Are you shopping for your dream wedding dress and trying to decide between a custom-made wedding dress or purchasing a pre-designed wedding style in a bridal dress shop? If you’re unsure of which way to go and which style of wedding dress is best for you, you’re in the right place. Today, our bridal fashion expert is talking about custom-made wedding dresses and buying bridal gowns from a bridal dress store, and the difference between pricing between the two styles of wedding dresses. We’ll answer the question that many brides have when considering a custom-made wedding gown. Is it cheaper to have a wedding gown you saw in a bridal dress store custom made versus buying the actual wedding dress that you saw in store?
At Lovella, it is very common fo brides who are wedding dress dress shopping for the first time to fall in love with a bridal dress. Many brides find their favorite wedding dress, but they feel that the cost of the wedding dress is more money than they wanted to spend, or the price is more than they originally budgeted for their bridal gown. As an alternative and a way to save money, brides think that it would be a great idea to go have their favorite wedding dress custom made for them for less money than the original wedding dress costs in a bridal store.
If you’re shopping for a wedding dress, does this experience sound familiar to you?
Hoping To Save Money
Many brides try to find a dressmaker who can make them a custom wedding dress that is similar to the wedding dress that they fell in love with in the bridal dress shop. However, at Lovella, we find that many brides who were hoping for a less expensive wedding dress to be custom-made for them eventually come back into the store to purchase the original wedding dress they fell in love with.
It is common for brides to consider finding a dressmaker to make them a wedding dress similar to the bridal dress that they tried on in the bridal store. But, they are finding that the custom dress making process is not easy and it isn't going according to their plan. It can be frustrating, time consuming and underwhelming in the end.
Having a wedding dress custom made for you isn’t always a bad option. But, if you’re considering a custom made wedding dress versus purchasing a pre-designed wedding dress from a bridal store, there are a few things that brides must consider.
The Dress Wont Be The Same
Even though your custom made wedding dress will be similar to the one that you loved in a store, at the end of the day, it is not the same wedding dress. It is made by a brand new person. It has been made from scratch and is completely different than the wedding dress that you previously tried on in the bridal shop.
If you go into the custom wedding dress making experience assuming that you will simply try on the same dress, just less expensive, you might be disappointed. When you have a custom made wedding dress, the fabric is not going to be the same as the dress that you loved in the store.
Avoid Custom Changes
When you're getting a wedding dress custom made, what you envision and what the dressmaker envisions could be two completely different things. In addition to having a wedding dress custom made for you, many brides also consider making custom changes to their wedding gown prior to ordering it from the store. These custom changes are outside of the changes that the dress designer offers within their suit of changes to each gown.
We always encourage our brides to avoid custom changes to any wedding gown in a bridal dress store. We see many brides disappointed with custom changes to wedding dresses to existing gown styles. We discourage customizations being made on existing wedding dress because it often disappoints brides in the end. The custom changes that the bride envisioned got lost in translation from what the she thought she would have from the dress designer. The designer created based on what the bride had said, but it does not usually work out in the end.
It's All About The Fit
When it comes to wedding dresses, it is all about the fit of the wedding dress that can make or break any dress. Most importantly when you're trying to decide what to do, brides must know that the fit of a custom-made wedding dress is not going to be the same as what you saw in the store. Many brides hoping for a cheaper wedding dress overlook the fit of a wedding dress and don’t realize how important it is to have a wedding dress that fits you properly is to the overall look and feel of a wedding dress on your body.
When you purchase a wedding dress in a bridal store, you’re paying for the design of the wedding dess. And, you are also paying for the expertise of the wedding dress designer and the perfect fit that comes with expert alterations. In a bridal dress shop, the fabric and the construction of a designer wedding dress conforms and molds to your body. It sculpts your body and contours your body in all of the right places so that the dress highlights the elements of your figure.
A wedding dress from a bridal store makes you feel like the beautiful and confident self that you want to be on your wedding day.
The Stores Do The Work For You
When you’re shopping in a wedding dress shop, the bridal stylists in that store do the work for you when it comes to selecting wedding dress styles and featuring different designers. The stylists and buyers in each store go out and hand pick the wedding dress styles that they want to carry and feature in their store. The stylists find the dresses that they believe are the best value for the money and are made of remarkable quality of fabric with the best fit, the best shape, the best construction at the best price point for you.
For more on the new wedding dress trends and styles from Bridal Fashion Week in New York and a little bit about how selecitng wedding gowns works, be sure to check out our bridal gown and wedding fashion trend predictions.
When you’re shopping in a wedding dress store for a bridal gown, the stylists in that store have done their homework and research on wedding dresses on your behalf. They have sifted through thousands and thousands of wedding dress styles from many different designers.
Even though you were hoping to save money on a custom made gown that might not always be the case. When you go with a custom made wedding dress, you might end of spending more in the end because you will not have the benefit of a bridal stylists doing the work to research fabric and styles for you. You might end of spending more, not less, on a wedding dress that is custom made for you.
