How I Work

How I Work

“I felt so privileged that you did the fitting personally and was exceptionally impressed with your customer service and friendliness. I will always recommend you to friends who are looking for a luxurious dress and first class service.” Victoria Lake
Sharon Cunningham wedding dress designer

I design and sketch every single couture bridal gown, occasion and evening dress. I measure and make every pattern, and do all the pattern-cutting myself, both for the initial version, the toile, and for the final dress. And I oversee my atelier where my team of dressmakers make up the dresses.

You will always deal directly with me and I will always be there at the end of the phone or an email should you have a question about the design process or an idea about your wedding dress that you’d like to share with me.

Many of my bridal clients come for an initial consultation having spotted one of my dresses in a magazine or fallen in love with one they’ve seen on this website. Most have a good idea of what they like and what they don’t. We discuss this and everything else about the wedding at our first meeting.

Here’s how the design process will typically run for a wedding dress. Sometimes, though, more or less appointments may be required, depending on the gown designed. More time may be required between appointments, depending on the fabric and finish chosen. And if you’re having a dress made for an occasion or evening event, a similar process applies, but it will probably be slightly shorter in time frame, depending on the scale of the design.

Our Process

1. Initial Consultation

This is where I get to hear all about your plans for the wedding, the season and the setting and your aspirations for your wedding dress. We’ll discuss designs, shapes, fabrics, beading, colours, corsetry and accessories. I’ll also take all your key measurements. This will give me everything I need to prepare some initial designs and a quote for your exclusive wedding dress. Sometimes this quote can be completed at this initial consultation depending on the design chosen.

2. 2nd Meeting (+1–2 weeks)

Here we’ll review and finalise my design ideas for your wedding dress, as well as the details of the creative process, the timings, costs and next steps. A deposit of one third of the total is paid at this stage to book having your gown made with me.

3. Toile Fitting (+1 month)

I make a full mock-up of your wedding dress in cotton. This will give you a good idea of how it will look and it also gives me a framework from which I can make more detailed adjustments and amendments ahead of creating and cutting the final patterns. At this stage the next payment is made of another third.

4. First Dress Fitting (+2–3 months)

This is always an exciting moment! When you get to try on your wedding dress for the very first time, in the actual fabric! There are still adjustments to be made and details to be finalised but, at this fitting, you’ll be able to see how you will look on your wedding day. Third and final payment for your gown is made at this point.

5. Second Dress Fitting (+1 month)

This fitting takes you one step closer to the final wedding dress. All the major adjustments from the first fitting will have been made. We’re now down to the final details at this point.

6. Final Fitting (+1 month)

Any changes at the final fitting will all be about the very tiniest details, making sure that everything is absolutely perfect for your big day.

7. Collection (within 2 weeks)

I will store and pack your dress perfectly for you, ready for you to collect in good time, ahead of your wedding day. Alternatively I can send your dress by secure delivery. And, if you like, I can come and help you into your dress on the day.