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FAQ'S


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FAQ'S


Questions/réponses en français à venir!!!!

 

FAQ'S


 

BESPOKE BRIDAL

 

what does À THÉ SOUHAITS MEAn?

When my mother and sisters planned a baby shower tea party for me, I fell head over heals with the ceremony known as 'Afternoon Tea'. The name À Thé Souhaits came to me in my dream soon after. I kid you not! Basically it means AS YOU WISH in french with a Québécois play on words. Explaining the phonetics in text is a little difficult, so be sure to ask me when we meet! I believe that "with a cup of tea in hand, anything is possible." It's the perfect way to get to know someone, encourages the flow of ideas and relaxes the soul. Tea time is the best introduction to any beginning. And since I am in the business of creating your dream dress, À Thé Souhaits or As You Wish sound fitting, don't you agree?

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A CUSTOM WEDDING GOWN MADE?

Having your wedding dress custom made is a form of self-expression like no other. It reflects your outer and inner beauty as your wedding gown was once a vision only you can see. You've imagined your big day since you were small, so now let your imagination shine as you walk down the aisle.

WHAT ARE THE DRAWBACKS?

The biggest and realistic drawback that I regularly encounter is time. This is a process I do not like to rush. Everyone of my clients deserve a dress that is magnificent! For everything else, there is always a solution. If style, fit and budget are your concern, I encourage you to go shopping and try out as many dresses as possible.  This way you will have a good idea of what style suits you best and where you feel comfortable budget wise. Your satisfaction is my number one priority and I will try to accommodate your vision as much as possible. If you don't trust what you can't see, that's what my sketch sessions are for. As a designer I am able to visualize your ideas and interpret them onto paper. Remember, not everyone is meant to have a custom made gown and thats ok. You will look amazing regardless! But you can trust me enough to bring you vision to life and on schedule. So sit back and enjoy this experience. 

DO YOU CARRY ANY DESIGNER DRESSES?

No, unfortunately at this time all dresses are custom designed and made to order. However if you have a dress you like I can create something similar. (See next question.)

DO YOU MAKE REPLICAS OF DESIGNER WEDDING GOWNS?

Every gown I make is unique to it's owner. While the shape may look similar to another, the details are personalized just for you. I encourage you to bring me your inspiration material such as a mood board (Pinterest) magazine clippings, fabric and colour. We'll work together and take all your favourite element and create a unique dress. If you can draw I would totally love for you to bring me your own work of art. As a fellow artist, there is no better visual then someone's pen to paper creation.

Can you sketch something unique?

Now we’re talking! At the initial consultation or correspondence in which you communicate to me what you are envisioning, I will draw up one or more sketches of possible designs to choose from. These sketches may be synthesized or modified until the final design is agreed upon. Please understand that out of respect for my time I may not be able to do multiple consultations or sketches until you have committed to having the dress made and paid the deposit.

Can I take the sketch of my dress home to show my friends and family?

Yes but I will ask  for a $50 deposit. I do this to protect myself and my designs, as I have no guarantee that you will return unless a contract is signed. While I am happy to draw for you, my illustrations are unique and I do not give them out for free. However, upon your return I will be happy to deduct the $50 charge once a contract is signed.

HOW MUCH DOES A CUSTOM GOWN COST?

Too often people make the mistake of comparing the price of a custom gown with one they can buy in stores. That's like comparing apples to oranges. A store bought dress is made by companies with immense purchasing power and therefore can produce in bulk and reduce their prices. This sometimes means they trade in quality for affordable cost. Meanwhile, a custom dress may cost you more but you get a personalized service worth its price tag. Remember, over 100 hours is dedicated to make your handmade dress just right. Furthermore, while I do not include fabric (and embellishments) in my prices, you have complete control over how much you want to spend on your materials. The final cost of your dress depends on you.

  • CUSTOM WEDDING GOWN start at $2000 (fabric & embellishments are not included)

  • ALL OTHER CUSTOM DRESSES start at $800 (fabric & embellishments are not included)

  • LITTLE MISS CUSTOM DRESSES start at $200 (fabric & embellishments are not included)

A custom gown is not for everyone. If you are not ready for this sort of financial commitment, I implore you to seek alternative options. I can assist you with that decision if need be. But if you understand that the cost reflects the quality and amount of work involved and believe that your dress is worth the investment, then a custom dress is definitely for you. 

HOW MUCH DOES FABRIC COST?

The reality is, some fabric & embellishment choices may cost you double that of your dress. But with diligent shopping and good suppliers, I will offer you a range of choice with different price points, allowing you to make the best decision for your dress.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

A well made wedding dress can take 100 hours or more to make. This will be spread out over the course of  several weeks (15-20 weeks) Other factors can also influence the timeframe; flexibility for fitting appointments and  high season. For a rush request, I may be able to take on your project and expedite it but it's a case by case situation.

What is your process?

