Why we chose custom made gowns

Fortunate Arinda failed to find a gown of her preference in the bridal shops and so  a cum-made one did the magic. Photos/Courtesy.

What you need to know:

  • Dress of your dreams. Forget the tradition of hiring wedding gowns from bridal shops,  the new norm has elements of a preferred and personal touch of style is taking the city by storm. Women prefer having custom-made wedding gowns to the new imported or those for hire. Esther Tusiime Byoona  meets three brides who opted for custom-made gowns . 

Time to  dictate own wedding gown style and detail. This choice will fit your body perfectly and no one else will have the same dress. Different brides talk about their  customised gowns.

Patience Beinomugisha
The bride who got married in November last year, says she was not ready for the hustle that came with looking for the perfect wedding gown.
“I had heard different stories from my friends about the hustle they went through to get the gown they wanted from the bridal shops, including booking a gown and someone else picks it. I did not want that,” Patience Beinomugisha says, adding that she also did not want the tedious movement between various bridal shops.

“I decided to have an own gown so that I could have my dream dress on such a special day,” Patience notes.
She went to Joan Kabarungi, a tailor, based in Wandegeya, Kampala for her deal.
Prior to that, she had to look up ideas on Google and Instagram to get what would suit her body shape. This, she says, cannot be compared to the movements from shop to shop in the city.

“With the custom-made gown, you can get it at any time you want which is not common with hired gowns that need booking six months in advance, if you really want a good one,” Patience shares.
With her wedding in November, she started working with Kabarungi on her gown in October 2022. And in a span of two weeks the gown was ready. 
“The gown comes with convenience because you know this is what I chose and I like it,” she says. However, she acknowledges that sometimes brides do not get what they asked for.

Patience Beinomugisha. 

Hers was better than what she had asked for.
“I would recommend a bride to go for a custom-made gown from a tailor or designer that they know and trust to avoid the ruin of the special day ahead,” she advises.
She adds that a tailor who is not swamped with brides tends to give you time for alterations and any other adjustments. Even then, she will not do a rushed job.
Patience spent Shs1.5m on the gown.

Diane Nabimanya Mutekanga 
“Most gowns on the market are ball gowns, which are huge and heavy and my style is chic and elegant,” says Diane Nabimanya Mutekanga, adding: “I am one of those brides who love to dance and enjoy my day. So, I wanted a simple mermaid gown, “Diane recounts.
She chose to go for a custom gown that would suit her classy style. Asked if her expectations were met, she replies in affirmative and explains that being a selective person, she supervised the making of her gown from the beginning to the last thread.

“I recommend one to go for a custom-made wedding gown because you are paying for something you are able to see. Remember, you choose the material to use and the measurements are perfect just in case you gain or lose weight,” Diane adds.
She explains that with such, a bride is able to have her dress fitted according to the current size.

Custom made gowns, she says, range from Shs3 to Shs6m. She originally wanted one from a famous designer who  asked for Shs9m but it was on the high end. She settled for Kalyn Atwo who was more affordable. (Diane does not disclose the actual amount she paid but one can get the rough estimate from her bargains).

Diane Nabimanya Mutekanga loved her gown.

 Fortunate Arinda
“I love pearls and I wanted a beaded grown with pearls. When I scouted around shops, I did not find what I wanted and the pearls were faded,” Fortunate says.

That is when she thought of a custom-made gown struck her.
“My expectations were partly met with the grown, I was happy to have worn the gown whose design I had chosen. On the other hand, along the way, the tailor made me alter my original design because she could not bring out what I wanted,” she recounts.

Fortunate says she realised the tailor was not familiar with the original design. She recommends brides who opt for a custom-made wedding gowns if they are very specific about the gowns they want.
“I would not advise someone who cannot describe to the tailor what they exactly want to go for a custom-made gown because you will end up having endless arguments and a gown that does not suit your body type,” she cautions.

Even then, go to an experienced tailor known to you.
She spent between Shs1.3m and Shs1.5m on the gown.

Joan Kabarungi, a tailor  at Jowzcloset, who  has been in the business for five years, says social media has made designing gowns easier since ideas are everywhere.  
“I add my creative touch, but also clients have their preferences and, I allow them to be a part of the process,”  Joan says adding that clients sometimes have amazing and doable ideas.
The time frame depends on the type of gown a client wants.
“Some gowns take longer  than others because of the different details, but roughly the  process can take a month,”  she explains.
Her prices start from Shs2m and above.