Yo…planning a wedding is stressful.
That’s coming from a woman who works 3-4 12 hour overnight shifts per week, dealing with other people’s emergencies at a 911 Call Center!
And when I’m not doing that, I’m trying to catch up on sleep, eat like I have some idea of what a vegetable is, and spend actual time with the people I love. It’s like…hard.
And while all of that is not only true, but also probably blindingly relatable for most of you reading this, I have to confesit didn’t stop me from taking on another huge project: designing my own wedding gown.
I had a lot of help, of course!
I had seen a post from one of my fave girls, Chelsea, on Instagram, in a stunning champagne wedding dress with layers of tulle and pretty metallic stars all over it! And I thought to myself, 1) I knew I wasn’t the only one who thought white/ivory wasn’t going to cut it as a dress color and 2) WTF? WHO MADE THAT?!! I’M OBSESSED! 3) I love that she repurposed it for photo shoots even after her wedding! I mean, with the leather jacket??? I die!
Then It Happened….
Cue: Anomalie. Thank God for social media and the ability to tag things so people don’t have to ask you questions anymore!
Here’s the thing: I wanted to have the classic “Take your girls and try on dresses and make a big production of choosing the dress” moment. Absolutely! But for all of the progress we have made in the size-inclusive arena(s), it’s still a gigantic pain in the ass to walk into most stores, let alone a bridal boutique and see WHAT YOU WANT in YOUR SIZE.
I didn’t want to spend my day(s) trying on dresses in my size that are available in store, and being told the dress I want has to be ordered. Biting my nails wondering if it’ll look right, how it will fit my actual body.
It seemed like a waste of my time. A waste of the stores time. A waste of my bridal party’s time.
No thanks. As previously stated, life is stressful enough! I’m all about protecting my peace, especially going into the New Year!
With Anomalie, I did an Introductory Consultation Call back in August, where I gave an overview of what I pictured for my gown. We discussed timelines for when I would need to get the ball rolling based on my wedding date, expectations for pricing, and then talked dress details! I also learned Anomalie guarantees the dress with a 100% refund up to 10 days after its delivered!
I was assured that my vision was absolutely one that they could bring to life for me, and the next step was to schedule my Design Consultation call.
From there, my Anomalie account was started and I have a dashboard to track my progress through the design and production process!
The “Big” Call!
I did my call with Shelby on December 11. This call takes about an hour, but if you take some time to prepare and upload inspiration photos to your “Lookbook” on your online portal, it makes things way easier. I hit up Pinterest to get ideas, and uploaded some photos of designer gowns as well. I added a few random ones, since my fiancée reads my blog (at least, he better) and I don’t wanna spoil it!
What I love about the Lookbook feature is that it lets you organize your photos into categories: Silhouette, Front, Back and Lace. This makes it a little easier for referencing different images for different elements, especially if like myself, your vision is really pieced together with elements from several gowns you’ve seen.
This call was not only super informative, but also really fun! I learned a lot about the names of different elements of the design, and was really impressed that we covered pretty much every little detail down to the color/type of beads I wanted in the design. I didn’t know the names of the different skirt and hem types, and I hadn’t even thought about what I wanted for the back of my dress….just what I didn’t want. And within minutes Shelby uploaded a couple of ideas and ended up inspiring the back of my dress design…and I’m so happy with it!
The real kicker? At the end of the call, you get a quote based on the design you’ve discussed and my grand total for all of this tulle and bling?
$1400. Including shipping (although I visit my little bro frequently in San Francisco where the HQ is, and I was informed I can come pick my dress up in person and even try it on for them)! A blinged out belt, which I think my bestie paid like $300 for alone for her wedding back in 2013? All belts are $100 flat at Anomalie, I learned!
I guess it seems like it’s still a lot of money, but relatively speaking, any dresses I looked at and even considered to be decent were upwards of $4000….and I wasn’t head over heels in love with any of those. Not to mention, I challenge you to explore your other options for a custom wedding gown with amazing customer service like this, and find it for just $1400. They even just launched a new veil collection, and veils start at $50!
Next Steps? Deposit and Pre-Production!
I put down a $200 deposit to go into pre-production, and within a week, Steph emails me to tell me fabric samples are being mailed out.
Christmas Eve I had a box of fabric samples delivered! The box also included a measuring tape to get my measurements (there are very comprehensive and specific instructions for that on my online dashboard), and some Sugarfina champagne bears (which my friend Candace was very happy about, lol)! What I loved is that the swatches were “stacked” to show the color of my dress with a base fabric and layered tulle. It really gave me an idea of how my dress would look and feel!
And then, on December 27, my conceptual sketch was uploaded! When I tell you that it was perfection, I am not exaggerating. There is not one element that was missed, and although I go to stare at it every 30 seconds, I still haven’t seen one thing I’d change about it. If you’re following me on Instagram, you may have seen my IG story with a teaser!
Shelby has been an absolute dream, and sends texts to check in and update me. Steph killed it with the color choices for fabric swatches. Between the two of them, I know I’m in really great hands, and it feels like they’re treating my dress as if it were their own!
This obviously isn’t my sketch (although I hope they’ll post mine when the time comes), but it gives you an idea of how detailed the sketches are! It’s seriously amazing, and mine was breathtaking!
Anomalie is really cool because you can comment back and forth with your stylists on your dress sketch and lookbook images, so for someone like me who has downtime at 3 am, I can communicate without feeling like I’m bothering anyone, but still feel that reassurance that they are there for me and can assist with any questions I have.
I try really hard not to be too overwhelming when it comes to interacting with others, and I feel like this entire process has been so stress-free and the competence and enthusiasm of everyone on my Anomalie team makes me feel constantly reassured.
My next step is to get my measurements done-I’m going to a pro with my Anomalie measuring tape as soon as I am on days off at work, and to pay the remaining balance on my invoice before my dream wedding dress goes into production at the end of January! The Anomalie production team will send updates throughout the process (all the way from the factory in China)! By our timeline, I should have my dress sometime in August, with plenty of time for any alterations, if needed!
I’m looking forward to the rest of the process, and I’ll keep you all updated! I know it seems scary to do something like create your wedding gown from your phone and computer, but so far I really can’t see why anyone WOULDN’T do it! For a one-of-a-kind design at a killer price, with an amazing squad behind you? You’d be crazy NOT to! I am so excited to have my very own Anomalie custom wedding dress!
It’s a really special thing, to have a custom dress design for your big day, and create “the dream dress.” I am floored by the company Leslie Voorhees has created, and so excited to see my Anomalie gown go from the design phase, to the creation process, to my dream wedding. High quality custom wedding dresses should be the standard for every size and budget, and Anomalie makes that a reality! Designer experiences at a fraction of the price!
On my agenda: One of these cute ass t-shirts! They recently started selling grey Anomalie sweatshirts, too!
Would you consider designing your own wedding gown? Tell me in the comments!