By Hafeedoh Balogun
There are generally two types of brides - brides who have been dreaming about their wedding gown before they meet their special someone and brides who are dreading the process of searching and finding their wedding gown. No matter the category you fall into, what is for sure is that you have to find your dream gown and look stunning on your wedding day!
Whilst there are many things to consider when choosing a wedding gown, a good place to start is deciding how you want to get your gown. When shopping for wedding gowns in Nigeria, there are usually two options - either you buy an off-the-rack wedding gown, or you hire a designer to make a custom wedding gown for you. Like most things, there are benefits and downsides to both options - let’s talk about this to help narrow down your preference.
Making a custom wedding gown
With a custom wedding gown, both you and your designer have the freedom to create the dress of your dreams – something that fits your style and silhouette, a truly unique gown made exclusively for you. A designer can take all or most elements of what you like - beading, tulle, or lace - and make a wedding gown that is true to your taste.
Custom wedding gowns come in various prices because of the freedom to select material, style, applique, and designer. For example, the cost of a satin ball gown made using a material worth 5,000 Naira per yard will be cheaper than if you use a material worth 15,000 Naira per yard!
- If you have a unique wedding gown in mind, it is easier to achieve this if it is custom made
- Your creativity can run free with a custom gown! It’s almost like nothing is off the table; use your imagination and let your tailor bring your gown to life!
- You can have some control over the price by choosing styles, fabric and designers that fit your wedding budget
- The prices of custom-made gowns can sometimes break the bank!
- The style or design you had in mind might not be executed to your taste and you could end up being a victim of what I ordered vs. what I got
Buying a wedding gown off-the-rack
Buying off the rack means purchasing directly from a bridal store’s inventory. These dresses can either be available in the store when gown hunting, which means you can walk home with your wedding gown, or pre-order to collect at a future date. In addition, some bridal stores offer alterations to ensure that your wedding gown fits your taste.
- If time is not on your side, these dresses can be bought on the spot if you find what you like
- You can try out as many dresses as you want, which means you have a better chance of finding what works for you
- Off-the-rack gowns are typically mass-produced, and if you’ve seen the gown on the rack or on someone else, there is a strong chance that what you see is what you get
- If your wedding gown needs to be altered, you may have to find an experienced tailor to do the alterations
- There may be a limited selection of fabrics and sizes
- If you are shopping in Nigeria, your gown could be imported from another country. That in itself carries a risk, including forex hikes, customs, and shipping issues
When shopping for your wedding gown, whether custom-made or off the rack, be sure to work with your budget and be open with your wedding gown vendor on what you want!