Budget Weddings

When Cosplayers Wed!

edited February 8 in Budget Weddings
So, I'm that one crazy girl - we all know one - the Phoebe of your Friends group, the one that's all into tai chi and yoga and is like the chill Martha Stewart. And I've gone off the deep end and opted to make my own wedding dress. 

My fiance and I are paying for the whole thing ourselves, so that's the budget of a med student and a CAC , which equals about sixty-five cents and a paperclip. So! Our awesome wedding will be almost entirely DIY. The good news is that we're both cosplayers, most of our wedding party is too, and we make some hella good stuff! 

Picking the pattern for my dress is the hardest part so far, whether it's looking at available patterns or designing our own to draft them. Has anyone else here made their dress, or is planning on it? I'd love your insight as to how you decided what to make!

Why not just go to a bridal store, you may ask? Partly the budget, because I can't justify $700 for a dress I'll wear once and start our marriage with more debt, and after going to dress stores I felt like a rabbit in headlights, and like I looked like a right tit the dresses. They were very pretty, but not a single one of them felt like me- it was all like trying on someone else's clothes. When I asked about dresses with color, they gave me "blush"  (to which I asked about a real color people could see, not a makeup product) and then offered a cuddles sash. Yippee. 

My mum hates every design of mine I've shown her, argiung that they're "not wedding dresses" and I'll feel like I'm getting married if I'm wearing a "real wedding dress." The girl at the shop said all the less expensive and plain ones I liked were only nice for courthouse weddings. Mum cornered me into buying one of the ones she liked, which I cancelled the next morning (and feel loads better for it!!) and plan to look at designs with my fiance to find one we both like. Atypical, but that's a very us thing to do :3

So yes. Anyone else made their own dresses? Did you pick a pattern, or draft your own? Any cosplayers here in the same dress fix?

Re: When Cosplayers Wed!

  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited February 8
    So, I'm that one crazy girl - we all know one - the Phoebe of your Friends group, the one that's all into tai chi and yoga and is like the chill Martha Stewart. And I've gone off the deep end and opted to make my own wedding dress. 

    My fiance and I are paying for the whole thing ourselves, so that's the budget of a med student and a CAC , which equals about sixty-five cents and a paperclip. So! Our awesome wedding will be almost entirely DIY. The good news is that we're both cosplayers, most of our wedding party is too, and we make some hella good stuff! 

    Picking the pattern for my dress is the hardest part so far, whether it's looking at available patterns or designing our own to draft them. Has anyone else here made their dress, or is planning on it? I'd love your insight as to how you decided what to make!

    Why not just go to a bridal store, you may ask? Partly the budget, because I can't justify $700 for a dress I'll wear once and start our marriage with more debt, and after going to dress stores I felt like a rabbit in headlights, and like I looked like a right tit the dresses. They were very pretty, but not a single one of them felt like me- it was all like trying on someone else's clothes. When I asked about dresses with color, they gave me "blush"  (to which I asked about a real color people could see, not a makeup product) and then offered a cuddles sash. Yippee. 

    My mum hates every design of mine I've shown her, argiung that they're "not wedding dresses" and I'll feel like I'm getting married if I'm wearing a "real wedding dress." The girl at the shop said all the less expensive and plain ones I liked were only nice for courthouse weddings. Mum cornered me into buying one of the ones she liked, which I cancelled the next morning (and feel loads better for it!!) and plan to look at designs with my fiance to find one we both like. Atypical, but that's a very us thing to do :3

    So yes. Anyone else made their own dresses? Did you pick a pattern, or draft your own? Any cosplayers here in the same dress fix?
    The tradition of the big, white wedding dress is really not very old.  Queen Victoria made it fashionable because she chose white, but there was no traditional color for a wedding dress until then.

    A wedding dress is whatever dress you choose to be married in.  It certainly doesn't have to be white, but black might cause some comment.  Have you thought of looking at bridesmaid dresses?  They come in all colors of the rainbow, and they are a lot cheaper than a "wedding gown".  David's Bridal has a good selection. (I had fun looking at these!)

    http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_chiffon-bridesmaid-dress-with-cascading-skirt-vw360326_all-bridesmaid-dresses

    http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_asymmetrical-neck-beaded-dress-with-side-slit-f15519_all-bridesmaid-dresses

    http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_long-bridesmaid-dress-with-ribbon-waist-4xlf19328_all-bridesmaid-dresses

    http://www.davidsbridal.com/Product_one-shoulder-dress-with-satin-sash-vw360215_all-bridesmaid-dresses


    There are many historical patterns available if you really want to make your own dress, but this could be a lot of work and stress for you.  My daughter is a cosply lady who likes Rennfests, and she made an historical Tudor period gown.  It was very expensive, and took her more than a year to complete.

    You and your Mom need to get on the same page.  If you really don't want a typical white bridal gown, there is no reason why you must wear one at your wedding unless you are just trying to please your Mom and not yourself. I cannot fathom why the shop assistant told you that about simple wedding dresses!  Simple is always appropriate.  Good luck with your plans.




