Your Piece of the Puzzle

From flowers to DJs, bringing a wedding together is like a giant puzzle – a giant 3D puzzle that has to be designed from scratch. Choosing the perfect wedding gowns can be its own little puzzle.  It needs to incorporate your style, as well as the type of wedding you’re having.  It needs to fit and flatter you, in the shade you want, at a budget you are comfortable with. 

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The Perfect Fit

This time of year, wedding industry professionals are almost run off their feet seeing to all of the details of many special days, for many special brides. Alteration professionals and seamstresses are amongst the busiest, as they use their talents to ensure every bride goes down the aisle looking her best.

When working with a seamstress or tailor be sure to BOOK EARLY

 

Talented and qualified professionals are always busy and can book up months in advance during busy season in June, July, and August. Not only are they working on wedding gowns, but everything that goes with weddings: gowns for mothers of the bride and groom, bridesmaids, flower girls, officiates, and guests too. If your wedding is at the beginning of the busy season, chances are your seamstress or tailor is also busy with prom and grad season, so take that into account.

We are often asked what to expect from alterations, what to bring, etc. One of the seamstresses we work with offers these tips:

  • Expect to have two or three fittings. Its best to start alterations at least a month in advance of your big day to ensure a relaxed timeline. 
  • During a first fitting, it’s ideal to bring any undergarments you plan to wear on your day: bra, shape wear, etc. Although not crucial, it can affect the alterations that need to be completed. 
  • To limit the number of fittings you need, its best to bring your shoes to your first fitting. If you don’t have your shoes yet, work on that for your second fitting.
  • Don’t expect the dress to fit perfectly – no two bodies are the same and alterations to the bust and length are extremely common. 
  • First alteration appointments can vary from just a few minutes for minor alterations, to longer depending on the hem, layers, etc.

Although wedding gown alterations are late in the planning process, it’s important to be respectful of your seamstress/tailor’s schedule and recognize alterations shouldn’t be done last minute. 

Order timelines

Brides-to-be ask us all the time:

"When do I need to order?"

The simple answer: six months for a wedding gown, at least three months for bridesmaids, and around six weeks for flower girls & mothers.

The complicated answer: it depends.  For brides on shorter timelines, wedding gowns, mothers wear, flower girls, and individual bridesmaid dresses can all be purchased off the rack to take delivery times right out of the equation. 

If you'd still like to order but are worried about the timing, don't fret.  Almost everything can be ordered with a rush to shorten delivery times. 

Bridal Veil length 101

A bride-to-be that stopped by the studio this morning inspired this quick lesson in bridal veil length.  Although the specific length can vary, use this as a guideline while you decide on your veil preference.

"Do brides still wear veils?"

Absolutely.  All the time.  More often than not.  
Veils are generally worn in conjunction with ornate hair combs or blinged up bridal headbands - that way you can take the veil off at some point without losing your entire hair decor.

The B word

“Ok great – you have 8 months until your outdoor wedding.  You’re looking for something ivory, with straps, preferably in a chiffon or organza.  I’m positive we can help you.

Do you have a budget?”

****Awkward pause****

“Why do you need to know that? I just want to try stuff on.”

I know how it sounds.  If I were to go anywhere and a salesperson asked me about budget , I might assume something was amiss.  Is the price of everything in the store going to go up as soon as I tell them my budget? Are they only going to show me merchandise that is at the top of my price range? Do they think I can’t afford to shop here?


When you’re shopping for a wedding gown, stylists will ask you questions to get a feel for your wedding, your venue, your style, and the type of gown you’re looking for – and the budget you have set for yourself is a big part of pointing you in the right direction.  Stylists can help find the very best gown for you, at a price you can afford. Rule of thumb states you shouldn't even try on a dress if you aren't comfortable with the price of it. 

Nothing spoils the fun of shopping more than falling in love with a dress that busts the budget.  

I have yet to be shocked by a Bride’s budget – high or low.  Wedding gowns come in all shapes, sizes, and prices.  There is, quite literally, something for everyone.

So, when a bridal stylist asks “Do you have a budget?”, please know we have no ulterior motive - we're just trying to make your walk down the aisle as budget friendly as you need it to be. 

Sizing gone wrong

"So, normally I wear a size 12."

"Ok, so depending on the gown you could where between 12 to 16."

"WHAT!?! I'm a 12 - sometimes a 10 - NOT a 16!"

