1950’s Vintage Wedding Gown Redesign in Utah

Redesigning a vintage wedding gown is one of the most challenging and most rewarding things a designer does. I love it when brides come into my shop with their grandmother and their grandmother’s wedding gown and say, “I love my grandmother, and I want to use her dress for sentimental reasons, but I’d really like to update it to my style.” What a delight! The bride beams. The mother beams. The grandmother is beyond over-joyed!Vintage Lace Ball Gown


1950s Lace wedding gownVintage Long sleeved Lace Ball GownCarissa was one of those brides.  She came in with her mom, and her grandmother. They brought the 1957 wedding gown carefully wrapped in tissue paper in an older box. As Carissa explained to me what she wanted I looked at the dress to see if the fabric was still in good enough shape to be worked with. Luckily for her, the fabric was in amazing condition!

We discussed the look and shape of the new gown I would make from the existing gown, what need to remain and what needed to be taken apart. It could all be worked out, as there was plenty of fabric in this lovely old ball gown.Grandmother wanted to unpick her old wedding gown. And so she did, as a labor of love. We decided to keep the bodice intact, as it fit Carrisa perfectly and she loved the lines. We completely took off the skirt and zipper and started from scratch with that skirt as the fabric for the new skirt.  I used a beautiful silk charmeuse under the 40+ year old lace. The lace was originally white, but over time had yellowed to a beautiful ivory. Cutting the old lace into a fit & flare skirt was a beautiful way to treat this fabric. So on trend right now.

I love vintage trims and have quite a bit in my shop.  We found one that worked perfectly and even matched the champagne color of her shoes!  I designed a simple, sweeping tulle veil to balance the delicate vintage look.  The final look was simple, sophisticated and stunningly vintage excellence….but updated to now!

The entire experience was one of sweet anticipation each time Carissa and her family came to the fittings. She looked lovely in her vintage redesign and won her grandmothers approval!

1950 Vintage Wedding Gown

Vintage Lace Trim Vintage Wedding GownVintage Wedding Gown RedesignLace Vintage Wedding Gown Redesign

Posted in 1950s Wedding Gown, Custom Wedding Gown, Designer Wedding Gown, Lace Wedding Gown, Long Sleeves, Modest Wedding Gown, Re-design Wedding Gown, Retro Wedding Gown, Simple Wedding Gown, Vintage, Vintage re-make wedding gown

New-Vintage Wedding Gowns

Betsy Couture was born out of a need for distinctive, delightful wedding gowns. We specialize in new-vintage couture wedding gowns and special-occasion dresses with a retro feel. Vintage glamor and classic styles from the 1930’s through the 1970’s have inspired our unique original-custom designed gowns.

Betsy Couture Vintage Boho gown

At Betsy Couture a bride can have her wedding day look created from scratch so the result is uniquely hers. Original gowns are hand sculpted, drafted and tailored to your individual measurements, body type and proportions. High quality fabrics, mastery of fit, and couture techniques are key to successful designs. Betsy strives for quality gowns and listens to your ideas so the planning, selection and design of your gown is an enjoyable experience.

At Betsy Couture we custom design every wedding dress and make them to our brides’ measurements. Brides may desire a completely original one-of-a-kind gown, or one of our existing designs and have the dress customized to her liking; including changing neck lines, sleeves, dress length, and fabrics. Even if you’d like one of the gowns from our in-house collection, your dress will be custom made to your measurements.

Custom Birdcage veils and fascinators from by-gone eras are our specialty and are skillfully designed to compliment your gown.  We also hand make flower-girls, bridesmaids and mother-of-the-bride dresses.

Feel free to browse the website and blog for updated photos and articles.

Photography: Blush Photography

Dress: Betsy Couture Vintage Wedding Gowns


Posted in Boho Wedding Gown, Custom Wedding Gown, Designer Wedding Gown, Lace Wedding Gown, Long Sleeves, Modest Wedding Gown, Mountain Wedding, Simple Wedding Gown, Vintage, Whimsical Wedding, Wooded Wedding Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Into The Woods Whimsical Wedding Inspiration

Thinking of exchanging vows underneath trees in the beauty of Mother Nature?  A wedding in the woods is a romantic venue; nature is beauty in itself and makes a perfect backdrop for exchanging vows. You can’t have a fairytale wedding without a gorgeous wooded lot, and this one is a perfectly magical setting with the sunlight streaming through the trees.  A bouquet of natural forest fauna – deep golds and  lavenders,  wild grasses and flowers, twigs and branches, deep creams and vivid peacock feathers keeps it natural. But the golden fruit is fit for a queen.  Then look at this cake!  It takes the fairytale to new heights with its over-the-top lavender colored frosting, and sparkling, sweet sugared raspberries, grapes, blackberries and flowers!  Cinderella would be envious of this lace sweetheart neckline.  But the clincher is the hidden peacock colored petticoat! Loving this one!

