A Wine Red Custom Wedding Gown, Part B

Following our Part A blog where we shared the adventurous process of creating the wine red custom wedding gown, here is a little behind the scenes into the magical and romantic wedding day of Danelle and Andrew.

Since the beginning of creating Danelle’s custom wedding gown, the color of the dress was always meant to be kept a secret from Andrew. She wanted to surprise him when she walked down the aisle in her wine red wedding gown. She even hung up a mock white wedding dress in her closet to convince Andrew the dress was in fact a classic white. But this wasn’t the only surprise on her wedding day!

Danelle had previously decided she wanted to wear tennis shoes so that she could run down the aisle to Andrew.  That was her second surprise.  And in tennis shoes she would be comfortable during the entire wedding and could easily dance the night away. She was a bit worried about her dress not being fluffed up just right before going down the aisle. Jennifer agreed to be her designated “fluffer” and make sure her dress was just perfect. Danelle joyfully sprinted down the aisle, a fiery dash of tulle gliding past friends, family, and loved ones as she ran to meet the love of her life. 

There was Danelle and Andrew standing at the edge of the infinity pool that dropped off to overlook the Maui valley and the breathtaking West Maui Mountains. The sun slowly setting, accentuating this already sublime moment of the wedding. This wedding was straight out of a fairytale, love radiated from every moment, every corner. 

Later, Danelle and Andrew snuck up to the rooftop and took some unreal photos capturing this very special day. Just a small window into some of the many beautiful moments of this wedding day. 

Here are some sweet words from Bride Danelle:

I am so thankful I put value in having a custom experience. In the beginning my fiancé said if you decide to spend the money and go this route, I don’t want to bring up the money again. This was so helpful in living the experience without unnecessary negative emotions, I could purely enjoy the customization process. During fittings I was heart warmed to realize the dress needed to be adjusted or problem solved, never something about my body that needed changing. I went through all of the fitting feeling completely perfect with my body the way it is. Jennifer and her team gave the dress so much attention. She is so creative, skillful and clever with her process. On my last fitting, I told everyone I was going to be on the beautiful bride list. At 51, that felt so good to be able to say. This is because of Jennifer and her team. I had complete trust in the process. In addition, Jennifer made herself available pre wedding and during the reception that put another connection of care and love into the life of the dress. I am grateful to have these memories as a bride.

Wedding Vendors

Piano: Absalon Figueroa

Officiant: Crissy Kapoor

Bride: Danelle Watson

Groom: Andrew Keenan

Ring Bearers: Connor and Maxwell Watson

Flower Girl: Fiona Watson

Flowers: Bella Bloom @bellabloommaui 

Photographer: Clarissa Hempel @ponophotomaui 

Videographer: Todd Perkins 

Mother and Father of the Bride: Dennis and Theresa Brust

Band: Crazy Fingers 

Red Roses ordered from Maui Floral

Catering: La Pinatas

Cake: Jacqueline Perry

Wedding Planner: Cindy Eiting

Dress: Jennifer Oberg

Make up and Hair: Heather Ellison

Decorations Leader: Nani Cabanting

Decorating: Dear Friends

Tables and Chairs: Let’s Entertain

Floor Painting: Polina Marian

Shuttle driver: Taryn Bernabe

Parking: Ben and Todd Keenan

Event building: Andrew Keenan

Congratulations to Danelle and Andrew on their wedding! We wish you a lifetime of joy and love! Brides-to-be wishing to enter the custom wedding gown process, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to work together with you. Email Jennifer at love@jenniferoberg.com for all inquiries.


At the Atelier, we have had the pleasure of assisting numerous pageant teens and girls in their dresses for their events! We love getting to meet these passionate teens as they pursue what they love! 

Photography by Casey Shoots

Over the last few years we have had the pleasure of working together with Noelle Lo, Miss Valley Isle Teen USA in 2019, and with Noelani DeNisi, who recently won Miss Maui Teen USA! We wanted to share some of these gorgeous gowns we worked on  and then some words from Noelle  about why she is so passionate about pageants. Photos featured are of Noelle Lo.

photography by Logan Tsukiyama

Some beautiful words by Noelle Lo on pageants: 

As a young girl who always loved making a change I aspired to have a platform. In a world full of keiki searching for a voice I wanted to be that inspiration for them. I decided to join pageantry, not for the crown, but because it was a way to put myself and my platform out to the world. The beauty of pageantry is that young wahine are able to speak upon different issues and platforms. Not only do we get to use our voices but we are able to look our best doing it. Pageants allow one to showcase their personality in a multitude of different ways. Our gowns just give us a boost of confidence when we speak to the world on what we want to do to create change. To some it may be a “beauty competition” but to me it is an opportunity for wahine to shine and inspire!

