Sarah | Custom Wedding Dress

Photos: @lexilynnphotos | Location: Woodbine, Iowa

It Takes Two

From the beginning, Sarah knew she wanted a 2-piece wedding dress. I loved her idea of being able to re-wear her tank top on anniversaries under a denim jacket or paired with jeans. Yes, yes, yes! I am all about the multiple uses of your bridal attire!

Tip #1: If you are on the hunt for a 2-piece wedding dress, try using the terms “bridal separates” or “wedding dress separates” to help narrow down your search and hopefully you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for.

Look and Feel

Sarah was looking for a soft and flowy skirt and a sparkly tank top that had the “tucked-in” look. Based on her descriptors and inspiration images, I decided on a few fabric combos that I wanted her to see and feel. I made swatch combos for her to review for both the tank top and the skirt, that way she could see them separately and side by side. 

For the skirt, she chose an ivory matte satin for the lining and a gorgeous ivory silk chiffon for the top layer. The skirt closed with a center back invisible zipper. For the tank top, she chose an ivory stretch lining, a sequin covered mesh for the top layer and skinny satin straps. The tank top had a center back invisible zipper and a keyhole with snaps at the back neckline.

Tip #2: Narrow down your wedding gown inspiration photos to 3: one that you like the silhouette, one that you like the fabric (or texture/flow), and one that has a key style detail that you can’t live without. 

Heart to Heart

Details are so incredibly important for a custom dress. The details people come up with are probably my favorite part! Sarah knew exactly what she wanted to incorporate:

  • A piece of her grandma’s lace wedding dress

  • A piece of her grandpa’s plaid shirt - also as her “something blue”

  • A pearl snap also from her grandpa’s plaid shirt

Sarah wanted the fabric pieces in the shape of a heart placed near her heart, so her grandparents were sure to be with her on her big day. I cut out a heart shape of both fabrics and placed the lace on top of the blue plaid. This way they were together and you could see the blue through the lace. I stitched the edges of the heart down on the inside of the bodice lining.

Grandpa’s Pearl Snap

As a decorative touch, I added the pearl snap on the outside of her bodice at the back neckline where her tank top snapped together. Since the heart was concealed, I also wanted her to have something special that was visible. It makes my heart happy when brides can point out these details to the family that surrounds them on such a special day. I feel like these moments really make weddings extra special.

Pretty please, pockets!

For a bit of function, Sarah wanted to make sure she had pockets in her skirt. Because what girl doesn’t need pockets, am I right?! I wanted to make sure they were sleek and nicely hidden in the side seams. At first glance, you wouldn’t even know they were there! I love when the functional details are inconspicuous allowing the aesthetic to shine through.

Tip #3: Create a brain dump list of all the things you want your wedding dress to include. Whether it’s the age-old “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”, a piece of your loved one’s shirt/dress/etc, or if you want something special embroidered into the fabric of your dress. Brainstorm ways to incorporate these pieces, but also be open to new ideas that could inspire you!


Tell me, what sentimental details would you like included, or were included, in your wedding dress?

If you feel like a custom wedding dress is the right route for you, I’d love to help you out! If you’re not sure, I’d love to chat with you, no pressure - so I can help you decide what’s right for YOU.

Click below to schedule your free design consultation. I would LOVE to help make your dream wedding dress come to life!

Kathy SmithComment