Saying Yes To Couture Wedding Dresses

Once you've said yes to the first question, giving a big nod to the wedding dress you'll wear on the auspicious occasion is next on the agenda. By then, you'll probably have boards showcasing trendy and gorgeous bridal styles bookmarked. Soon enough, you'll be attending bridal appointments and trying on beyond beautiful dresses hoping to ultimately say yes to one.

However, some brides want something that's uniquely personalised. That's where couture wedding dresses come in because they are essentially a cut above the rest. A couture gown will set you back quite a bit but keep in mind that you won't incur extra alteration costs.

The most beautiful part about it is that you'll also end up with a one-of-a-kind wedding dress that's specifically made for you. Going the couture route also gets you closer to bringing your bridal vision to life.

Why Choose a Couture Wedding Dress?

There are certainly lists of advantages and reasons why any wife-to-be would prefer to walk into a bridal store and pick a dress off the rack. For starters, it works for the bride with a time-constrained schedule. Off-the-rack wedding dresses also tend to be more affordable compared to getting custom gowns. On the other hand, a couture gown allows you to truly express yourself.

Individuality

The outfit is crafted to reflect your sense of style and the vision for your big day. Designing your gown also gives you the liberty to bend the rules and create an exquisite dress that's flattering in every sense.

More Choice

Crafting a couture wedding dress involves creating the bridal look from scratch starting. From the sketch to the fabric choice and custom sizing; you get more choice at each stage of the tailoring process to personalise the bridal ensemble.

It's Made For You

The highest fashion-related compliment you'll ever get is being told that an outfit looks like it was specifically made for you. That's the backbone of crafting couture looks, and in this case, you are getting an outfit that fits perfectly and accentuates your best assets.

Colour Matching

Colour matching can easily become the nightmarish part of putting together a wedding ensemble. Getting a veil that matches the gown proves challenging but if you are having a bridal ensemble custom-made, you are assured of ending up with a cohesive look.

It's a Labor of Love

Hours of time and craftsmanship go into creating a couture wedding dress. It can take anywhere from six to nine months, or even more, to come up with the perfect custom look. Brides appreciate the labor of love that goes into the process because it ties into the spirit of the big day. It also presents the opportunity to spread some love by working with amazingly talented designers in your area.

You can Make it Sentimental

The words timeless and regal come to mind when talking about couture wedding gowns because they are bridal ensembles that don't forego any detail. Some brides choose to have their "something old" sewn into their "something new" in the process of crafting their couture gown.

It often involves having fabrics or embellishments from the wedding dress the bride's mother once owned tailored into the couture dress. You can also incorporate other items that capture your love story into the dress. It could be a family heirloom or pieces of jewellry gifted to you by your significant other.

What You Should Know About The Process Of Getting a Couture Wedding Dress Made

Once you are sold on the idea of getting a one-of-a-kind gown, it's best to get right down to business and figure out what bridal look you prefer. Do some leg work and put together wedding dress inspiration boards to paint a clearer picture of what you want. Some of the other aspects that will help you with the process include:

Knowing Your Wedding Dress Lingo

You'll hear terms related to wedding dresses that might confuse you. For instance, custom-made and couture are different concepts given that the former refers to making adjustments while the latter details the process of crafting an entirely new outfit from conceptualisation.

Also, take the time to understand more about the different types of embellishments because it will influence the overall look. Beading, sequins, fringe details, and lace appliques are the most common wedding dress embellishments.

Learning about Wedding Dress Fabrics

Lace is the most popular fabric used to tailor bridal ensembles, and it's also available in diverse weights, patterns, and textures. Organza is lightweight and is a befitting choice for crafting structured silhouettes. Chiffon is one of the lightest fabrics and it's a great choice for layering or adding accent details.

Brocade is stiff and it holds structure well but it might be too heavy for the summer months. Tulle is sheer, gauzy, and airy, and it's often used to add structure as a gown's liner. Satin has been a long-time favourite for brides because of its drape and sheen. Silk is a timeless choice, and it's available in different styles and textures.

Finding a Great Designer

The most important part of the process is identifying a great designer to work on the outfit. While you are essentially partnering with an expert to craft your dream dress, you are also trusting the designer to realise your vision.

Communication is key and you should express your ideas in detail. For instance, you'll want to make it clear what parts of your body should be concealed and which features should be accentuated.

