By Rashim Nabanja
The rate at which the fashion industry keeps raising is hard to underestimate. Most people now prefer being trendsetters rather than following an existing trend. When it comes to weddings, brides go as far as they can to have the best gown they can access. A couple of people have even termed ‘finding a wedding gown’ as one of the most exhausting and hard things on the wedding to-do list.
Finding a wedding gown wouldn’t have been that hard but finding the perfect one adds some work to it. Brides now don’t just want any gown, they want something unique, exquisite, and perfect. They want a gown that they can deeply connect with, and when they fail to find one, this is when the option of having one made comes in.
Some however make the decision to have a custom made gown before opting for an already made one. The question, however, is before you decide to have your wedding gown specially made for you, what are those things you need to know and come to terms with?
Fortunate Arinda, a bride who failed to get her dream gown wore a custom made wedding gown. She was able to get exactly what she hoped for by making a number of visits to her tailors, Glitters Bridal on Mabirizi Complex. She visited the tailors every week for a month and made sure they finish the gown before the introduction took place.
The gown cost her only Shs750,000 on a Tailor and Hire scheme. Tailor and Hire is when a bride envisions her dream gown and designs it with the help of a professional. When it is completed, she can put it on at her wedding on a hire basis and return it to the tailor after.
Time and cost
According to Indra Nimusiima, a bridal designer at Exquisite Bridals in Kamwokya, a wedding dress should not be a source of stress for a bride. A bride has to come to terms with how much time she is willing to wait for the gown to be made and also how much money she is willing to spend on it.
Nimusiima says most bridal stores require between three to six months to process custom orders therefore, a bride should make sure she puts in her order earlier in order to avoid anxiety issues.
When it comes to the cost, Nimusiima says custom made gowns are usually priced higher than the stock gowns because of the time and effort that a designer has to go through to make the gown to the bride’s specifications. Therefore, if the cost of making the gown is beyond the bride’s expectations, she can consider going in for an already made gown and add some personal touches to it, for example, a belt or sash.
Age, body size and fabric
A bride should always keep in mind that in order to look classy and elegant, she needs to put on a gown that is age appropriate in terms of design and colour. Older brides are usually not recommended to go for very revealing and bright coloured gown therefore before having your gown made, you need to discuss suitable options with your designer.
According to Grace Kyomukama, a bridal designer at Bridal Longue-Kampala, young brides often go for bright white and sometimes venture into pastel colours, whereas older brides often go for shades of ivory.
When it comes to body size, Kyomukama says different body sizes require different styles of gowns. It is therefore important for a bride to choose a silhouette that will emphasize their best features and hide whatever they are insecure about. For example, a plus-size bride with a very big bust can’t wear an off-shoulder gown or sweetheart neckline. Kyomukama says this kind of design wouldn’t be able to support the bust and may end up exposing the boobs in an indecent manner. Instead, such a bride can opt for V-neck, square or illusion neckline. On the other hand, if somebody has a small waist, emphasize it with a waist-cinching silhouette like a mermaid gown.
As for fabric, brides are advised to go in for fabrics that are suitable for their body size for example plus size brides cannot go for heavy materials like taffeta, instead, they should opt for something that compliments their shape without adding weight to them like lace, chiffon and silk. These have a soft flow to them and are light.
The whole essence of going in for a custom made gown is to achieve the qualities of being unique but still stylish. Every bride would like to be gorgeously outstanding on their big day.
“Having your gown custom made enables you to make your own choices about what fits your personal style and uniqueness,” says Nimusiima.
However, a bride should at least incorporate current trends in her custom design in order to remain current and stylish.
Personality and theme of wedding
Every wedding ought to be a reflection of the bride’s persona. Kyomukama says it is important for a bride to choose something that reflects individual style, something that will make you stand out as opposed to going for trends that make you look like any other bride.
A bride should therefore dress in what she feels most comfortable in and something that she feels will describe and reflect the kind of image she wants. After all, this is the major point of going for a custom made gown, to create something that fits your tastes and preferences.
Kyomukama adds that the theme of the wedding will also definitely dictate what kind of dress design and fabric to go for. For example, a Gatsby theme will call for feathers and fringe, beading and sequins, sparkling embroidery, and exquisite detailing.
Measurement standards differ accordingly. Nimusiima of Exquisite bridals says US measurement standard is different from that of Europe therefore, In order to ensure that the custom order gown measurements are taken accurately, the bride should confirm the measurement standard her chosen supplier uses.
Missing this detail may lead to confusion and disappointing results. It is also recommended that a bride makes physical contact with her designer to avoid any kind regrets.
A bride should also not forget to keep her venue in mind. Not all kinds of gowns are suitable for any kind of venue for example, Kyomukama of Bridal Longue explains that indoor and formal weddings require an elegant choice of design, fabric and will also accommodate a wide range of silhouettes whereas when it comes to outdoor ceremonies like at the beach, it calls for something simple and flowing/breezy and on this note, a dress with a long trail will be perfect for a formal indoor wedding and yet a total fail for an informal wedding or beach wedding.
According to Nimusiima of Exquisite bridals, It’s one process to make the custom order and another to receive it. If the bride is making the order directly with the designing house, she should confirm the logistics for example shipping or courier costs, import taxes, delivery times and many other details to make sure the option is still feasible and that the gown will arrive in time.
She, however, adds that when brides make custom orders with Exquisite Bridals, they take all this into consideration and provide appropriate timelines and quotations for the bride to consider.
Ignoring logistics may cause unnecessary expenses since a bride might set the wrong budget for the entire process.
All in all, if a bride has chosen to go in for a custom made gown, she needs to make an early seat down with her designer so that all details and the process of making the gown are broken down for her and then she can look into her options.