I didn't know what I set in motion when I contacted a friend who owns Onyx Bridal (previously Second Summer Bride)
about being a "back-up" seamstress.
I started sewing by making an apron as a 4-H project when I was 6 or 7 - kind of hard to remember that far back!
Then, my mom made me take 4 years of Home Ec in my South Dakota high school. And when I was in college I worked in a fabric store. They would provide the fabric for projects as long as they hung as a display for 30 days. One day, a customer came in wanting a wedding dress made and because she was able to see the quality of my work in several projects on display, she hired me to sew her wedding dress. Since she was so happy with it, I agreed to make my best friend's wedding dress a few months later. Then, after decades away from such complex projects, I thought it would be fun to work on a few dresses again while continuing to officiate ceremonies.
Before I had time to make an appointment to discuss what being a back-up seamstress meant to me, the shop owner called me to say that her primary seamstress had given notice and asked if I could replace her. I gave her a hesitant "maybe?" But after shadowing her primary for a bit, my "maybe" became a "yes". I've thus been busy with all kinds of fancy, lacy, beaded and sequined fabrics, and all kinds of body shapes, for the past 5 years. Most of this work has been through the shop but I take outside clients when time permits.
And sometimes when officiating, I've even had to repair--right before the ceremony!--sewing done by others .
Rule of thumb is 6-8 weeks before your wedding.
If you're getting married in June or October,
a longer lead time may be required.
Make sure you bring your shoes, any foundation garments you plan to wear and possibly a sacrificial underwire bra to your first fitting.
It all depends what you want done and how much time it will take to make your vision become reality.
My prices generally range from $400-800 but that doesn't mean
I haven't done dresses for more or for less.
This bride had me add lace-trimmed drop sleeves and pockets.