"I had never hired a dressmaker before, or anyone really to work on something bespoke, just for me. If trying on wedding dresses was intimidating... This was the next level! I've always had proportions that don't quite work with fashion sizing - so I knew the one thing I wanted on my wedding day was a dress that genuinely, truly fit me. I originally thought I could do that by just asking for a bespoke bra, and the rest would fall into place, but Cynthia's vision of how it all fit together worked far better than mine, and we worked through the many layers of my dress to acheive a perfect fit.
The Wedding Dress Experience
"Cynthia's studio is warm, and she's great to hang out and chat with. It felt more like a project we were working on together rather than a client relationship - she involved me on the decision making for each piece, making sure I was ok with the way this part sat, or that part joined there. I know just enough about textiles and dressmaking to appreciate that she really knew her stuff - down to matching imported lace to extend a panel, colour matching various fabrics, and shifting whole panels instead of just pinching a bit off the top."
"I loved my dress when I tried it on the first time, but I was wholly delighted with the finished piece. It FIT, it was incredibly comfortable to spend the day in, and I almost want to wear it to lounge around my house in. And even better, Cynthia listened to my desire that my dress last longer than just the day, and I now have a corset/bra and slip that I can wear into the future. She even added in various rows of fastenings so that as I fluctuate in size - which I regularly do - it'll still fit comfortably."
"There are so many elements of the wedding dress experience process that are one and done - you book or you buy it, and that's it. Working on my dress with Cynthia was a wonderful difference to that - with regular fittings, check-ins, and updates on how it was going, and keeping a sense of progress and improvement."
Natasha Leiden (Reading, Berkshire)
A Bespoke Wedding Dress Journey
The true meaning behind the term bespoke wedding dress, is that of a dress that is made exactly to fit the wearer's body shape, height and needs of the body. This is not always possible with a ready-made wedding dress which is cut and tailored to fit a standard body measurement and height of around 5ft 8".
The challenge that most new brides-to-be face when choosing a wedding dress, will nearly always involve commissioning a wedding dressmaker to carry out alterations to the dress due to standard measurements used which I have mentioned above.
Wedding Dress Fittings
Natasha's stunning Yolan Cris Wedding dress was intricately layered with multi-layered sections of lace and tulle crafted together by hand, which made it quite costly to carry out alterations. Natasha was also not to keen on the idea of going bra-less and relying on the sheer slip that came with the dress; I might mention at this point, that the slip idea might have worked on a incy-wincy model but not too reliable for a woman with a decent bust; this meant that Natasha faced the task of finding the right style, shade and design of bra that would not compete with the sheer nature of the design.
Eventually, she gave up searching and commissioned us to create a bespoke chantilly lace bra and corset using the very same lace to match the design. The corset was the most expensive part of the process requiring several fitting appointment so that we could ensure both necklines work together without conflict.
Though challenging, we are honoured to have worked with our lovely bride to acheive this masterpiece of engineering so that her dream wedding dress fitted perfectly for the most important event of her life.
Natasha attended the atelier in Wembley, North West London a total of five times for her dress fittings. This is perfectly normal and includes the initial consultation and collection appointment where the gown is tried on one last time to ensure it is perfect in every way. #makingbridaldreamscometrue.
Cynthia Grafton-Holt, the leading bridal expert with over 40 years of experience, is gaining recognition for the unrivalled serviced, craftsmanship and attention to detail as a World Class British Bridal Professional. Her London Bridal Studio is home to the exclusively designed Bridal Collection, all of which are exclusively handcrafted in England from start to finish at her atelier.
Photographer | Dominika Miechowska