With weddings postponed or put on hold for now, it’s an important time to talk about virtual wedding gown appointment services. With the changes in restrictions and a whole heap of uncertainty, it can often be challenging to know what to do, who to turn to for advice and where to start. Thanks to modern day technology, you can still stay connected with your team of designers and continue to plan your dream gown. After all, with 2021 and 2022 expected to be the busiest years for weddings, there’s definitely no time to stop wedding planning.
Whether you live interstate, overseas, or in a COVID restricted location, some custom couturists and design houses can still organise your dream dress with the touch of a button… literally. We understand that planning anything virtually comes with its challenges and great hesitation. However, established and trusted businesses with years of knowledge and experience in bridal design, styling and construction, will have the information to help bring your vision to life, no matter where you are in the world. A great team will have the resources and tools to help make this a super easy, smooth and stress-free process for you. But most of all, a fun and exciting journey. Here is everything you need to know about virtual appointments!
SPEAK TO A DESIGNER OVER THE PHONE FIRST TO FIND OUT THE PROCESS
One of the hardest parts of the process is definitely taking that first step. But you’d be surprised how easy it can actually be. It’s always best to speak to your designer over the phone, prior to your virtual appointment. This way, you will be able to find out more information about the process and how to better prepare yourself for your virtual consult. Every bridal boutique and designer will have a different approach to meeting virtually, so ensuring that you understand the ins and outs beforehand will ensure you’re not nervous or confused going into your appointment. When speaking to your designer first, it’s always a good idea to ask as many questions as possible. Discuss your basic ideas, preferred dress shapes, any concerns or elements you may be confused or unsure of, along with your budget and pricing, consult fees etc. If you tend to struggle with visualising or making decisions, then don’t worry because you’re not alone. Ensure you address all your concerns with your consultant so they can figure out the best possible ways to help make your virtual bridal experience an easy, smooth and enjoyable memory.
DO SOME RESEARCH SO YOU’RE ALL PREPARED FOR YOUR CONSULTATION
After speaking with your designer over the phone, now is the time to pull out the bridal planner and jump online. Planning for a wedding has never been easier with the help of the Internet. Organising your dream gown virtually can be a daunting and nerve-wracking experience for some brides so it’s always a good idea to get prepared. Whilst your designer is there to guide you through each step of the process it’s always helpful knowing the basic shape of the gown you like. Jump onto some bridal directories to get inspired and check out a whole range of real weddings. You can get an incredible insight into different dress styles, laces, how other brides style and accessorise their bridal looks and tie in with their wedding décor and bridal florals. Screenshot/save your favourite designs and compile them on a mini mood board or inspiration folder. You can also read through bridal magazines and online blogs to see what’s trending and scout the different designers and labels that you like. Remember to also look at the different fabrics, laces and finishings as this will become very helpful later on when you meet with a designer.
Image via The Caledonia Design Co.
SEND SOME IMAGES TO YOUR DESIGNER PRIOR TO YOUR APPOINTMENT
Once you’ve gathered some of your favourite bridal looks, from gorgeous laces, stunning trains and beautiful skirts, it’s time to share your inspiration ideas with your designer. It’s always a great idea to send these inspiration ideas to your designer prior to your virtual appointment, as it will allow your designer some extra time to customise and tailor your appointment especially for you and to also allow your designer to find and source the perfect bridal fabrics and laces to re-create your vision. When selecting the right images to send your designer, it’s always recommended to narrow down your ideas first. It’s quite common for brides to overload their Pinterest with various designs and dress shapes which can just leave you feeling confused and overwhelmed. Try your best to select only your favourite looks, that reflect you, your wedding theme and what you envision your dream gown to look like. For brides who use Pinterest or Dropbox, feel free to send your designer the link to your bridal boards. Speak to your designer about the best ways to send through all your ideas.
IT’S A DETAILED APPOINTMENT SO ALLOW ENOUGH TIME
It’s important that when arranging your virtual appointment, that you ensure you allow enough time as it’s very common for virtual consults to exceed beyond the average length of an in-store meeting. The length of your consult will depend greatly on a number of factors. For example, the complexity of your custom gown, the types of laces and fabrics you’re after and how quickly you are with decision making. We understand that visualising a gown can be super challenging, especially when you can’t be there physically in-store to feel and touch the fabrics and materials. But don’t fret, with years of experience, our designers have found many ways to help bring your ideas to life during your virtual consult. From draping the fabrics, sketching up ideas, to sending close-up detail pictures and videos of your laces, to pinning and creating your mock-up gown on a mannequin, you’ll absolutely love the experience. With such a detailed appointment, it’s always a good idea to allocate at least two hours with your designer. Don’t forget this could be less or more depending on your custom wedding design.
Image and design: d’Italia
ENSURE YOU HAVE A VIDEO CHATTING APP READY TO GO
The time has finally come for you to meet with your designer! YAY! Prior to your appointment, your designer will send you a text notification to let you know that your virtual appointment will begin shortly and to inform you of who your designer is. But before we begin, it’s important to ensure that you have a video chatting app ready to go! So, what video apps do we use? Our virtual consultations are commonly run through many popular video calling apps such as Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp and Skype. If you prefer to use another method of video calling, speak to your designer to arrange an alternate way. After all, we are here to help make this experience as easy as possible for you.
Tip: Ensure your phone, tablet or laptop device that you will be using during your appointment is fully charged or has access to a charger as your appointment may be quite detailed and take a number of hours.
