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"Land of Nod", EDE, Photo: Rick Smith

Tip of the Month

Nifty Nuptial Tips for Wedding Attire


Once you have your wedding date chosen, use the season and location to focus your clothing needs. Ordering gowns or having them made both mean long term commitment. Research local seamstresses if you want to have them custom made. Use the Professional Association of Custom Clothiers website referral program if there are no listings in your yellow pages or with your local fabric store. You should book an order with a custom dressmaker or designer at least 4 to 6 months in advance. If you are making your own gown, don't hesitate to go and try on gowns first to help make style decisions. Buy fabric early as fabric changes with the season and may not be available if you wait too long.

Custom Made

Good reasons for a custom made gown: proper fit for special size needs, unique design features, and the ability to do period or novelty themes (Renaissance, 1920's all black, etc.). There are companies that specialize in vintage style patterns (including us!). For style research look for the fashion "bible", "20,000 Years of Fashion", by F. Boucher. If cost is a serious issue consider a rental, especially if you are doing a theme wedding. Costume rental companies exist in most market areas and wedding rental shops are becoming more common particularly in highly populated regions.


Consider your body type as well as your budget and comfort needs (heavy dancing, long day, hot summer etc.) when choosing a style or theme. Discuss budget with your seamstress. More trim means more labor and higher costs. And the more you change your mind during the process the more labor goes into corrections and raises your cost too! So good communication about your ideas (have photos to show and colors in mind) is crucial. Consider looking at home dec. fabric stores for different and unique fabric possibilities, but be sure to discuss options with your designer or seamstress before you buy or sign on the dotted line! If you want to make your own veil or headpiece, good references are "I Do Veils - So Can You!", by Claudia Lynch, and "Bridal Couture", by Susan Khalje. Be prepared to narrow your research topic on the web as the number of sites related to weddings grows every day!

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