There is one question we get asked by every bride. It’s a very reasonable question. Absolutely necessary in fact. It’s one that is difficult to answer; and actually there isn’t one answer. It’s different every time and depends on so many different factors.
It’s always one of the first few questions too, right after deciding you like what we do and right before asking about prices… and it comes in several guises…
- How long does it take?
- When will it be ready?
- How long do you need?
- Do you have time?
- How soon do I need to order?
It’s easy to understand that the design will govern how many hours we physically spend working on your wedding dress: the more complicated the design, the more hours we need to spend. Years of creating bespoke wedding dresses shows us that on the average we spend between 30 and 120 hours actually sewing each dress. In reality however this is only part of the consideration and will depend on both our schedule and yours.
How long does it take? … Well how long have we got?
The easy answer is that we work towards your wedding date. Once we have finalised a design we’ll then work with you to arrange a schedule of fittings that works with your timeframe and both our diaries. On average we recommend 6 fittings (though this can vary from 3 to 9 depending on design).
When will my dress be ready? … The perfect fit will be perfectly timed for your wedding
So we know to expect roughly 6 fittings. It usually works out that we’ll have a few of those quite early on developing the design and bringing your dress to life. It’s more than likely then, particularly if there are several months to your wedding that we will put your dress on hold until closer to your wedding. This is so that we can perfect the finer details of the fit in the last few weeks as it is inevitable that there will be natural fluctuations in weight (or maybe you’re planning to hit the gym).
How long do you need? … Erm, I don’t know!?!
Need is a funny word and it certainly depends on when you ask us and what other commitments we have booked in for those dates. In practice we CAN work within a 6 month timeframe. 9 months is preferred and a year (or longer) is ideal. In general we find that people book a year in advance. This is fantastic for us as it allows us to plan our time effectively. With enough time we can make sure that we don’t overload ourselves in the peak of wedding season and can allocate off season months to concentrate on the time consuming creation and embellishment stages.
How soon do I need to book? … as soon as you know!
We are a team of 3 and there are only so many hours in the day. Our time is our commodity and is a finite resource. Some months are extremely popular and to ensure we have enough time in those crucial final weeks before your wedding we will limit the number of weddings we can work on in any given month.
What this means is, once you have paid your deposit your time is protected and we will turn away work to ensure we can give you our full attention. It also means that if you are planning to get married in a peak month; May for instance, that you need to be quick to snag your time in our sewing room. If you are planning to get married in November on the other hand then you can be pretty sure we’ll be able to help. Be aware also that we are already booking dates in 2017
Do you have time? … Well that actually depends on your schedule too
Our suggested timescales are not fixed and fitting in the work will depend on your availability for fittings just as much as our ability/availability.
We are by appointment only and have developed a weekly structure that seems to work well splitting our time between dedicated days in the sewing room and availability for consultations and fittings. Currently our appointments are as follows
- Wednesday 1pm to 5pm (new consultations only)
- Thursdays 11 to 7
- Fridays 10 to 5 and
- Saturdays 9:30 to 5
We are extremely flexible in frequency and timings and are very used to working around calendars, holidays, working hours, school holidays, child care, hair trials… the list goes on. We encourage everyone to book appointments well in advance, particularly if you require a Saturday appointment as we are currently booked up 6/7 weeks ahead.
So how long does it take again? … how long is a piece of string?
So, if we seem a bit vague in our response about how soon you need to book, I hope this post goes some way to explaining our pensive expression and ambiguous reply… it takes as long as we’ve got as soon as you let us know so long as we’re not already full and we can coordinate both our diaries.