The Process&What to Expect

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Feel free to look around, but the new and improved version of this site can be found at www.brooksann.com

Thanks for stopping by!

 

1.  Contact me:  Contact me via email or phone and leave a message with your contact information and your wedding date.  I will get back to you as soon as possible.


2. The Questionnaire:  If I am not already booked, I will email or snail mail you a questionnaire to fill out.  This important questionnaire is to help me figure out how I can best serve you, as well as help you get inspired about this experience.  It contains specific questions about your wedding as well as brainstorming ideas for your design.  Once you’ve got your questionnaire ready, we will set up an initial consultation.


3.  The Initial Consultation: I offer a free 30-minute initial consultation at my studio, so we can get to know each other as well as briefly go over your questionnaire and dress ideas.  This is a chance for us to interview each other.  At this complimentary meeting, you will get to see my space and inspect garments I have constructed. Communication is key, so I will make it a priority explain the process and policies completely as well as answer all your questions.  I want all of my clients to enjoy working with me and enjoy participating in my design/dressmaking process. I also want to discuss your specific ideas and needs to be certain that I am the right dressmaker for your unique wedding dress.  If we seem like a good match, we will schedule a design consultation.


3. The Design Consultation, Sketches and Proposal: At the design consultation, we will delve deeply into the questionnaire and explore all the ideas, choices and visions for your dress.  Bring anything and everything that might be an inspiration for your look.  I’ll provide you with additional ideas and research of my own based on our discussions in the initial consultation.  Together, we will collaborate on a design that will look perfect for your wedding day as well as your unique figure.  We may also take a trip to Mulberry Silks fine fabric store for inspirations.  This will help me more accurately put an estimate together. 

After the design consultation, I will use our ideas and decisions to draw up some custom sketches.  These sketches, accompanied by the appropriate research, will be presented to you in a design proposal via your very own little website (click here for an example proposal).  I will email you a link to your website along with a contract containing a no-obligation price estimate for you to review.  (A non-refundable $300 deposit is due at the beginning of the design consultation, which also tentatively ‘saves your date’ while you review. )

Once you’ve reviewed the proposal, contract and price estimate, it’s now time to make the decision to commission your very own one-of-a-kind Brooks Ann Camper Bridal Couture dress!


4.  Measurements and Deposit:  Congratulations!  You’ve decided to commit to the experience of a lifetime!  We will meet again to go over the sketches.  We will continue to brainstorm, fine-tune and discuss any changes you might still want before I start draping and drafting  patterns.  The custom dressmaking process is organic and collaborative.  We will continue to improve upon the original sketch throughout the process.  At this meeting we will take an extensive set of over 30 measurements, as well as take some body pics, so that I can create a custom dressform duplicating your unique curves.  A deposit of 50% of the price estimate is due at this meeting.


5.  Pattern Drafting and First Mock-up Fitting: Once most of the major design decisions are made, I will get to work draping on your uniquely-sized dressform and pencil drafting a one-of-a-kind dress pattern exclusively from your measurements.  I will then use the pattern to construct a sample dress, (also called a mock-up, toile or muslin), out of inexpensive fabrics for you to try on.  We will have our first mock-up fitting.  In front of the mirror, we will adjust, cut, pin and draw all over the mock-up to fine tune the design of the dress and how it relates to your unique figure. 


6.  Repeat Fittings Until Satisfied: Improvements in fit and design determined in the first mock-up fitting will be noted and translated back into the pattern.  Either the original sample dress will be altered to reflect the changes, or a new mock-up will be made.  We will meet again for second mock-up fitting.  At every fitting, you have the opportunity to change your mind on any detail; the emphasis is always on feeling happy with how the dress is evolving.  If the labor or yardages required for the changes varies significantly (higher or lower) from those quoted in the initial price estimate, we will mutually agree on a new price estimate before moving forward.  Continually improving upon our original ideas, this process will repeat until the sample dress is close enough in fit and design to move to the real fabric. 


7.  Fabric Purchasing and Deposit:  At this point we will finalize most of the fabric decisions and an additional 25% deposit is required.  We can go fabric shopping together, or I can pick up fabrics, trims etc. that we have agreed upon.  If the fabrics included in the initial price quote vary from the actual fabric and decorations purchased, the quote will be adjusted appropriately.


8.  Couture Dressmaking Begins/ First Fabric Fitting: I will now cut and construct the corrected pattern in your real fabric!  Once it is ready, we will have our first fabric fitting.  Much of the dress will be basted and unlined so that adjustments can still be made.  This is the first time that you will try on your actual dress!  Different fabrics act differently, so we will adjust for the new changes and continue to fine tune everything for finishing and lining.


9.  Finished Product and Final Payment:  I will now finish your very own custom couture wedding dress!  Once completed, we will meet for our finish fitting.  We may still need to mark a hem, or add a final piece of decoration, or your dress may even be 100% ready!  Regardless, at this point you should really be able to appreciate all the work we have done together to create this unique garment.  The remainder of the bill is due when you pick up your finished garment. 


10.  Have an incredible wedding!  If you add the recommended Dressing Service, I’ll see you there!

Photography credits:  Fourth from bottom:  Margaret Campion.  Third from bottom:  Shane Snider Photography.  Bottom two:  Lauren Kennedy Photography.


To read about the process of this dress, visit My Blog:  No Fiancés Allowed.