We love seeing these teens share their voices and shine their light to the community! We are so proud of you and the work you both are doing! Mahalo nui loa Noelle and Noelani!

Real Weddings: Briana + Haywood

Bride Briana and Groom Haywood had a very special wedding in Lucca, Italy on August 10th, 2022. A very dreamy wedding at Casale de Pasquinelli in Tuscany. We had the pleasure of assisting Bride Briana with remastering her wedding gown and custom veil. It was a joy getting to work with Briana. Enjoy some photos from this sweet and dreamy wedding below:

Some sweet words from Bride Briana:

If I could give Jen more stars I would. Her amazing talent is only matched by her extreme professionalism and attention to detail. She helped me remaster my wedding gown and custom veil to perfection. Thank You Jen for making it so easy and flawless.” – Briana

Wedding Vendors:

Photographer: Thomas Harris @thomasharrisphotographer 

Coordinators: Gabrielle and Mini at Wedding & Co @weddingeco.catering.flower 

Venue: Casale de’ pasquinelli @casaledepasquinelli 

Location: Lucca, Italy

Congratulations Briana and Haywood on your special day! We wish you all the best as you enter this next chapter of your life together. Brides-to-be get in touch to schedule your first fittings via love@jenniferoberg.com. And to see other Real Wedding Blogs for some wedding inspiration click here

Real Weddings: Katie + Nicholai

Bride Katie and Groom Nicholai had a beautiful wedding on August 6th, 2022 in the breathtaking Lona Ridge venue nestled amongst the West Maui Mountains. We assisted the Bride Katie with wedding gown alterations, properly fitting her gown and adding a bustle. Below are photos from their wedding day taken by Amber Caires. Here is a window into their special day with loads of inspiration for any future wedding couples.

Some sweet words from the Bride Katie:

I am so extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Jennifer on my wedding dress! The detailed work and attention she put into it made the dress look even better than I could have imagined. I felt so confident and special walking down the aisle on my wedding day! Thank you Jennifer Oberg and Team for making everything perfect!” – Katie

Wedding vendors:

Dress: Made with Love

Wedding Gown Alterations: @jenniferobergatelier

Photography: Amber Vision @ambervisionphoto

Hair: Anna Sibert with Maui Makeup Artistry

Venue: Lona Ridge

Wedding Planner: Darren Keala Events @events_by_darren_keala

Florals: Darren Keala Events @events_by_darren_keala

Officiant: Sean Keli’ipono Aquino

Guitarist: David Wolf

Tableware: SET Maui

Catering + Cocktails: Cutting Edge Maui @CocinaNorte

Rentals: Let’s Entertain Maui

Calligraphy: Chelsea | Tropigal Calligraphy @tropicalcalligraphy

Congratulations Katie & Nicholai on your special day! We wish you all the best as you enter this next chapter of your life together. Brides-to-be get in touch to schedule your first fittings via love@jenniferoberg.com. And to see other Real Wedding Blogs for some wedding inspiration click here.

A Wine Red Custom Gown, Part A

Custom wedding gowns are truly something special! We love getting to dive deep into the creative process of design and construction as we shape and mold the dress to fit our client’s personality and vision. 

Over the last several months we had the pleasure of creating a custom wedding gown for Danelle! We are going to share this story in two parts. In this first part we will share behind the scenes of creation and in the second part we will share the actual wedding day! This was such a fun experience working with Danelle. She wanted a red wedding gown, but she didn’t want to tell her husband Andrew. She wanted to keep it a surprise for the wedding day! We loved keeping this little secret throughout the process. Danelle even talked about hanging a white wedding dress in her closet before the wedding to keep the surprise! 

The dressmaking process began with some imagery that inspired Danelle. From these images we began designing the dress to combine the different elements that were important to Danelle’s vision. It was solving a puzzle as we began to play with different bodice cuts, applique designs, layers, volume, color accents, and more. 

For this wedding gown we started with a ballroom silhouette petticoat made of three rows of gathered tulle, and a luxurious silk charmeuse lining. Danelle wanted to run down the aisle to Andrew,  so we put a slit in the petticoat to allow her to run without catching the skirt.

