By Christina Gardner, an Anomalie Bride

Finding the perfect dress was the first thing I wanted to do once I got engaged. I was certain it would be an easy process: go into a wedding boutique, try on different styles, step into dream dress, and then fall in love like I had with my fiancé, Sam. But the reality was that nothing felt quite right.

A dress might be perfect except for its back, or the top was beautiful, but the skirt didn’t come in the fabric I wanted. Many, many, dresses looked lovely online, but were disappointing in person. After weeks of searching I finally found a beautiful gown, but it matched…the budget for my whole wedding. I was giving up hope, but then a coworker told me about her Anomalie dress and I felt like my dreams—of a scoop neckline and silk faille—had been saved.

I make some of my own clothes and work with tailors often, but for most brides this will be their first piece of custom clothing, so I want to share a few things that surprised and excited me about becoming an Anomalie bride.Custom made wedding dress sketch, fit and flare silk failleYour stylist aka (fairy dress mother)

I like to think of Jaclyn, my stylist, as my fairy dress mother. I’m almost to the end of the production process and she has been my guide through it every step of the way. She is equal parts educator, curator, and therapist.  Custom dressmaking is largely an unfamiliar process and all the stylists are experts at guiding brides through each detail to make everything as seamless (pun intended) as possible.  There were a couple of points where I was unsure of what I wanted or if the reality of it would meet my expectations and Jaclyn and team never missed a beat. I always felt certain Jaclyn would take care to, as she likes to say, “make sure we get this exactly right.” Even when I decided I wanted buttonholes for cufflinks on my sleeves, she made sure it became part of my final design…now I just have to find cufflinks worthy of my dress.custom made wedding dress sketch lace jacket bolero

Measuring Up

One of the things I was most concerned about when I started my dress search was finding a dress that didn’t have to be altered drastically—I’m a bit pear shaped, just FYI. I had seen friends pay almost as much for alterations as they had for their dress and I want to avoid that as much as I could. I mean, how much sense does it make for a factory to stitch up a dress only to have a tailor open it all up and stitch it again?

This is where Anomalie really stood out for me, each dress is made to the bride’s measurements, meaning that the dress pattern is made specifically for her body. Today, made-to-measure dresses are both rare and an indication of high quality dressmaking. This is how the majority clothes were made once upon a time when tailoring was part of every garment a woman wore. For an Anomalie dress, brides may expect to have two fittings after receiving the dress, but the alterations will be less dramatic (and less expensive) than a dress that was stitched for a standard pattern.

Research.

Research might be the most important thing to do before beginning the design process. It’s is essential for brides to be able to image how the dress will materialize. Just like in Parisian couture, I won’t try on my dress until it’s finished and in my hands. This is the biggest hurdle I had to jump over, but the benefits of that leap of faith are well worth it. The best way to do research, is just to try on dresses till some of the broad stroke questions surrounding, silhouette, fabric, and embellishment are answered. Even before I found Anomalie, I tried on at least two dozen dresses before I realized that I wanted a simple silk faille dress instead of the completely lace dress I had envisioned since childhood. I never knew I could be so minimal!

Custom made wedding dress lookbook, real anomalie bride, San Francisco

My lookbook curated for my design consultation. To help my stylist understand my vision, I included comments for each picture.

After everything is all said (mainly “I do!”) and done, not to get too sappy, but the very best part is that I know this dress was borne out of a place in my heart, it’s something that no designer could anticipate, and I’ll always treasure that my dress is as unique as I am.

Jaclyn’s Pro Stylist Tip: We love it when brides upload photos of themselves trying on dresses! If you do this, be sure to include the Designer/style name with the photo. Bonus points if you upload high-res model photos to accompany your personal photos! This makes it really easy for your Stylist to capture all of the details to create a dress you’ll love. Schedule an intro call so we can get started on your design here.

For more input from Anomalie brides, check out posts on Morgan, Liza, and Erica!