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Shopping for your ideal wedding dress is no small task and many brides find it completely overwhelming. For this reason, I thought I would give you a few tips to bare in mind before setting out on your trip.
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Don't over book your day

While I always advise that my brides try on a number of different wedding dresses of differing styles and shapes, I wouldn't advise you try to do so all in one day. Book appointments with at least three bridal shops and try on a wide selection of dresses, but don't go to more than two or three shops in one day. The reason for this is that it can be tiring and you will start to feel overwhelmed and over saturated with choices. The result is that you won't remember what you tried on.

Pick a quiet time

If possible it's better to shop for your wedding dress during the week. This will allow for plenty of time as wedding shops are generally tightly booked on Saturdays.

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Be careful of who to bring with you

I wouldn't advise bringing too many people with you to your bridal fitting. Bring one or two people who's opinions you value. If you bring too many people their opinions may confuse you and you will struggle to get your own opinion heard.

Keep an open mind

Keeping an open mind when it comes to styles and shapes of wedding dresses is very important. More often than not my clients are surprised by what dresses look good on them and the style they thought they wanted actually doesn't flatter. Wedding dresses are constructed differently from normal dresses and they have structure that other dresses don't. This means that a shape that usually doesn't work for you, may be the right one for your wedding dress.

Decide on a wedding dress style

Before you go shopping decide on the style of wedding you are going to have. Are you planning an informal beach wedding, or a glamorous do on a wine farm? Think about the time of day you plan the wedding to be. If it's an evening wedding then a more formal bridal gown will suit, while if it's a morning wedding then a more informal style will be better suited.

which white

Which white do you go with? I rarely recommend going with pure white as this tends to wash out all but the darkest of skin tones. Off-white to cream colours are usually better suited. Don't dismiss the gentle colour times that are in vogue at the moment either. Champagnes, blushes and even pale blue hues can be incredibly beautiful and may suit your skin tone better.

Time is ticking

Finally, I would advise that you start this process at least 6 months before your wedding. This is because if you want to order an imported dress then it takes 3 to 4 months to get to South Africa. It's also to allow for the time to explore custom made options. My clients usually come to me after trying on a number of dresses but not having managed to find all that they want in a single dress. We then design the gown with elements of different dresses to obtain everything they want. The custom made process should allow for 3 months ideally so that it can be done in a relaxed manor and there is lots of time for fittings.
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Posted on in Molteno
I met Leoni for the first time over a year before her wedding. She came to me with a very clear idea in her mind of the wedding dress she wanted and we both knew that I was the perfect designer to execute it. Her inspiration came mostly from my favourite designer, Inbal Dror, but the combination of our ideas made for a highly original bridal design.

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Leoni wanted a deep V neck dress with an open back, fit and flare skirt, and a cowl back detail. I advised her that if she wanted a low back and a V neck front, it was best to have a lace piece that joined behind the neck to prevent the dress from slipping off her shoulders. She was happy with this so I designed the dress with a keyhole back.

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I further advised that I arrange the lace detail to creep down the skirt at an angle to slim the hips. It reached down to form a deep V at the back over the buttocks, again slimming and adding elegant detail to the gown. I was to applique the embroidered lace to create a dense pattern, filling the bodice section completely with the lace.
Leoni selected the most elegant, delicate ivory lace with a stunningly detailed scalloped edge that I was to use around the neckline and cuff of the sleeve.

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Over time, the design took shape and the end result was truly breath-taking. Leoni accessorised her wedding dress with a simple floating diamond necklace and delicate earrings. She wore her hair up to allow for the back detail to show and wore nude heels.

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According to Leoni, the wedding was “definitely everything I hoped for, and more!”.
Molteno Creations wish the happy couple much joy for the future!

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Posted on in Molteno
blush pink bohemian wedding dress cape town

So, you have a dress style in mind and you have chosen to go the custom made route, but how do you choose which designer is to make your dream dress?

In Cape Town we are blessed with many talented bridal and Matric Ball dress designers,so as a client you are spoilt for choice. Here are some tips on how to choose your dress designer:

Design style


Te first place I would start when looking for the right designer for you, is on their website and social media sites. Look at their work and choose a designer who's design style resonates with you. Are you an all out bling girl who wants ALL the bells and whistles, or are you someone who favours the more simple, understated and classic look? Go through different designers portfolio's and you should be able to see quite quickly if their designs resonate with who you are. Select 2 or three who you really like and make appointments to meet with them to discuss your ideas.

Do they “get” you


At the consultation try to be as clear as possible about what you're looking for. Allow the designer to guide you with their experience, but you need to feel at the end that your designer “get's” you. Be sure that the designer understands the feel that you're going for and you must not feel that they are trying to push you into a different direction because that is their style. Be careful to discuss all elements of the dress in the consultation including fabrication. Are you looking for heavy stiff fabrics, r do you want the dress to be light and floaty? Be sure to discuss this with the designer and make sure they are on the same page. After the consultation go with your gut, if you felt like they didn't really see your vision and were trying to mould you into their vision, move on!