 

On average, we have this conversation twice a day with women of all shapes and sizes. Brides, bridesmaid, grad, mother of the bride - if you're wearing formal wear, expect to go up at least one size, maybe two. I've read and heard varying reasons for this- bridal sizing hasn't evolved with women's changing shapes, sizing hasn't changed in 80 years ago, etc, etc. Whatever the reason, just be aware that formal wear and ready to wear are going to fit you differently.  If you can do this, instead of your self-esteem taking a dive, it will soar when you see how amazing you look in a well-made garment. 

Keep in mind:
  Corset (lace up) backs are always more forgiving then zipper backs
  Size will change from designer to designer
  Each garment is different - is it fitted through the hip, or more A-line?

 

Although I've never seen it (and I can't bring myself to do it - yet) I've heard tell of some studios and salons that actually cut out the sizes, so that ladies have no idea what size they are wearing. The focus can then shift to how a woman feels in the gown, rather than how the tag makes her feel.

Maybe there's something to that.

Buying from the Bricks

In academia, retailers with a physical stores are referred to as a “Bricks & Mortar” location – for this Musing I’ll call them “Bricks”. I don’t think I’m generalizing when I say that the “Bricks” of the world are faced with a very similar situation when it comes to the consuming public: online shopping can potentially offer a wider selection, and can sometimes be a cheaper alternative.

The bridal and formal wear industry is no exception. 

But rather than focus on the occasionally bad (disappointing, evil, scary) stories of shopping for formal wear online, I’d like to focus on the consistently good (friendly, fun, simple) side of shopping with the Bricks – or more specifically Muse Bridal Studio.

 

100% Authentic, 100% of the time
When you buy a gown or formal wear from a reputable studio or salon, you know you’re getting the brand you’ve paid for, high quality fabrics in the exact colour you want, and an overall well-made garments. 

Service with a smile
Shopping with a Brick means you’re dealing with people – actual humans you’ve met, talked to, and can ask for help if something isn’t quite the way you wanted it.  And if it’s not the way you wanted, they’ll make it right.

See & Feel
The majority of brides want to look, touch, and feel a gown before making one of the most important purchases of their life.  Why not do that in a clean, peaceful, and comfortable environment?

Garment prep
Have you ever seen how formal wear is shipped? They take a gown that spans the width of a large kitchen table, and pack it in to a box that looks as though it was designed for a few packages of computer paper.  Although we all appreciate the efficiency this creates for shipping costs, it can be problematic for anyone that doesn’t have the equipment and space to give formal wear its “ready to wear” look. When gowns arrive they need to have crinolines straightened and ironed, layers steamed, and be hung to dry.  Depending on the gown, it might need more than one round of steaming and straightening.

Calculated savings
When comparing costs between Bricks and online, be sure to consider all costs: freight and shipping, duty, and taxes.  And if you aren’t equipped to get your gown to “ready to wear” status (see above), any studio or salon will charge you for steaming.

Fit to flatter
Not just anyone can properly and artfully alter wedding and formal wear.  You need to know that your investment is in good hands, and that you’re going to look just the way you want on your big day.  At Muse, we refer you to experienced seamstresses so that you can have everything altered on your schedule. 

 

 

Buying online is a personal choice - one many of us (me included) make for various reasons.  The key is to make sure you understand all the options and costs - and have realistic expecations - before you make your choice.

Who are you anyway?

My name is Britt.  At 28 I decided to quit my full time salaried position in marketing because I needed a new professional challenge.   I found the professional challenge I was looking for, and a whole lot more.

Since graduating from University I’d had jobs in marketing, event planning, product development, and communications. The longest of those jobs was just over two years.  I had a bit of a pattern going – it (generally speaking) took me a year to learn the position, six months to get bored of it, and around another six months to find something new.  What I’d always really wanted was my own opportunity – my own space, my own entity, my own business.   When the chance to go into Bridal & Formal wear presented itself, I jumped in with both feet.   

And here I am.  Muse Bridal Studio.  You can read about the development of Muse and our philosophy and approach to bridal on the ‘About us’ and ‘Your Masterpiece’ pages.

This is by far the happiest industry I’ve ever been a part of.  You meet and interact with people at the some of the best times in their life.   Everyone (well almost everyone) is thrilled to be in the studio, shopping for an event, graduation, or wedding.

Welcome to Muse.