All About Bustles: Pricing

A more complex bustle including 26 bustle points.

Bustles usually don’t come with a wedding gown, unless it is a custom gown. It is a wedding expense that is sometimes left out of the budget along with dress alterations. Depending on fabric, the number of layers, and the length of the train, a bustle can fluctuate quite dramatically in price. So Brides-to-be, give yourself a nice cushion in your wedding budget when it comes to dress alterations. You don’t want to be faced with any surprises when working with your wedding gown.

You are probably wondering, how exactly can the price of a bustle fluctuate so much?! Below we have a great example of why some bustles can cost so much. This beautiful bustle in progress will take 21 loops to hold up the train when it is completely bustled. Each one of the safety pins in the photos represents a loop. Each loop has to be securely sewn on with a backer button behind it. Each loop will be attached to a satin button which also has a backer button attached to it. In addition, the whole lining is separately bustled with French under bustles. The lining had 5 points so in total the bustle had 26 bustle points on it. Wow!! That is a lot of loops and buttons for one bustle. 

Now your wedding gown might have a very short train and maybe your dress only requires 3 loops to hold up the bustle. The pricing for this type of bustle will be very different from the one that needs 21 loops. So Brides-to-be, just keep that in mind when budgeting and choosing your wedding gown. And if you want some bustle inspo, check out our past ‘All About Bustle’ blogs for some fun bustle ideas.

An example of a bustle that requires only a few bustle points.

We created this bustle in 2015 in our studio in Denver! We were over there for 6 months doing a trial run to the mainland. We loved Denver, but we are so happy to be home on Maui, serving Maui brides! 

All About Bustles: 5 Point Pickup Bustle

And we are back with a new ‘All About Bustles’ Blog! Here we have a 5 Point Pickup Bustle on a gorgeous lace gown.

The pickup bustle can drastically vary in the number of points used. The number of points typically depends on the type of fabric and the length of the train. For this particular bustle, we used 5 points. 

The pickup bustle is created by taking fabric midway through the train, picking it up and securing it on the outside of the skirt. Points are created and fastened to securely attach the bustle.

We love using a pickup bustle for sheath silhouette wedding gowns. It also works great with column and trumpet silhouettes. When you work together with an experienced dressmaker, they will be sure to create the perfect and most flattering bustle for your particular gown.

Fun note! This bustle was created when we were upstairs in our first studio in the Makawao Plaza Building. We have since moved downstairs to a larger, more spacious studio. My, how we’ve grown! And our JOA team is growing too! We are grateful to Maui and the community for supporting our business these past few years. Thank you for helping our Atelier grow!

Wedding Gowns + Aesthetics

We have been working together with many brides this last month on custom dresses and alterations. Many brides that had weddings scheduled for 2020 have had them rescheduled to 2021. It has been a busy few months for us! Last month, we altered this elegant white gown for the bride. We added an English Pick-Up Bustle which you can learn more about in our ‘All About Bustles’ Blog series here

This gown is a great example of ‘less is more’. Every detail and design is purposeful and clear. It can be overwhelming making that final decision on a gown. We recommend breaking down your aesthetic preferences into smaller categories to help make the process more simple. So what exactly should you consider? Here are some elements to consider when choosing your gown:

  • Color – there are infinite shades of white, do you want to go more towards an off white or a bright white, or do you want to experiment with some nontraditional colors?
  • Sleeves – what season is your wedding in? Do you want a lace long sleeve or maybe you want to go strapless? What makes you feel beautiful?
  • Neckline – high necklines or sweetheart cut? Or maybe you want something more linear cuts as an aesthetic choice? Is there a neckline that is more flattering on you?
  • Back Styles – there are so many beautiful back cuts to explore, maybe you want something simple, or maybe you want an elaborate cut on the back.
  • Waist + Silhouette – how do you want your gown to hug your body? Do you want a tight fit or do you want more of a ballgown style? 
  • Fabrics – fabrics can be an aesthetic choice and it can also be a comfort choice. Do you want fabric that feels luxurious on your skin? Or maybe you want a fabric that has a shine to it?
  • The extras – what details are must-haves for you? Is it beading, lace, sequins, ribbons, or would you rather not have extra details?

