The Ultimate Guide To Personalising Your Vintage Wedding Dress

All Images: A Lovers Thread

Do you dream of a unique vintage bridal gown for your wedding but are scared of bad fitting, impersonal styles? A Lover’s Thread share their guide to personalising your vintage wedding dress. 

Vintage is arguably the ultimate in sustainable fashion. Especially when it comes to wedding gowns. Taking something pre-loved and renewing it so it can be worn again and treasured as a keepsake, is one of the most rewarding ways to achieve an ethical wedding look. But not only is it the most sustainable, ethical bridal style, it can absolutely be tailored to you and your style without going fully bespoke.

Some of us are already lured in by the romantic idea of a wedding dress steeped in beautiful history. However many may not think of vintage as the height of luxury usually associated with a modern wedding. Vintage can have negative connotations to some. Is it dirty, or does it smell like a dusty old loft? Is it damaged or just not ‘new’. Maybe it isn’t  contemporary enough? It might not be special enough.

This is why A Lover’s Thread was created. They aim to show brides that vintage can be luxurious. It can also be contemporary and most importantly, it can be a flexible gateway to creating a wedding look that is totally unique, personal and special to you. More importantly it can be achieved on a budget that suits you. ALT ensure each piece is naturally cleaned, repaired and restored as much as possible, before we’ve even begun the personalisation process for you.

A Lovers Thread

ALT was founded by Sophie Tyler after a chance encounter at a vintage fair led her to create the dress of her dreams. During an unplanned visit to a local vintage wedding fair, Sophie tried on a 1970s dress with lace sleeves and a tulle skirt. Sophie fell in love with the dress and it’s story, however it needed work if it was to be truly her style. With a background in Fashion Design and a love for beading and embroidery, she enlisted the help of a local tailor to create her vision (left). She added 3d beading, embroidered love symbols and the lyrics from her first dance to the dress to make it truly personal. It was this dress that sparked the idea to create A Lovers Thread.

Creating A Unique Bridal Gown

By choosing the option of a previously loved piece, it opens us up to a new version of the semi-bespoke wedding dress. A one-to-one process between bride and designer where the creative work done together will organically evolve from the piece you choose, how it fits and your final vision.

Bridal boutiques and brands do happily offer alterations or small personal tweaks to your chosen dress. However you may find that you are committing to buying into a style that other brides may well also covet for their day. And whilst it may be beautiful, and you’ll likely feel incredible when you wear it, it isn’t unique to you and your day. If having a totally unique bridal look is something you desire then there are alternative options out there. Choosing a vintage wedding dress happens to be the most flexible and conscious one.

Both dresses are part of A Lovers Thread current vintage collection, available to purchase.

A L T offer those couture hand finished embellishments and perfectly tailored fits, usually reserved for brides on couture budgets. With fashion continuously tapping into bygone eras, there’s a style or vintage solution to be found for every bride. Their semi bespoke process means you can add those personal touches or luxury hand finishing techniques without going down a fully bespoke route. To top it off, it’s all available from the same studio.

ALT’s own vintage wedding dress collection currently ranges from £125 to £1250. However there is the option to bring along your own vintage dress. Whether it was your Mums, your Nans or something beautiful that you picked up at a vintage market. All receive the same personal service. It leaves plenty of room, no matter your budget, to transform a bridal dress in multiple ways.  A variety of vintage re-design services and bespoke embellishment packages are available. All are tailored to you, your needs and your budget.

We spoke to ALT Founder Sophie Tyler and here she generously shares her top 3 favourite tips to personalise your vintage wedding dresses.

Re-Design + Re-Fit

The closest thing to fully bespoke without having to work from scratch is our re-design or re-fit services. These are just a few examples of ways a silhouette can be changed as well as added to. Did you fall in love with the top half of a dress but didn’t imagine yourself with a full skirt? No worries… we’ll recreate a fitted silhouette with just a hint of that cheeky personality that your friends know you for. Or maybe you found a style that you fell instantly in love with but it is two sizes too small or big? We can adjust the size by adding extra panels or open it up by making a dress backless instead. 

Are you worried about getting into that tiny Victorian wedding dress with little to no fastenings (how did they do it!?)? Let’s open the back up for you and whip that little zip out. We could also alter it to create an elegant button down look, like you always wanted. Did you imagine yourself wearing a backless 1920’s style gown with feather trim but instead opted for a silky high neck 1940’s vintage wedding dress? There’s no reason we can’t fuse the two styles together for you. We can change the neckline or have a keyhole opening cut into it instead. Do you love your vintage dress but it has a train that just isn’t practical for your reception venue? All the dress needs is a simple re-hem. And we can even use the leftover fabric it to create an overskirt for the ceremony that you can then take off when the dancing commences. 

A Lovers Thread The Ultimate Guide To Personalising Your Vintage Wedding Dress
The dress S0phie created for her own wedding.

Adding Embellishments 

If you’ve found a gown to die for that fits perfectly, or has already been through the re-design and fit stages, there are still personal elements that can be added by way of embellishments. So, if you feel there is a little something missing from your wedding dress or you simply want more…a great way to do this is to add texture. Beading, 3D elements, extra fabrics like feathers, braiding or trims can all be used to really make your dress stand out.

Getting Personal

Hand embroidery is the ultimate way to add heart felt detail to your bridal dress. For example yours and your partner’s names and wedding date. Or maybe the lyrics to your first dance song? Perhaps you have a favourite shared poem or quote and little love symbols? Anything that really means something to you and your love can all be embedded into your dress in as subtle or as loud a way as you like. From hiding little love notes on a sleeve or in a lining, to full on colourful declarations of your love or your wedding vows decorating a veil or hem line.

ALT offer the icing on the (wedding) cake as far as personalisation goes. They offer not only aesthetics but feeling. A reflection of the love and emotions that surround your wedding dress and your wedding day. What could be more beautiful and memorable than having a vintage wedding dress for your day that reflects you, your personality and your love story.

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Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with A Lovers Thread. All information was provided by the brand. The people and models in the images featured are not associated with The Vendeur and do not endorse it or the products shown. This post may contain affiliate links. Prices correct at time of publishing.