The Inspirations Behind My Custom-Made Wedding Gown

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Tips to Design The Dress of Your Dreams

From Designer Bridal Room to the bridal shops crowding SS2, I couldn’t find a dress that convinces me ‘this is it’. Apparently, what I was searching for was “too different from what the stores would carry” or “too designer-ish”, so the only way for me to be happy is to custom make mine. Most brides I know bought their designer gown i.e. Pronovias or signed up for a package to rent. I must have had a hundred questions about how to even begin turning my dream dress from ideas into reality but had no one to turn to. Now that I had journeyed through the whole process, I am more than happy to answer any questions you have about going down the exciting, rewarding route of designing your own wedding gown. 

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I wouldn’t say I was a simple bride. Although I do believe in making certain aspects of a wedding more practical; like doing the pre-wedding shoot on the same day as the wedding or skip the changing of 5 gowns on 1 occasion (I’ve seen it before). It’s your wedding, not a fashion show!

My gown was designed to kill 2 birds with 1 stone in mind. The full version for the day ceremony, & a sexier version for the evening (hello, dance floor!). The genius trick is a detachable A-line gown with a slit if you may.

There is no way I would not have worn an almost-ballgown design to princess the crap out of myself because it is the only day a woman can dress like one without being gossiped as pizza extravaganza.

To design my own wedding gown, I used Pinterest & drew inspirations from my favorite designers: Eva Lendel, Berta, Angel Sanchez & Paolo Sebastian. You can follow my Wedding Gown Cinspirations board, where I have created a ‘Final Ideas’ section for shortlisted pins too.

Here are 6 tips I’ve picked up along the way which might come in handy if you’d like to consider getting your dress custom made.


1. Identify parts of your body you are most proud of. Showcase that.

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For me, it is my back & long legs. Remember: you wear the dress. The dress shouldn’t wear you.


2. Decide on the neckline & silhouette.

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A-line? Mermaid? Sweetheart? Off-shoulder?

Choose options you like that also compliment your body shape best.


3. Choose the feelings/personalities you want the gown to express.

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I insisted on sexy not slutty, dreamy not Disney, elegant but not over-the-top. In other words, I wanted it to be badass.


At this point, do your best using visual aid to explain thoroughly your heart’s desire to a tailor/designer who hopefully can sketch up something that marries all ideas together. 


4. Know your materials.

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ALWAYS request to see a sample of EVERY material that will be used unless you want to risk looking like you are wearing 7 yards of mosquito net!

It is understandable if you want to keep the cost down. When you compromise on quality, know how far to go.

What I looked for:

  • Lace patterns – Go for ‘French’ laces.
  • 3D florals – Check: Do they look like they are manufactured for Daiso? How many layers make a flower?
  • Bling size & material – Even if they are using real Swarovski, too many in large pieces can make the crystals look fake or the dress look cheap.
  • Organza’s quality – If you are using organza, ask your tailor to show you actual gowns made using different types of organza. This material might look the same as samples but in huge quantity, they make a BIG difference.


5. Remind your tailor to keep in mind how the dress behaves when you SIT.

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When you are seated, the gown shouldn’t be too tight nor CLUMP together at the belly (the latter happened to me because hey, nobody told me this like I’m telling you).


6. Request changes until you are confident. 不要不好意思.

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My dress was pretty see-through; relying on lace to cover parts that needed protection but there was a patch missing right in the center where my mumu should be concealed.

Every time I told the bridal store personnel that it is too provoking, she either told me it’s meant to be that way because it was my decision to make it sexy, or that the color of my G-string was still not right enough.

During the second final fitting, I personally spoke to the tailor, asking how she would feel if she was my grandmother and my mumu was staring at her face when I was serving her tea. With that, she decided she could do something about it, patched a piece of leftover lace (which she ran out before my metaphor existed) like it was the last piece to complete a grand jigsaw puzzle, & there – persistence saved the day.

Make sure you can make changes to your gown as many times as you need without additional charges.


7. Ask if you can custom make to rent.

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Back to practicality, if you are like me, who finds the idea of keeping a wedding dress at home tin-teh/zhor teng/a waste of wardrobe space, some wedding gown rental shops with a tailor offer the option to custom make the dress for you, upon which you shall return after the wedding to be rented out to other brides. This awesome option means you only pay half the price. Wheee!


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  1. […] in this case, spending on wedding items – considering if they can be reused. Which is why my wedding dress is custom-made-to-rent instead of bought (for […]

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