If you ask brides about what the most important part of the wedding planning is, most brides will tell you that it’s “The Dress”. This part is so important that some brides cannot even start planning the wedding until they find the perfect dress where they base their theme.
Now, generic store brought dresses are acceptable if you are in a hurry or on a budget. Some brides even rent their wedding gowns because of a time crunch. But for brides who can afford it and want something unique, they go couture.
Obviously, getting a couture wedding gown is expensive. And since you are already paying that much for your dress, you have to find the right designer for you.
The first thing you should do is to set a budget. Even if you can afford it a designer gown, are you honestly willing to pay through the nose for a Vera Wang or a Monique Lhuillier gown made just for you?
If you say yes, then go ahead and spend that money. You probably shouldn’t be reading this website in the first place. But for most brides, it’s a toss-up with either getting their dream gown or to having better food at the reception.
Finding The Right Designer
To save money, you can ask your friends and relatives who’ve used a particular designer and that they’ve given him/her positive feedback. Look up these designers and ask to see their design portfolio to decide if it is worth it. If you go through this route, at least you know someone was satisfied with their services.
You can also check out up and coming designers. Some of them can be very good even though they might be a bit inexperienced. The upside is that they are eager to please and are more willing to work with you and your design. They are also less expensive than established designers and more than willing to negotiate on a price that’s good for both parties.
The safest place to “designer-shop” is to go online. On e-commerce stores, you will get to see their sample designs and even read feedback from happy customers. You can even ask these customers how the whole experience was for them.
Is the designer good, nice and patient? How was the service? Was the designer able to execute everything that the bride wanted? Was the gown finished in a timely manner? It’s the subtle details like these will help you make an informed decision about a particular designer.
Lastly, you can always head back to the bridal store and see if they have their own in-house designer. Shopping in a physical store enables you to see the merchandise on the spot and allows you to check the quality of their work firsthand. If they do not have an in-house designer, ask the owner if they have any couture gowns that are on sale. You never know, you might chance upon a Vera Wang gown after all.