River Elliot Bridal | River Elliot Bridal - How Bespoke Works
The special process of having your wedding dress custom made. Get treated like a queen by a professional trained seamstress and enjoy designing your own wedding dress. Cambridge, UK.
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How bespoke works

Beautiful spring Ranunculus flowers and empty notebook on white table from above. Mockup. Pastel color. Clean space for text. Flat lay style.

The process of having a bespoke wedding dress or evening dress made is a wonderful experience and so different to a ready-to-wear bridal boutique. The first consultation with River Elliot is always free, with no obligations. It lasts around an hour and we’ll start with an informal friendly chat either at my studio or a place of your choice talking about your initial idea using inspiration pictures or internet links that you can send me in advance or bring to the meeting.

During the consultation we can look at fabric swatches so that I can get a better idea of the cost of your final dress. We’ll discuss many important aspects such as your personal style, what kind of fabrics and colours best suit you, your overall vision of how you imagine the dress will look, as well as what’s important to you; such as comfort, length and skin coverage. All these elements will combine to make you feel confident in yourself and to ensure that your final dress will make you feel completely wonderful on your special day.

Your wedding dress pattern
Design and Cost

The next stage is the overall design of the dress using sketches, images and fabric swatches. This will also allow me to formulate a final quote of how much your bespoke dress will cost including chosen materials.

Bespoke prices at River Elliot start at £1200 plus fabrics and other materials. On average bespoke dresses can cost from £1600 – £2500 depending on design and fabric. Any changes are always run by the client and costs are kept to a minimum at all times. The final cost will include the labour which is the design, pattern making and construction of your truly unique bespoke wedding dress plus fabric costs. Your wedding dress will be one of a kind and not replicated in any way for anyone else.

Once the cost and quote has been agreed I will then schedule production and start making the pattern for your dress. This is not final and minor tweaks and adjustments can be made during the fitting sessions. Over the whole process, you’ll begin to see your idea transformed into a real dress, understanding how a bespoke service ensures your garment is tailor made to your figure, style and preferences. At the end, you’ll have a dress that’s truly unique to you, incorporating your own vision and design not to mention a dress that fits your body perfectly.


To ensure the garment fits and is what you envisioned, a toile of your dress is constructed. A toile is a dummy version of the dress made in either calico or muslin fabric. It will allow me to assess fit and style and make any final changes to the design, as well as lets you visualise what your dress will look like. This stage also allows us to review the fabric choices to make sure they will work with the final garment’s design.

The Final Dress

After we have completed the fitting stage and both fabric and style have been finalised, I will start the proper construction of your final dress. This is where the magic happens! I am trained in couture techniques and these will be applied with individual care and skill to your beautiful garment.

Depending on style and required technique, our production of bridal wear can take from 3-6 months to complete