So I'm considering having a dress made - my dress budget is $650, which needs to include alterations and undergarments (although not veil, I have a separate budget for that and am making it myself), and I am really favoring the vintage-inspired look of the mermaid silhouette with a lace overlay and cap sleeves. I don't like beading or anything sparkly, just really nice details. I'm definitely not a strapless kinda girl, or a ballroom style kinda girl (though there are some gorgeous ones out there!).
So my questions are this (sorry there are just... so many):
Would having a dress made help me get that kind of look for less, or would it end up still going over my budget?
If the former is the case, does anybody know of good-quality and affordable local dressmakers/seamstresses to recommend? (I'm in St. Pete but willing to travel within reason)
If the latter is the case, are there any good bridal salons to recommend (other than David's Bridal), outlets, or vintage clothing stores where this type of thing may be found?
That's just the biggest, messiest array of dress-related questions ever. I still need to start actually trying things on to see what looks best, but I'm trying to get some sort of game plan in place before going ott there!