The Dress

When it comes to choices for your wedding, most brides agree that one of the best statement pieces of the day is her dress!! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t count myself as a dress expert (I’d wear yoga pants or skinny jeans most days if it were up to me), but I am here to tell you that there is not a “standard” way of finding the perfect gown for your wedding. You have options, ladies!



Personally, I believe there are multiple routes to finding the one. There is no “wrong way” to go about it really, but my favorite two methods are listed below. I like to call them ‘searching’ and ‘selecting.’ By reading this, I hope you feel even more confident in making your dress decision! Keep in mind these are just my opinions, and you might have a different idea all your own :)

Searching:  For the bride who is likely more of a type A personality – you want to be in control of the process, and you have the confidence to search for the perfect gown even if it means trying on 100! You know your dream dress is out there, whether it’s a mermaid, ballgown, or any shape in between :) You are giddy (and maybe even a little emotional) as you slip into the potential dresses, and bring your best girls and family along for the occasion! Ladies that fit this description, I applaud you for your confidence! I can understand how you LOVE that trying-on, store-visiting with your bridal party experience!

Selecting:  For the bride who is likely a bit more laid-back and low-key – you want something non-traditional, different, and you definitely want it to be a work of art! Bridal Salons? They’re not so much your thing, and I hear you, ladies. Now this is more my jam. This is where the amazing Monica of Monirose comes in!! She is a custom gown designer based in Madison, and works with brides all over the Midwest (and beyond!). Monica makes wonderfully elegant, soft, almost ethereal pieces into a custom, unique dress of your dreams! She sources materials locally whenever possible, and works with brides to effortlessly work the process into your wedding planning timeline. Above all, she has an artistic vision for each dress based on the bride (you!), your love story with her husband-to-be, and the entire setting of the wedding.

I feel much more comfortable working closely with my custom dress designer than I ever would visiting lots of bridal stores and trying on many dresses. She gets me, she asks questions, and we dream together. All of Monica’s brides trust her vision and that’s exactly why they choose her! When it comes down to it, I call this dress-choosing method ‘selection’ because brides must be able to select some specifics of the gown with Monica like shape, neckline, materials, etc., and then Monica is able to take that and work her creative magic to give you the perfect gown :) Beats shopping around at several bridal shops, if you’re hoping to skip that step and still have your dream gown!

One more great part about working with a custom gown designer is that they work with your wish list and budget in mind! I’ve been asked several times (as I’m personally having Monica make my gown) – “WOW, sounds expensive, how can you afford that?” Unlike a salon dress that comes with other costs included in the price (salon overhead, commission, designer fees, alterations, etc.), I’m getting a dress that fits me perfectly and all while working within my specific budget. Often the custom gowns end up costing considerably less than they would in boutique salons. It also makes me feel just plain awesome that I’m supporting another local small business!

Again, these are just my opinions that I wanted to share today! If you read this and are thinking the custom gown process might be for you, I’d highly encourage you to visit Monica’s website and view her beautiful work!! If you connect with her style, I’m certain she’d be overjoyed to hear from you :)

Thanks for reading, and happy wedding planning, friends!


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