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    LadyCatherineDBLondonLisacowgirl8238short+sassy
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
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    edited February 8
    ...You DO realize you're going to have more than $700 into making a dress from the first pin to the last button right?!?!  DIY rarely means a cost savings js, it's one thing if you already own everything, it's another when you figure out the math of the nickels and dimes...

    I should add I do a lot of sewing, yes, you can take whatever pattern you want and turn it into your wedding dress, your wedding attire is simply what you choose to wear that day..  Unique is great, just remember to factor in your pennies.  Sew your dress because you love sewing not because you think you'll save a penny!
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    edited February 8
    By definition whatever dress you choose to get married in is a 'Wedding Dress'. But I echo pp- making your own isn't cost saving exercise. I'd also consider buying a simple dress you like and dressing it up to what you want. It's worth it to have the 'bones' there that you can play with the fun part of adding/modifying what you want. You don't want to be frustrated over pinning waistbands and patterns when you could just be sewing on ribbons, overskits and beads that you like. 

    Look at event gowns in department stores that jump out at you for colour/fabric/fit etc. You can then modify it slightly to suit your needs. If you like the 'courthouse' dresses, and want something more traditional, you could also easily modify those to add colour. I love the tuille on this 1950s style dress: 


    Also, do you have experience sewing difficult fabrics like silks/ jacquards/ satins/lace that usually go into evening wear? 

    One place to not skimp on is the fabric. Something simple in beautiful, quality fabric is a million times better than ornate in cheap fabric. You can also bling it up with cool accessories, hats, gloves etc. 

    Remember, what you wear has no bearing on anyone else as long as it matches the formality that you are asking of your guests. Liz Lemon got married in a Princess Leia fancy dress costume :) 

    OliveOilsMomshort+sassygreeninspringknottiee2fa1076b0e89b5b
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown
    Moderator 5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its
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    I spent a shit ton on my dress for my first wedding and thought it was a total waste. So, I was determined to spend a lot less the second time around. I really loved this one dress from J. Crew, but when I ordered it, it was made for someone that did not have my proportions (petite with a very large bust). I would have had to order a dress 4-5 sizes larger than I needed for my body just to fit my boobs. So, I had my wedding dress made by an acquaintance who is a seamstress. I went to the fabric store and picked out a lovely ivory silk and using pictures and a pattern she created, she made my dress. I had quite a few fittings, but the process only took a few months. I ended up paying $275 plus the cost of the material. The dress from J. Crew was almost $500, not as high end of a material, and would have needed serious alterations, so I definitely spent less than I would have by buying it at the store. So, it's doable depending on the type of dress you want. 

     







  • Echoing PP comments about DIY vs. cost, especially for a dress.  It sounds like you know what you're doing, so that's a plus. 

    If time is an issue, have you considered just getting a dress from a department store, vs. a bridal shop?  I mean, if you go to a bridal shop, you're going to see traditional bridal gowns.  That's what they do.  If that's not for you, then non-bridal clothing stores are a good option.  Maybe there is a boutique and/or designer you really like, and you could see what they have to offer.

    Not trying to talk you out of DIY, just pointing out that there are other options between a big poofy white ball gown and DIY.
  • Unless you are hellbent on making it, in order to be cost efficient look at BM dresses (Davids, BHLDN, Dessy group) as well as places that are less traditionally wedding (eshakti, ModCloth, ASOS).  

    I didn't want white either, and found a great BM for $250 - with gorgeous lace details, and boning in the bodice.  



    CMGragain
  • I've found perfectly good dresses at thrift shops--we even had a store where I lived that sold "sample" dresses from bridal shops for a fraction of the cost.  So that's another option if you want a wedding-style dress, or at least a base for something you can then add to and/or change.  
    Whatever amount of time you think you're going to need to sew the dress, add more time.  As you get closer to your wedding, you are going to have so many different little things that need to get done, people coming to visit you, etc.  If it normally takes you four weeks to make a cosplay outfit, for example, give yourself eight for the wedding dress, just in case.  My mother sewed her own dress, and she had it done the DAY OF HER WEDDING.  The family jokes that she was still hand-stitching it as she prepared to walk down the aisle.  
    short+sassy
  • Wow, thanks for all the great feedback! Thankfully, I do have time on my side, and years have taught me to not be *that* cosplayer - the one who brings their machine to the con to keep sewing once I'm at the hotel lol Most of what I make are period-accurate reproductions for ren faires and reenactment groups, so I live in the eternal frustration of boning, satin, lace, and damask haha 

    Really what I was thinking was much more simple for myself; lightweight linen or good muslin and simple lace (way less than $100). It'll be 90-110° plus humidity, so in all the layers you might melt :p I might take up looking for a used dress to work with, though! Come to think of it my friend may have a dress leftover from a photoshoot years ago that was a sheath dress with wide straps on the shoulders. Maybe I can swap her for it and turn that into something new. 

    I may also try and give a shop that isn't David's a try; their stuff was pretty, but it felt too much like being pressured into a car, and the feeling all night was dreadful. I've never been so uncomfortable in a clothes store. But maybe somewhere else would be less terrible. 

