Couture or Off-The-Rack? Everything You Need To Know

Couture or pre-made wedding dresses?

This article is a must read for all brides, giving you the inside scoop on what to truly expect when choosing Couture or Off The Rack Wedding Dresses.   It’s honest and eye opening, filled with lots of great tips.

It can be a really difficult process trying to find your gorgeous wedding gown.  Don’t go into the process being blind sited and then get stung for $100’s you hadn’t accounted for.  This is the first of many decisions you need to make when choosing your dress and you need to know what your really up for.
Here are your 2 wedding choices in a nutshell:

Couture Bridal Gowns:

Hand crafted, one of a kind gown to perfectly fit you.
What bride wouldn’t want a bridal gown beautifully created for them? You can have exactly what you want (as long as it’s doable).  The fabrics, lace, beading etc. are completely your choice. The sky is the limit!

What You Need To Know:

  • Couture is usually more expensive than off the rack.
  • Prices are often starting from $3000 up (can go way up to $15,000 + depending on designer and style).
  • If you change your mind during the design process, you may be up for some extra charges so make sure you always check before requesting changes.
  • While ever your gown is still being made the adjustments are usually included in the cost if you lose weight unlike RTW wedding dresses.
  • You will most likely have 6 + fittings.
  • Usually allow 6 months give or take (depending on the designer, they may be a bit more flexible if need be)
  • You need to choose someone you connect well with, that will listen to your requests while offering helpful honest advice.
  • You also need to make sure that they are a talented couturier and produce quality gowns.  You want them to actually be able to create your dream gown.
  • It does require decision making skills, most designers have samples that you can choose from which helps but if you wanted to create something more unique, lots of decisions will have to be made.
  • This is a great option also when you know what you want but can’t find it.
  • It’s the perfect excuse you may ever get to have something beautiful made for you.
  • It’s a wonderful experience, your the main feature of a masterpiece being created before your very eyes.
  • If you need to justify the price bare in mind that you can always resell it after your wedding to recoup some of the costs, you will always have the photos.Couture gowns


Off-the-rack bridal gowns, usually purchased from trying on a sample and the store ordering in the colour and size you want.

This is technically a simpler option of the two in the sense that the designing is already done for you, usually the only things that would need to change is altering it to get the right fit.

What You Need To Know:

  • It’s seemingly the cheaper option but their are hidden costs you need to be aware of.
  • RTW wedding dresses are usually $1000 – $4000 give or take but then you have the alterations.
  • A lot of bridal stores will charge $300 for just the hem.
  • Always make sure you find out roughly how much alterations will cost and factor that in to your budget.
  • Some brides get stung $1000 just for the alterations.
  • You may be up for a couple of fittings to get the alterations right.
  • Does the wedding store have parking or is easily accessible? You will need to go there to collect your dress and any alterations you need so if you have to pay for parking, you need to factor that into the costings also.
  • If you need alterations, sometimes the store that you purchase your dress from can do them.
  • Bridal stores can however charge very well so it may be worth while seeking another quote, it could save you loads.  Always make sure though they are professional dressmakers, you have paid a lot of money for you dress, you don’t want it to get destroyed.
  • It usually requires 6 months (some stores can/will fast track your order if you need it sooner but this usually does cost more)
  • Make sure you read the terms and conditions before you purchase your dress.
  • Some stores are very strict on payments and collection.
  • You may have to pick up your wedding dress on certain days of the week and not weekends, the same with alterations.
  • Some bridal stores are very helpful when your wanting to purchase a dress and once they have you locked in are not very helpful thereafter.  Reading reviews are a very helpful way to find out what you may be in for with any particular store.
    Rtw wedding dresses with glam couture

    Just A Few Extra Tips To Finish On:

  • Don’t choose a style just because you love it, it needs to suit you.
  • Dresses look great in magazines, they are meant to, they are on professional models and possibly airbrushed.  You need to be realistic about what suits you and your body type.
  • For tips on what dresses will suit your body type view this article.
  • Don’t choose a wedding dress just because it has a certain designer label in it.
  • When trying on bridal gowns, don’t go to too many stores, it just gets really confusing and you forget all the dresses that you loved.
  • Be really selective with who you take to try dresses on, you want someone who will be honest, knows your taste and has your best interests at heart.  It’s helpful to take one or two people with you to help you decide but don’t take any more than that.  You will end up way too confused and likely to buy something that someone else liked instead of what you loved.
  • Likewise, don’t take too many people to fittings once your dress is selected if any, it becomes really unhelpful for you and the designer.
Hopefully this has been insightful and helpful for you to decide exactly what your after.
For more info on choosing a wedding dress view here.

We would love to help so feel free to email us at [email protected]/glam_couture


 For gorgeous bridal jewellery and accessories to compliment SHOP NOWGlam couture bridal jewellery


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