In my ten years as a wedding dress designer, this is by far the most memorable experience of my career. It started with a special request. Amanda, a gorgeous bride in Simi Valley marrying her true love, Andrew, wondered if I could use her mother’s wedding dress to make her own. Could I take it in, make some changes, modernize it?
Our first meeting was like every fitting we had after that: full of love, laughter and ideas. After a quick consultation, we decided it needed more than a few alterations. We agreed to take the whole dress apart and use the pieces we loved to make something new. That took a leap of faith.
Amanda wanted something simple in design, elegant and light. I wanted to create something that captured her free spirit, that framed her beauty, let us see her cool tattoos and her figure. Gina, Amanda’s mother, put the dress on one last time (it still fit!) and we sketched out her dream dress: lace from the original gown, a sweeping skirt, a sheer top with an open back.
The lace of the skirt became our material for the top. I added another layer of lace and some embroidery to add texture. At our first fitting, we made some decisions: the length of the train, the treatment of the sleeve, adjustments to the fit. Amanda’s laughter filled the room, Gina’s energy kept us moving forward. Collaborating with this beautiful daughter-mother team was never boring. Their ideas were great, and we made small adjustments across a few fittings.
At our last fitting, the idea of a veil came up. Would it work? Was it something she could see herself in? We took additional lace and more beading – this added a new layer of romance to the dress and brought all the other elements together. It was a modern fairytale.
Seeing Amanda come down the aisle was indescribable. All of us were in awe at how beautiful and happy she looked. She walked down the aisle on her father’s arm, beaming in the same material that walked up the aisle decades before.