Keep in mind that the entire process involves several fittings, and you'll want to work with someone who will pull all stops, within reason, in the quest to craft your dream gown. Also keep an open mind because more than often, the dress you have in mind isn't what you'll end up wearing. Instead, with sound advice from your designer, you'll end up rocking an even dreamier bridal ensemble.

Chaviano Couture Spring

There is just so much to love about Chaviano Couture, starting with the name. Annette – the designer behind the line explains: “Chaviano is my maiden name. Ignacio and Ana Rosa, my amazing parents, came from Cuba 30 years ago and their story of God’s blessings and love never ceases to amaze me. When I started my business I decided to name it Chaviano Couture in honour of my parents and their heritage. It’s such a special part of who I am and I’m so proud of it is my business name.”

Isn’t that the sweetest? Chaviano gowns are known for their effortless combination of romance and femininity. She uses the finest laces and dreamiest fabrics in her couture designs and every gown evolves into a timeless classic. Annette was kind enough to answer some questions for us about things I often wonder about (like, what does your dream wedding look like?) so be sure to catch the answers peppered throughout this feature AND afterwards we’ll take a look at the best part of Chaviano Couture dress – giving back!

Chaviano Couture wedding dress / photographed by Odalys Mendez Fine Arts Photography
Chaviano Couture wedding dress / photographed by Odalys Mendez Fine Arts Photography
Chaviano Couture wedding dress / photographed by Odalys Mendez Fine Arts Photography

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from? A: “I draw inspiration from all things romantic, flowing, and full of light. I love textures, flowers, and gorgeous imagery.

Q: What is your favourite material to work with? A: “I love to work with silks. Mostly organza, tulle, chiffon, and French laces. I love the airy texture and flow they have to them. I also love a little sparkle!”

Chaviano Couture wedding dress / photographed by Odalys Mendez Fine Arts Photography
Chaviano Couture wedding dress / photographed by Odalys Mendez Fine Arts Photography
Chaviano Couture wedding dress / photographed by Odalys Mendez Fine Arts Photography
Chaviano Couture wedding dress / photographed by Odalys Mendez Fine Arts Photography

Q: How would you describe your dream wedding? A: “A dream wedding to me involves having those I love there. The most important element of a wedding is to be surrounded by all the love and support that friends and family bring.”

Q: What makes a bride a ‘Chaviano Bride’ and sets her apart? A: “Chaviano Couture brides are different from the rest because their gowns are customized to them. Each gown is made to the bride’s specific measurements and style. We can customize the gown colours, shape, style, and fabrics to be exactly what the bride dreamed of. I love to include a piece from the mother’s or grandmother’s wedding gown in the bride’s gown. That way it is even more unique and special. I believe a wedding gown should not just be worn, it should be experienced.”

Chaviano Couture wedding dress / photographed by Odalys Mendez Fine Arts Photography
Chaviano Couture wedding dress / photographed by Odalys Mendez Fine Arts Photography
Chaviano Couture wedding dress / photographed by Odalys Mendez Fine Arts Photography

Q: What has been your proudest moment as a designer? A: “My proudest moment as a designer is always when I see the smile upon my sweet brides’ faces and I know that I have made their wedding day so very special!”

Chaviano Couture wedding dress / photographed by Odalys Mendez Fine Arts Photography
Chaviano Couture wedding dress / photographed by Odalys Mendez Fine Arts Photography

Aren’t these dresses gorgeous and isn’t Annette just the sweetest? Well… it get’s better. As if the story about her parents being the inspiration for the name ‘Chaviano’ wasn’t eye watering enough, each of the gowns in Chaviano Couture’s Spring Collection is named after an orphan girl in Haiti and 20% of all the proceeds go towards making their dreams come true!

Haiti Orphans

From left to right: 1. Alanka is four years old. Her favourite food is a traditional Haitian dish called Mayimoulen (corn & beans) and she wants to become a nurse when she grows up  2. Daphka is six, loves the colours yellow and pink, and hopes to become a nurse one day. She also loves to eat spaghetti. 3. Dhoti is eight years old and wishes to learn English and become a doctor. 4. Nephtalie is only one  and while she’s too young to know what she wants to do in the future, she does know that she loves to eat corn flakes! 5. Fawencia is ten years old and also wishes to study to become a nurse. 6. Lalune is eleven, she hopes to become a nurse, and her favourite colours are pink and blue.

Credits: Photography: Odalys Mendez Fine Art Photography // Gowns: Chaviano Couture // Venue: Private Estate in Georgia // Rentals & Styling: Mao Theo of Four Inch Fold Vintage Rentals

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