Tell Me About An Indie Wedding Gown

I can hear it....Tell me about an indie wedding gown does it work? Lots of brides want something a little out of the ordinary....something you can't find at the local bridal shop or chain bridal stores. But independent designers are intimidating to many brides.

Most brides are afraid of the cost...but often indie designers are very reasonable. Many are in the $300 - $700 range. Many are afraid to be turned down or to have to share their measurements with a stranger. But really wedding shopping itself is a bit humbling, and what really matters is finding the dress that will make you radiant and that 'says you'. Sometimes that can only come through a custom or indie designer gown.

So here's how it goes:

---Each designer has a website or shop where they have policies and designs for you to look through. Most shops have a line - a set of designs that they reproduce for different brides - sometimes with customizations like color changes to details, sizing, length etc. These shops usually have a turn around time - say 3-6 months for busy shops. That is the time from when you and the shop or designer finalize or agree to your design to the completed design. Sometimes it is to the time you actually get the design - in the mail if it is an online only shop. Some of these shops are not local, so you don't have a local fitting, but need to have a bit of wiggle time before the wedding in case the dress needs to be altered or for shipping delays etc. Some have a team of assistants and workers who help create the dresses or help with the other processes needed to run the business part - like shipping and photography or emailing sizes and details with buyers. Most indie designers fall into this category.

---Some designers are solo teams. They are a single person designing and emailing and taking photos and creating etc. Many of the wedding designers on etsy, for instance, fit into this category. Often they are a home business - a single seamstress working from a set of designs or a line they've created. They may have a high school student or family member that comes in to help with shipping or taking pictures and uploading them to the shop. Many of these designers are open to a more free ended custom process and will either work from a photo of a gown you saw somewhere or help you to envision and will create what you want. Because they have a smaller volume of business, they are often willing to do a custom gown for a bit less or to be a bit more experimental with colors, designs, etc. Lots of these shops will also create your bridesmaids or wedding party gowns also. This is a smaller category, but still a great alternative to traditional wedding venues.

Warning!!!! It's important with this type to be careful to verify your designer's location - to be sure it is not a sweatshop manufacturer in a third world country. Many etsy sales recently have sent brides to the etsy forums to lament that the shop has disappeared with their money. One way to avoid this is to be sure the shop is in your country. That way if the shop disappears, the shipping time plus turnaround time is not so long that you can't get your funds back in a Paypal or credit card dispute. So avoid scams by expecting to pay a reasonable rate for a dress for your wedding. Be very careful with any gown under $200 USD. Bridesmaids or wedding party gowns should reasonably be at least $100 USD. Think about this - a custom gown will always cost more than a gown you could find at the local wedding and bridal shop.

---Some designers are creators of bespoke or one of a kind designs. Bespoke technically means completely custom - especially in size, but for a lot of Americans, bespoke has come to mean one of a kind. Some designers will create a one of a kind gown for a buyer after getting a set of measurements and a general idea of what the brides wants. Others, an even smaller group, will create designs in varied sizes that are one of a kind. Usually the gowns will have a bit of sizing room built into the design by means of fabric choices, etc. These designers are the most rare and are often doing much fewer gowns in production. They are often artists and their work falls more in that category - art to wear - rather than simple wedding dresses. My designs fit this last group, although I have a few designs that I reproduce and are not one of a kind.

I can hear the question - What if I fall in love with a gown and it doesn't fit me ? Well...sometimes the gown can be altered or made to fit. Sometimes a custom gown can be created that echoes the first gown closely enough that you get the general flavor of the gown without exact details. Occasionally, the gown can't be altered or reproduced due to vintage fabrics or other factors. Those are the most special gowns....cause there's only ever one :)

Second Wedding and Vow Renewals....What to Wear ?

Lots of times couples renew their vows or get married a second time. They don't really want a big fancy wedding like before. Some couples go off to an island and enjoy a second honeymoon and time to relax after they renew their vows. It can take just minutes and what you have left are the pictures, the suntan and a lot of fun. But usually you don't want to agonize over the did that once !

For second weddings the best ideas are convenient, pretty and re-wearable. You may want a long dress, but on a beach you could be better in tea length or a short, island style dress. Short of a sarong, your best bet is a floaty, wispy dress that will catch the island breezes and look awesome for the pictures. Some brides want a print or colorful gown. Others just want a simpler, romantic look.

Most people will choose a dress from a retailer online or a department store - just something that fits and will work...and they'll add jewelry or a flower lei necklace to dress it up. But some brides want to do a more one off, unique look that they maybe couldn't have afforded when they got hitched back when. For them, a one of a kind look can make sense.

So what you look for then is cotton, maybe linen. Something not too serious. Something a little wispy, sexy or a bit flirty, cool and flowing to move in the island breeze. Island wedding brides...this collection's for you !

What's an Indie Wedding Gown ?

Welcome to Indie Wedding Gown. My name is Cynthia Davis and I make one of a kind indie wedding gowns. I hope to feature my own and other indie designers of wedding dresses so you can find just what's in your head. :)

The first question I can hear you asking is - Just what is an Indie wedding gown ? Indie wedding gowns are like indie artists in that they are made by independent artists who create the dresses one at a time. In many cases only one individual is involved in the entire process. You have indie artists in music, indie designers and design, indie games and literature and dance. One definition of indie games is games created 'outside mainstream means'. In other words the artist creates apart from a large manufacturing apparatus or in the case of musicians large studios. Indie wedding designers often create from home workshops or tiny studios and often employ no one, or only a model or 2 here and there. Some have staffs and do a bit more volume.

So what does an indie wedding dress look like ?....well, very different :) But the true answer is, as different as the different artists who create them make them - and they are all different from one another. So maybe your next question might be - How would I know if I'm in the market for an 'indie' wedding dress ?

Here are a few indications you might just want something indie for your wedding:

- You're bored with the same-old wedding dresses you see in magazines
- You want something that really expresses your personality or your relationship better
- You want something that reflects a common interest you and your intended share - say       pirates...argh! Or maybe you met gaming and want something game related.
- You don't want to look like anyone else in your wedding dress
- You're getting married on an island or beach, and a heavy or long gown just won't work
- You really don't see yourself wearing white - either it's not your color or you've always secretly wanted to wear a black, blue, red or pink dress for your wedding.

If any of these fit, you just may be looking for an indie wedding gown. Welcome to the world of indie designers creating wedding gowns you'll love. Many of these designers create custom gowns or will customize a particular gown in limited ways for you. Others like myself, create one of a kind gowns but are open to creating custom gowns in their own style or voice.

Here are a few links to indie designers to get you started :

Here's my link to add to the bunch:

Many thanks to Amy and to Bess DuPriest for the photos of Amy's special day !!