How to Design Your Own Custom Wedding Dress, According to the Experts

Wedding Dresses
Custom Wedding Dress Design Tips

Photo: Courtesy of Mestiza

Are you a bride that loves to customize every detail of your big day? If so, you may want to consider designing your own dress. Whether it's for your wedding or for your rehearsal dinner, the process is fun, meaningful, and totally unique for your wedding. We got some insight into how this is done from Louisa Rechter and Alessandra Perez-Rubio — the ladies behind the ultra-hip fashion brand, Mestiza (seen above). Rechter is engaged herself, and currently in the process of designing not only her wedding dress, but dresses for her rehearsal dinner, after party, mother and bridesmaids!

"It takes 8-9 months to customize a dress," explains Perez-Rubio. The first month is all about searching for fashion inspiration, collecting bits and pieces of details that you love. "As a designer, I've seen lots of dresses over the years," says Rechter, "I picked my favorite embellishments, patterns, and fabrics, then Alessandra helped me merge them into one, flattering design." See below for a sneak peak of what her dress will look like (we LOVE the removable skirt).

Custom Wedding Dress Sketches

Photo: Courtesy of Mestiza

Once you've built an amazing Pinterest board, it's time to enlist the help of a pattern-maker. If you've never designed a dress, it's crucial that you work with someone who is skilled and experienced — and don't be afraid to interview more than one person. If you live in New York, you can work directly with the ladies behind Mestiza, as they've recently started a customization service.

The process begins with a fitting using a mockup of your dress that's made of muslin, or another inexpensive fabric that's similar in texture to the fabric of your dress. This way, you can evaluate the style and fit, and make any necessary changes to the design. Once complete, the final fabric is ordered and a working garment (one that has unfinished hems in case of modifications) is made. Expect to have 1-2 mid-process fittings before your dress is complete and it's time for the big reveal at your final fitting.

See More: 3 Things to Remember About Your Wedding-Dress Alterations

As best explained by Rechter, at the end of the process you'll have something truly unique, "when all is said and done, you will have an extremely special dress that no one else will have."

"It can be a family heirloom that's passed down through generations" adds Perez-Rubio. We couldn't have said it better ourselves!

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