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 love@jenniferoberg.com. We would love to assist you in finalizing your wedding gown process!

5 Things to Know Before Investing in Your Wedding Gown

Upon being engaged, one of the first things Brides want to do is choose their wedding gown! It is such an exciting and thrilling time–and the time surely moves quickly in the months moving forward to your wedding day. In all the excitement and joy, decisions can happen spontaneously and quickly. So before you invest in your wedding gown, we wanted to share some of our tips to make sure you are making the right choice for you and your wedding day!

    • BUDGET – always # 1, but really consider your budget before jumping into that gorgeous gown that might be far off of your budget. Often Brides account for the cost of the wedding dress but they forget to budget in bridal alterations. At minimum you will likely need a hem and a bustle added. Bridal alterations can range from $200 to $800, depending how complex your alteration needs are. It could be that you end up wanting to restyle part of your gown or embellish it with more details. Our advice is to give yourself some cushion room in your budget (including dress and alterations) so you don’t end up exceeding your budget.
    • Designer, Custom, Vintage, or Hybrid – There are numerous options when choosing your wedding dress. You can buy a brand new designer wedding gown, you can get a custom made wedding dress, you can get a vintage wedding gown, OR you can have a mix of these. Don’t limit yourself to just buying from a boutique, consider what makes sense for your context. Maybe using your mother’s vintage gown and layering new details onto this gown is what will give your gown the meaning it deserves stitched between each thread. 
    • LOCATION + Seasons – this one is a big one, if you’re considering having an outdoor wedding in the summer then your dress will surely be different from a bride having a wedding on a snowy winter day. Perhaps you will want to go more towards lighter fabrics and sleeveless dresses, or maybe you will need the reverse.
    • Time – give yourself time to find the right wedding dress or to create your own custom dress. Do not save your wedding gown shopping to the last minute. Even if you purchase a wedding dress from a boutique, it is likely that you will need some alterations, and if you have a long train you will likely need an Alterations Specialist to create a bustle for you. Allowing for plenty of time will make the wedding dress process all the more enjoyable!
    • Trust your gut – There is so much our bodies are able to tell us. Listen to your gut and trust what your body is signaling to you. Working with honest and trustworthy vendors is so important! You don’t want to feel like you are being tricked, you want to be able to trust that the people you are working with have your best interest at heart. Trust your gut when you are making the final decisions on your wedding gown. You will know when you have found the right dress!

This is such a wonderfully exciting time in the wedding process. Happy wedding dress shopping Brides! We hope you find exactly what you are looking for. JOA is available for any custom wedding dress requests, bridal alterations, or wedding dresses that need some extra embellishments. We would love to assist you through this exciting journey and time in your life!

All About Bustles: Single French Bustle

Up next in our bustle series is another French Bustle, however, a slightly different version from our previous french bustle blog. Here we have a Single French Bustle. Dressmakers also refer to the French Bustle as a Victorian or Under Bustle.

The bride we worked with came to us with an A-line style wedding gown. This type of silhouette works very nicely with a single french bustle. A-line wedding dresses usually have a more fitted bodice paired with a voluminous skirt that flares out from the waist. This combination paired with a single French bustle is very charming! Other great silhouettes for Single French Bustles are the modified A-line and the ballgown silhouette.

This particular single french bustle created a beautiful mirrored image in tandem with the low back scoop of the dress. A great example of how every bustle is entirely different from the next. The dressmaker and bride may want to compliment the silhouette, the patterning or embellishments on the gown, the design and cuts of the gown, or they may want to make a bold statement with the bustle. It truly will always vary between the desired aesthetics and the gown. Bustles are the moment to add that final touch, the cherry on top, to your dreamy gown!

Pictured below is a past bride we worked with in her beautiful gown she found at a sample sale. Check out our past blog about finding affordable gowns at a sample sale! Here you can see how the single french bustle elegantly suits the style of this wedding gown. For more bustle ideas visit our past blogs in the All About Bustle series. Happy Bustling!

All About Bustles: English Pick-up Bustle

Up next in our bustle series is the English Pick-up Bustle! Previously, we have shared the Ballroom Bustle and the French Bustle. Today, we want to dive into the elegance of an English Bustle.