  1. Tea time consultation & concept sketch

  2. Design and development

  3. Material research, selection and pick-up

  4. Pattern design and dress mockup

  5. Fittings and adjustments

  6. Final dress production

  7. Embellishments and finishings

  8. Final fittings of actual dress

  9. Dress pick-up

DO I HAVE ANY SAY IN THE PROCESS?

I consider each one of my clients as a partner. The vision is yours, I only interpret it. How much you want to be involved is up to you. I do require you to be present at all fittings as you are unique to your own shape, especially if that shape changes from one week to another. Shopping days are optional. You may choose to get all the materials yourself or I can assist you personally as well if you are not sure where to go or what to buy. We can communicate by phone or email. Follow-ups are made regularly so that you can see the evolution of your dress. 

HOW DO PAYMENTS WORK?

Your consultation is free and your tea is on the house. After design, materials and budget is discussed, a 60% deposit is required upon first scheduled fitting. Another 20% is required at your mock-up fitting and the balance is due the day you pick-up your dress. (Your sketch and alterations are all included in the final price) Currently I only accept cash, checks or e-transfers. An administration fee of $30 will be charged for NSF payments.

What is your cancellation policy?

I hope to never cancel with a client and I will do my absolute best to work with you in order to ensure the best service product possible. Should any problems arise, I truly believe 'where there’s a will, there’s a way'. However, your dress is customized to you and you alone. For this reason, I believe that a fair cancellation policy should be adopted in order to protect both parties involved. Please read carefully.

  1. The client has 5 days to cancel once a contract has been signed and À Thé Souhaits will fully refund your deposit. (Minus the illustration fee).

  2. If the client wishes to cancel the project BEFORE the mockup fitting, deposits are non-refundable

  3. If the client wishes to cancel the project AFTER the mockup fitting, they will incur the charge for the full cost of the project. Refunds are not possible as final materials will have been purchased, time allocated to the project and construction started. 

Do you have any pets or kids?

Full disclosure, I have 3 kids, 2 cats and 1 husband who bakes (No, he's not for sale.). If any of these are deal-breakers, then I'm truly sorry we can't work together. If you don't mind but are worried about leaving your dress with me please know that I treat every dress like it was my own; I would turn into Mrs. Hyde if someone messed with my dress. That being said, I have taken measures to keep every dress in my care, safe, in a fully zipper sealed clothed rack, in my studio, away from furry claws and dirty little hands. We do not smoke and I vacuum my house daily (mainly because 2/3 of my kids have allergies) so dust mites and cat hair are under control. If you are allergic to cats (or babies) then maybe I'm not the best fit after all.

WHAT IF I CHANGE MY MIND ABOUT WHAT I WANT?

I truly believe that a bespoke gown is a team effort between the wearer and the designer, so if along the way there are minor changes you would like to make, I can do them at no extra cost. However a major change, like additional fabric or a different style may require additional time and a renegotiation of price. Please make sure that you are 100% sure with your vision and feel free to communicate your concerns at all time. After all, a stitch in time saves nine!

DO YOU ONLY DO WEDDING DRESSES?

I can design and sew all sort of dresses; evening, prom, even flower girls dresses. 

CAN YOU MAKE CUSTOMIZE ACCESSORIES TO MATCH?

Absolutely! Veils, headpieces, sashes, fabric bouquets, boutonnieres, etc. 

CAN I RETURN THE DRESS IF I DON'T LIKE IT?

No. It is important that you are 100% committed to this project once I start making the dress. I know that wedding planning is an emotional time; a sudden change of heart, a better offer or unforeseen circumstance could arise. But once a dress has been started, there are no refunds or cancellations. I will however try my best to work with you and find a solution but I truly hope it never comes to that. My goal is to give you a great experience and make you a dress to be proud of. To do so, good communication, clear vision and patience are key elements for a great partnership. I will do regular follow-ups to make sure that we are always on the same page.

DO YOU make suits and TUXEDOs?

Unfortunately, this type of sewing is a little out of my jurisdiction. My talent lies strictly with dress design. However, I give your groom a referral, so don't be shy to ask me.

 

ALTERATIONS

 

How long should I wait be for I bring my WEDDING dress in for alterations?

One to two month prior to your event is a safe bet for major alterations and half that for minor ones. I know that brides are particularly vulnerable when it comes to scheduling their fittings. Often times one does not receive their dress until very late due to unforeseen happenstance. Plain and simple, this is a stress full time that will inherently affect (or not) their physical appearance. So I am not overly strict with brides. My motto is "There is always a solution!"

That being said...every alteration is different. If you are in need of a quick stitch or a simple hem a week before your event, fitting you in won't be a problem. However, fitting in a whole wedding party may add a little stress to my time line. Every job is different so the best thing to do is ask and see.

Speaking of quick fix, should you require a rush job within 3 weeks of wear date, a 15% rush fee will be added to your total cost of alterations. (20% during high season) Should you disagree with these terms, I will happily refer you to another seamstress.

How much do alterations cost?

