Couture vs. Ready to Wear

Having that beautiful diamond sparkling on your finger is definitely an enormous joy, but nothing comes close to the excitement a bride feels when she is standing in her perfect wedding gown, feeling like a true princess. This is exactly why we woman become so passionate about selecting that one and only gown that has to outshine any gown you have ever worn or will ever wear. Nowadays, wedding gowns have become part of an industry that is constantly growing and reaching new heights regarding the different options for your choice of bridal gown. Therefore, making a commitment to a gown becomes a rather big and expensive deal. One of the biggest choices will be between Couture and a Ready-to-Wear gown, so which should you choose? Ultimately the choice still remains yours and that is exactly why we decided to only provide you with the facts that will enable you to make a more informed choice. Bottom of Form


A couture wedding gown is fitted and sewn to specifically fit the client’s body, often requiring extensive personal consultations and several fittings for the perfect outcome. Being present for the fittings also gives the bride an opportunity to give input in the design, making it more flexible, as well as personal. Being designed and carefully crafted from scratch your couture wedding gown will be one-of-a-kind, portraying your unique and individual style and personality. Typically couture pieces are made of fine fabrics or feature extensive handwork, like beading or embroidery, which can often increase the price of the gown.

Ready-to-wear is basically designer apparel that’s made ready-to-wear in standard sizes and sold through boutiques and online. While consumers can have pieces tailored to fit after purchase, customization is not included in the cost of ready-to-wear apparel. Ready-to-wear wedding gowns are a popular choice with many brides, as the bride-to-be can immediately try on the wedding dress and see the finished product.

Sina frontQuality & Workmanship

Couture gowns are usually made from quality natural fabrics such as silk.  Ready-to-wear wedding dresses are generally produced from more economical fabrics such as synthetics. The difference between natural and synthetic fabrics is in the look and feel of the wedding gown. Shop around as more and more ready-to-wear bridal houses are introducing finer quality fabrics into their collections.  The distinctive characteristic of a couture gown is the finish. Couture gowns are intricately detailed, painstakingly made and perfectly finished. They can take anywhere from 40-several hundreds of hours to produce. In some cases the diamante work alone can take 40 hours. The seams and hems of couture gowns are hand-finished, smooth, invisible and comfortable against the skin. Some ready-to-wear manufacturers glue beads onto the dress instead of sewing them on and machine sew the hems. These little things are what take a wedding dress from lovely to amazing – it’s all in the fine details.
Design Choice & Fit

The sky is the limit with couture wedding gowns. They are a piece of art, sculpted exclusively to fit the bride’s curves like a glove. Couture gowns open up a world of fabrics, colours and embellishments to select from. Ready-to-wear selections are limited to the designs available for sale in the retail store, with many stores generally only carrying a number of designs from each collection. Ready-to-wear wedding dresses are like fashion, they are made to standard sizes. Whilst they may fit those brides-to-be that fall into the ‘standard’ size range, more often than not alterations are still required to ‘take-in’, ‘let-out’, shorten or lengthen different areas.  Alterations to ready-to-wear wedding dresses do add to the cost of the dress, so be mindful of how much you need altered and how much you would like to change.  Changing the neckline, adding beading or sleeve length all add to the cost, so that couture gown may not end up being that much more expensive if you are making several changes to a ready-to-wear gown.


When you consider the individuality and workmanship of a one-of-a-kind designer wedding gown, if you can afford it, it’s the one to go with.  If not, shop around as the quality and designs of some of the better ready-to-wear boutiques come very close to the couture wedding gowns. However, this may vary. “We have quoted some brides for intricate gowns and they have chosen to order ready-to-wear gowns from a well-known store and paid much more, for a much simpler gown (sometimes this is simply due to the perceived convenience). In one particular case, the bride then ended up coming to us asking for assistance in altering the gown as the store was not able to do it correctly,” explained Biji Couture.


With both choices a certain amount of risk is included in the transaction. Should you choose to have a couture gown designed you have only your belief in your designer and a sketch on paper to go on. Although designers these days are very talented, make sure that you have seen some of their work beforehand and that you clearly portray your vision, ensuring that the end result is what you dreamed off and not a complete nightmare.

Ready-to-wear gowns come with their own set of risk factors. Although you can basically see the finished product immediately, every woman’s body is different and alterations will probably be needed. As a bride-to-be you should also carefully structure your timeline if the store still has to order your gown. You don’t want your gown to arrive and it is not what you tried on in the store. Be mindful of leaving enough time for the dress to arrive, have alterations done and ensure a perfect fit.

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