We hope this helps you break down the different elements of the wedding dress during the wedding dress process. Ultimately, when making your choices, think about what makes you feel good or what you think flatters your body more. It truly is all about feeling comfortable and beautiful in your skin. If you want to take the adventurous step into a custom wedding gown, Jennifer of JOA, will guide you through every step of the way. She will make sure every detail is aligned with your vision and will help make the process an exciting and memorable one! Get in touch for wedding gowns and alterations at

TLC For Your Wedding Gown

A little TLC for your wedding gown is always important and can go a long way! Gowns can quickly wrinkle and getting out tough stains is never fun. So from the time you take your gown home after that final fitting to the moment you walk down the aisle on your wedding day, make sure to do these 5 things in order to keep your wedding dress in tip top shape. 


  1. Storage + Protection – Make sure to keep your gown in a breathable garment bag to protect it from dust and other accidental stains. Try to allow your dress to hang up as high as possible so the train can hang down. Avoid keeping it in a place where the sun can cause discoloration. 
  2. Transportation – When transporting your gown, make sure to keep it in a garment bag and if space allows, either hang it up or lay it flat on top of other items to prevent it from getting wrinkled quickly.
  3. Sprays + Makeup – Apply any perfumes, hairsprays, or makeup BEFORE you put on your wedding gown. Sprays and makeup can easily stain your gown, so make sure you are very careful with this around your dress.
  4. Use a towel – If you absolutely need to eat in your dress or reapply any makeup, cover your gown with a towel to prevent any accident stains from occurring. Even if it is just a quick touch up, you never know what accidents could happen.
  5. Hire a professional – You will likely have accumulated some natural wrinkles in your gown by the time of your wedding day. Hire a professional to steam + press your gown on your wedding day. They will have the expertise and the professional equipment to assist you. Our JOA team is highly-skilled with handling all types of fabrics and materials, and is available for on-site services.

Take care of your wedding gown, give it a little TLC, and your gown will be ready for your special day! As a professional dressmaking and design studio, we highly recommend booking a professional to steam and press your wedding gown ahead of time. You will be glad you did! It will save you stress on your wedding day and ensure that any tough wrinkles are taken care of. At JOA we have worked with all types of fabrics and designer gowns. With the professionalism of our JOA team and our top quality equipment, your wedding gown will be beautifully cared for. To book our steaming and pressing services email

Gown Restyles

The perfect gown isn’t always out there. Sometimes you just have to create it! Gown restyles are a great way to add the missing details to a beautiful dress. When you work with the right person, a few changes can completely transform a dress.  It takes more than a basic seamstress to do this work.  A skilled dressmaker like Jennifer, who has not only sewing knowledge but also pattern making and dressmaking skills is able to restyle a dress into something new. You can even get that custom dress feeling when you restyle a dress!

We recently worked with a Maid of Honor to restyle her gown. She came to us with a gorgeous rose gold sequin dress with a fun side slit. The dress had a very low, revealing back and skinny straps. Our client wanted a bit more coverage than the dress offered. We believe in helping our clients feel their best. We wanted to make sure our client felt comfortable in what she was wearing so that she could confidently shine in her dress!

For this gown, our restyles involved providing more coverage while adding some eloquent details to compliment the style of the gown. We started by taking extra fabric from the hem and adding it to the back of the dress to provide more coverage. We then added chiffon arm drapes to the gown. This gave an elegant off the shoulder cut and added extra texture to the straight cut of the dress. It simultaneously added extra coverage. Matching the arm drapes to the rose gold color of the dress was a momentary challenge. It was hard to find the extra shade of rose gold chiffon. The inherent sheerness of chiffon allowed us to use a taupe chiffon and a rose chiffon and layer them in three layers – taupe, rose, taupe – to create a color that matched the dress. A hem, extra fabric to the back, and added arm drapes were the little details that transformed this gown! 

If you are stuck trying to find the right dress, don’t forget you can always restyle. It is such a great way to create the perfect dress, especially if you find a dress that is ALMOST the one, but it is simply missing those final details that matter to you. And this also goes along with dresses that just don’t fit your body quite right. We will make any dress, whether too big or too small, appear as if every curve and seam was made just for you and your body. The perfect gown is just a needle and thread away!

How to Take Your Wedding Dress on a Plane

Maui sees many destination brides each year! Brides have been paving the way forward with ways of flying with their wedding dresses for many years now. The thought of flying with a wedding dress can make most brides pretty anxious. After all, no one wants to arrive at their destination with a wrinkled or ruined wedding dress. Chances are your wedding dress has become a very precious garment for you by this time. So we have gathered some of our tips for traveling with your wedding dress to ensure it arrives in tip top shape.