Into the Woods with Betsy Couture Vintage Wedding Gowns

Into the Woods with Betsy Couture Vintage Wedding Gowns

rustic wooded wedding

sugar fruit cake, raspberries, grapes, blackberries, dried flowers


aqua tea length petticoat

sugar frosted fruit

gold fruit

whimsical rustic wedding

sugar flowers, berries on cake

whimsical flower fruit wedding cake

golden fruit

mesh wrist length glove

lace tea length wedding gown petticoat


Photographer: Lena Michelle Photos

MUA: Leisha Laidlaw

Cake & Centerpiece: Once Upon a Cake Co.

Dress:, Gloves & Hair Ornament:  Betsy Couture Vintage Wedding Gowns


Posted in 1950s Wedding Gown, Custom Wedding Gown, Designer Wedding Gown, Fairytale Wedding, Lace Wedding Gown, Modest Wedding Gown, Mountain Wedding, Retro Wedding Gown, Short Wedding Gown, Uncategorized, Vintage, Whimsical Wedding, Wooded Wedding Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Georgeous Modern Chic Mountain Wedding in Park City, Utah

Jenna came to me about a year before her big day with ideas for a one-of-a-kind super-tight, slim-fitting, 1940’s glamor wedding gown.  I worked with her ideas, added my own thoughts, and we came up with this stunner of a gown.  Talk about “Va-va-voom!”  Yes!  It fit her like a glove, but she could actually move it in because I used a new fabric that stretches.  We decided to use the matte side of the fabric, which added texture to the gown itself.  The meringue flounce is made of layer upon layer of 5 different fabrics, to add a softness and dimension to the flow of the skirt, without adding weight.  I designed the custom tulle veil to balance and highlight both Jenna and her amazing gown.

Jenna & Michae’ls amazing event is shown here on the Rocky Mountain Bride Blog,   Photos courtesy of Melissa Kelsey Photography who captured the beautiful event with style, and incredible detail!   Beautiful vintage auto from Something Vintage Something Blue.  Enjoy!

Original Designer Wedding Gown




Posted in 1940's Glamour Wedding Gown, Custom Wedding Gown, Designer Wedding Gown, Mountain Wedding, Retro Wedding Gown, Sweetheart Strapless, Vintage

What You Need to Know Before Shopping for a Vintage Wedding Gown

Shopping for your wedding gown can be tricky. If you have made the decision to wear vintage for your wedding here is some advice that will help ease the process. As the owner/designer of Betsy Couture Vintage Wedding Gowns in Salt Lake City, Utah, I have worked with all kinds of brides with a huge assortment of wedding gown issues. I would love to share what I have learned over the years with you.

                                                          Vintage wedding gowns

When looking for a vintage wedding gown, decide the general feel of your wedding. Each decade of wedding gowns is associated with a distinct style of gown that exudes a certain feeling. Gowns from the early 1900’s – 1920s were long, loose-fitting and shapeless, with no waistband and narrow shoulders. Usually the gowns from the 1930s were long, columnar, cut on the bias and curve-revealing. War era gowns, or those from the 1940s were affected by the shortage of cloth during WWI. These gowns tended to have shorter, narrower skirts, peplums and sweetheart necklines. Many brides wore wedding suits during this time. 1950s wedding gowns were fitted at the waist, either tea-length or long and included very full skirts. The gowns from the 1960s were mostly slim sheath dresses, either short or long.1970s gowns had a maiden-like quality to them, as they reflected the flower-child movement or hippie era.

If you find a gown that dates back past the 1930s, chances are it will be too damaged to rework. There may be parts that are usable to create an original gown from. Fabric rarely lasts that long unless it has been kept in an airtight, sealed box.

To many girls, dresses from the 1940s often look a bit costumey unless you are a bride who might want an extreme or very dramatic look. More often than not, I usually end up creating a new neckline or sleeves for this era of dress.

