So, he finally asked and you said 'Yes' and as you ooOOo and ahh over those gorgeous gowns between the pages of a magazine, we all know a wedding can be an expensive occasion even for the most humble of couples.
First off will be to decide where to purchase your gown and more often than not your first stop will be the bridal salon. You'll certainly be thinking how ridiculously expensive the gowns are but before you go into meltdown over the costs and thinking how mercenary the bridal industry is , consider this. The owner of the store has a wonderful selection of gowns to choose from. But, she's paying rent, wages and everything else you'd expect to pay if you owned a shop. She's attended the trade fairs and carefully selected an assortment of gown samples and accessories from well known designers and paid for them. She has to make the business work and you are enjoying the ambience of the said salon, and hopefully, her expertise.
Your second option is me, the humble dressmaker and as many a bride to be has said. "A bespoke wedding gown will cost thousands." Well, yes in theory it should.
Each piece of your gown is cut individually with scissors and not by factory machine. The fabric is bought by the meter and not by the roll. The dressmaker will listen to your requirements taking note of every detail changing the pattern requirements to fit the shape and contours of your body perfectly.
Unlike many dressmakers/designers, I have worked successfully from my home address for over 15 years and have very few overheads. This is all taken into account when a client makes her initial enquiry.
I have an excellent database of fabric suppliers who deal with trade only and as I don't think anyone should have to spend a small fortune on a gown they will wear on their once-in-a- lifetime occasion, I pass on those trade prices to my clients. This in turn keeps the cost down too.
I am unable to divulge the cost of any wedding gown in my gallery as it would be unfair to each and every one of my clients (and of course due to the originality of each gown) but I can confidently say that not one has topped the £1K mark, even for 100% silk.
So, the ironic thing about the cost of a wedding dress is, no-one is really rubbing their hands together with some kind of satisfactory sneer, and most brides certainly haven't been 'done over.'
Constructing a wedding gown can take anything up to 60 hours or more depending on detail and skill. Then consider fitting appointments, time on the telephone talking with a client or trying to soothe her when the venue has let her down. (yes, we listen to all sorts of things)
On average and in my experience of the last few years, a dressmaker may earn between £8 and £15 per hour depending on the skill of the craftsperson, so please believe me when I say no-one is ripping you off.
I like you, want you to have your dream gown, so on that note happy wedding dress shopping. x