Today's blog post is about a bride we recently worked with, named Claire, to create her dream dress out of her mom's original wedding dress-- we call it a Reimagined Gown. First, let's go back to the 80's when Claire's mom, Jill, found a wedding dress at a designer bridal trunk show in L.A., where the designer only made 8 total of her dress- one in each size. Claire's parents were married in Portland, Oregon at First Congressional Church on August 27, 1987.
Fast forward just about 30 years-- Claire & her mom were regular watchers of the TLC show where they take a mother's original wedding gown and turn it into a new design for the daughter. This gave them the idea to take out Jill's original gown for Claire to try on. Luckily, Jill had mentioned this to a family friend who knew about Grace Mariée and it all fell naturally into place.
After trying on her mom's original gown, Claire still wanted to go wedding dress shopping to see what was out there. Even during dress shopping, Jill talked about the idea of a Reimagined Gown like it was a done deal. She was sure this was the right fit for her daughter! By the time Claire met with Amy & Wendy she was feeling a little defeated. She had tried on 15-20 gowns and never got "the feeling" that she had found her dress. Luckily, her experience with Grace Mariée turned out better than Claire had ever expected. She knew she would love her dress from the second she saw it sketched. All the pieces of what she wanted her dream dress to be finally came together. To quote the bride, "the dress was made to my body and included all the design elements I wanted -- skinny straps, beading, lace, etc. I didn't have to settle for a dress that only had a few of the things I wanted and then alter my body and expectations to fit it."
Claire explaining the dress designing process--
"We met initially to talk about the style of dress I wanted and all the elements I wanted included, so that Amy could sketch it for me. From there, Amy & Wendy took my measurements and set off on the hunt to find matching lace. I was lucky enough that the bodice of my mom's dress didn't need to be changed much, but we were reconstructing and entirely new bottom, so they needed to find the exact lace to match the style and color of my moms.
They then mocked the dress out of muslin, so that I could see the shape and cut of the dress and use it as a model for the real one. Over the next 4 or 5 meetings, small parts of the dress were being completed...the neck line and straps, the bottom skirt, the lace, and finally the decorative beading. Each time I met with Amy & Wendy I got to see the progress each step of the way, adding input for every last detail.
We had a reveal party for the final fitting with my mom, mother-in-law, aunt and one of my bridesmaids that was so much fun. Complete with lots of Champagne, photos and dress twirling."
January 28, 2017
When we asked Jill what the process was like for her she had the sweetest response...
"Going with Claire to each fitting meant so much to me, it was a special experience that I was so happy we could share together. I am very sentimental and to see Claire walking down the aisle in the dress was a very special moment for me, it is a memory I will always cherish. I hope this dress may someday be worn by my granddaughter...I can always hope!"
Claire couldn't put into words how she felt when she put on her wedding dress but she couldn't wait to show her husband, Zack. One of her favorite parts of the dress was how the dress looked from the back, which showed off one of her husband's favorite assets of hers!
We were so happy to see the pictures from Claire & Zack's day-- and even happier to hear how special Claire felt in her dress. As designers, we probably shouldn't have favorites-- but creating a Reimagined Gown & once in a lifetime experience for a mother & daughter might be one of them!
Venue: The Sentinel Hotel
Florals: Kay Black with Flowers for You / centerpieces by Costco Floral Dept.
Photographer: Chelsea Smith -- Urban Bay
Day of Coordinator: Najla Hazeem -- Designs by Najla Rose
Makeup Artist: Genevieve Blair -- Genny B Beauty
Hair: Brittany Berninghausen -- Lady Locks Salon & Spa
Various Rentals: West Coast Event Productions
Photo Booth: ANIKO Productions
Wedding Dress: Grace Mariée
We love to use an heirloom gown to create a modern look for the bride to be. Megan used her mom's wedding dress to create a rehearsal dinner dress and also for engagement pictures. Her parents, Mike & Jeanne, were married in 1976. Last year they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary! When we sat down with Megan to talk about what her vision was, there were a lot of elements of the original dress she wanted to keep while still making it her own design. You can see by their engagement photos below what an adorable couple Megan & Jake are. They were married on December 31, 2016. Congratulations to the newlyweds!
Photos below courtesy of Kimberly Kay Photography
Todd & Shannon were married on June 18, 2016 at a gorgeousss venue called Ranch at the Canyons. The couple kept the location a secret from guests, providing transportation from Sunriver to the venue before the ceremony. What a great surprise! They had a very intimate ceremony where Todd & Shannon walked down the aisle together watched by their closest family & friends. Perfectly paired with the venue, guests were provided with appetizers and a family style Italian dinner by Back to the Table Personal Chef Services. Guests took a little break from the dancing to eat a beautiful cake paired with homemade gelato. Fun fact: the groom is co-founder Amy's twin brother! Powers Photography Studios did an amazing job of capturing the details from the day. We might be a little biased... but our favorite images include Shannon glowing in her dress!
