Let's Talk Dress Redesign!
For many brides, finding the perfect wedding dress is a dream that goes back to when they were little kids. But what if your dream dress doesn’t quite come in your size? Do you give up on the dream? Or do you try to make it fit you through a rush of crash diets? No, you do not! Let’s talk about dress redesign. We firmly believe all brides and bodies are beautiful. You don’t need to make yourself fit into a dress when you can make the dress fit you.
I’m Kelly and I’m excited to share my journey to make my dream wedding dress work for me. You may know me from running BBA’s social media or from taking photos in-person at your fittings before I moved away to Michigan (sad face I know).
I came to Becoming Bridal with a problem and thankfully they had a solution. I was a plus-size bride and had a really hard time finding a dress I loved in my budget. Us plus size girls unfortunately typically have fewer options than straight sizes. I loved lace embroidery and sleeves but I wasn’t finding what I was looking for. I could find either or but not both! I knew the dress I desperately wanted ran small thanks to a bridal try-on by plus-size influencer Hannah Godown @hannahgodown .
As I looked through pictures of other lesser dresses I still found myself dreaming of the dress I saw her in and had saved a screenshot of a year before I was even engaged. That dress was MY dress and I knew it. So I decided I would buy it and see if I could get it on. Because maybe my body could somehow squeeze into it right?! The dress arrived and as you may have surmised it did not fit. Not only did it not fit it was INCHES from closing and it was not meant for someone as blessed in the boob department as myself. So I began researching seamstresses in my area and found my way to Bea and Laura!
I laid out my issue for them and they said they would need to see it in person to see what they could do. In my mind at this point before even meeting them I was thinking yes they’re absolutely going to fix this. This isn’t at all what they said because they didn’t want to over-promise what they would be able to do, but all I heard was YES WE WILL SAVE YOUR WEDDING DAY. Spoiler they absolutely did. Before my first fitting the bridal shop I ordered my dress from unfortunately went out of business but they also had a super sale to get rid of all their extra stock. Lucky for me my dress aka THE DRESS was part of the sale so I ordered another dress for the lovely Bea and Laura to cannibalize to create my perfect dress.
At my first fitting, I met Bea and I liked her immediately. Nerdy, adorable, cool tattoos, and curvy?! What was not to like, she was my kind of lady. Bea immediately began brainstorming how to make this dress puzzle work. If you’ve seen Bea work you know this is one of her huge talents. She is really really good at solving dress puzzles. She cut off one of my beloved sleeves to see if she could access something to make the dress all come together, and whatever she did worked! Bea warned me that a dress redesign was not cheap because it was a serious amount of work. Brides normally have 3 fittings and they pick up their dresses. I had 7 fittings! I saw them once a month till right before my wedding with one bonus fitting thrown in at the end. My dress literally lived with Bea.
Whenever Bea’s family and friends asked what she was working on she would always say “Kelly’s dress!” That's how much work it was! So then people I didn’t know were very invested in the story of my dress as well as my own friends and family too! Even with the cost of the redesign, the total was significantly less than buying a new dress and it was my dream dress so to me it was well worth it just based on that fact alone.
So what did they do to make my dream dress fit like a glove? A LOT!
The sleeves were too tight to be able to move comfortably so Laura created completely new sleeves from the fabric in the skirt and then hand-sewed on lace to make a beautiful pattern with the lace embroidery. I remember going in for a fitting when the sleeves were MIA and I was secretly bummed the sleeves were gone because I thought they were gone forever. I didn’t know Laura was remaking them, I just thought they ended up needing that fabric for something! It’s important during fittings to keep in mind that your dress is a work in progress and to always ask if something is confusing!
Here you can see that the sleeves turned out beautifully.
Panels were added to the sides of the dress to make the back zipper finally close. The panels were created from the second dress.
Not a panel in sight!
Lace was added over the bust line and seams so they all would blend together seamlessly.
A bust dart was added to the bust to make it fit perfectly. Pieces were added into the shoulders so I could comfortably move around and drop the bust into the right place.
And then lastly there was the more typical work of hemming the skirt and adding a bustle.
All that work created the most glamorous day of my life!
Seeing my Husband’s face when he first saw me in my dress during our first look will always be one of my favorite moments.
Look at his face! He is stunned by my dress!
This is when my dress was finally on and I had my OMG I AM A STUNNING BRIDE moment.
Bea and Laura don’t just provide a very valuable service, they are totally invested in you. They want you to feel stunning and they’re there for you every step of the way. Like many other brides I was really stressed about the wedding but the second I left my dress with them I was no longer stressed about the dress. It probably seems like I should have been stressed given the amount of work it took, but I wasn’t. I felt at ease with Bea and Laura and I trusted their vision for the dress explicitly. I looked forward to all of my fittings and I was weirdly sad the day I picked it up because I had genuinely enjoyed seeing them every month. It takes two very special people to create that kind of atmosphere. They care so much for each and every bride, they love to hear about their future spouses, they cry when they see their bride's photos, and they work endlessly hard to make all of our bridal gown dreams come true. My wedding wouldn’t have been the same without them and I’ll be thankful for their tirelessly hard work forever.
I will leave you with this: You deserve to feel absolutely perfect on your wedding day so don’t let an imperfect fit stop you from your perfect day!
Make Up: Dark Hearts Artistry
Venue: Haywood Hall House and Gardens
Dress: Lotus Threads