Choosing your wedding dress is often one of the most exciting elements of preparing for your big day. There is certainly a mind-boggling choice, and a lot of advice on offer in magazines and wedding blogs. In addition to looking through these, prospective brides will also, usually, take some time to see what is available in high street bridal stores, where a made-to-order service is offered.
Made-to-order is not the same as made-to-measure. If you order from a sample dress that you have tried on in a shop, even if it is a 'designer gown', that style is then made up in the standard size that is closest to your measurements. Any adjustments needed because you do not fit the standard size precisely in height or other variations, would mean alteration, normally charged in addition to the purchase price.
Having a dress made-to-measure means that you can choose. The style is exactly what you want; the beautiful fit is included in the price and achieved by fittings at each stage of construction. You will feel pampered and special, as you see your gown 'evolve' thoughout the exciting creative process.
Whether your dress is made-to-order, Vintage or, made-to-measure, all good suppliers should be able to give you confident answers to the following questions.
- Who will conduct my appointment
- Is there a time-limit to my appointment?
- Is there a limit to how many dresses I can try on?
- Can I bring other people with me when I try on dresses and for fittings?
- Should I bring my accessories with me to the appointment?
- How long does it take to have a dress made?
- Where will my dress be made? and who will be making it?
- What will my dress be made of?
- How many fittings are needed?
- How much desposit do I need to pay and can I pay in instalments?
- Do I have to pay extra for alterations or any other charges.?
- Will my dress be delivered or do I collect it?
at Vintage Smart
you are guaranteed a warm welcome and friendly service
Most brides come to Vintage Smart if they have strong ideas about the style of dress they would like; because they simply can't find a gown with the combination of style features they are looking for, or because they realise they want something unique; different to what they have found on offer elsewhere.
Whilst I specialize in Vintage and Vintage-inspired gowns, I can make you anything you want. With over 20 years experience in designing and making stunning gowns, I can also offer informed advice to help you with your choice.
- All appointments are conducted by Meryl Smart - Designer at Vintage Smart.
- 1hr -1hr30mins is usually sufficient for an initial consultation, including trying on a number of dresses . Although this time is not rigid, normally a 2 hr slot is allocated, which includes re-organising the space for the following appointment.
- Before trying on dresses I talk to the bride to find out preferences in terms of style etc. Then we can select from my collection, those items that most closely fulfil that brief. I will also suggest other gowns that might suit or inspire the bride. Much can be discovered from trying on two or three dresses with different features, but of course it is possible to try on more.
- Brides are welcome to bring others to the appointment. This is best limited to 3 because of space.
- If you already have accessories: shoes, bra, head-dress etc. it is ideal to bring them to the appointment so that you can check they co-ordinate or create the look you are after, particularly if you are looking for a ready-made Vintage dress.
- The time needed to have a dress made will depend on style and fabric choices, as well as your availability for fittings. Whilst it may be possible to make your dress in a matter of weeks, it is best to allow a minimum of 2-3 months.
- At Vintage Smart, all made-to-measure gowns are individually hand-made by Meryl at her workshop in Taunton.
- Fabrics for your made-to-measure gown will be discussed at the design consultation where you will be able to choose from samples.
- Initial consultation is followed up with design drawings and costings. Final choices are detailed when the commission is confirmed.
- With Vintage gowns the fabric is identified as accurately as possible and advice given about cleaning. Buying a genuine Vintage gown means you are buying into history. Sizes tend to be smaller than the modern equivalent. However, styling and size can often still be adjusted.
- After the initial consultation, 3-4 fittings are normally sufficient to complete a made-to-measure gown. More may be needed if the design is complex. These will normally take place at the Vintage Smart studio in Taunton, although Meryl will travel for fittings by special arrangement.
- For made-to-measure, a deposit of half the total amount is payable to confirm the commision, with the balance payable in instalments at each fitting.
- For made-to-measure gowns, all fittings are included.
- For Vintage gowns, the full price is due at time of purchase. If your ready-to-wear Vintage gown requires adjustment, this will incur extra cost, charged at an hourly rate. An estimate will be given for individual items as required, with payment for the alteration on completion.
- Completed dresses are normally collected from the Vintage Smart studio in Taunton.
I make dresses for Bridesmaids and other occasions too!