Wedding Planner: Kim of Your Perfect Bridesmaid
Shannon's gorgeous custom gown has an illusion bodice, covered with hand-placed lace appliqués. Her column skirt is 6-ply silk crepe with a godet at center back. Her lilac silk organza belt matches her groom's tie perfectly! We love that special detail.
The background for Tammy & Mike's wedding is so beautiful it almost doesn't look real! They were married on the beach in Hawaii on a perfect September day in 2016. The couple's union was witnessed by their kids, close family & friends. Tammy's beautiful lace dress was complete with a detachable skirt; which, if you ask us, blew perfectly in the wind during her ceremony. Congratulations to newlyweds Tammy & Mike!
We were over the moon when we saw these photos of Charlotte & Kyle's engagement session. Their venue choice, Monet Vineyards, is so unique and beautiful. This couple used their love for France as an inspiration for their shoot. We love the little details! Charlotte worked with us to create a dress for a romantic, yet dramatic look. We knew Amanda K would capture the magic of all these elements to make their photos incredibly special! A special shout out to make up artist Lena Morris for completing the future bride's look and Elizabeth from Bridal Bliss, the couple's wedding planner. We hope you love their photos as much as we do! Enjoy.
Click on the image below to learn more about the couple and to see Grace Mariée feature on
Reimagined Gown originally worn by Lexie's Grandma Jo Ann
"I was so proud to wear the dress on my wedding day and it meant so much to me that it had been my grandmother's. She was brought to tears when she saw it." -The Bride
"Wendy and Amy also took the extra fabric left over from the dress to create a handkerchief for my grandmother, the ring bearer pillow, and wraps for the handles of the bridal bouquets. It was all very personal and special."
Photography: Ifong Chen
Florals: Fleurtations Floral- Jenna Sandin
Venue/ Food & Beverage: Hayden Lake Country Club
Coordination: HLCC- Cory Jasmin
Gown- Grace Mariée Original
Videography- Sure Shot Video- Austin Bishop
Rentals: Event Rents Spokane
Cake: Pastry and More
Band: Good Times Band- Craig Volosing
Call us bias, but we think your wedding dress sets the tone for all of your personal wedding details. Your bridal look takes time and consideration. In life, we can think of very few occasions that allow you to wear such dreamy accessories. Don't be afraid to explore all the options!
Our co-founder, Wendy, has been designing tutu's for The Portland Ballet for many years, and she believes in all things bling. The smallest of details shape the whole design! Once the basic dress design is done, the designers love to talk bridal accessories. We have searched some blog posts (photos shown below) that showcase the unique ways you can customize your Grace Mariée bridal look. The possibilities with our custom designs are endless!
Getting married Summer/Fall 2016? It's not too late to set up a consultation with us! We'd love to talk bridal looks with you!
"Having a custom made dress is a dream come true. I knew I wanted something unlike anything I could find in a shop. I wanted to have my dress be 100% me. When I met with the designers for the first time to talk about my ideas of what I wanted my dress to be, it was as if they had known the perfect dress for me from the beginning and took it up another level. Every step of the dress process was perfect. From picking out the fabric, to adjusting the design and having it made exactly to my body. They incorporated all the elegance I wanted in my dress and created a fun surprise in it as well! It was so amazing for me to not only have the princess gown I dreamed of, but be able to slip off the bottom half and dance the night away in a rocking New Year's Eve dress. I could not have envisioned a more perfect gown. Grace Mariée created a dream for me and I will cherish it forever!"
-Alex Plomski, Bride
Quotes below are taken from Sara's post.
"Wedding dress shopping isn’t what it was a decade ago. Back then your choices were limited to a few popular silhouettes. Now you can acquire any dress you dream up... Amy Sim and Wendy Mathews of Grace Mariée can take your grandmother’s dress from the ’50s or the ’80s wedding gown your mom wore and transform it into the dress of your dreams."
We love the whole process of creating a bride's custom gown. There are so many changes from the first consultation until we finally get to see the wedding pictures, probably just about a year later! We love to meet with the bride at each fitting and see how her wedding planning is coming to life. A bride's wedding gown is a very important piece! The dress is a reflection of the bride herself and how she wants to be seen on the most important day of her life. It is our goal to match the glow that each bride will have on her wedding day through her custom dress. We hope you have enjoyed seeing this beautiful bride on her day as much as we have. Thank you, Rachael, for sharing these priceless memories with us!