    The costs of everything are staggering, though, so I'm really hoping I can find a stash of gently used things from other recent brides to upcycle them and save a bit. That is a thing, isn't it?? So far not doing too badly, though! Managed to make my bouquet for $5 ($15 was on a gift card) and I have my bridesmaids' gifts totally finished for $25 total :3 Each gets a pair of tatted earrings I made, a teacup with saucer and spoon, and teas folded into a doily with ribbon. 
    MesmrEwecowgirl8238
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited February 9
    The easiest thing to borrow is a veil.  They are minimal these days.  Ask your married friends if you can wear theirs.  My sister did this, and no one knew the difference.
    There is also something called a Mexican wedding dress you can find on Ebay.


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  • JediElizabethJediElizabeth
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
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    edited February 9
    Fellow cosplayer/renn faire geek here. ;)

    I didn't make my own wedding dress (I suggest Alfred Angelo if you want to try again - at least around me, they were so nice and not pushy at all). 

    I've made plenty of renaissance style dresses, though, and I'd just make sure to price out all the things you need before starting. Thoughts like "I'll pay for the boning later, when I need it" have lead to many dresses or costumes missing many seasons or cons because they were still works in progress.

    You may also want to think about mixing and matching DIY & purchased. Make your own chemise or linen dress, but maybe go to Moresca or someplace similar for a pretty bodice you'd otherwise never spend the money on.

    Such as: https://moresca-clothing-costume.myshopify.com/collections/womens-tops/products/mega-bodice?variant=18419492547
    Mega Bodice


    (edited because I forgot words).

    Also edited to ask: When is your wedding? How long do you have to make everything?
  • Wooooooow those are gorgeous!! I've been a fan of Very Merry Seamstress for years, but Moresca is stunning! Corsetry isn't my strong point yet, so those bodies could really come in handy! And I have tons of different chemises and petticoats in my workroom! :3 

    Thanks, that's definitely a good one too look at! Or wedding is being bumped to next fall since thread year we have at least one move to deal with and possibly two, so time is on our side. We also have to put a deposit on our venue waaaay in advance once we find the one we can afford. 

    So far I've picked out fabric and we picked colors,so I picked out the lace for the trim I think I'll use. Just narrowing down the pattern and us coordinating what we'll wear. I showed him a princess Zelda wedding dress and he lost his mind lol 
    JediElizabeth
  • RaeMarie7117RaeMarie7117
    10 Comments 5 Love Its First Anniversary
    member
    edited February 11
    Wow, thanks for all the great feedback! Thankfully, I do have time on my side, and years have taught me to not be *that* cosplayer - the one who brings their machine to the con to keep sewing once I'm at the hotel lol

    Fellow cosplayer here, I was going to say if you tend to be that cosplayer DONT MAKE YOUR DRESS. Though I have never been that cosplayer before, I did end up deciding against making my dress because it felt like I would have that added stress of trying to finish it on time on top of everything else leading up to the big day. (I compromised and am making my bridal shower outfit ;))
    Since you are going for something more non-traditional and maybe color and you have a lot of time, making your dress sounds great! Wishing you luck on it!
    image
  • Ditto that you can get married in anything.  One pair of friends just got married in jeans and their favorite football teams' respective jerseys.

    Another friend who's always sporting a '50s pinup hairdo got married privately in the woods to her husband; he was in khakis and a Hawaiian shirt, she was in a '50s-style green dress with white polka dots.
    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~Mae West
  • I just wanted to add that a friend and her FI (now H) were really into Ren fairs.  That was their theme for the wedding and they each got married in one of their costumes.  Her dress was a deep red with gold accents.  Similar to the pic @CMGragain has.  Of course, it didn't look like the typical wedding dress.  But that didn't matter.  It was gorgeous and so HER.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I love Rennie weddings! Over the years those have become my favourite costume orders to design and fill! <3 My bestie's dad and stepmother got married at the big one in Texas and it was so beautiful! 

    My fiance and I finally decided on my dress- a version of Princess Zelda similar to one made by Firefly Path. I found the same edge trim they used, and a very pretty lace, and I'll be able to make it all for less than $150. Much more our budget! 

    It'll be mostly white in faux dupioni silk, with the edge lace in gold, and the apron embroidery in gold and light blue. He lives the idea of a Zelda theme for us <3 I'm picking ideas to my BMs (also cosplayers) about what dresses they want and making their bouquets in green, red, and blue to nod at the three goddess of Hyrule. <3
    JediElizabethknottiee2fa1076b0e89b5b
  • PLEASE share WIP and finished pics on the DIY board! That sounds lovely!!
  • I didn't make my own dress because I'm not that skilled, lol.  But I did have my dress made by a local costumer and it ended up costing less than $200.  She charged $150 and the fabric made up the rest.  This is the finished product.



    I think with your cosplay skills you should be able to whip up something awesome.  My best advice would be to start working on it really early so you have plenty of time to work out any issues you run into.
  •  I have been facing this issue ever since I started looking at dresses. I'm also a cosplayer/designer, and nothing I found screamed "me". My bffs mom is a seamstress. Her advice was to pick out an inexpensive dress that is similar to what your looking for and mod the crap out of it. Ideally the cheaper the original dress the better, that way u have more in the budget for customizing
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