My friend Sarah just got married, so I asked her to share some advice for those in the planning process. Looking through some of Sarah's pictures (more of those to come!), I immediately fell in love with her dress. It manages to be both classic and modern, and is really just plain gorgeous!
As it turns out, Sarah had the dress custom made, something I always imagined to be ridiculously expensive. Nope. I'll let Sarah explain the experience.
I was in the fortunate position to know a seamstress very well who I have worked with before. She copied (and significantly modified) a Monique Lhullier dress for me. Retail value of the dress we based it off of was $3500 (not including veil, bustle, alterations, etc.). She made the dress, veil, bustle - everything for $600 + the cost of materials. The designer dress was a silk-poly blend (not even real silk for that price!), and we purchased 100% Italian silk-satin fabric for a reasonable price (about $40/yard). I went to Sposabella Lace (in NYC fashion district) and HIGHLY recommend them for NY brides. I don't know if other brides feel this way, but I felt very frustrated with the dress selection out there today. I am very much a "less is more person" and had a tough time finding that. Its either glitzy-glam, the princess look, or super plain and the plain dresses can be very expensive. I also felt I wanted to change every dress I tried on (modify the color, bust-line) so if other brides have that same feeling - thinking about having a custom dress can sometimes be more economical if you know and trust the seamstress. I was very lucky to know someone, but it was an amazing experience to create the dress with her and you get exactly what you want when you construct a dress from the ground up. Its not for everyone - but worked for me :)
I'll file that under "good to know!"
(Photo courtesy of Sarah)