  • Contact your airline – Every airline is different. We recommend contacting your airline and asking about storing large and delicate items, such as your wedding gown. They may have an extra space where you will be able to store your gown separate from the overhead storage. Alternatively you may need to store it in the overhead compartment. Make sure you determine where you can store your wedding gown so you can properly secure and fold your dress before arriving at the airport.
  • Consult your dressmaker or the bridal shop you purchased your dress from – depending on the size of your dress and the length of your train, packaging your dress in a garment bag can vary significantly. Consulting your dressmaker is a great way to get expert advice on packaging your dress for the plane. They will help you delicately lay and fold your gown in the safest way possible.
  • Buy a breathable garment bag to store your gown in – We recommend buying a 20” gusset garment bag made out of breathable material. Muslin is a great option, try to go for 100% cotton fiber and unbleached fabric. And if you are worried about any unexpected spills on the plane, you can place a plastic covering over top of this garment bag. 
  • Keep an eye out for empty seats on the plane – Here is your golden ticket for your wedding gown. If your plane has some empty seats try to swap seats so you can use the empty seat for your dress. This is the perfect situation! 
  • Don’t panic at the sight of wrinkles on your gown – Your dress will likely accumulate a few wrinkles and creases here and there during your travels. Don’t worry, this is completely normal and expected. 
  • Find a dressmaker at your wedding destination prior to arriving – Regardless if your dress is perfectly packaged or not, make sure you seek out a dressmaker to help you with professional steaming and pressing for your wedding gown. They will have professional tools and the expertise of working with a plethora of fabrics. Be sure to book this ahead of time. Dressmakers working in destination locations can be very busy bees.

Destination brides and Maui brides if you are traveling to or from Maui don’t hesitate to contact us. We will gladly assist you with storing your gown for traveling or with steaming and pressing services upon arrival. Regardless, we will make sure your wedding gown is perfectly cared for for your wedding day. Get in touch at to schedule your appointment.

Beyond the White Gown

Just because Queen Victoria wore white on her wedding day doesn’t mean you have to. White wedding gowns and long dresses are the more traditional choice for brides-to-be, but don’t be afraid to go against the grain. It feels natural to follow along with tradition, but you might just fall in love with the most unorthodox dress. If you do, GO. FOR. IT!

There are many new and old trends popping up that are defying tradition. We love the uniqueness of these trends and the way it breathes new life into this very special day. That being said, we also adore traditional white wedding gowns too. It is just refreshing to start to see more variation in the direction brides choose to go.

Here are some recent trends and ideas for brides hoping to take a new route for their dress:

  • Jumpsuits! – This is such a fun trend that we have been seeing more and more of lately. There are more designers beginning to design jumpsuits specifically for weddings. Such a bold and brave outfit on your wedding day. We LOVE it!
  • Colors! – Think reds, emerald greens, fiery oranges, blues, and more. Adding a colorful gown creates a more playful and free-spirited vibe to your day. Plus, if you know what YOUR color is, then you will truly be shining! 
  • Patterns! – Go wild with your patterns. Your dress does not need to be a solid color. Find a pattern that speaks to who you are and wear it loudly!
  • Tulle Skirts + Dresses! – A really beautiful trend we have been seeing, simple dresses made out of tulle, and occasionally these dresses have hand-crafted embroidery across the bodice. These dresses are gorgeous! 
  • Mini Dresses! – Your wedding dress does not need to be long. There is a whole world out there of short bridal dresses with a wide assortment of designs and styles. Have a look at these! So unique and flattering!

Whatever wedding dress route you choose, just make sure you feel comfortable! This is truly the most important thing. And for some brides, feeling comfortable is wearing that jumpsuit, or the bright red dress, or the mini dress. Finding what works for your personality and aesthetics will be different for all. Follow your gut, and don’t let tradition stop you from wearing what makes you feel best!

4 Tips For Choosing The Bridesmaids Dresses

Muir Adams Photography

In the whirlwind of wedding planning, there are so many details to consider and choices to make. It’s not easy to make quick decisions when you’re planning a dreamy wedding. One of the best things you can do is remember that everything does not have to be perfect and actually the most unplanned things usually have a way of becoming the highlights. So in an effort to ease some decision making, here are some of our tips for choosing your bridesmaids dresses:

