Seven Questions with Wedding Dress Designer Charlotte Francina

by | Oct 8, 2018

Starting the design-process with your wedding dress designer can be quite a daunting task. We’ve teamed up with local wedding dress designer, Charlotte Francina to answer a couple of key questions surrounding the process! Give our latest blog a read.

Event Architect - Romantic Wedding
 If you are wondering which boxes to tick, and when to tick them when it comes to designing your wedding dress, give our latest blog a read: Charlotte from Charlotte Francina Designs shares some insight and information around the design process to ensure you feel comfortable and achieve your best bridal look on your big day.

Question #1 

Q: How can brides best communicate their “inspiration”, wants and needs to designers? Is it a matter of sharing a Pinterest board link, or should it be hours of consultation?
A: Pinterest boards are an amazing way to start the process, it helps the designer to get into the right mindset for the specific bride. After that, however, it is crucial to adapt the design to suit the individual bride. To truly capture the essence of her, face to face coffee-sessions is paramount, and as such – a special part of the process.
Event Architect - Romantic Wedding

Philip + Tayla Wedding images courtesy of Charlotte Francina, Photographer: Astrid Bradley Photography.

Question #2


Q: What is the typical flow of ‘making the dress’. How many fittings should be expected and what are good questions brides can ask during this time?

A: The process, roughly speaking, goes like this : 1. Inspiration – 2. Quote – 3. Consultation – 4. Choose fabric- 5. Fit #1 (Mock fit) – 6. Fit #2 (base construction) – 7. Fit #3 (Finalise base construction) – 8. Fit #4 (Design details, lace, beading etc.).

* What is important for the bride to keep in mind during these steps is that it is exactly that – steps. A dress gets built step by step, this means that the bride only has to focus on one step at a time. Worrying about Step 4 when you are only at Mock fit, is unnecessary and a waste of precious beauty sleep.
Event Architect - Romantic Wedding

Paul + Melain wedding images courtesy of Charlotte Francina, Photographer: Dean Maber.

Question #3


Q: So, how long does it take to design a bridal gown and when should the bride start the process?

A: Contrary to popular belief, it does not take that long to construct an actual gown. However, most designers rotate brides on a schedule,  this rotation to come full circle takes at least 4 months (depending on the designer).

My advise is to start the design and consultation process as soon as possible so you can have peace of mind. Confirm your spot with the designer to make sure you have a box with your name on in the studio, even though the fittings only happen closer to your actual date.
Event Architect - Romantic Wedding

Mooi Troues Styled Shoot Images courtesy of Charlotte Francina, Photographer: Astrid Bradley.

Question #4


Q: Fabric + Fit is a major thing when making any dress. What is the best way to decide on a fabric + fit, and is this where the designer should take the lead? Any tips on great questions to ask to your designer?

A: Fit is paramount. Always. For a dress to fit impeccably it is crucial to use the right fabric for the design.  This is an area where every designer has their preferred fabric choices, and is an area where it is best for them to take the lead. Valuable questions for the bride would be to ask 1.) Bust support (Will the gown have built in cups/boning?) and 2.) Fabric fall and movement ( What does the fabric feel like when you wear it, stiff/heavy/soft?)

Event Architect - Romantic Wedding

Arno + Lidia wedding images courtesy of Charlotte Francina, Photographer: Dear Heart Photography.

Question #5

Q: Let’s talk Bridesmaid Dresses. Any insight + advice on how to choose bridesmaid dresses? Should they complement the bride, can it be mix + match? Should brides have them made or buy off-the-rack?
A: I LOVE this question! My answer to ‘worrying about bridesmaid dresses’ is this: DON’T! Best advise here is to keep it as stress free as possible. Use the mood board created to brief florists and/or venue to specify a colour scheme, to guide your girls. Let them choose their own shape and style, by all means mix and match! Tie it all together with matching accessories, hair and make-up and bouquets.This way you ensure that everyone is comfortable whilst still gloriously blending in with your beautiful day.
Event Architect - Romantic Wedding

  Almarette Wedding images courtesy of Charlotte Francina, Photographer: Aglow Photography.

Question #6

Q: Are there any major trends that brides can expect at the moment? Ethereal gowns / long sleeves / anything?
A: Keeping in mind that you should always try to stay true to your personal style, trends can add beautifully to design details. Thank the Royals for this one, but classic clean lines are becoming more and more prevalent.
Event Architect - Romantic Wedding

Wedding images courtesy of Charlotte Francina, Photographer: .

Question #7

Q: Any final advice you can give brides on designing their wedding dress?
A: Forget the latest trends. Go back into your personal archive, what dress/ top have you worn in the past that you have loved and felt beautiful in? What made it work?  These questions are so valuable when creating a dress that is truly unique and perfect for YOU.
Event Architect - Romantic Wedding

Wedding images courtesy of Charlotte Francina, Photographer: .



Pop over to Charlotte’s website for some more inspiration and information or follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

Remember to check in next week for our next Ready.Set.Plan blog, where we’ll be sharing some more insight and information for planning your wedding!

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