Quality control


During your fitting, take note of the quality of the garments you try on. Dresses might be a bit tired,as they are samples that have been tried on by a few people, but watch that they have still been constructed in a quality fashion.

It IS personal


A factor shouldn’t be overlooked, is that of personality. You are going to be spending quite a bit of time with your designer and the process is quite a personal one. It's really important that you feel comfortable with them. Be sure that this is someone with whom you feel comfortable to reveal yourself to, and I don't just mean by getting changed. Our insecurities may come up in the process and you need to be able to be open with your designer about how you're feeling. Choose someone you feel you could be friends with, as if you choose correctly, you will be by the end of it!

References


Finally, if you're at all unsure, look or ask for references. This is always a good bet if uncertain.
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Hi Friends, today I wanted to write a post about the advantages of having your wedding dress custom made, rather than buying your bridal gown off the hanger. Many people are nervous or hesitant about going this route and I wish to dispel some popular thoughts about the process. It is my personal belief, that if you choose your designer wisely, and follow his or her advice when it comes to what designs suit your body type and which fabrics will work best, the results you can achieve far out-weigh the bit of time and effort this route requires. Below are some of my biggest reasons for having your dream dress custom-made.

Celebrate your individuality

I feel passionately that all the clothes we wear are an extension of ourselves. Our appearance is one of the most effective ways we can demonstrate our uniqueness and inner beauty, and why should this not apply on our wedding day? Surely, on the day we to celebrate the unity of two souls who have fallen in love with each other's uniqueness, our dress should demonstrate this uniqueness too? I see too many women compromise on who they are because they feel like they should fit into the expected mould of what a bride should look like, and the end result is their loved ones looking at her and saying “who is that?”

blush pink bohemian wedding dress cape town

I say; don't feel you need to conform. If you have always dreamed of having a floral wedding dress or simply don't like lace, then go with that! It's your day! Have your dream dress made, if it conforms or not.

In the same ilk, if you have a dress that makes your heart skip a beat and you can't find it in the shops, then I say get it made! There are so many chances to compromise in life, but I don't think your wedding dress needs to be one of them.

Fits like.. a custom-made wedding dress

When having your dress custom made, you know it's going to fit perfectly. With shop bought dresses, you have to purchase a standard size, and I know better than most, that none of us are equally proportioned. This means that alteration will be required and you're still likely not to achieve the perfect fit. On your wedding day your highest priority should be having fun, and not on making sure your dress isn't falling down.
J6

Bridal Fabrics of the highest quality

In my experience, mass produced dresses don't use the softest, finest fabrics. Tulle is usually scratchy, satin heavy and stiff, and the lace itchy. Locally available fabrics are soft and of the highest quality and the results are dresses that are comfortable, elegant and beautiful. Also, what can be more exciting than getting to select your own bridal fabrics?
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Budget-wise wedding dresses

It is a false idea that having a dress custom made is more expensive than buying an imported dress. Due to the exchange rate and 100% import duty on wedding dresses, imported bridal wear is generally priced between R18 000 and R40 000 and this EXCLUDES alterations. Molteno Creations has a “bohemian” wedding dress range that starts at R6 500 and the average price of a traditional custom made wedding dress by Molteno Creations is R12 000 to R18 000. This is not due to the cheap use of fabrics, but rather that the cost of the dress is going to the designer rather than the tax man and to high overheads attached to running a store front shop.

While I have been writing about all the good things about making a custom-made dress, I still want to add that you must exercise discretion when choosing your wedding dress designer. Be sure to go to a reputable designer who has work to show you and has a fair amount of experience. And finally, remember, you get what you pay for. A “seamstress” who works from her bedroom on the outskirts of Cape Town may well quote you a good price, but there is no guarantee that you will get the dress you are dreaming of.

I hope the above blog helped you, happy shopping ladies!
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Posted on in Molteno
I first met Chelsea last year at the SA Wedding Show in 2015. She loved my designs and chose to come in for a fitting. After trying on a variety of my dresses we decided upon one of my most popular dresses with her own twist to it.
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Chelsea loved the bodice of my tulle dress but she wanted it to be made using chiffon. To create a slight tulip shape, I designed the skirt to have garde's in it and chose to male it using a double layer of chiffon.
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Chelsea and I had great fun selecting her fabrics, and settled on a champagne colour ghost chiffon, mixed with cream satin and a beautiful cream lace with 3D flowers for the embellishment.

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The lace she selected was perfect to create the floating lace effect up the center back of the mesh bodice and we chose to embellish her front neckline with a delicate floral motif too.

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The bodice was made to fit Chelsea perfectly and I delicately draped the ghost chiffon over the bust before finishing it with the lace motif's. Finally, we chose to add some extra lace at the waist of her skirt and trailing down the center back and onto her train which I think finished the unique wedding dress off perfectly!

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Chelsea was thrilled with the final result and I think she looked absolutely breathtaking on her wedding day! Congratulations to the happy couple and all the best for the future!

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Photography by the talented Justin Davis Photography.
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