The hyped up and super pricey imprint of the traditional Camelot-style wedding will never die out completely. Now, in the day of Pinterest and Etsy, anyone with a sewing machine and a glue gun has had their eyes opened and their heads turned by more than just Bridal Magazine and Fifth Avenue. Designing, creating or manufacturing one's own wedding dress is truly doable and really, the only way to have an ensemble like no other.
Starting from scratch
When someone says, "I made that," it can mean a lot of things. To actually be able to say you made a dress, that means starting with a pile of fabric and a needle and thread. Depending on one's level of skill in the seamstress department, this may not be totally attainable. Even if you haven't dusted off your sewing machine since high school Home Ec, there are instructions in pattern-making, YouTube tutorials and surely a grandmother or two willing to lend a hand. Making your own dress from scratch is an honor, a serious accomplishment and the very unique opportunity to make every single decision about the most important thing you might ever wear. However, there's no telling whether making your own dress will save any money or actually cost more in the long run.
If you aren't all that interested in the accolades, but just really like the idea of a special dress with your signature style, you can also save a great deal of money by collecting bits and pieces of some second-hand gems and bringing them together to make a dress no one has ever seen. It is best to start with a complete dress from your local flea market. All that matters is that it fits great. It's not unusual to find dresses like this for under twenty dollars. From there, you scatter like Cinderella's mice and adorn the skeleton of what will eventually be your dress with pieces of other dresses, drapes or discarded notions and accessories. Perhaps you replace the sleeves and add a wide waist. You might prefer no sleeves and a shorter train. It's likely that you will only wear it once, so don't sweat the level of your craftsmanship. It only has to hold together for that one day.
It's not cheating if no one knows
There are those members of our society who cannot draw a straight line, do not have the foggiest idea of the differences in eggshell and ecru and possess almost zero creative drive. They too deserve the wedding dress of their dreams. When you tell people that your gown is handmade, no one is going to press you to identify just exactly whose hands you're talking about. You might get lucky and have a friend or family member who volunteers or at least charges you a lot less, but by all means hire a professional seamstress to design and make that image in any bride's head come to life.
There are countless gorgeous wedding gowns in all price ranges, from Rodeo Drive to Goodwill, and more than a few details to consider in a wedding. If you do agonize for hours over your perfect dress, remember that these outside-of-the-box approaches can be applied just as easily to flowers, cake and especially decorations. It is a once in a lifetime day, but remember that it's yours.