7 Creative Ways to Personalize Your Wedding Look

On a day defined by tradition, there are plenty of ways to break the mold.

When it comes to weddings, brides can sometimes feel surprised by how many decisions are hemmed in by social etiquette and family expectations. Fortunately, many of these rules are loosening—if not being disregarded altogether. These days, you can wear a black wedding dress if you prefer, or throw a (subtly…or not so subtly) themed ceremony. And if those options aren’t your cup of tea, many others are, running the gamut from bold to minimal. Here are some of our favorites.

1. Customize your veil.

Veils are one of the most iconic bridal accessories, and yet have also gone through significant style shifts over the years. So maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that many brides view them as a perfect place to try something new! Take a romp through Etsy and you’ll be sure to find all kinds of inspiration, including colorful embroidery, pastel shades of blue and pink, and hems embellished with ruffles, feathers, and fringe.  We even have a few outside-of-the-box styles here, including some with floral elements, polka dots, and of course, a black veil to pair with our black wedding dresses.

We love the idea of a custom veil to pair with Victoriah. The train is long but simple, which compliments a statement veil because you won’t have to worry about covering up too much detail.

2. Invest in an heirloom jacket.

Depending on when you get married in Michigan, the weather can be chilly out! Even if you’re warm enough inside the venue, a statement jacket can keep you warm as you go between locations or when you’re outdoors for photos.

We just picked up a new collection of bridal merchandise from the Heirloom Bridal Company which features custom jean jackets among other accessories. We love the idea of denim to complete your bridal look—and you’ll be able to wear it on your honeymoon, too!

3. Alter sleeves and straps.

One of the most common alterations a bride asks for on her dress has to do with the sleeves or straps—adding, removing, making longer or shorter, wider or narrower, the list goes on. Whether you want your shoulders on display or covered up, this is the kind of easy switch that most dresses can accommodate.

For example, we love the clean lines on Caden, but some brides feel insecure in a strapless gown. Spaghetti straps on this dress would be a straightforward alteration, but the sky’s the limit when it comes to an originally strapless gown—drapey sleeves, flowy sleeves, fitted long sleeves—and our designers can even supply matching lace to make the final dress look more cohesive.

4. Rethink the hemline.

Some brides love the drama of a sweeping train while for others the length feels clumsy and hard to dance in—even once it’s been gathered into the bustle. There’s nothing tying you to a long train if you would rather trim the train and re-hem the dress to a more manageable length.

If you want a more modern spin, you can also modify the dress to have a high-low hemline. We think Starr would be a good candidate for this pick: the simplistic, yet sturdy skirt fabric is ideal for creating a high-low silhouette, and you can save the cut off for another purpose, such as veil trim, a bouquet wrap, or, eventually, a christening gown.

5. Poof or de-poof the skirt.

Love a gown but feel like the silhouette is just a little too full? A lot of the volume comes from the petticoats sewn in underneath the dress. You can often take a ballgown down to an A-line by removing the petticoats. Or you can take things in reverse: If you love an A-line but want more volume, adding petticoats will make it a ballgown.

Take Rubie, for example. We love the ballgown silhouette, but if you’re more interested in a flowing silhouette with more of a boho vibe, reducing some of the poof would get you there.

6. Adjust plunge necklines.

Some brides like to go for a more daring look on their wedding day, and other brides prefer to keep things modest—especially if they’re planning a church wedding. Plunge necklines tend to be a frequent dividing point for many brides, with some viewing them as a feature, and others as something to avoid.

The good news is that a plunging neckline can easily be hidden by adding fabric—think a few  lace appliques or a fabric panel—behind the plunge to convert the neckline into something more modest, especially if the gown already features a sheer panel like on Bella.

7. Add a sentimental touch.

Finally, some of the most personal choices may not be visible to anyone but you. We’ve seen brides add buttons to a dress from other family members’ gowns, such as their grandmother, their mother, or their sister, or using fabric from other dresses to sew a heart somewhere on the dress.

Our favorite variation on this theme is to sew a fabric heart from a father or grandfather’s shirt on the inside of the bodice. We think this is a beautiful way to honor these family members, and can have special meaning for the bride if that person has passed on or is not able to attend the wedding.

We can help you find The One—and make it yours.

A wedding dress is the most emotional garment most brides will buy in their lifetime. With so much riding on the decision, many women feel immense pressure to make a choice that both lives up to the expectations of the day while also representing their individuality. Navigating those options is no easy task, but fortunately, we’re here to help you find your way.


Our TWD-ettes can work with you to guide you to a dress that makes your heart sing, and offer creative suggestions for making it your own. Book an appointment with us to get started!