Image Credit: Sarah Tonkin Photography

A Day For


Your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion and it’s never been more important to look and feel fabulous. With a plethora of styles to choose from, modern brides are opting to personalise their wedding gown with appliqué for a unique, individual creation. Leigh Marie Dodd speaks with Lisa Selman, director of Dion For Brides and Bride’s Selection, about how to appliqué your own way to your perfect wedding gown.

Image Credit: Sarah Tonkin Photography

A new decade brings change and fresh inspiration. With this in mind, choosing your wedding dress is an important decision. Some brides have been dreaming of their wedding day since they were young, with plenty of ideas of how their wedding dress should look, right down to the fabric and cut. Others can feel overwhelmed with myriad styles available. Here, Western Australia Wedding & Bridediscusses what to look for in a wedding dress and how you can customise your gown to produce a one-of-a-kind creation.


When deciding to customise your wedding dress, consult a tailor to ensure the original features and structure of the gown will remain intact. “Professional tailors are incredibly talented with what they do, and we encourage brides to make sure they use reputable tailors who are not going to compromise the look and structure of a gown,” Selman explains. Consulting an experienced tailor will ensure your bridal gown is exactly how you envisioned, especially if the embellishment you want to add is intricate. “Listen to the advice of your tailor [or] dressmaker to ensure that you are able to achieve the look you are after, without compromising on the structure or fit.” Consider including a symbolic motif on your gown to truly add your own special touch.

If you’re working from a budget, make sure you factor this into any tailoring made to your bridal gown. “Many hours can be spent perfecting appliques, beading, structure and fit, and the more work that is required from a dressmaker, the more expensive it can be,” Selman says. Before adding a little creative flair to your gown, be sure to include additional fittings into your wedding preparation to allow for any extra time the tailor may require. You could opt for a simple elegant gown with a sweetheart neckline and introduce applique to create pattern and texture. Or, choose a voluminous A-line skirt with intricate applique details to give your dress a three-dimensional element. The choices are limitless!

Turning Heads

Throughout the decades, bridal trends come and go, and traditional gowns are blending with modern styles to create a new era of dresses for brides-to-be. Bridal capes are becoming increasingly popular and gowns are beginning to incorporate volume through fabrics and materials; from feathers to exquisite bows and everything in between. With these rising trends, brides are looking for more ways to stand out from the crowd. Selman highlights that many types of applique are being used to enhance a bridal gown, with some of her favourites including hand-beaded individual patterns of flowers and leaves on bodices. “Current trends of bridal applique are definitely the use of materials to create a three-dimensional texture and to show volume.” 

Applique doesn’t have to be used exclusively as a means of embellishing your bridal gown. “We are also seeing beautiful appliques to enhance shape and silhouettes. We may see lines and shapes that are enhanced with lace and beading, designed to enhance curves, elongate the body and to draw your eye to [certain] features,” Selman divulges. For those wanting a large, flowing gown, Selman recommends looking for a wedding gown that uses Chantilly lace or sheer beaded lace over tulle to create an illusion-like effect. French corded lace can also give a raised effect for brides wanting to add a bit of volume to their ensemble. Alternatively, applique can also be used for sleek silhouettes. “We have seen silk flowers and exquisite hand-beaded flowers cascading down skirts, or used to enhance sheer sleeves and bodices,” Selman says.

There are a multitude of ways to enhance your look; three-dimensional flowers can be used to create a romantic design and Indian beading can give a luxurious feel to a gown. Applique can emphasise a particular style and give your gown added texture. To create an elegant, classic look, consider using applique on a gown with a larger skirt; “ornate beaded lace paired with a following tulle A-line skirt can create a classic look,” Selman notes. For the modern bride, Selman suggests using beaded lace with glitter tulle for a touch of glamour. “Sometimes in seeking out the ‘perfect dress’, you forget how it makes you feel, and you lose yourself and your own style in what you think you are looking for,” Selman says. “If it makes you feel fabulous, then it’s your dress.”

No matter the look you’re after on your wedding day, it is important that you feel like yourself. Remember to follow your heart and try on as many dresses as you can. Perhaps with a little applique, that dress could be the one.