For the bodice, we sourced many different embroidered appliques to find the perfect shade of wine red – focusing on blue-reds, rather than orange-reds.  Then we worked with different colors of tulle for the outer skirt layer, to blend the colors together to create a richer tone. Working with tulle is like painting with watercolors – you can blend different colors together to arrive at new shades. 

The appliques on the bodice and skirt was the real puzzlework!  Our amazing Lynne Donaldson was tasked with arranging the appliques in an organic fashion.  She did a stunning, meticulous job.

To create an organic looking applique design she had to cut all of our individual appliques into smaller pieces so she could create appliques that were all subtly different. From each applique you’d have some connecting pieces, larger more decorative pieces, and then more medium sized extra pieces. It became complex as you worked your way to create a one of a kind applique from all of these little parts. And on top of that, we needed to lightly sew these onto the tulle to test if the weight of the parts would alter the flow of the skirt. And then when all was good to go we had to individually sew all the little pieces of the applique onto the skirt and bodice. Quite the task!

Our incredible JOA team put their heart into this gown. We were all hand sewing different sections of the applique together. Talk about teamwork! This dress became a collective endeavor as we all worked together to find the perfect design and to get all the pieces assembled. Teamwork really does make the dream work! Stay tuned for part B where we will share more about the day of the wedding and share some gorgeous photos!!

Au Revoir & Bon Voyage Sophia!

We said au revoir & bon voyage to our lovely Sewing Assistant & First Hand Sophia Gallegos! At the end of August she was on her way to the other side of the world to study Fashion Design in Amsterdam! We could not be more excited and proud of her! We celebrated her last day in the Atelier with a Fancy Dress Day and kanelbullar (Swedish cinnamon buns)!

We wanted to do a little Q&A with Sophia to reflect upon her years at the Atelier and to share more about her future plans. Find out more below:


Q: Sophia, can you share more about your experience working with Jennifer the last three years? 

A: I have absolutely loved working for Jennifer! I was a very inexperienced, self-taught sewer when I first got the job and Jennifer taught me a multitude of professional techniques which I’m so grateful for. Jennifer’s studio is so pretty and peaceful and everyone is so so kind which made work wonderful and I looked forward to it every week. I loved having afternoon tea every day and being able to learn how to sew in a safe and caring environment. I really appreciate how much Jennifer trusted my sewing ability as I often felt super nervous but her trust gave me reassurance that I could do it. 

Q: What was the most valuable lesson you learned?

A: The most important thing I learned was how to efficiently problem-solve. The studio gets very busy, especially during prom season and each dress has its own quirks. There’s not a lot of time to sit around and think, so you just have to be creative about how to alter the dress, and get it done. This skill makes me plan ahead and be able to find the most practical solution in my own designing and sewing without feeling stressed or flustered. Jennifer set such a good example as I rarely saw her get worried and no projects ever stumped her.

The photos above are from Sophia’s prom dress she designed this year!

Q: What was your favorite project you worked on over the years?

A: Definitely helping design the Mother Ginger costume for the Nutcracker. I had so much fun getting to be the designer for a moment as I did not have to do all of the sewing but I got to make the decisions. It was also so wonderful to help with a show again as I love how over the top the costumes are for live theater and the hectic but thrilling feeling of getting everything done before opening night.

Q: What are you most looking forward to as you enter a career in fashion design?

A: I’m really excited to be challenged by having to work around/with other fashion students who I can share ideas with and be inspired by. I also feel like I know very little about fashion history and how the industry works so I’m interested in becoming more educated so that my designs can become more complex. 

Q: Can you share a bit about your plans for the future?

A: This fall I am going to Amsterdam for three months for a gap year fashion program at the Amsterdam Fashion Academy! I’ve never been anywhere in Europe so I’m overwhelmingly excited to explore the city and be influenced by all the fashionable people there. In the spring I am going to the Academy of Art University in San Francisco which is a four year college that I am going to try for fashion design! After that, who knows, but whatever I am doing, I hope it will be fashionable!

It has been a pure joy having Sophia being a part of the Atelier the last few years. She has seen JOA grow in a number of ways and she has been a part of that growth every step of the way. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this talented and passionate fashion designer! We will miss your sun-shining, contagious energy! We are beyond excited for you to enter this new chapter! Congratulations Sophia! “Oh the places you’ll go!”