The dresses from the 1950s seem to be the most loved of all eras right now. Many of them have tiny waists and larger bust areas. Again, this can be a sign of the times – women were smaller then, but they also wore a very different type of undergarments on a daily basis – a corset and bras with very pointy shape. These are usually able to be reworked because the fabric in the full skirt lends itself well to using it for other parts of the dress – even for making an entirely new bodice out of the same fabric if the bride is willing to turn a long gown into a tea-length gown and needs the bodice enlarged too.

Because the dresses of the 1960s were usually slim shifts or sheath dresses with unidentifiable waists, these can easily be converted into a mini-dress. Brides love to wear these to the rehearsal dinner or to the wedding brunch or lunch.

Currently more and more brides are opting for the clean-cut hippie version of these flower-child dresses. They lend themselves very well to a modern wedding with a romantic Victorian-vintage feel. The most common conversion of these dresses is an alteration to the neckline and making more of a fitted waist. Girls who want flower head-wreaths love the dresses from the 70s.

A long sleeve vintage wedding gon (left) and Kate Middleton's McQueen gown (right, via Getty)

A long sleeve vintage wedding gon (left) and Kate Middleton’s McQueen gown (right, via Getty)

Since vintage has to be twenty years old to be considered vintage, that leaves the 80s as the last possible decade. Most of the dresses from that era were so over-embellished that the rework on them is pretty pricey. Although, I have done many of them where a bride has brought in her mother’s 80s dress and we have completely redesigned the dress. Sometimes we will use the fabric from the train or the huge leg-of-mutton sleeves for various parts of the new dress. They’re very over embellished, and they’re so over-the-top that the rework on them is time-intensive and expensive.

Another important element to consider when choosing a vintage dress is whether it actually fits you. My strategy for making a vintage gown perfect for each client is to rework it to fit their taste. But it has to fit in the first place. All the reworking in the world is not going to change the waist size unless you really spend a lot of money. You can’t make something too small, bigger.

As far as the options for reworking goes, the world is your oyster. The most common requests I get for gown alterations are: to update the entire dress, change the sleeves and open up the neckline. There’s a trend in weddings right now toward the farm house, the beach wedding, the country wedding, or the backyard wedding, so brides are going a little less formal.

Something else you should always consider is the condition of the fabric, and whether or not those questionable, 40-year-old stains will come out or not. There are certain silks that get dry over time and if you start to cut them up the garment falls apart. But if it’s in a strong satin or it’s in lace, usually it can be restored and will hold up for a rework or alteration.

If you’re thinking of saving your own dress, the best way to preserve it is to wrap it in a clean, white cotton sheet. Non-acid paper also works; but never, ever put it in plastic. Make sure you keep it out of the light.


Posted in 1950s Wedding Gown, Boho Wedding Gown, Custom Wedding Gown, Designer Wedding Gown, Kate Middleton, Lace Wedding Gown, Long Sleeves, Modest Wedding Gown, Re-design Wedding Gown, Retro Wedding Gown, Short Wedding Gown, Simple Wedding Gown, Vintage, Vintage re-make wedding gown

What Every Bride Needs to Know about Having a Custom Wedding Gown Made

There are many beautiful dresses to choose from in any bridal shop, but if you have your own ideas of what your dress should look like, don’t want to be a cookie-cutter bride, or want to bring your own personality and style out in your dress, then having a custom designed dress is for you.

Lace Boho Long Sleeved Wedding Gown

The decision to have a custom designed wedding dress creates a once-in-a-lifetime experience for any bride. It is an exciting process to share with fiancé’s, maids, friends and family members. It is one of the best ways to guarantee your unique personality will shine through in your wedding gown. This amazing time is a process, so give your designer 4-6 months to create your custom gown.

First, gather together a collection of your favorite bridal gown images. This will entail perusing Pinterest, magazines, and trying on dresses at as many bridal shops as possible. Try on gowns with different shaped bodices, necklines, skirt shapes, sleeves, etc. The more you know what you want, the better.

Find a qualified designer/seamstress who understands your vision. Interview as many as it takes to find one you trust. Remember that experience is the key when it comes to designing a couture gown from scratch…much different than a friend down the street who knows how to sew. Most often in this department, you get what you pay for. The more they have done, the more likely you are to get the gown you want. Don’t make the mistake of going to someone who is cheap just to save a few bucks. I have dealt with many brides who have purchased a dress elsewhere just to come to me to fix it. Sadly, those girls end up paying for the same thing twice.

