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How to Embellish a Wedding Dress

More and more couples are using their creativity to enhance the wedding with DIY decorations and centerpieces. The DIY trend isn’t stopping with decorations. Brides are always on the hunt of how to embellish a wedding dress and adding details in different ways to give it a personal touch. They might add fantastic little details such as beads or appliqués. Whether it is a smidge more lace or covering the entire bodice with beading, the options are endless to customize the bridal dress.

There are several advantages when you embellish a wedding dress. Let us look at what they are.

Different advantages of adding wedding gown embellishments

When you embellish a wedding dress, your bridal gown will look more expensive

Embellishments can be used to upgrade the overall look of a simple and inexpensive wedding dress. Brides will know that an embellished gown can be pricey. So, if you are on a budget but want to enjoy the look for less, embellishments are the way to go. With the right choice of embellishments, you can add a gaudy touch to a simple wedding gown and make it look more expensive than what you actually paid for it.

Embellishments can change the look of a gown

With custom embellishments, you can transform the look of a bridal gown to suit your taste. One way is to use lace or sheer fabric to create sleeves or change the neckline detail of a gown. So, you can embellish a wedding dress in the right areas and transform a gown that is almost perfect it to exactly fit your vision.

The right embellishments can add a modest touch to a dress

If you aren’t a big fan of strapless or sleeveless dress styles, you can use lace as an embellishment to create an illusion neckline and sleeves to a strapless style. This will not only cover up the décolletage but also do so in style. Match the embellishments in the lace to that in the rest of the dress for best effect.

Now that we have had a look at how embellishments can help you, here are some tips on how to embellish a wedding dress.

When you embellish a wedding dress, most popular types of wedding dress embellishments available are beads, appliques, crystals, embroidery, lace, ribbon, and sequins. You can use one or more of them when embellishing your dress, for added splendor. Nevertheless, there are certain do’s and don’ts to follow, so that your dress embellishments enhance the beauty of your wedding dress.

How to embellish your wedding dress and create the right impact

Do your research in advance

There are countless ways in which you can add embellishments to your wedding dress. It is also easy to do too much and create a cluttered look. However, you can avoid this mistake by researching your options and narrowing down to what you prefer the most. Take a look at various embellished gowns online and create an inspiration board. Make note of what you like and don’t like about each of these styles. Find designs and patterns that will be suitable for your dress style. Then come up with ideas on what types of embellishments would be most suitable and how to place them in your dress.

Don’t go overboard with DIY wedding dress embellishments

When choosing embellishments to add to the dress, remember that adding too much can detract from the design. Imagine adding every type of embellishment to a dress. The dress would look gaudy. Instead of incorporating all embellishments known to man on the wedding dress, choose one or two types of embellishments that will add beauty to the overall look. You can think of adding beading to the wedding dress for subtle glamour. Or add sequins to the wedding gown for more shimmer. You can also mix and match embellishments, but do it in a tasteful manner.

Choose the right areas on the dress to embellish for maximum impact

Many brides embellish along the neckline or a hem. You can also add sleeves or change the design of the neckline with an overlay. If a new design will be created on the dress, the bride may want to make a sketch of her design idea first. This helps with refining ideas and can be used as a guide during the embellishing.

Consult your bridal consultant or seamstress for suggestions

Most elaborate embellishments will have to be done by a professional seamstress. Your wedding dress consultant is also an expert who will be able to make useful suggestions. So, be open to ideas and welcome suggestions from both of them for dress embellishment ideas. They can suggest how to embellish your wedding dress to achieve the final effect you desire. Apart from that, they can also advice if certain ideas that you may have may not be practical. So, use their expertise to your benefit.

Consider factors like fabric to choose the right type of embellishment

Beads are a popular choice for DIY wedding dress embellishments. Adding small pearl or crystal beads to lace on a dress is made easier by the lace design. When choosing beads, consider the weight of the fabric. Lightweight fabric can hold only so much weight. If adding beading to the neckline, leave space under the arms. Otherwise, the beads cause chaffing and are extremely uncomfortable. Your seamstress should be able to guide you in this regard and suggest the most practical choices to complete your bridal look.

Pay attention to the overall look and effect on fitting when adding beading to a dress

Another thing to consider is the effect of beading on the dress. Covering a large area of the bodice with beads may cause some shrinkage which will affect how the dress fits. If you are only adding a line of beads along a neckline or hem, the shrinking should not be as much of a problem unless the person is gathering a bit of the fabric with the stitches.