The English Bustle is a wonderful bustle solution for wedding gowns that are fitted through the hips and have a long train. It is often very flattering on sheath, mermaid, and trumpet silhouette wedding gowns. If the fabric on your dress has a very straight fall, the English Pick-up Bustle can create these beautiful waterfall-like columns to compliment the clean and classic look of your gown. A simple, yet sensational bustle!

The English Pick-up Bustle is created by picking up the train and pinning it to the outside of the wedding gown. The dressmaker will take fabric from the middle of the train and pick it up to pin on to the wedding gown. The number of pick-ups and pins will vary depending on your fabric and length of train. From the pinned point the rest of the train elegantly drapes down and floats just above the floor–ready for the reception and to dance the night away of course! 

Pictured is the Bride Danielle with her wife Holly. Danielle is wearing her gown that was originally one size too big and we altered it to fit just right. We created an English Pick-up Bustle for this sheath silhouette wedding gown. The long train makes it perfect for this elegant pick-up bustle. 

Every bustle is entirely unique from the next. When you buy or create your wedding gown, it won’t come with a bustle. The dressmaker or alteration specialist will create the bustle of your choice for you. We created this blog series to help inspire you to see different ways a bustle can live on a gown, to give you ideas of the infinite bustles out there, and to share the bustles that work best for certain silhouette style gowns. If you haven’t already, check out our previous ‘All About Bustle’ posts!

All About Bustles: Double French Bustle

Continuing our bustle series, we have the French Bustle, aka the Victorian Bustle or the Under Bustle. Previously, we have shown you two versions of the Ballroom bustle for a sheath gown and Ballgown silhouette. Today, we want to talk about the French Bustle and particularly a Double French Bustle on a mermaid style wedding gown!

A nice contrast to the Ballroom Bustle, the French Bustle is all about volume and beautiful folds to compliment a more fitted wedding gown with a natural waistline. Sometimes there is just one fold with multiple points securing it up or other times there are numerous folds such as the bustle we are featuring with a double fold. This largely depends on your fabric, the length of your train, and personal aesthetics of course. This type of bustle is the perfect option for A-line, trumpet, and mermaid silhouette wedding gowns. It also works best for longer and fuller trains so you have more fabric to create the elegant folds. The French bustle wonderfully accentuates the feminine figure and creates a poignant touch of texture to a more form-fitted gown. 

To create this type of bustle, you pick up part of the fabric lower down on the train and attach it higher up the dress to create these beautiful outer folds of your wedding gown. The points are secured underneath the dress instead of on the outside of the gown. Your dressmaker or alteration specialist may attach a ribbon underneath the dress that can be used to help the bridesmaids secure the bustle up for the reception. Once secured, you are ready to dance the night away with a gorgeous bustle to compliment your unique wedding gown!

Recently, we have been working with a Bride on her wedding gown. We created custom sleeves to compliment her dress with beautiful white applique flowers throughout. We then created a double french bustle for this mermaid style dress. A perfect solution to compliment this charming wedding gown! For more bustle ideas, visit our previous ‘All About Bustle’ posts. Happy Bustling!

All About Bustles: Ballroom Bustle Part II

A few weeks ago we shared a bit about what bustles are and a specific type of bustle called The Ballroom Bustle. A Ballroom Bustle is when you take the train of the dress and you bring it up on the inside of the dress. It is the perfect solution if you don’t want to have the look of bustle folds and pleats on the outside of your gown. This is Part II of the Ballroom Bustle but featuring a simple and elegant style gown. 

When your wedding gown has a Ballgown or A-line silhouette the Ballroom Bustle is a nice solution to accentuate the silhouette. It keeps the focus on the silhouette rather than on the bustle. When you have a sheath silhouette with a train, the Ballroom Bustle is another perfect choice for the simple, elegant essence of this dress. It helps maintain the length and clean appearance of your gown.

Hiding the existence of a bustle, the Ballroom Bustle is the ultimate 2-in-1 solution for your wedding dress. It allows you to flaunt your gorgeous gown with train and all, and then like a new gown, you can delicately pin the train inside to create a dress that is ready to dance the night away.

We recently worked with a bride on Maui, Erica, on her beautiful sheath silhouette wedding gown. There are 29 bustle points that hold up this bustle. You can see in this picture how we fold it inside and create bustle points to support the train. For this exquisite gown it is the perfect solution to secure the train while maintaining the elegance of the gown.  

