Custom vs. off-the-rack wedding dresses

Made-to-Measure vs. Made-to-Order wedding dresses

Choosing the perfect wedding dress is one of the most exciting and significant decisions a bride will make. One of the first choices you’ll encounter in this journey is whether to go for a custom wedding dress or an off-the-rack option. Each choice comes with its own set of pros and cons, and in this blog, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of both, including a crucial section on alterations.

Custom wedding dresses


Unique and personal

A custom wedding dress is a one-of-a-kind creation tailored specifically for you. It allows you to express your personal style, preferences, and vision for your big day.

Flawless fit

Custom dresses are meticulously crafted to your measurements. This results in a flawless fit that accentuates your body’s best features, providing comfort and confidence throughout the day.

Endless Options

From the silhouette and fabric to intricate details like lace patterns and beadwork, you have complete control over every aspect of the design. Your dream dress becomes a reality.

Exclusive Experience

The process of creating a custom wedding dress often involves working closely with a designer or seamstress. This can be a truly special and memorable experience.


Higher cost

Custom wedding dresses are typically more expensive than off-the-rack options. The unique design and craftsmanship come at a premium price.

Longer lead time

Custom dresses require a longer lead time for design, measurements, and fittings. Brides with a shorter engagement timeline may find this challenging.

Limited try-ons

You may not have the opportunity to try on the exact dress until it’s close to completion, which can be nerve-wracking for some brides.

Off-the-rack wedding dresses


Immediate gratification 

Off-the-rack wedding dresses are readily available for purchase. Brides who need a dress quickly or prefer to see and try on options right away can benefit from this convenience.


Generally, off-the-rack wedding dresses are more budget-friendly than custom options, making them a suitable choice for brides with limited funds.

Variety of styles

Bridal boutiques offer a wide range of off-the-rack dresses in various styles, sizes, and designs. You can explore different looks and find one that resonates with you.

Alterations possibilities

Many brides opt for off-the-rack dresses and then invest in alterations to achieve a more personalised fit and style.


Limited customisation

While some alterations are possible, off-the-rack dresses have limitations in terms of customisation. Significant changes to the design may not be feasible, but always speak to your seamstress to find out what’s achievable.

Fit challenges

Finding a dress that fits like a glove can be challenging, as off-the-rack dresses are made in standard sizes. Alterations are often required to achieve the desired fit.

The role of alterations for an off-the-rack dress

For brides who choose off-the-rack wedding dresses, alterations play a pivotal role in achieving a personalised and comfortable fit. Here’s why alterations are essential:

Customised fit

Alterations allow you to tailor the dress to your unique body shape. Whether it’s taking in or letting out seams, adjusting the hem, or modifying the bust area, alterations ensure that the dress fits you perfectly.

Enhanced comfort 

Comfort is paramount on your wedding day. Proper alterations can alleviate discomfort by addressing any tight or restrictive areas, allowing you to move and breathe freely.

Personal style

Even with an off-the-rack dress, alterations offer an opportunity to add personal touches. You can change the neckline, add straps or sleeves, or incorporate unique embellishments to make the dress your own.

Length and train

Alterations can adjust the length of the dress to match your height and preferences. This is particularly important if you’re wearing heels or if you desire a specific train length.

Last-minute adjustments

Alterations provide the flexibility to make last-minute tweaks and ensure that your dress is in pristine condition on your wedding day.

Book an Appointment Contact us