven’t started the pattern for your bridal gown. If we have started the pattern then we will discuss what options you have available to make the changes you are requesting.

Then we create a calico cotton (toile) version of your gown. At this stage as I mentioned earlier, we can make lots of “small changes” such as altering the neckline shape slightly, making the skirt a little tighter, or the train a bit shorter etc.

Then we make the gown in the final fabric. If your gown is nearly finished then it’s going to be much more difficult to make any changes at all to the design – although we have been known to insert an extra panel to the back train to make it longer at the last minute! (We really go out of our way to make our clients happy).

However being able to make a change late in the process is extremely rare. It depends on what the design looks like and what you are requesting to change. So I would never count on having this option! Not to mention that major style changes after your gown has been cut in the real fabrics are not part of the agreement so they would incur extra charges. This might seem unreasonable but you have to consider for us it will require a lot more time and labour to draft a new pattern, possibly sew a new calico toile of the part you want changed, a fitting to try the toile on, purchase of more fabric to recut the style and then sewing it all up again and another fitting to check it all fits!

But don’t fear! That’s why we do a first fitting in calico! To make sure you’re happy with everything! :)

However one exciting thing we can do later on is decide how you want the beading and embellishments to look!

In every case, please tell us asap if you want to change something or are unsure about something and I will tell you what your options are. We are not scary or intimidating – so you can talk to us about any concerns and we truly want you to feel and look amazing on your wedding day!

Image: Foster Photography www.fosterphotography.com.au

4. How do I know if I’m going to like my wedding dress or not when it’s finished and what if I don’t like it?

With all the opportunities to see how your gown is going to turn out – a first fitting in calico cotton and then fittings in the real fabric to adjust the fit and perfect the embellishments, I don’t think you’re going to dislike your bridal gown.

If there are any problems it’s normally something in particular you don’t like about your wedding gown, but there are other aspects you are happy with. In this case just talk to us about these issues and we can usually rectify them.

But we definitely aim to avoid any problems by checking everything carefully at the wedding gown fittings so there is little risk of you hating the whole dress!

5. So, I’ve decided I want to go ahead and have Sarah Alice Andrews – Bridal Couturier make my couture wedding gown, what is the next step?

First we need to finalise your wedding dress design. Sometimes this is done during the consultation, but other times it takes more discussion and several email exchanges before we get it right.

After you have confirmed you’re happy with the design, I will send you your first invoice for the initial retainer. This allows me to start your wedding gown pattern and start purchasing materials. So the next time I see you will be for your first fitting in the calico cotton toile gown and at a date that suits you.

If we are using special laces I will start sourcing these immediately.. Or you may want to wait to choose the fabrics until after your first fitting in the calico cotton when you can see roughly how your gown will look and it will be easier to visualise the effect of the different fabric choices. – Of course I will help you with this and guide you in the right direction to choose materials that are suitable for your gown.

I hope these FAQS are helpful to you! I find they’re the most common questions I get asked, but of course if you have any further questions don’t hesitate to ask me! Or you can also find more FAQs in the About your Gown Page or check out this post I wrote some time ago about Having Your Wedding Gown Designed & Made-to-Measure – A Step By Step Guide to the Consultation Experience.

An important point to remember is that you’re not alone in your “Couture Wedding Gown Creation Journey!” You have a designer (myself) and very skilled pattern and sample makers who are all going to be looking after you and ensuring that your wedding gown is perfect. We want you to look amazing walking down the aisle! To us that is the greatest privilege and why we are in this business!

Image: Foster Photography www.fosterphotography.com.au

If you’re considering having a couture bridal gown created for your wedding day, then send me an email or give me a call. I do free consultations where we can discuss the type of gown you’d like to have created. I’m also happy to liaise (initially) over email: Contact me here:

If you’re keen to learn more about us at Sarah Alice Andrews – Bridal Couturier, you can check out the following:

Facebook – www.facebook.com/SarahAliceAndrews

Twitter – @SarahCouturier

Pinterest – sarahaandrews

Instagram – @sarahcouturier

Feel free to send me any comments about this blog post via Facebook or Twitter, send me an email or give me a call Ph.0431 977 814.

Happy Wedding Planning! x Sarah