When choosing your wedding gown, it can be very useful to see how different silhouettes work with different bustles. It helps give you a better idea of what styles you are drawn to. Stay tuned for more bustles from JOA to help you dream-up the perfect wedding gown!

 

Finding the Right Alteration Specialist for your Gown

Finding your dream wedding gown is such an exciting moment! There is joy, relief, enthusiasm, and more. Though it feels like you can check the wedding gown off your list, it is very likely that you will need to have a few alterations done on your dress to ensure it fits just right. Sometimes these can be simple fixes, but often wedding gowns are more complex than your average dress and will require a specialist with years of experience working with wedding dresses. So how do you go about selecting the right Alteration Specialist to work on your wedding gown?

  • Find a Professional Dressmaker – Working with a professional Dressmaker is the best way to ensure your wedding gown gets handled with the utmost care and precision. The wonderful thing about working with a Dressmaker is that they understand how to construct a gown so they are very skilled at reverse engineering some of the more complex alterations. Plus, if you want to modify the design of your dress, they will know exactly how to help you transform your gown.
  • Find an Alteration Specialist with previous wedding dress experience – When it comes to altering a wedding dress, there are a significant number of factors to consider. Is your wedding dress a particular brand, has your Alteration Specialist had experience working with this brand? What type of fabrics are they familiar with? What types of bustles can they create? Can they add beading or any other extra embellishments? When you find an Alteration Specialist with years of experience working with wedding gowns, chances are they have a wealth of knowledge for each of these elements. This will only make your wedding dress experience more pleasant and stress-free when you can rest assured that your dress is in good hands.
  • Look through their work online (websites, social media, etc.) – Social media and online portfolios gives you a nice opportunity to see some of the previous work of your potential Alteration Specialist. You can see pictures, client testimonials, success stories, and maybe more details on what types of dresses they have previously worked with. Pictures are some of the best ways to get an idea of the type of work they have done.
  • Word of Mouth is always our favoriteIf you are still hesitant about choosing your Alteration Specialist for your beautiful wedding gown, then ask around! Word of mouth is our favorite way to meet new clients. Ask friends or family in your local community for their recommendations. Chances are they know someone they highly recommend.

We hope this helps you in finding the right Alteration Specialist for your wedding gown! If you are located on Maui and need assistance with your wedding dress, then we would love to help you. Visit our website or social media accounts to see some of our previous work. We hope we can help give your wedding dress those final touches to make it absolutely beautiful! Send us an email at love@jenniferoberg.com to book your appointment. 

All About Bustles: Ballroom Bustle Part I

Good things come to those who bustle. If you aren’t familiar with bustles, we are here to tell you all about them and give you some examples of the many ways you can have your wedding gown bustled. In this first post about bustles, we will talk about what they are and we will share a ballroom bustle we created for a past bride.

What is a bustle?

You know the moment you watch the bride walk down the aisle at their wedding and you admire that beautiful train from the wedding gown trailing behind her? And then maybe some of you wonder, how on earth are you going to dance in that at the reception? And then the reception happens and perhaps you forget about that gorgeous, long train you were admiring earlier. 

Well, this is the beauty of a bustle. It transforms a wedding gown with a long train into a gown ready to take on the dance floor at the reception. The bustle brings up the train so it is completely off the floor. Bustles are both practical and fashionable. There are an infinite number of ways to bustle your gown. Every dress is very unique in regards to the bustle. Some dresses have just 1 bustle point and some can have 50 bustle points. The number of bustle points will depend on the length of the train and how complicated the train is. When you add a bustle to your gown, it is almost as if you have two different wedding gowns. Two for the price of one?! How lovely! 

The Ballroom Bustle

Below you can see some pictures of a ballroom bustle. Rather than creating the folds of a bustle on the outside, this bustle is created by bringing the train up completely on the inside of the dress. It is attached to the inside of the dress with hooks and eyes or ties and loops. The ballroom bustle is the most detailed bustle you can do on a big train because it takes dozens of bustle points to do it right.  I’ve done a ballroom bustle with up to 50 points on the inside. It is a wonderful option if you don’t want to have the look of bustle folds and pleats on the outside of your gown. 

The mother of the lovely bride pictured below, reached out to me and said the bustle worked perfectly during the reception. We were so happy! Stay tuned for future bustle posts where we will be sharing other styles and types of bustles. Happy Bustling!