Bridal Couture

Mrs. Shana Siegel Helms

Like many brides, I had always dreamed of my perfect wedding dress and my perfect wedding day. I dreamed of arriving at the doors of the chapel dressed in the perfect Victorian inspired red wedding dress. Red is my favorite color and I have always wanted a red wedding dress. It did not take me more than one visit to a traditional bridal shop to realize that I would need to have my dress custom made. I had absolutely no idea where to even find someone who could make the dress that I had in mind. So, I did what most people do nowadays - search the Internet.

While the Moulin Rouge dress was the inspiration and similar to the dress of my dreams, it was not exact. Many online costume hobbyists, inspired by the red Moulin Rouge dress, sell copies and interpretations, but still I was left searching. I could not imagine that a dress designed for Nicole Kidman would flatter my much shorter and curvier figure. I found a San Francisco Corsetry shop, but one meeting with them did not convince me that they could understand and implement my vision.

Around the same time I also found Grace Bridal, and one look at the website renewed my hope. I spoke with Loyce on the phone and immediately liked her. At our first meeting, I brought my laptop on which I had saved a dozen pictures of late Victorian dresses, none of which exactly captured what I had in mind, but all of which contained elements of my dream gown. Once I was satisfied that she understood what I wanted, we began immediately searching for fabric. After searching three months, Loyce sent me several sample pieces, which she thought I might like. Inside that box was the perfect red - better than I had imagined.

Now with the perfect fabric in hand, Loyce began the process of making the muslin mock up of my dress. It was during this first part of the process that I really began to appreciate how much Loyce understood my dream. She knew how to best complement my figure and hide my flaws all while keeping true to my dream. I took my mother and maid of honor to most all of my appointments and Loyce made us feel so comfortable and welcome that we often did not want to leave because we were having such a good time.

The conversations with Loyce were some of the most fun, relaxing, and memorable times of the year I spent planning my wedding. Loyce gave me ideas for flowers, helped my maid of honor find a suitable off the rack designer dress that suited her, and did the alterations as well.

However, the best thing that Loyce did was create the dress of my dreams. When I tried on my dress at my final fitting, all I could say was that it was EXACTLY what I wanted. It was perfect. Loyce not only understood my dream, she shared it with me.

I am not sure that I can express how perfect my dress was. All I can say is that it was EXACTLY what I wanted. The soft V shape neckline, back corset lacing, the bustle, and the train that gave the back of my dress the point of interest that was just as stunning as I had dreamed of. I wanted the back of my dress to keep them interested. The front of my dress was also fabulous; Loyce positioned one of the beaded flowers directly in the center of my neckline at the lowest part of the V, giving it an eye-catching sparkle. She also found me the perfect necklace and earring set to compliment my dress. Loyce’s attention to details is perfection. I had been dreaming for years of the perfect romantic dress and Loyce had made it for me.

I was running late on my wedding day but when I arrived at the chapel, Loyce and her Mom were already there waiting to help me dress. With the help of my bridesmaids they kept me calm, dressed me and prepared me for my pre-ceremony pictures.

Outside as my photographer took pictures of the bridesmaids and I, a small group of onlookers who were not guests of the wedding, just visiting the chapel that day, showered me with compliments on my wedding dress. A few more visitors, also not guests, took pictures of me from afar. I felt like a movie star - I had fans. However, my biggest fan was waiting for me at the end of the aisle.

When I walked into the chapel on the arm of my step-Dad, I swear I heard my guests gasp. One of my husband’s groomsmen told me that he saw my husband’s jaw drop when he saw me. While my husband and most of my guests knew that I would be wearing a red dress, nobody could imagine what it would look like. After the ceremony, everybody complimented me how beautiful I looked, they all wanted to know where and how I got the dress. Lucky for me, Loyce was still around and I so I was able to introduce this amazing woman who designed and made my dream dress.

Thanks Loyce!