Consider the overall cost of the embellishments as well as charges for the service

Sew-on crystals come in many sizes, shapes, and colors. The cost of crystals can add up quickly. Keep your budget in mind when choosing wedding dress embellishments. A very affordable embellishment is lace. The bride can purchase a lace appliqué or choose lace at a fabric store. A lace appliqué is ready to sew on the dress. If using lace, select a small section of the lace pattern that you would like to use as an embellishment and cut around it. The bride can add sequins or beads to the piece of lace before adding it to the dress.

Pay close attention to the finer details that will affect the overall finish

Simple details can quickly alter the overall finish of the dress. Unless you pay close attention to the details, the embellishments will stand out and not look like they belong in the dress. When sewing on appliqués or lace, use a matching silk thread rather than an all-purpose thread. Sew a small stitch such as a blanket stitch around the entire edge of the appliqué or lace. For a bold new look, some women like to cut away the fabric behind the appliqué which will create an embellishment that people can see through. Of course, the appliqué would have to be on an area of the dress where exposed skin will not be inappropriate. Lace embellishments with cut outs can be a nice way to add interest to plain sleeves.

Removable embellishments also work

If you aren’t sure of committing to fixed embellishments, there are several removable accessories that can create a similar impact. Even the simplest wedding dress can be dressed up with these options and converted into a more-expensive looking gown. Here are some ideas:

  • Consider adding a crystal studded waistband or sash to add bling to your outfit.
  • If you don’t want to add sleeves, you can simply pair your dress with a removable bolero for a similar effect.
  • An even simpler way of embellishing your dress on the cheap is to pin fabric flowers or lace appliques to chosen areas of your dress. You can do this anywhere; in the hem, neckline, strap or train using tiny sewing pins.
  • Or for more bling, add an ornate brooch. A vintage brooch worn in the middle of the bodice can have a striking appearance. Or add it to the waistline.

Always match your DIY wedding dress embellishments to the existing details on the dress

You can easily mess up your overall look if your DIY embellishments clash with the existing details in your dress. So, pay close attention to the details that are already present and use it as a starting point. Look at the style of the work and try to match your new embellishments to what is already there. If you will be using more beading or crystals to an already embellished gown, make sure that the new embellishments match the colors and designs present. Try to use embellishments of similar or superior quality to do it best.

Consider the accessories as well when choosing embellishments

Although your dress may be simple, you may already have picked out statement accessories to wear on your wedding day. Make sure that the details you add to your dress go well with these accessories. So, if your veil has a lace trim, keep the effect in your dress cohesive by choosing a similar embellishment. Or if there is a sparkly detail on the veil, add a matching trim to your neckline to highlight this detail. And if you will be wearing pearls on your wedding day, make sure the beading on your dress looks cohesive with these accent pieces.

Don’t hesitate to explore colorful accents as well

In 1840, Queen Victoria embellished her wedding dress with orange blossoms for a pop of color. If you are looking for ways to subtly add color to your wedding outfit without going overboard, consider colorful details to embellish your wedding dress. Choose your appliques, trims, beading or embroidery in colors that match your wedding palette. Or pin down certain colorful embellishments to your dress for a welcome pop of color. It will not only add a creative twist to your wedding outfit, but will also reflect your colorful personality.

Your wedding day comes once in a lifetime, and you deserve a perfectly beautiful wedding dress for it. This dress should most importantly help you look and feel as you had always dreamed of looking on your wedding day. So, let those creative juices flow and have fun exploring various ways in which you can look different on your wedding day. Find the right embellishments to transform a dull dress into a dazzling version in no time. Create that unique look, and you will be glad you put in the time and effort to do it when you look back at it years from now.

For more ways to personalize your wedding experience with creative DIY ideas, browse the Best for Bride blog. And for the bride who wishes to make a statement, we have the perfect wedding dresses for you, whatever be your taste. Whether you prefer a simple wedding gown that you can embellish yourself or one that is opulent and complete in this respect, find it at our Best for Bride wedding dress gallery. Visit us here.

3 thoughts on “How to Embellish a Wedding Dress

  1. Great tips, as always. Taking a normal, plain looking dress and adjusting it with these tips makes for a entirely different look!

  2. Place your wedding dress on a flat surface, with the front of the dress facing up. Determine which areas of the dress you want to bead. Popular areas include the bodice, the waistline and the sleeves of the dress. Follow the seams of the wedding dress to determine where adding beads will embellish the dress. You can sew beads along vertical and horizontal seams.

    1. Awesome tips! Thanks!

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