So I have a confession to make... I own a bridal boutique, yet I HATED wedding dress shopping. Not even joking! The first time trying on a wedding dress I had a panic attack and needed to leave the boutique. I was not only embarrassed, I was scared that I could never find the perfect gown. And as it turns out, I didn't find the perfect gown, because I decided in that moment that I wanted something custom. And I ended up getting this amazing jumpsuit with an overskirt that I absolutely loved.
We've recently seen a spike in brides wanting to go our custom gown route, and for good reason! Often times, brides think that getting something custom is going to cost them way more than they budgeted for. However, Savvy Bride's and Haute & Co.'s custom options are usually less expensive than most of the designer gowns out there. Obviously, custom means you can shoot for the stars and get a $10,000 dress if that is what you want to spend (queue flashbacks to SYTTD episodes where I wonder who in their right mind could spend that much on a wedding gown?!) but for 95% of our brides, they actually end up spending less than their budget.
So I've decided to put a list together of reasons why custom might be right for you, along with some background on our custom designers.
Reason #1 You May Be A Custom Gown Bride: You know EXACTLY what you want and can't find it
Always knowing what you want is not always a good thing. If you have your heart set on such a specific look, you may find wedding dress shopping frustrating. Designers design gowns that are meant to please the masses, and not too often will step outside of the box with a design that may be very personal to someone's style. This is a perfect instance where custom is the right fit for you. At Haute & Co., Casablanca is one of our designers that can combine any top and any bottom of any gown they've ever designed. That essentially leaves you unless possibilities.
Reason #2 You May Be A Custom Gown Bride: You want something unique
So this was me - I actually wanted a bridal jumpsuit vs. a dress. Designers do make jumpsuits, but I wasn't about to fly to a store in California for it. So I started looking for a local designer and that is how I met Meagan who owns Meagan Kelly Designs, one of our custom bridal designers that now designs for Savvy Bride. If you may be thinking you want two dresses in one, a jumpsuit, a removable train, a color that is not white, ivory or champagne, than custom is the way to go. Meagan has stock pieces in store as baseline designs, and then she customizes directly with you from there. Almost all of her designs are $2,000 and under making it extremely affordable for any bride. She also handles all of the alterations so you end up getting the perfect look and the perfect fit by the time you walk out of the store.
Reason #3 You May Be A Custom Gown Bride: You're getting married in 6 weeks
This is probably going to blow your mind, but Meagan's turnaround time for custom gowns is 6 weeks. So if you can't find a dress in Savvy or Haute that you love, custom will save your life! Since she hand sews all the gowns herself here in Charlotte, there is no ordering and manufacturing delays as seen with almost any other designer.
Reason #4 You May Be A Custom Gown Bride: You want to have your own input on modifications
We hear this a lot - "I love this gown but I wish the train was longer". Or something about the color, or additional beading, or any other 100 things you could think of to make the gown 100% perfect. Our most popular designer (who is exclusive to Savvy and Haute by the way!) creates special looks for us all the time. Colby John is one of the most talented designers I have ever met, and brides SWOON over his dresses. And the great thing is, if we want any kind of modification, all we have to do is FaceTime him. Colby has nailed the "classy sexy" bridal look, and we are obsessed with anything crepe that he makes.
So if you may be thinking you are a custom gown bride - come see us and see all that is possible for your wedding day look. Colby John and Meagan Kelly are available at both Savvy Bride and Haute & Co., and Casablanca custom is only available at Haute & Co. And Meagan Kelly is killing the instagram game so make sure to check her out!