Bespoke Wedding Dresses

Here you can find out more about how it works to have your wedding dress custom made. My preference is to work sustainably with fabric harvested from pre-loved, or heirloom gowns, minimising waste by using overstock where possible. But every dress is different, so do get in touch to chat about your ideas for your gown, whether you’d like it made to measure, or you have a dress already which needs customising or re-styling

What is a bespoke wedding dress?

Bespoke wedding dresses, or custom bridal gowns, are one-off, tailor made dresses, created for you by a designer dress maker, to your measurements, which means it will fit you perfectly. This luxurious option gives you the control & freedom to design your own unique bespoke wedding dress silhouette, and have it made in your choice of fabric and colour. You can choose your own embellishment, sparkle, appliqué, details or lace edging.

There are several different ways in which bespoke wedding dresses are usually made. Hopefully my wedding dress designer tips here, will help unravel the facts from the fiction, and make your wedding dress search well- informed and constructive.

You’re welcome to contact me to chat through your bespoke wedding dress ideas.  Having made bespoke bridal gowns for nearly 20 years, I am experienced and happy to advise you. You can call 01428 681727, or email .

How is a bespoke wedding dress made?

Made To Measure
“Made to Measure” is how I make my bespoke wedding dresses. It entails hand-making your bespoke wedding dress to your exact measurements. This ensures the vital proportions are correct (for example taking into account your height and bra size). A toile is used to adjust the shape  to your satisfaction, and a number of fittings follow to ensure a magnificent fit, whilst also incorporating your ideas along the way, adapting the design if you change your mind, and allowing for weight change.

This is the ultimate in luxury, and is defined by highly skilled hand-crafting techniques, absolutely unique design and exquisite attention to detail. My couture bridal gowns will always be made to measure, often with a hidden internal corset, an invisible hem, and silk lining. You’ll notice many couture techniques incorporated in your Caroline Arthur bespoke wedding dress.

Made To Order
You’ll find this in most bridal boutiques, where you will find a selection of wedding dress samples, which you can try on, and then you order your favourite in your standard dress size (14, 16, 18 and so on), occasionally with a choice of different fabrics. If there is no lead time, then this is sometimes called: “Off the Peg”, and even though the shop will measure you, you will invariably need a seamstress to alter it to fit you properly, which is a service I am also able to offer.

Why choose Caroline Arthur?

Having made bespoke wedding dresses for over 20 years, I understand my brides are stylish, discerning and often short on time. I personally make every single bespoke gown made under my label, to ensure that your gown fits you beautifully, and the experience is simple and fun. I created the original online dress designer tool:  Couture Kit, which works like a bespoke, mix and match collection. This concept enables you to create your very own wedding dress design, from the comfort of your sofa, and receive a quote, before arranging a free appointment at my Surrey bridal boutique to try on samples and look at fabrics.

My bespoke wedding dresses are 100% British made by me personally. My preference is to work with pre-loved silk, satin, lace, organza, harvested from existing gowns, or from sustainable fabrics and overstock. All my bodices are silk lined, with a Couture internal corset as standard where appropriate. Where I need to source a product rather than make it, I choose the very best British artisans and suppliers, such as James Hare,  Clare Lloyd and Joyce Jackson, with whom I have worked for over a decade, to enable me to produce exceptional quality in my gowns, veils and hair accessories.

Your bespoke wedding dress experience

When you come to see me, for your first consultation appointment, I will help you try on samples as separate tops and skirts (which I have in a range of sizes), so you can explore different combinations of bodice, strap, sleeve and skirt styles until you find the perfect and most flattering wedding dress silhouette, which I will sketch for you. I will take time to understand your ideas, help you to explore all choices possible when creating your ideal silhouette, customised to bring your vision to life, and individually handmade to fit you beautifully, in your choice of fabric.

If you have tried on many wedding dresses, it is sometimes very hard to reach a decision about your dress. Many of my brides book with me because I offer the flexibility that once you have booked, you can still amend your design up to the point where I take your measurements (about 4 months before your wedding). Even after this, I work hard to incorporate all your design ideas (which do occasionally change along the way!) to ensure your bridal gown is exactly as you would wish. When you contact me with your CoutureKit app design, I encourage you also to send me your Pinterest board or any images of features that you’d like to incorporate into your wedding dress design, so I can fully understand your vision

Contact Caroline

I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line with your thoughts and questions – I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

© Copyright Caroline Arthur 2020