DIY Series: How to Design Your Own Wedding Dress

We are so excited to announce a new series for the blog! We want planning to be as easy for you as possible so welcome to the DIY series! Destiny Alrik will be writing for us (sometimes we may have guest writers) about how she DIY'ed her own wedding. If you have anything you'd like to pitch to us for the DIY series please send us an email!

From Destiny

Your wedding dress is arguably one of the most important parts of your wedding day. You've probably thought about it since you were a little girl, switching train lengths and faux pas every few years. Dreaming of all the different designs, colors, and veil possibilities. Who knew all those years ago you could design your own wedding dress?

When the time comes, it is SO exciting to go to the bridal shops and try on all their expensive gowns. I wanted to feel the fabric in my fingers & see how the form hugged me. But it's not all fun and games like the movies make it seem.

It's also really stressful.

I was pretty nervous every time I went into a dress shop because I didn't want to be sold on anything. I knew I was designing my own dress from the very beginning, but I had to try different styles to be sure what I wanted would flatter. To be honest, I felt a little guilty. 

It's also a bit intimidating to get naked in front of a stranger and try the dresses on. The whole experience can be wonderful and exciting, but jeez Louise, isn't there a better way to do it? Somehow in the past three years, I have suddenly grown immensely more comfortable with my body, but if you're not at that place this can be hard. Especially when trying on a wedding dress, you're already nit-picking every bulge and cranny. The floor-to-ceiling mirrors and unflattering lighting can make the experience a bad one. Be sure to bring your favorite pal along to help keep your spirits high!

BUT back to the whole point of this blog: Anomalie Dress design.

Why:

I had a very specific vision in mind for my entire wedding weekend, and the dress was no exception. I don't like large, poofy dresses and the modern sleek look was too business-professional. Some women can rock the hell out of a pantsuit wedding outfit but it wasn't for me. There was a dream, and I knew I was going to make it happen. I learned long ago to never underestimate a creative dream of mine. It took a lot of research to find the best way, but once I figured out how to design my wedding dress, I knew the rest would fall into place.

Creating a Mood Board for your vision is the best way to see if everything aligns and also helps everyone else see your vision! To create a mood board, simply go to pinterest or your favorite wedding website and collect the photos that speak to you. If you want to go old school then buy up all of those magazines and get to work! Cut out the dresses you love and glue them onto some poster board.

Who:

Anomalie. This company was just starting out when I used their services, but it was such a fun experience. Founded in 2016 by the Boss Babe Leslie Voorhees, Anomalie has since helped make so many brides' wedding days even more magical. They’re always asking for feedback from their brides and working to create an experience you’ll never forget. 

Peep the amazing details in my dress!

How:

You hop on a design call with your very own personal stylist to go over every single detail of your dress. The feel you want, the fit, train, bodice, fabric, EVERYTHING. Submit your Pinterest saves, your inspo boards, or just chat about the vibe of your day. They will recommend what they think is best for you based on what you describe and send you samples of different laces and fabric types. The stylists come from all sorts of design backgrounds and are a huge help in making sure you design a dress that will actually work for you.

Receiving these samples is super helpful because you get to see what it will look like in different lights. Rub it on your cheeks, thighs, armpits, see if it's going to chafe you weird. It can be scary trying to design a dress you will never see or feel in person until it's done. Selecting your samples is a really important aspect that you won't want to miss out on.

After you've decided on a design, the team will create a muslin mock-up of your dress. Try to see past the mermaid green! You'll receive both these photos and a beautiful, artistic rendition of what your dress will look like. These images help you see your vision and if there's anything you don't like about it.

*A good thing to keep in mind is that your drawing may not look exactly the same as your final dress. The lace in my drawing looks nothing like the lace pattern I eventually chose but is still gorgeous!

After you've approved everything, the hardest part comes in: waiting. Sit back and try to relax while the amazing Anomalie team constructs your one-of-a-kind wedding dress. Your stylist will update you every 6-8 weeks to make sure you don't go too crazy!

From start to finish the process takes about 7-8 months. This is a quick turnaround for something so customizable (you're designing a wedding dress from scratch after all), but you won't want to put it off too long. Give yourself and the designers plenty of breathing room!

Once you receive your dress, you may need to make a few adjustments or alterations based on fit. One of the things Anomalie doesn't currently offer is bustling. Bustling is almost a must-have if you have a dress with any sort of train. I also wanted to add the beading from my mother's wedding dress onto the sleeves of my own and had to take those in to be altered.

Overall, it was a fairly simple process and my stylist was always available to answer any questions or quell any of my bridal fears. I even received the extra lace from my dress, which I plan to turn into lingerie or a cute top to take my memories with me in a more casual way. 

Wedding Photos by Katie Jean Photography

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