We Love Love Betsy Wise Bridal

I'd like to introduce you to a talented woman, fellow Hudson Valley resident, and friend, Betsy Wise.  Betsy is an amazing designer and maker of custom wedding gowns for Betsy Wise Bridal.  She has mastered the timeless art of dress making and brought it into the modern world, along with the vintage and heirloom gowns she makes new again.  She works with each bride to help conceptualize and and bring to life their dream gown.  I asked Betsy to answer a few questions about her craft and the wedding industry at large.  

Betsy Wise Bridal

How long have you been running Betsy Wise Bridal and how did you get started? 

I have been sewing and designing for as long as I can remember, but I have been making wedding dresses specifically since 2011. I was working in a bridal boutique at that time, when a friend asked me to make her wedding dress. She had a really cool story. She had been backpacking through Southeast Asia with her (then) boyfriend, and they got engaged on the trip. While in India, she purchased some beautiful colorful silk that I made into her wedding dress. The light bulb in my head turned on at that moment. I realized that finding a wedding dress is not a process that fits into a box or an episode of Say Yes to the Dress. It can be an incredibly unique and personal experience. So I quit the bridal shop, and Betsy Wise Bridal was born. 

Betsy Wise Bridal

What is your speciality?  

When it comes to custom, I can really make anything a bride can possibly dream up, but my true passion and specialty lies in Vintage Reconstruction. A bride will bring me a vintage family heirloom gown, and we will use it as fabric and inspiration for a completely new, modern, one of a kind gown. Its such a fun process for me because not only is it an amazing piece of family history that deserves to be honored, but its also like a puzzle trying to figure out how to utilize the materials in a way that looks fresh. 

Before and After: Vintage Reconstruction from her mothers 1975 wedding gown

Before and After: Vintage Reconstruction from her mothers 1975 wedding gown

Did you find your niche immediately?  If not, what was the process like to get there?

It took me a couple years to find my niche. I always want to be open to anyone and any request that comes my way. That is what keeps my job interesting, I'm never doing the same thing twice. But at a certain point you do have to hone your skills. I ended up doing my first Vintage Reconstruction for my sister from the wedding dress worn by my mom and my grandmother. I fell in love with the process. Once I posted that one dress on my website, other people started seeking me out specifically for reconstructions. I realized that was the thing setting me apart from other bespoke designers out there. 

Betsy Wise Bridal

What is your day-to-day like?  and what is your favorite part of the process? 

Weekdays are generally my studio days. Those are the days I spend designing and creating. Weekends are usually dedicated to clients for fittings and consultations. 

My favorite part of the design process is seeing my ideas come to life in fabric on the dress form. That moment when a sketch becomes reality. 

Before and After: Vintage Reconstruction from her grandmother's 1955 wedding gown 

Before and After: Vintage Reconstruction from her grandmother's 1955 wedding gown 

Do you do custom requests?  

Absolutely! Everything I do is custom, and I really welcome ideas that are outside of the box. Thats what keeps it fun and exciting. 

What is your favorite thing about working in the wedding industry?

I have had the chance to work with some of the most incredible brides. It is such a pleasure and an honor to work so closely with people and get to know them, and their families. Making a woman feel happy and beautiful on the most important day of her life is so incredibly rewarding. It's what gets me up in the morning. 

Betsy Wise Bridal

Any trends you you are seeing in gowns?  Any trends you notice clients are asking for?

The latest trend that I love is the bohemian look. I love the easy feel, and the soft flowing fabrics. I have had a lot more requests for flowing fabrics and no train. With the bohemian trend I have definitely seen an increase in outdoor field or lakeside weddings, so the dress has to fit the setting. 

Do you have any advice for brides looking for a gown?  

  • You don't have to follow trends, just be true to yourself. 
  • No matter what you should look like you, not like you're dressed up in a costume. 
  • Less is always more. 
  • Imagine yourself looking at your wedding pictures in 20 years. You want to choose something timeless. 
  • If you don't have any idea what you want, the best thing to do is just go try a bunch of silhouettes on and see what works best on your body. 

And one more fun wedding question, in your opinion, what makes a good wedding great?  

The best weddings are a true reflection of the couple's unique personalities. There are no rules anymore when it comes to weddings. Your can make your day whatever you want it to be, and I love that!

Thank you so much, Betsy for taking the time.  Your work is truly amazing!!  Make sure you visit her site and follow on instagram.  

I Love Love Inbal Dror

I only recently, via instagram of course, discovered Israeli bridal gown designer, Inbal Dror, and I love love everything!  The images from the most recent look book, shot in the heart of New York City is the stuff my dreams are made of.  From the textured petals to the intricate beading, to the perfect blush color, these gowns are to die for.  What's more is they are stunningly styled with an everyday ponytail!  I just love it all so much that I had to share!

Inbal Doro
Inbal Doro
Inbal Doro
Inbal Doro
Inbal Doro
Inbal Doro
Inbal Doro
Inbal Doro

We Love Love Saja

I've recognized the name Saja since my early days in New York, they once had a boutique in NOLITA, and while they don't have the sweet little store front with prime real estate, they still have a fantastic collection of beautiful wedding gowns.  Saja gowns are so simple, yet so artfully detailed and beautiful crafted.  I got a chance to look at the stunning gowns up close at bridal market a few weeks back.  You can still find them conveniently located in SOHO and are a must visit if shopping for wedding gowns in New York.    

Steal this Style // Black Wedding Gown

We are back!  In case you missed it, yesterday I was over on Something Turquoise sharing ideas for the bride brave enough to don black on her big day.  This look isn't as one note as you might think.  I'm sharing all kinds of tips on how to make this unconventional ensemble work for your style. 

click here to see the rest of my "Steal This Style" posts.

Reader Question // Wedding Gowns under $750

It's been a while since I answered a reader question and this is a great one to jump back in.  A bride on a very tight budget asked me to recommend bridal gowns under $750.  This is definitely a challenge if you're looking to traditional bridal shops.  I you're not in the market for a crystal-incrusted ball gown, or a Chantilly lace  mermaid silhouette, you can find lots of beautiful gowns at that price point.  Knowing where to look is key.  Many online shops including J.Crew, Free People and ShopBop now have wedding shops.  BHLDN has a few beautiful options at this price.  I also included a few pretty gowns from super affordable shops like ASOS. But $750 is a good chunk of change and can buy you some gorgeous designers gowns from department stores.  They make it easy to search by color, length and price.  I love number 4, the beautiful Rachel Zoe dress in the Lace category below,  and numbers 7 and 8 in the modern category, Badgley Mischka and 3.1 Philip Lim respectively.  Many of these online shops offer free shipping and free returns, so while you don't get the traditional bridal experience, you get to try them on in the comfort of your own home and take as many photos as you like.  One tip, be aware of alterations.  Fitted and complicated silhouettes can increase the price of the gown by $100+ for alterations.   

One final note, if you are in the market for a ball gown or something grander than the above, check out the wedding gown resale shop, Nearly Newlywed