Video: What to Consider Before Buying or Having a Wedding Dress Made
If you're thinking about having a wedding gown custom made for you in the hopes of saving money on your wedding gown, be sure to watch our video from Wedding Fashion Expert on what to consider when it comes to purchasing a wedding dress from a store versus having a weding dress custom made for you.
A Note About Pricing
Be careful making your wedding dress decision based solely on money or deciding on your wedding dress because you like the price more than the style of the wedding dress or how it makes you feel. When brides chose their wedding dress based on pricing alone we find that in the end they are often disappointment.
In our experience at Lovella, we see many brides who choose a wedding dress based on the price of the wedding dress and not what they love. This can be a mistake for two reasons.
First, if you walk down the aisle on your wedding day in a bridal gown that you don't love, you’ll be wearing a wedding dress that doesn’t make you feel beautiful and confident. When you don't feel your best on your wedding day, you'll be uncomfotable all day long and it will show. Instead, we want you to enjoy your most special wedding day.
Second, you might end up spending more money in the end, because if you buy the less expensive item, such as a custom wedding dress and when it doesn’t work out, you’ll be forced back to the original bridal dress store to buy the first wedding dress that you loved. In this case, unfortunately, it is often too late for brides to order a wedding dress because we’re unable to get their favorite wedding dress in time for their wedding day.
For more on when to order a wedding dress, be sure to read our post on wedding dress shopping during the post pandemic recovery and supply chain delays.
We recommend that brides order their wedding dress one year or more before their wedding day to ensure that they get the wedding dress that they want. When you wait too long, we might not be able to order your wedding dress and have it arrive in time before your wedding day.
If you find a wedding dress that you love that makes you feel amazing and confident and beautiful, you might not be able to find it for less expensive anywhere else, especially not having a wedding dress custom made for you. If you find a bridal gown you love, you are better off buying what you love and paying the money versus doing all these other acrobatic things to achieve the look for less on a custom made wedding dress.
Advice On Wedding Dress Prices
If the price of a wedding dress is a super important deciding factor for you, you have options when it comes to wedding dress shopping. When you’re at your appointment, please tell your stylist that you don't want to go past a certain price amount on your wedding dress. Your bridal stylist will respect your wedding dress budget.
As bridal stylists, we can show you similar wedding dress styles that fall within your price range. This is why it is so important to to bring inspiration photos and screen shots with you to your bridal dress shopping appointment so that your stylist can work with you to help you find your dream wedding dress.
For more, be sure to get our free wedding dress shopping appointment checklist for a complete list of what brides should bring with them.
Do your research before your go wedding dress shopping and make an appointment to ensure that the dresses within the store fall within your budget. When you go wedding dress shopping, you’ll want to understand what the dollar is buying you and how much wedding dresses cost. You’ll also want to know a bit about why wedding dresses cost what the costs and educate yourself a little bit about what all goes into the pricing of a wedding gown.
Don't Wait To Buy
You will save yourself time and energy if you do not try to go price shopping when wedding dress shopping. We always tell our brides to be ready to purchase their wedding dress when they go to an appointment. You never know when you'll find your dream dress and you want to be in a position to make it yours right then and there.
If you wait to purchase your wedding gown because you want to have it custom made for less money, or because you’re hoping to find it for cheaper somewhere else you might be disappointed in the long run and have to settle for a wedding dress you don’t love.
Many times wedding dresses go up in price between appointments, or the dress style may be discontinued, or the sample wedding gown is sold from that store. In addition, shopping appointments are hard to come by. If you wait to purchase your wedding dress hoping to find it for less money somewhere else, you might be disappointed to find the original dress not available when you come back to buy it .
More Helpful Advice
For even more helpful advice on finding your dream weding dress and what to consider when having a wedding dress made for you, be sure to check out our past posts:
- How Much Do Wedding Dresses Cost?
- Negotiating & Discounting In Wedding Dress Shops
- What Does It Mean To Be Ready To Buy Your Wedding Dress?
If you're shopping for your perfect wedding dress, come visit us at Lovella Bridal in Glendale, CA. We carry wedding dresses in all sizes and styles, including plus-size bridal gowns and a full selection of veils and accessories. Lovella Bridal is the premier, luxury bridal wedding dress shopping boutique located in Los Angeles, California. Lovella features couture, feminine, modern and chic bridal gowns in all sizes from the best wedding dress designers. Schedule an appointment to find the wedding dress of your dreams at Lovella Bridal. We can't wait to help you!
About Wedding Fashion Expert
Our wedding dress shopping tips and advice are from Nayri, Lovella's own, in-house wedding fashion expert. Nayri is truly the expert when it comes to bridal fashion and wedding style. As the Wedding Fashion Expert, Nayri is the top bridal fashion stylist and the best-selling author of the book "I'm Getting Married And I Have Nothing To Wear," the ultimate guide to helping brides find their wedding day style and their perfect wedding dress. You can subscribe to her YouTube channel or listen to her podcast for more helpful and practical advice on wedding dress shopping.