Depending on the dress and the complexity of the alteration, prices will vary from $300 to $800 for wedding dresses and $150-$500 for special occasion dresses. Your best bet is to bring me your dress and I will give you a free estimate of what type of alterations your need and how much they will cost.

Do you offer party packages?

Not at the moment. Every dress is individually assessed and charged accordingly. If you do bring me your whole wedding party, be sure contact me at least a month in advance.

How long do alterations take?

This will greatly depend on your availability and the number of fitting required throughout the process, as well as my current workload. While some alterations may only require one fitting if any at all, others may requires 3 or 4 fittings. This can all be discussed during our first meeting or over the phone/email.

Do you personally take care of my alterations?

Yes I do. I take great pride in what I do and I want to offer all my clients great service. However during high season, if I feel that the workload exceeds my time, I will delegate some of it to a trusted colleague. Such happenstance will be discussed with you before any hand-offs.

HOW MUCH DOES AN UPCYCLED DRESS COST?

The cost of the dress itself is at your discretion. Technically speaking, upcycling a dress is like doing major alterations, so the cost is a little more then regular wedding alterations but less then a custom design gown from scratch. I can only determined cost once I've assessed your dress and have discussed the new design with you.

DO YOU REQUIRE FABRIC IF YOU ARE UPCYCLING AN OLD DRESS

Yes, depending on how well preserved the fabric is, I may have to use new fabric to replace the old. Sometimes upcycling simply means to re-use certain elements of the old dress on a new one.

what do you mean by maximizing fabric?

The scraps leftover after I've cut up fabric can be reused to create smaller items, like fabric flowers for your bridesmaids bouquet. There are a number of little projects that we can come up with together to minimize our footprint on this planet. This is just one one them.

 

COMMISSION AN ILLUSTRATION

 

How Do You Proceed?

An illustration can be commissioned one of two ways; By scheduling an appointment with me or through email communications. When you contact me, a confirmation email will be sent to you within 24 hours. In that email I will ask you to send me high resolution picture of your wedding gown or dress of your choice. Please include a full front and back angle and close up details of your dress. An illustration can take up to 3 weeks to complete once photos are received.

DO YOU ILLUSTRATE OTHER TYPES OF DRESSES?

Of course! While Bridal is my passion, I also love doing fashion and nursery illustrations.

WHAT SIZES DO YOU OFFER?

An illustration can be made in any size but please inquire first.

DO YOU DO COLOUR ILLUSTRATIONS?

Yes, a colour illustration can be requested.

CAN YOU SHIP ANYWHERE?

Yes but shipping costs do apply.

WHAT ARE YOUR SHIPPING COSTS?

Shipping costs will vary depending on your location and what you have commissioned. Only then can I give you an actual shipping estimate.

DOES EVERY ILlustration come with a White MAt frame or is this extra?

The white mat frame is an optional add-on with additional costs. 

How long does it take to create a dress illustration?

It will take me anywhere between 2-3 weeks to complete you illustration (depending on the season). A one week rush can also be requested and I will do my best to comply but if I feel that my workload does not allow I will let you know. An illustration is a work of art and it should be given proper amount of time and respect to have it done right. After all, it represents a very special moment for you. Rush fees do apply.

Can I request personal elements to be included in my illustration?

Of course. This is what makes your illustration so special. Please be sure to include a picture of said personal element and I will include it in your illustration.

How will my dress be presented in my illustration? On a hanger or bust?

That is entirely up to you. If you saw a design on Pinterest or Google that caught your interest, let me know I will be sure to interpret it my way into your illustration.

Do you do portraits?

Yes I do. Just be sure to send me clear pictures.

Is it just a pencil sketch or do you use other art mediums?

I am proficient in most art mediums but I prefer working with pencil & ink pen, occasionally professional markers. However I do not shy away from alternate options. If you see something you like, let me know and if I can, I will work with your medium of choice.

what is a mix media illustration?

A mix media illustration is a regular illustration but has additional textured features such as recycled fabric, beading, embroidery, etc. that is added to the illustration.

What is an "Illustrated collection"?

An Illustrated Collection is a composition of (i.e.) bridal dress and accessories illustrated on different art boards and together they create a story of your wedding day embellishments. It's a neat way to decorate a wall or preserve a memory in more way then one. A nursery collection is also a popular theme for Illustrated Collections.

 
Due to a few minor constraints, some dresses may be harder for me to take on then others and I would like to apologize in advance if this is you. I work out of home so my workspace is small and may not be able to accommodate the creation of a grand ball gown. Also, as a work-at-home-mom I must share the time I have between work and my kids. (If you are a parent, I know you’ll understand this struggle all to well.) I always do my best to honour my commitments, however should a family emergency arise, I will make arrangements that your dress is entrusted to someone I know and trust to do the job as good or better then I would. As for my skills, I am quite proficient in many areas; machine sewing, hand sewing, hand embroidery, beading, crochet, etc. However some projects may require machines that I do not have access to and therefore may hinder my ability to take on a particular dress design. If for any reason I cannot accept your dress project, it would be my pleasure to refer you to someone who can.
— Melissa