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