It seems like a lot of weddings cost a LOT of money - and that's cool, if your budget can allow for it, but some super-excellent sites like Practical Wedding and 2000 Dollar Wedding have got me thinking that there are budget friendly shortcuts for everything. Even The Dress. At the end of the day, its about the marriage, not the wedding, right? Of course I spend a fair bit of time salivating over This or That dress, but is my budget really going to allow for it? and I would love to give my bridesmaids dresses like This - but a group expedition to the US for fittings seems a touch excessive! So, why not make your dress(es)? If you are a bit of a crafty-craftsperson, or have friend/relative who is handy with a sewing machine, why not? Even if neither you nor any of your loved ones can sew, a local dressmaker/seamstress is certainly going to be cheaper than the professional bridal gown designer down the road. My sister had her dress designed and made up from scratch, and the bridesmaid dresses made from an altered pattern, by a local dressmaker. The results were amazing, the quality outstanding, and the total cost for all three dresses was less than a ready-made dress she had previously admired!
I know that sometimes it seems as though the sewingpattern people don't exactly design their pattern packet covers to scream "wear me"- but that's the beauty of it - you can pick any fabric, and colour you like, and in a size that fits you exactly. Most of the patterns include a range of alternatives and embellishments, so if your seamstress is a bit clever, you really could end up with your dream dress. Taking it even further - find a pattern for a evening dress and have it made up in bridal fabric... perfect!