YOUR DESIGNER WILL CREATE A PERSONALISED SKETCH JUST FOR YOU
It’s quite common for brides to incorporate various different design elements into their one custom gown, but visualising it all together can be a difficult task. If this is you, you’re definitely not alone. To help make this process a little easier for you, our designers will analyse all of your inspiration ideas, before sketching out your very own personalised gown during your virtual appointment. You’ll get to see first-hand, how we take your stunning ideas and turn them into a gorgeous and truly unique design just for you.
While video chatting, your designer will send images and videos of your design to ensure you’re happy with every aspect of it. You will have the opportunity to change and modify certain elements and seek the advice and knowledge of your designer when it comes to bringing your vision to life. Ask as many questions as you like throughout this process and don’t be afraid to tell your designer everything you love and also don’t love to ensure we create the best possible piece. Along with this, it’s important to know that your sketch is just merely a starting point. During the custom-made process, you will be allowed to further tweak and make minor modifications to ensure you’re happy with every aspect of your custom wedding gown. This sketch can also be a great reminder of your journey as your gown begins to evolve throughout the custom process.
Image and design: d’Italia
WE’LL HELP YOU VISUALISE
Once we’ve refined all your ideas and sketched out your custom gown, it’s time to bring it all to life. One of the biggest misconceptions of the custom-made process is that you need to be good at visualising. While this definitely can help, it’s also not completely necessary. As long as you’re open minded and willing to trust the advice of your designer and dressmaker, then you’ll breeze through the process. But to all you brides out there, who struggle with visualising we’ve got some great tips and ways that we can help make this part of the process, that little bit easier.
To really capture the intricate detailing and sparkles on our laces/embellishments, we’ll send you close-up images and videos throughout your appointment. We’ll showcase them on various backgrounds so you can get an idea of the design and find the perfect colouring for you. Along with this, we’ll drape your gorgeous fabrics so you can see how it will fall and look when made up in a dress. You’ll be able to see the finishing and weight of the fabrics, from the way the designer holds the materials. We’ll pin up some of your favourite options on a mannequin to re-create your design and to really showcase a snap shot into your finished gown. This part of the process will help you significantly with narrowing down your options and finding the perfect fabrics and laces to create your custom masterpiece from.
Image and design: d’Italia
IT’S HANDY HAVING SOMEONE AROUND TO HELP WITH MEASUREMENTS
After your designer has finalised your design and selected your gorgeous laces and fabrics, it’s time to measure you all up. Prior to your appointment, ensure you have a flexible measuring tape similarly to the ones used by dressmakers. If you don’t have this, a construction tape measure or ruler will do fine. Your designer will guide you over the video chat and assist you in being able to take your own measurements. This can sometimes be a daunting process for brides who haven’t done this before, but don’t worry, these measurements don’t need to be 100% accurate. It is a close estimate just to assist your bridal designer in calculating how much fabric is needed to create your custom gown. The general measurements usually taken during your virtual appointment are the waist, hips, bust and length of your arm (if you desire sleeves on your wedding gown). Having a family member or someone to assist you during this step can be extremely helpful.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR FABRIC SAMPLES
After selecting your gorgeous fabrics, it’s completely understandable that you might want to feel and touch them in person. If you can’t do this in store, then our wonderful team of designers can arrange to send you some fabric samples in the mail. Creating a custom gown requires several types of fabrics, from your main, to lining, sheer overlays and lace. Speak to your designer about your preferred fabric colours and finishings. Whether that’s a modern matte, a tradition sateen shine, or a subtle sheen. Your designer will find the perfect options, tailored specifically for your wedding and personal taste. Don’t be afraid to ask for little samples of each layer, as it can often help to see and feel the fabrics in person. Keep in mind that these samples are generally taken from the sample displays that are kept in store. They are often handled which means that the colour can be slightly tainted. Remember that your gorgeous fabrics will be custom-ordered and created just for you so the colour will be fresh, clean and brand new.
Image and fabric: d’Italia
FITTINGS CAN BE DONE VIRTUALLY TOO
Did you know that we can do fittings virtually too? That’s right! Thanks to modern-day technology, we can create your very own custom-gown without you needing to worry about fitting after fitting. Virtual fittings are a great option for any interstate or overseas bride who can’t travel to our Melbourne based studios. And with COVID-19 causing many areas of Victoria into isolation and lockdown, it can be even trickier for our Melbourne-based brides to bring their custom piece to life. But don’t worry, our designers and dressmakers will work together to create an easy plan to bring your dream wedding dress to life virtually.
So, what is a virtual fitting? A virtual fitting is when you work with your dressmaker virtually to bring your gown to life. Our dressmakers will speak to you over the phone to discuss the process, before meeting with you virtually to take your measurements. These measurements are slightly more detailed and may require a little helping hand from a family member. Our team will begin creating the patterns and will sew up your mock-up gown (toile). You will be sent images and videos throughout the process to see your piece evolve before receiving it in the mail to try on. But don’t worry, you won’t be alone throughout this. Your dressmaker will be there to guide you and instruct you the whole time to ensure the fit is perfect and that you’re happy with every element.
Are you thinking about taking that leap and want to find out more about how we can work together to create your very own custom gown virtually? Contact us today, for your free in-store design consultation and our over the phone styling advice service from our lovely team of designers!