  • Let the bridesmaids choose their own dresses. You can give some guidelines about length, style, and color, or have them check in with you to make sure the dress aligns with your aesthetic and vision. Having varying bridesmaid dresses is a nice way to empower your dear friends by allowing them to find a dress that makes them feel beautiful. Going the mismatch route also creates a more organic feel.
  • Delegate! There is no shame in delegating tasks during the wedding planning process. Ask your maid of honor or bridesmaids to find 3-5 dresses that they like. Then, making the final decision on which dress to go with becomes much easier with just a few options to choose from, plus your bridesmaids will be happy to have a say in the choice too.
  • Don’t be afraid to have varying shades of color. Again, going the mismatch route, having a spectrum of one color can be a subtle way to create an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Especially if your wedding palette has more neutral tones, this is a nice way to give some accents of color to your wedding day.
  • Be open to varied patterns + fabrics. This is a great way to give some more texture to your bridesmaids dresses and an opportunity to give some freedom to choose. Mixing patterns with solid color dresses looks beautiful together. And playing with different fabrics, can create a satisfying compilation of dresses when done right. Also, if you are stuck on a decision on which color, pattern, or fabric to go with, you can just choose 2-4 options that create a nice palette together and each bridesmaid can choose the dress they prefer. 

Ultimately, the most important thing to consider is how your bridesmaids will feel in the dresses. You want them to feel just as confident as you on the wedding day. Giving some freedom to either choose or have a say in which dress they prefer will make your friends feel valued and appreciated. And if you are short on time, definitely try to delegate this task to a friend you trust. Lastly, have fun choosing these dresses! It is like painting a picture of your big day. The bridesmaids add a dash of color so don’t be afraid to be playful with your choices.

The Next Steps AFTER You’ve Found The Perfect Dress

Once you’ve found the perfect wedding dress, it feels as if you can check ‘wedding dress’ off your to-do list. However, there is still a creative process that rests ahead. Be prepared so you can continue your wedding preparation with plenty of time and ease. Here are some tips and recommendations for AFTER you’ve found your gown:

  • Find a professional atelier with skilled alteration specialists to assist you with your bridal fittings and alterations.  At our atelier, we have an amazing creative team to help you. Book an appointment at least 8 weeks in advance of your wedding date.  Depending on how complex your alterations are, we may need more time to work on your dress. There can be many fittings in this process, so you want to make sure you have enough time in between fittings, too. 
  • If possible, decide on your shoes, undergarments, and accessories prior to going into your first fitting. These will all affect the alterations on your gown. We want to be sure  everything fits perfectly, so have on exactly what you will be wearing on your wedding day.
  • Bring one honest and direct friend or family member to give you a second eye during your fittings. This is always useful and will help you confidently make decisions on any additional alterations. 
  • If your dress has a long train you will need a bustle created. We have so many ideas for bustles and will help you find the most flattering bustle to compliment your dress. 
  • During your final fittings, be sure to have the exact shoes, garments, and accessories you will be wearing on your wedding day. This is your last chance to make the finishing touches to your gown. Make sure you feel comfortable, and if anything at all feels awkward, be sure to bring it up in the fitting.
  • Finally, if your gown has a bustle, bring your Maid of Honor or a bridesmaid with you so they can learn how to bustle your gown.  If they are not available, we will take a video in the studio showing exactly how to do it.

After finding your perfect gown there are plenty of steps you need to take before you can check it off your wedding to-do list. Make sure you allocate plenty of time for the wedding dress process as it doesn’t end after finding your dress. Any brides-to-be in need of an Alteration Specialist for their newly discovered wedding gown please get in touch with us at We would love to assist you in finalizing your wedding gown process!

How To Be Bold With Your Style

In a previous blog post, we talked about ways to discover your personal style, you can read about it here! Today, we wanted to talk more about finding ways to be bold with your style. Once you begin finding your style and aesthetics, your choices become much more intuitive and organic. You find a rhythm and tune to your daily outfits, but to continue to let your style flourish and stretch in all directions, you need to occasionally take risks with your outfits!

Maybe it is something you wouldn’t usually wear, makes you feel slightly uncomfortable, or is a pairing of garments you never considered before. This is brilliant! This threshold of uncertainty and anticipation is where your true artistry will begin to emerge and shape. Creatives are meant to challenge the norm and take risks. Give yourself permission to find the micro-risks in your personal style regularly. 

Try to start out with a bold outfit once or twice a month. Something beyond your comfort zone. Let yourself get creative with what you already have or pop into your local thrift store for some hidden gems to spice up an outfit. Then, as you get a bit more comfortable with this, challenge yourself to have a bold outfit once a week. When you get to this point, you will begin to notice your daily outfits changing too. Congratulations at this point you have just pushed your personal style to a new place! Try to keep track of your outfits with some pictures on your phone, it is exciting to look back on how your style has morphed through the weeks and months of this task.

It isn’t always easy to take risks, but there was a quote I once heard in a film where they said “Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” Take those 20 seconds of courage to put on that bold new outfit and walk out your door. You won’t regret it!