FIVE INEXPENSIVE WAYS TO PERSONALIZE YOUR WEDDING DRESS
September 5, 2017
5 Ways to Personalize Your Wedding Dress – Trends I Have Noticed as a Visalia, California Wedding Photographer
As a wedding photographer, I can shoot two weddings in the exact same locations, with the exact same vendors, and yet no two weddings will ever be exactly the same. Every decision you make – no matter how minuscule – serves to brand your wedding as your own.
Before the getting ready shots swing into high gear, I usually take the time to pull aside all the special wardrobe touches for some photos. Rings, jewelry, heirlooms, shoes, clothing items, all make beautiful imagery to remember the tiny details that go into your wedding day.
But no single garment of clothing in your wardrobe is more significant than your wedding dress. On a day when all eyes are on you, I have noticed that more and more brides are letting their personality shine in a gown that’s as unique as they are.
As a hobby seamstress myself, I think this is awesome news! There are so many clever, creative and budget options available when you view the dresses you try on in a store or a salon as just a starting point. Here are a few of the most popular trends I have been noticing as a wedding photographer:
Add Vintage or Heirloom Touches
This trend has been around for awhile now, but it is such a meaningful, touching and moving tradition that I don’t see it going away anytime soon! Many brides are incorporating a piece of heirloom fabric into their dress from different generations of women in their family, like a mother or grandmother. This is a wonderful way to honor the women in your life on your big day. You can also add meaning charms (shops like Hobby Lobby offer endless romantic charm possibilities!) or ask family members if they have anything sweet and secret to sew onto an inside hem on your dress. These special touches make for amazingly sweet and nostalgic pre-wedding wedding photos.
(Adding a patch of your mothers wedding dress, with personalized embroideries with names and dates, is a special touch that you will treasure for generations!)
Add Some Embellishments
You can never go wrong with elegant embellishments, and they are a lot easier and DIY friendly than you might think.. so don’t be afraid to get crafty! Adding crystals, pearls and other gorgeous embellishments to the bodice of a less expensive gown can really up the wow factor. Some of the most exclusive designers in the world opt for glued-on appliqués and embellishments — even on gowns that cost upwards of $10,000. With some quality fabric glue and high end trims and notions, you can create a couture look on any budget.
(Adding an belt with lots of bling to a dress that comes without one is a great way to upgrade your dress without breaking the bank!)
Add Sleeves to a Strapless Gown
Don’t sweat it if you fall in love with a strapless dress, but really want sleeves. Just ask your local seamstress about adding sleeves or straps. Most gowns can be customized with cap sleeves or straps, and many silhouettes can even be altered with long sleeves. This has actually been a HUGE trend with my 2017 weddings. Just be sure to ask your stylist if adding sleeves might affect the fit of the dress. Will it raise the neckline or change the shape of the back? And don’t forget to factor in your timeline – custom alterations might require extra fittings or take additional weeks to create. Many of my local brides turn to experts like the lovely folks at The Cinderella Cellar in Fresno, California for advice and service in this department.
(Adding sleeves to a sleeveless dress can look effortless and intentional and may cost far less than you think!)
Lace or Button Up the Back
Swapping out a zipper for a corset closure or button file adds a romantic finishing touch for brides looking for a dramatic back, and they can be added to most silhouettes. Bonus for a corset-style closure – it isn’t only for looks! If you feel like you might need a little extra breathing room (or eating room—hello, cake!), a lace-up back gives you some leeway in the bodice. This is another are that is best to pull a seamstress in on if you are not fabric savvy. The more intricate your gown or the more delicate or sensitive the material, the more challenging it is to add a functional lace up back.
(Buttons and corset lace make any dress look upscale!)
Add a Personalized Hanger
This is less of a fashion trend, and more of a special touch for photos! This trend has been around for a long time, but again, this is one that won’t be going away anytime soon. With the myriad options on shops like Etsy, a personalized hanger with “Bride” or “Your New Last Name” is an affordable heirloom keepsake to invest in.. and it makes your photos so much more unique and individual. (And far more gorgeous than having your amazing dress on the off-the-rack plastic hanger!)
(This is one hanger you will want to keep for a lifetime!)
I hope you enjoyed these tips, tricks and trends in wedding dresses I have noticed as a wedding photographer! If you have any tips or tricks to share, drop me a line and let me know! Happy planning! <3