The Dress

I never thought I would be the kind of girl that would get excited about designing and creating a beautiful bespoke wedding outfit, but guess what, I was, and getting an outfit custom made was possibly one of the best decisions I made throughout our whole wedding journey.

There was no question where I would get my outfit made. Nemo Bridal has a firm place in my heart for many reasons. Not only did I used to work there but the owner, Trudy Munro is a close friend and also happened to marry us on our wedding day, we really knew how to keep it in the family. 

For 18 months I worked front of house at Nemo. I watched as brides came in with their gowns for alterations or worked with the incredible talent that is Kristen McBride, head seamstress at Nemo to create their dream dress. I have wiped away tears, held the phone as people called loved ones, pinned dresses to fit and worked with many brides from initial appointment right through to their wedding day. I would sit and pour over Together Journal and Hello May magazines, read bridal blogs and live in a world inspired by beautiful gowns, outfits and wedding conversations. What a magical job and now three years later, it’s my turn. 

I knew from the very beginning that my outfit vision was in good hands. The made to measure process is a beautiful journey, from initial ideas to completion the whole experience was an absolute breeze. But we need to start this blog 6 months prior to the Nemo journey. 

Let’s go back to the start. Soon after we got engaged, we hopped on a plane back to the UK to celebrate with our family and friends. I always knew I was going to get my outfit from New Zealand but to appease an eager mother of the bride I visited a bridal shop in my hometown. Not one dress looked good and I felt so silly in everything I tried on. I honestly felt like I was playing dress up in a fancy-dress shop. Not for me, and I quickly got out of those dresses and continued drawing inspiration from Instagram and bridal accounts that suited my vibe. 

We had a date. Right after the New Zealand lock down, we booked our wedding and I was very, VERY, excited. We had 12 weeks, stuff to plan and an outfit to create. During the lockdown I had dreamt up my dream wedding outfit and it wasn’t a dress. I wanted pants, in fact I wanted a winged pantsuit that fit me perfectly, had class, was made of a beautiful material and had that little bit of drama that I knew would complement our wedding locations. 

My first visit to Nemo was easy. I had a few images saved to my phone and 100’s of ideas in my head. I booked an appointment, sat down with Trudy & Kristen and explained what I wanted my outfit to look like. Trudy whipped up a sketch and it was there. The winged bridal pantsuit was born.

Why a pantsuit? I knew I wanted something different, unique and that would stand out. After trying on dresses and knowing this was a firm no, I explored full sequins dresses, bridal suits, not wearing a dress at all and then I settled on pants. High waisted pants have been a staple in my wardrobe for years so to be able to combine this into a bridal look with the femineity of the top and wings made the whole look perfect for me.

Next decision to make was the fabric. I trusted the girls and they choose the most beautiful silk. The fabric was the perfect weight for the wings. They hung beautifully when I stood still but moved with the wind. It was so soft and such a gorgeous white colour. Perfect. 

At Nemo, the bespoke bridal service starts with a toile. A toile is essentially a mockup outfit made from calico. The pattern is cut, sewn together and then perfectly fit to your body. You may have multiple fittings to make sure that the fit is right before the pattern is cut in your fabric. This all happened pretty quickly for me, with only 12 weeks until we got married Nemo worked so hard to get the process underway.

My first fitting was a real pinch me moment. Here I stood in a pantsuit that would eventually be my wedding outfit. The wings had to be the last part of the dress as finalising construction and length was important. So right up until the final few weeks the wings on my pant suit were cut from a chiffon and delicately pinned to the shoulders of a calico top which sat on top of the real deal, perfect to manipulate and get the wings sitting in the right position before attaching the final cut silk wings.

I was lucky enough to have one of my childhood best friends, Elysia, along for the ride which made the whole process so special. She saw the dress come to life and she was there to grab a tissue to wipe away my tears the day I had my final fitting. Trudy pulled back the curtain, zipped up my pantsuit and I cried like a baby. Why? Because it fit and it was stunning and it was mine.

I have always been a girl that wears oversized clothes, doesn’t fit conventional sizes and never feels confident in my outfit choices. Well, today was far from all of the above. I felt like a bride, in an incredible outfit that had been custom made for me. The fit, the silk, the drama, everything about this pantsuit was all I dreamed off from that initial appointment 12 weeks prior. 

Nemo truly brought my outfit dreams to life and I can’t thank them enough for their talents. The whole made to measure process was faultless, easy and an absolute breeze. Looking back at all our photographs from Kate Craig-Brown I just can’t believe that it’s me. 

Thank you, Nemo, thank you for making my bridal dreams come to life. You truly are masters at your craft, and I am so excited to be sharing my story to inspire others to embark on their made to measure journey.  

Kate Craig- Brown Photography

Nemo Bridal are located in Frankton, Queenstown, New Zealand.

They work with you to create your hearts desire or to assist you in shaping the most perfect gown for your day.
They work within most budgets and programme your experience to best suit your needs.
To find out more about getting your dream outfit made you can find their contact details here.

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Full-time​ adventure seeker, based in Queenstown NZ. Obsessed with everything outdoors. My blog is filled with all our adventures and weekly happenings, feel free to get in touch. I love meeting new people!

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