Bespoke Design Process

Your experience with me is very different to what you may receive in a Ready To Wear Bridal shop. I won’t try to bamboozle you with sparkles and champagne.

I am very nice though, and make a mean cup of tea!

Bespoke design means that each dress is designed and made especially for you. All designs are made by Charlotte Wilden and are never replicated, meaning that your dress is truly your own - and that is the part that is most special.

All gowns are couture, hand-made by Charlotte and her assistant just outside London, in Epsom.

I like to see all of your images and ideas.
Most brides have already started to make a scrap book of ideas, images from magazines and online sources. These can be sent to me in advance of your consultation if you like so that I can do some research to correspond with yours and bring more inspirations to look at. You could use a blogging site such as Tumblr, or Pinterest and send over a link via email.

At your first consultation with me, your inspirations,  silhouettes, fabrics, embellishments and their costs will be discussed.

I will start to sketch some initial ideas to help you visualize your dress and send these to you via email.

Your measurements will be taken so that pattern drafting can begin.

Please note that all dresses are entirely bespoke, and with each being so different from another, it is impossible to stock a range available for trying on.

A deposit of 50% is required so that work can commence.

While patterns and silhouette will be in progress, we can still build upon the design with tweaks and embellishments.

Depending on your design, two or more fittings will be required, where you will try a macquette of your dress to check fit of the dress, and decide upon further design features before cutting in fine fabrics which will be closer to your wedding date.
The first fitting will be a mock up made of calico for me to fit to your body shape and map out the rough outline of your dress. It is unlikely to look anything like your finished wedding dress.

At your fittings it is important to wear your wedding day lingerie to see the effect they have on the shape of your body, and the shape of your dress. Shoes are equally as important to bring along to make sure the hem length can be correctly calculated!

Charlotte can also craft accessories to match your gown! Just ask!

Here are a few hints and tips for you:

I’ve put together some hints and tips to help you get the most from you experience with me.

  • Don’t worry if you don’t know exactly what you want.
    Showing me a range of inspirations that you like, from shapes to textures and details. The inspirations can be from anywhere, and you can pick a detail from one dress, a colour from another … it will all make sense in the end.
  • Love your body. Ok, that can be harder than it sounds, but it really is a good piece of advice. Not once have I ever agreed when a bride has told me their body hang-ups.
  • Don’t try to hide your body, or hide the parts you don’t like, Instead, enhance the parts you love.
  • Bring a trusted friend with you to fittings for good advice.
    I will give you my honest and professional advice, but nobody knows you better than you.
  • Bring only a handful of friends to avoid conflicting opinions.
  • Your choice is final. Your dress is for you.
  • Please strive to meet all of your scheduled fittings to ensure the smooth running of the timetable for creating your dress.
  • Due to the nature of having a dress made, scheduled fittings may be a little irregular. There are certain points where I may need longer to create certain details. And some times where I need only a short while to tweak fit before I need to see you again. I may not cut the ‘real’ fabrics until closer to your wedding date to avoid big alterations to the final dress.
  • Try to think about your wedding day undies as soon as you can to make sure the fit of your dress is perfected early, (then we can focus on the pretty bits).
  • Think about your wedding shoes too! I will mostly leave a final hem length until the last minute to give as much time as possible to choose.
  • Please be understanding that I have other brides who I am busy working with who must receive the same due care and attention.
  • Weight loss is not a problem. Because your dress design is made in stages, especially for you, alterations can be made quite easily in most cases, especially during the toile stages. I prefer not to make extensive alterations to the final dress as it may jeopardise the final design.