Model wears a white Heledd corset and matching lingerie

A Guide To Ordering Your Bespoke Bridal Corset

It’s such an honour when a bride selects you as the maker of… well, anything intended for their wedding day! Because you will be contributing to one of the most memorable days in a persons' life, something they may have been dreaming of since childhood. And you have a chance to help them create a truly personal and meaningful occasion. This is one of the great joys of the job, and every year we take on a select number of bridal corset commissions to help weave that web of poise and elegance, and more often than not, it all starts with the underwear.

Model wears a lilac silk Seirian waspie with matchign gown

Corsets As Bridal Underwear

Many of our brides have already lost their heart to an exquisite gown by the time we meet, and their needs are for a supportive garment. Something that will offer some light figure shaping and control with good bust support so that they can avoid bra straps showing on the day. The most popular style for this set of needs is one of our cupped corsets, which offers a more natural, rounded bust shape than the more traditional princess seamed overbust. However both are really comfortable styles for long periods of wear, especially important as many brides are newcomers to corsetry! Cupped corsets are drafted especially for each client's bust, and the lower half of the corset will be made using the panel style that best suits the individual's figure and needs for the day. This allows us to be really responsive to the requirements of the client and to create a bridal corset that is flattering and supportive in all the right ways, and can even be the starting point of a love of corsets for newcomers!

Teal silk and gold lace cupped overbust corset

Timescale is the main limiting factor in pieces like this- a cupped overbust is our most involved style where individual engineering is concerned. With this in mind, we advise clients to expect three toile fittings at our studio in addition to the initial consultation and measurement taking. At present we only offer this style with in-house fittings, to provide the very best service possible.  Naturally, the times involved are dependent on how flexible the bride is in attending fittings, but on average we ask brides to plan for beginning the process in earnest at least a year prior to the date the corset is required. You would be surprised how quickly that time goes, and our waiting list has become longer over the years!

This brings us to the main issue we see with bridal underwear commissions. All too often, we only hear from our client 6 weeks before her dressmaker needs to see them in all their underwear for the initial fitting or alterations. For many of us, a wedding dress will be the first garment we’ve ever had made from scratch, or even had to order 6 months ahead. It comes as a real shock that everything needs to be set in place so early for the process to run smoothly! Shoes and underwear affect the fit of a garment so much more than most of us will realise at the early stages of planning a wedding. Then, when you bring a corset into the equation, the entire fit of the dress is being challenged as proportions are redistributed, and your posture is straightened and held snugly in place. There is a lot more for the dressmaker to do than simply make the gown at the reduced waist size, so your underwear should be considered at the same time as the style of dress you intend to commission or buy.

Silk satin underbust corset in dusky pink, cream and gold.

Bridal Corsets As Part Of Your Wedding Ensemble

It’s become increasingly popular to wear separates instead of a traditional bridal gown. A corset and skirt combination can be a really elegant approach to this contemporary bridal styling! A bridal corset is a perfect base for delicate, detailed embellishment of many different types. Perhaps trailing, organically styled lace appliques, several gently toning shades of silk to highlight the silhouette and create a more architectural aesthetic. Or even twinkling clusters of crystal emerging from the hip-line or descending from the bust! Our clients almost always request overbust corsets for this style of outfit, though underbusts or waspies can be used to great effect with Grecian style gowns, or draped sari’s. However, the most popular overbust style for bridal seperates is our princess seamed overbust which is considered the more classic overbust design. With cuirass style panelling, and romantic sweeping lines that lengthen the torso, it is a statement piece even without embellishment. Fuller busted clients may opt for the cupped overbust, or our princess seamed design can be drafted with more panels to offer a flowing shape that does not flatten the bust. Where more coverage around the chest is desired, we do recommend the princess seamed style, and both designs can be worn with a draped halter-neck, or tailored strap.

These pieces usually require a collaboration between the designer of the skirt and ourselves, often including fine details such as purchasing the silks from the same roll to avoid any colour variations where a perfect match is required. Again, dates will be crucial, and may be led by whether the skirt maker requires the corset completed for any stage of their fitting or construction process. Toiles will still be required for the princess seamed overbust, and a minimum of a year should be allowed from first consultation to the required date of completion. These corsets tend to be more demanding from the design and embellishment side, and clear concepts of your wedding theme or desired aesthetics for the bridal outfit will help us to make the corset an integral part, or even a centre-piece of your celebrations.

A beige corset surrounded by flowers

Losing Weight Before The Wedding

Our experience with brides over the years has taught us that some will aim to begin a new diet or exercise program leading up to the wedding day. If you're considering this, then it's important to decide on your goals as early on as you possibly can. When a corset is being created especially for a single event, we cannot confidently work with measurements that are expected to change dramatically. It’s often assumed that because corsets lace up, there is adjustment in the piece, and that it can accommodate you at a smaller size. This is true, and allowances can be made for more every-day items. But, the fitting process for a bespoke item of this nature relies on stable body sizes, most particularly for cupped overbust corsets. This is because the cup shape is drafted to your individual size, and weight loss will inevitably affect your bust-line or volume. Put simply, a corset primarily made for one special day has to be measured and cut to one size. If we allow for weight loss that is not achieved in time, or if the weight loss affects the figure in a different way than predicted, the corset will simply not fit well, and our main goal is to provide you with a beautiful garment that exceeds your needs in every respect.

If this isn't realistic for you, don't despair! There are other options we can explore. Particularly, underbusts and waspies. These are far less affected by changing sizes, and although we would still aim to work with your most accurate measurements, we can make allowances. For bridal underwear at the last minute, we can even recommend one of our ready to ship designs like Heledd, which is perfect for discreet underwear beneath your gown.

Model wears a beige corset, seen from the side back

We still encourage new brides to contact us well ahead of time to make appointments, discuss ideas, and just so that we know to expect you! But, even if you fear you are too late for the corset you had originally envisaged, don’t be afraid to give us a call to discuss your needs. We may have an alternative suggestion for you to help you create your desired ensemble, or we may be able to work around your deadlines. Either way, you will find a friendly reception and a creative mind to share ideas with as you dream of your special day. We’ll look forward to hearing from you.

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