The Custom Built Bride: How to Personalize Your Wedding Dress to Fit Your Unique Bridal Style

Wedding Dresses
Casablanca Customizable Wedding Dress

Photo: Courtesy of Casablanca Bridal

You've got the ring, you've made the appointment, and now comes the moment when you slip on a wedding dress for the very first time — the moment! Whether you've been dreaming of this special shopping trip since you were a little girl or couldn't imagine yourself wearing white until you met your hubby-to-be, you've been anticipating this since that engagement bauble was slipped onto your finger. Wrapped up in yards of lace and tulle, you feel like a bona-fide bride. But wait, what about the DIY bride who's always dreamt of creating her own personalized gown (on a budget of course).

Even in a bridal salon packed to the brim with gorgeous frocks and satin slips, the out-of-the-box bride can feel disheartened when it comes to adding custom details to the dress of her dreams. What's a non "basic"-bride to do? Showcasing your style on your wedding day calls for a personalized dress as unique as the bride inside. But you don't need a design degree (or a bottomless bank account for that matter!) to create a custom wedding gown.

We took three different looks from our partner, and bridalwear favorite, Casablanca to prove that dreaming a custom creation isn't just reserved for those lucky ladies on Say Yes to the Dress — all it takes is a little creativity to stand out in a sea of white.

Casablanca Wedding Dress Tulip

Photo: Courtesy of Casablanca Bridal

First, find a designer that offers a wide range of customizable options — from buttons to zippers to beaded details. (These options are more common than you think — all you have to do is ask!). A good seamstress can also help you achieve your vision.

Start with the stunning skeleton of your dream dress. We chose Casablanca's "Tulip" for its graceful charmeuse silhouette and romantic lace overlay.

Casablanca Wedding Dress with Long Sleeves

Photo: Courtesy of Casablanca Bridal

Now it's time to start dabbling in the details! If a décolleté-baring sweetheart neckline doesn't fit into your traditional church ceremony, ask about a straight strapless cut. If vintage touches are your thing, add a pair of long, lacey sleeves. Many designers offer detachable cap sleeves and long sleeve options to make this add-on a breeze.

Casablanca Wedding Dress Cherry Blossom

Photo: Courtesy of Casablanca Bridal

We took more inspiration from this third dashing dress, after we fell in love with it's sparkly bling that can totally transform a wedding day look. If you're all about the glitz and glam, tie on a beaded bridal sash or add additional beadwork and embellishments (another common option designers and seamstresses offer), like waist-accenting gems.

And voilà! — a wedding-day ensemble that is uniquely, undeniably "you."

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