Would it be fair to say the most anticipated event of wedding planning is (drum roll please)… choosing a gown? Your engagement and the process of beginning to plan your wedding may feel surreal, but brides often find that finding their perfect wedding dress is the moment when reality sets in. However, finding the ideal gown isn’t always as simple as reality television would have you believe. So, what’s a bride to do if she can’t find a look off-the-rack? First, allow yourself to daydream about wedding looks you adore and how they might contribute to your ideal gown. “Why settle for a cookie-cutter dress that you can find anywhere when you can have a dress designed specifically for you and with your own unique style in mind?”
After you’ve figured out a vision of your dream gown, and decided to have it custom made, it’s time to visit Isabella Margianu Bridal Atelier. Isabella Margianu believes in creating a truly custom experience for all her brides. She has the eye and the talent to design and craft a truly stunning bridal gown for your special day.
There are a lot of pluses to getting a custom-made gown—the biggest, most obvious is that it will be a one-of-a-kind dress. NO ONE before you and no one after you will ever have THAT dress.
Step1: The consultation. Before you meet with Isabella Margianu, spend some time collecting images that inspire you. These don’t have to just be a series of tearsheets of gowns from magazines. “Make a folder of photos that depict the ideas, inspirations, and emotions you want to evoke on your wedding day.” As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. There are endless possibilities for ‘simple and elegant’ so it is important to be able to express your thoughts. What do you want your gown to say about you? Do you want to incorporate anything special into your dress (a swath of fabric from your grandmother’s veil, for example)? This is the time to discuss all the nitty-gritty details and your every desire. “The more I know about the vision, the easier it will be for me to create a gown you will love.”
Step 2: Sketch review. A sketch is the true starting point of seeing your vision come to life. During this phase, you should expect to discuss fabric selection, gown shape and style, and embellishments, and you should be asking a TON of questions, such as “how deep will the neckline be?” and “how long is the train?” If something about the design is unclear, ask for clarification. “Remember that [the sketch] is just a representation of an idea, it is not the dress itself.” I advise brides to really hone in on the details at this point, because at this stage, it is super easy to change something. Later on, not so much.
Step 3: A muslin fitting. Before a designer spends H-O-U-R-S (understatement) cutting, sewing, trimming, embroidering your gown, they’ll do a “mock-up” in a basic cotton fabric called a muslin. “All the final decisions regarding fit and silhouette will be made while working with the muslin.” Your designer may even hand-draw embellishments directly onto the fabric to indicate positioning and to give you an idea of what you can expect.” I advise brides to bring their bridal shoes (flats or 5-inch heels will make a huge difference in length of the gown!) and underpinnings to this fitting. “Every bra is different,” If you are wearing one, it is important that your designer knows exactly how it fits you, where the boundaries are, and if there is a possibility it could be seen from beneath your gown.” Make sure to see the gown on from all sides, every angle. If something doesn’t look or feel right, now is the time to speak up.
Step 4: Your first gown fitting! This is the moment you slip into your wedding dress for the first time—EEEEEEEE! Who do you want there with you? You might enjoy having this moment all to yourself (that would be me) or inviting one special friend or your mother. Don’t be afraid to have a natural reaction. Some women cry, others giggle nervously. “As a designer who loves dressing brides, I remember to prepare for this moment as it is different for every woman.” Whatever comes up for you, take it in stride and remember that your emotions are about something much bigger than the dress you are wearing.” During this fitting, prepare to be pinned and tucked. This time is for the finishing touches. (PS—you need to be careful about any significant weight loss, or gain, after this fitting.
Losing too much weight before the final fitting. Calorie-counting and a new obsession with yoga is all part of the plan to look your best on your wedding day. We know, we’ve been there. Well, I haven’t. I, unfortunately, got a horrible flu a few months before my wedding and ended up losing about 10 pounds from involuntarily not eating for weeks (silver lining). Otherwise, I would have been right there with you. It’s fine to shed some of your midsection, tone your arms, tighten your butt. Leading up to the big day, it’s normal to have a goal weight in mind and gradually drop the pounds (your dressmaker should be able to easily make alterations to take in the gown). But don’t go on a crash diet after your final fitting—an ill-fitting dress is an unflattering look, no matter how skinny the bod underneath. And please—don’t do anything crazy! I can’t even go there. No dress is worth that.
Step 5: The final fitting. This fitting is for peace of mind. Is everything fitting just so? (If you have lost any weight up until this point, it is time to stop! You don’t want to put yourself or your designer in the position of having to reconstruct the dress at the last minute.) The final fitting can also serve as a dress rehearsal for your whole ensemble. “I suggest to my brides that if they are having a trial run with their hairstylist they should do it before the final fitting.” Then you can see all the pieces put together.” This should be the moment when you can finally relax your shoulders, take a much-needed deep breath in, and KNOW that you’re going to be able to rock this gown on your wedding day.