Most custom designers are by appointment only. This is the best way to give you their full attention. Be courteous of their appointment schedules. They usually have a system in place as to what type of appointments they see on certain days and times. It all works to help you have the best experience.

Lace Long sleeved Boho Wedding Gown

At the first meeting with your chosen designer, bring all your ideas for your gown. Most girls come in with their ipad and pull up their Pinterest page with their favorite on it. Together we talk about what design elements they like and don’t like. There are usually more commonalities than they think. It’s my job to pull out the dominant ideas and combine them into what will ultimately become the dress design. We discuss the importance of each of those elements and how they work with each other as well as how they work with various types of fabrics. Each bride is the expert on her own vision and taste; I am the expert on solving the practical issues of design and construction. I’m happy to offer advice and suggestions, but the design process should never be a guessing game; client and designer should be on the same page. Working together, it’s amazing for the brides to see their ideas come to life when I sketch out their dress for them right there. We modify the sketch until it is exactly what the bride wants, down to the types of fabrics, lace, buttons, embellishments, etc.

As soon as the design elements are decided, I drape the bride in various shades of the fabrics she has chosen for her gown. There are a zillion different shades of white, ivory and off-white; in my studio I carry dozens of different shades of those colors! The perfect shade will make the brides skin glow, her teeth will appear whiter, and her eyes will be brighter.

Because you will be measured at this fitting, you will need to bring the foundation garments and shoes with the same heel height you will wear with your gown. This is absolutely necessary. There are over 35 different measurements that need to be taken, much more than just bust, waist & hips. Even if they don’t appear to shape your body much, your foundation garments will affect the way the dress hangs on your figure. I have had brides come to fittings wearing their favorite bra and finally bring in the NEW one for the wedding. When she puts on the gown, she wonders why the dress fits so differently.  Depending on the design and cut of the dress, wearing the wrong bra effects the entire fit and line of the dress, it can even affect whether the hem hangs evenly. Different heel heights affect our posture differently, so that effects the measurements too. Bring the shoes and undergarments to each fitting.

Now the real fittings begin. This first fitting you will be fit in a muslin, which is a mock-up 3-D pattern that I have made from your one dimensional measurements and sketch. At this fitting it is helpful to bring any jewelry that you may be wearing with your gown, especially a necklace. With the necklace on, I can make sure to craft the neckline deep enough or wide enough to showcase that necklace. It also helps to pull your hair up for each fitting. Even if you will be wearing it down on your big day, it helps to see the lines of the gown, especially at the front and back necklines.

At every fitting ask any questions that you have. It will keep the lines of communication open and if you’ve changed your mind on a certain part of the dress, you’ll need to ask what affects that will have on the rest of the dress. I will ask each bride very specific questions regarding the dress & design each time I see her. I have found that the more I educate the bride at the fittings, the more she appreciates and understand the intricacies of her unique gown.


There may be anywhere from 2 to 5 more fittings with test garments, linings and the real fabrics until your dress is complete. You will see your gown come to life as you put on a more complete version each time. At each of these fittings your dress will be pinned, marked, pinched and adjusted until it fits you like a glove, and has the perfect neckline, sleeve length and hemline for you. When determining where a neckline, sleeve length or hemline should be, I always have the bride look in the mirror while I place the fabric on various points on her arms or legs so she can determine which looks best. It’s true that there is a place on each person’s legs that shows us off better than at other spots. I want to find the perfect point on your leg, neck or arm that shows you at your best.

At least 2 weeks before you need your dress you should have the final fitting. Any closer to the date and you might not have time for any last minute changes to be made. Any further and there is a chance that the dress won’t fit right. Many brides lose weight from stress, or get swamped with last-minute things and simply forget to eat. Almost every bride I see loses several pounds during the 4-6 weeks prior to the wedding, whether they are trying to or not. At the final fitting you will try on the gown again to make sure it is perfect. If a headpiece or veil has been custom designed to match the dress, you’ll put that on too. Bring earrings, all jewelry, shoes and a camera!

Enjoy each and every fitting. This is a special time that you will never have again. Getting a wedding gown custom made for you is an endearing experience. You will love it!





Posted in Lace Wedding Gown, Long Sleeves, Vintage