Real Weddings: Ilana + Matt

Bride Ilana and Groom Matt had their gorgeous wedding on July 2nd, 2022! We assisted Bride Ilana with wedding gown alterations. As usual, we love to share photos from our past clients. It is always so helpful to see how past couples styled their garments and curated their wedding days. To see other Real Wedding Blogs, click here

We had previously shared a blog about her Oscar de La Renta wedding gown. You can find that blog here

Here are some of Illana and Matt’s wedding photos. Photography is by Joanna Tano  (@joannatanophotography).

Here are some sweet words from Ilana:

“​​Jennifer did an incredible job altering my off-the-rack Oscar de la Renta dress. Her craftsmanship was flawless, the price was very reasonable, and she did her work efficiently and communicated well.” – Ilana 

Thank you Ilana! Congratulations on your beautiful day! We were so happy to be able to assist you. Brides-to-be get in touch to schedule your first fittings via love@jenniferoberg.com.

Costume Director!

We are so excited to share Jen’s latest endeavor on Maui… She will be the new Costume Director for Alexander Academy of Performing Arts! AAPA just recently created a brand new website where you can read all about the school.

Alexander Academy’s mission is to build confidence in each student through quality dance instruction while making this education affordable. We are so happy to work together with and support a performing arts school with such a caring mission. We love supporting arts education for youth on Maui. 

Jennifer began collaborating together with AAPA’s nonprofit organization, Alexander Academy Performing Company (AAPC), last year in partnership with her nonprofit organization, The Sewing Hui. Jennifer and the volunteers of The Sewing Hui worked together to create over 80 dance costumes for AAPC’s new annual Nutcracker Ballet Production and their Summer Performance of The Sleeping Beauty. Jennifer is so excited to be continuing this new collaboration and directing the costuming efforts for their productions.

Jennifer has an extensive background in costume design, having worked in costume shops and as a designer/dressmaker for 30+ years. She started in theater, at the Shakespeare Theatre at the Folger in Washington D.C., the Washington Opera in Washington D.C., and the Old Globe in San Diego, apprenticing in the costume shops. She moved to Hollywood to create costumes for film, television and private clients. Now she runs her own dressmaking and design atelier in upcountry Maui. She is thrilled to be continuing costume designing with Alexander Academy!

I’m delighted to be joining the staff at AAPA in the role of Costume Director.  The passion that flows from Studio Director Danelle, and Artistic Directors Absalon and Amelia is contagious and evident throughout the rest of the teachers and staff.  AAPA is a lively, vibrant place, dedicated to its students.  It instills in them the love and joy of teamwork through dance and performance.  Most importantly, every student is valued for what they bring to the dance floor.  It is a pleasure to be around such a lovely, kind-hearted and professional team.” – Jennifer Oberg

Follow @aapamaui @jenniferobergatelier and @thesewinghui to stay up-to-date with costuming projects!

Discovering the Dressmakers of Maui

While ordering a plate lunch one day at Ohana Island Grindz in Makawao, we saw this map posted at the counter. It is Baldwin Avenue in Makawao town from October 27, 1931. If you look closely you can see there was a small dressmaker shop! From the map we believe it is where the Maui Cookie Lady’s shop is currently located. 

Below you can see where the dressmaker’s shop is:

From the map and the layout of town now, we think this shop is where it used to be:

We tried to dig up some more history about this little shop from the 1930s, but we couldn’t find anything. If someone has more information and would like to share with us, please get in touch with us! 

In our search, we did come across a dressmaker from back in the day named Helen T. Ikeoka. She was born in 1911 in Honolulu. She owned a retail shop in Wailuku with ready to wear infant and children’s clothing. She attended Tanabe Dressmaking School and graduated from the Hawaii Dressmakers’ Association. 

We love to discover some of the history of the past dressmakers here on Maui. Feel free to reach out if you have more information and would like to share it with us. We would love to know more!

Real Weddings: Julia + Jordan

We have so many gorgeous photos to share with you from our past clients we assisted with bridal and groom alterations! Plus, we also helped their wedding party too! Bride Julia and Groom Jordan had their wedding on June 4th, 2022. 

In addition to the bride and groom, we worked with the bride’s mother, father, and sister on alterations. We also altered her sister’s party dress for the reception. We just love getting to work with all the different people who are part of the wedding party! It is so fun to get to know the closest family and friends of the bride and groom.      

Below our some of the fabulous pictures taken by Anna Kim:

Don’t hesitate to reach out for wedding alterations for you, your partner, and your wedding party. It is our pleasure to get to work together with you and your loved ones! For all wedding-related inquiries contact us via love@jenniferoberg.com. We are available to assist with alterations, custom wedding dresses, on-site steaming and pressing services, and more. Get in touch!