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If you have just started your search for what is possibly the most important purchase you will ever make, you may be pondering the difference between a made to measure or made to order gown.

It is likely that you will encounter different options, and you will be faced with different levels of service and price structures from one boutique to the next.

I Have we try to unravel some of the mysteries to help you to decide what will work for you and your budget.

Made to measure wedding dress, designer atelier.

This is the main service, along with custom dress that we offer at Your Wedding Affair, also known as of the rack.

If you choose a made to measure wedding dress, the style that you choose from the designer’s collection will be cut and made specifically to fit you, usually in their own workrooms or atelier.

The fit of your dress will be checked on you during the make process to ensure all is perfect before being finished. Alterations are rarely needed if a dress is made to measure .

Things to consider: Made to measure

Dresses are usually made locally so lead times can be shorter, depending on how busy the atelier is.

Designer ateliers are usually small independent businesses, so your dress is likely to be very limited edition or indeed unique.

Appointments can fill up. Independent designers making dresses individually, as opposed to in a factory or on a production line, can only make a small number of dresses a year.

This is not as expensive as you might think. You are likely to be dealing directly with the designer, cutting out the middle man.

Made to order wedding dress

Most bridal boutiques that stock a range dresses from different designers work in this way. They hold a range of samples from different suppliers for you to try. If you decide on a dress they will take your measurements and order your dress from the supplier in the nearest standard size. Your dress will be made and shipped to the boutique, who will then carry out fittings and alterations.

Things to consider: Made to order