Let's be honest. For those who aren't familiar with the process, creating a custom bridal gown for your wedding can seem really intimidating. There's this idea that bespoke wedding dresses are more expensive than anything you can find in a salon. However, this isn't the case.
To clue you in on what exactly goes into the process of ordering a custom gown for your wedding, we've interviewed one of our very own. Vira Basaraba, the owner of Viero Bridal and designer of several Viero collections took the plunge in May 2018. After reviewing dress after dress from even the most high-end designers like Zuhair Murad and Elie Saab, she finally decided to work with Viero to bring not one but two custom visions to life.
They say that self expression makes a more lasting impression, and I couldn’t agree more. I designed the two dresses that I totally adored, they incorporated my taste, character, a personal vision and the most important they were one-of-a-kind. - Vira Basaraba
You might think designing your own custom wedding gown is just another thing to add onto the list of to-dos. However, Viero production team is incredibly easy to work with and works to make the process as easy as possible.
I'm lucky that Viero production is flexible! They can realize all your style ideas, make changes to existing styles as well as change colors and fabric. Basically, anything is possible!
Using Vira's amazing example of a custom (and affordable!) gown, we'll break down the steps of what you can expect when you work on a custom gown with the Viero team.
Step One: Ge Inspired
The first step when you reach the decision that you might like a bespoke wedding dress is to pull together inspiration for the design. This doesn't mean that you have to pick a silhouette right off the bat or even know every detail of your dream wedding dress. Instead, here's what you need to have handy:
A Pinterest board or collection of photos featuring the details of dresses that you love. You'll need to be able to articulate just what it is you love about your inspo dresses, and even more importantly, what you don't!
Be honest if there are any parts of your figure you want to draw attention to and any parts you'd like to conceal.
Note if there are any practicalities of the day or movement that you'll need to consider. For example, you may not want a long train at an outdoor wedding where it may drag through mud, sticks, and debris. Another example might be a looser silhouette around the legs if you have very involved choreography in your first dance where a mermaid or trumpet gown may restrict your steps!
Step Two: Consult with the Viero Bridal Team
When you have a clearer picture of what you like, what you don't like and what you need in a wedding dress, it's time to consult with the Viero team.
I pulled together all my inspirational photos and worked with a sketch specialist who created three sketches for me. I picked the one I liked best!
Step Three: Pick Your Fabric
The wonderful thing about Viero Bridal is that we have access to the finest fabrics possible. At Viero, the "magic box" is full of swatches of fine lace and fabric for brides to select from.
Here's the kicker: none of them worked for Vira! Was it the end of the world? Absolutely not! She and the team began reaching out to different vendors to look for more options and were able to find the perfect one. How much time did it take from deciding on the style to finding her dream fabric?
Only four weeks.
"I picked a fully pearl beaded fabric for my first A-line dress; and an ombre couture chantilly lace that was beautifully embroidered and embellished for my second."
Step Four: Provide Your Measurements
After approving sketches and deciding on fabrics, the next step is to provide measurements. Each dress at Viero is custom made based on a bride's figure and measurements. For this reason, Vira advises, it's better to stay the same weight to avoid major alterations to the dress.
"Before my measurements were taken, I made sure I was the weight I wanted to be on my wedding day. I didn't have to lose or gain any pounds before the wedding for the dresses to fit like a glove! - Vira
This isn't to say that you have to remain the same measurements throughout the process if you have your heart set on losing weight or toning up before the big day. It simply makes the process easier to already be where you want before you send in your measurements! Let your design specialist know your plans so that enough time can be put in for alterations or changes to measurements as necessary.
Step Five: The First Fitting
After measurements are taken, the next step in ordering a custom wedding gown is to have the first fitting. To give you an idea of what to expect, production on Vira's dress began in January. In April, she had her first fitting. At this time normally any alterations would be made to the gown and a few more fittings would occur to check the fit of the gown. However, Vira didn't require any alterations to the dress since her figure didn't change very much at all!
The first fitting occurs at approximately one month before the wedding day to give the team of seamstresses a chance to make any adjustments. Your gown or gowns will arrive with time to spare before the big day.
The Detail Everyone Wants to Know: Price Tag
Viero Bridal's collections are built on the concept of "affordable luxury." We like to break the misconception that we have extreme price tags. This is often what stops brides from pursuing a gorgeous bespoke gown.
"I've noticed that most of the brides think that custom dresses are expensive, and usually they are! Prices range from $6,000 to $20,000 at some ateliers. Not at Viero Bridal. An average price of a custom made dress is $3,700. My wedding gown was $4,000. Compared to other haute couture designers it was 4 times cheaper to make the dress at Viero Bridal!
The Pretty Little Details