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Like most women I have dreamed about my wedding since I was a little girl.  I gazed at wedding magazines and celebrity weddings dreaming of the day when I would walk down the aisle in my beautiful white wedding gown.  Before I was even engaged I already had somewhat of an idea what I wanted my gown to look like.  I also knew what styles were flattering to me, so when perusing bridal magazines looking at gowns I wasn’t too thrilled with what I saw.  I wanted sleeves.  Good luck finding a gown with sleeves that isn’t some lacy flimsy cap-sleeve addition.  Don’t brides and wedding designers watch What Not to Wear?  Women with thick arms don’t look good in sleeveless gowns.  Especially on your wedding day when all eyes are on you and hundreds of photos will be taken.  I wanted a dress that was flattering and sleeveless was definitely not the way to go….

Next, I also didn’t want a dress that scooped down too far in the front or back.  That’s not because I’m modest or because I don’t want to show my cleavage, it’s because I have tattoos.  I have a pansy on my breast and a Celtic cross on my back.  I did not want them showing on my wedding day.  And no, I wasn’t going to wear some 1980’s looking bolero jacket or a tight shrug.  Once again, I know what’s flattering on me and that’s not it.

I also don’t want a long-sleeve high-necked Victorian wedding dress.  When I say coverage and modesty, I don’t mean that I want a constrictive uptight prudish gown.  I just want something flattering and unique that will help me to look my very gorgeous best on my wedding day.

And because I have been sewing for most of my life, I decided to create my own gown.

My mother and grandmother both taught me to sew, but they don’t sew as much anymore as they used to.  But they taught me the fundamentals and have always been there when I’ve needed a helping hand when I’ve come across sewing wordage that complexed me.  Thankfully, I also I have my future mother-in-law who is a talented seamstress to help me with this process, so this undertaking will be possible and I won’t end up with a horrible looking gown.  Hopefully the finished product will be couture looking and fabulous and I’m pretty positive that it will be.  And because others have asked when they heard that I was making my own gown, I am going to document that process right here.

Number One

The first step in designing my wedding gown was finding different elements of dresses that I liked.

I always loved Rose’s “Swim” dress from the Titanic designed by Deborah L. Scott and Edwardian styles are some of my favorites, but I believed that it was a little too simple for my wedding gown.  I like the pink sash and overall “flowiness” of the dress and was certain that I wanted to implement many of the details for my gown.

When I saw this photo of Liv Tyler in her wedding gown I was taken away.  I love the Renaissance styling of her Alexander McQueen dress as well as the color.  The scooped neckline dips down a little too low for me, but the sleeves are exactly what I want.  Double layered silk chiffon flutter sleeves are an absolute must for my design.  Coverage without being prudish.

D’Zage goddess gown

Martin McCrea “Emma” gown

Pronovias “Marilyn” gown

David’s Bridal A-Line split-front halter gown

After viewing all of these split-front gowns that I love as well as trying on a split-front a-line at David’s Bridal, I knew that style was the one for me.

They all are reminiscent of a Renaissance gown, aren’t they?  I love medieval gowns, but I’m not exactly having a theme wedding, so I will save that for a ren faire. 🙂

Yellow ballgown from “Young Victoria” designed by Sandy Powell

I saw this gown while watching the film “Young Victoria.”  On the screen they look like silk rosettes, but closer up I see that they are silk flowers.  I love the way this looks and want to implement these details into the bodice of my dress.

“Juliet” dress by Claire Pettibone

I also love the rosettes on this Art Nouveau inspired dress.  I also loooove Claire Pettibones couture gowns.  Some of the best I’ve ever seen and they have all of the details that I love and will be implementing on my own gown.

Art Nouveau styles primarily were seen in art, architecture, decor and jewelery, but the style did filter into fashion with long flowing skirts, flowers and embroidered borders.  I hope to showcase that beauty in the design of my dress and the details and overall atmosphere of my wedding. 🙂

Next up will be step two, which is drawing my design and choosing fabrics…..