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Easy Going Bride Is Carefree About Everything BUT Is Serious About Preserving Her Custom Gown!

Monday, December 22, 2014

When Carly and Cameron were married in July of 2012 in Illinois, the carefree bride left everything to her hired wedding professionals.  She did, however, care about one thing... her wedding gown.  She wanted it to be exclusively hers and not one she'd see anywhere else.  And after her big day, her mom took her gown to Nashville's go-to gown care specialist, Oakwood Cleaners, to make sure it received expert care. 

Read about Carly's wedding dress and why it was so special via my interview below.

custom wedding dress preserved by oakwood cleaners nashville tn

custom wedding dress preserved by oakwood cleaners nashville tn


Please  tell me the story about your dress?  How did you come to having a dress made vs bought?  Tell me about the design process? 

The story of my dress is actually very simple. I had never been one of those people who had planned my wedding since I was 5 years old. And, when it came right down to it, when we actually started planning the wedding, I was very open to pretty much anything. I told the flourist to do whatever she liked best--same with the chef, the photographer, invitation designer, etc. I sort of figured that every person we hired knew what they were doing and I trusted them to do it.

The only thing I really didn't want, was to look like every other bride. This turned out to be a very easy thing, because my best friend from college, Alex Jillian, graduated from FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) in Los Angeles. She offered to create my dress as a wedding present and I knew immediately that that was what I wanted to do! I visited her in LA twice--once to help her create the design, and second for an initial fitting--and the rest was up to her! She flew to Tennessee 5 days before the wedding and finished the dress there, making sure it fit correctly. Other than that, I pretty much gave her free-reign to do whatever she felt was best and was very happy with the result!

A lot of brides take their dress home and hang it in the closet after their wedding?  What made you decide to take such a great level of care with your gown?

Since my dress is one of a kind, I knew that I wanted to preserve it for posterity. It took me a little while to get that accomplished, but here we are!


custom wedding dress preserved by oakwood cleaners nashville tn

custom wedding dress preserved by oakwood cleaners nashville tn


How did you find Oakwood Cleaners?

My mom found Oakwood online.

What do you plan to do with your gown?  Are you preserving it to become an heirloom?

I am definitely cleaning and preserving it to become an heirloom!

What advice do you have for other brides regarding custom gown creation, cleaning, preservation?

My advice to other brides would be to treat your dress after your wedding the same way that you treated it before you bought it. I'm having my dress preserved because it's one of a kind. It's getting special treatment, because I got special treatment. It was created especially for me, and so I want to have it treated especially well. If I had chosen to purchase a dress it really wouldn't have mattered as much. Our budget was very small, so the dress would have been underwhelming and mass-produced. I had several friends who chose to purchase dresses, which they then saw worn by their friends only months later. And, if this had been the case for me, I would have probably donated my dress to women who needed it. However, because my dress was created for me, it truly feels like an heirloom--something I feel proud preserving and passing down to my children.

Photography: Erin Melissa 

custom wedding dress preserved by oakwood cleaners nashville tn

Carly was so relaxed that she had a bowling after-party following her reception (where she bowled in her gown!)

About the Author:

Ashley King's avatar
Ashley King

Hey - I'm Ashley! I started to give Nashville brides, or folks planning a Nashville wedding, a local resource for inspiration and resources. Hope to see you at a bridal show soon! Until then, Find me on

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