Bespoke Bride Helena

An Oxfordshire Wedding

We are so thrilled to be able to share these wonderful images of our bespoke bride Helena from Oxfordshire UK.

Helena’s search for a Bespoke bridal dress maker started in the spring of 2020 when we recieved a call asking for our help to create her dream wedding dress.  Helena revealed that she was due to have a baby later in the year and so wanted her wedding dress designed to accomodate her changing shape and size.  We noted her preference towards design details that were understatedly simple, clean and elegant with the bodice and cap sleeved details designed in lace.  Whilst this style of gown – though simple to look at – it came with an enormous challenge of creating a such a design and gown for a pregnant bride.

The Bespoke Design Process

Below is a short clip showing the initial stages of how we worked with Helena to develop her ideas from a sketch into a dream wedding dress.

Clarity, Colour and Choices .

Following our initial discussion on zoom, we created a first series of designs which we sent out  for approval, together with fabric and lace samples.  We initially introduced this bespoke bridal dressmaker service during lockdown as it really helped us to set us apart from the mainstream bridal industry, as well as helping us to maintain communications with our brides who were literally stuck in various parts of the world.

From the wide range of samples provided, Helena narrowed down her preferences and opted for the finest French Chantilly Lace.   We were overjoyed that not only did she love the design, but also our recommendations to overlay the fine chantilly lace above a warmer shade of tulle – to create a more intense contrast and outline of the lace pattern.  If you have been studying my work as a leading bridal dressmaker, you will notice that I love experimenting – especially with shades – and especially when the deadpan shade of porcelain or ivory is a tad too white and drains the colour from the skin.  The combination of the two shades was perfect in this occasion – deepening and enhancing the ivory lace pattern with warmth was super flattering against her skin tone.


The Wedding Dress Journey

If you remember, Helena was pregant when we began her journey at the begining of the first lockdown.  She had since had her baby and rescheduled the wedding to takeplace during August 2022.  However, the challenges we faced with creating a corset to accomodate the constantly fluctuating post baby was never ending, due entirely to the way the body changes shapes and size as it readjusts after having a baby.  And so we ended up making multiple corsets that we couldnt use in the end.  Though challenging the experience, it did allow us time to watch her baby grow into a toddler from our first corset fitting to the final dress fitting over the months that she visited the studio.

Helena’s gown was tailored to fit her tiny frame with a bespoke corset providing shape and support for the gown which was hand crafted in stretch crepe overlaid with Chantilly lace detailing from the waist to the hip.  The number of dress fittings in total was around 6 visits over 10 months.  This is perfectly normal for a bespoke dress as our goal is always to ensure that your gown will fit you perfectly avoiding the need for last minute alterations as we work towards completion.



The finishing touch to Helena’s dress was a cathedral veil crafted from the lightest tulle and appliqued by hand with petals left over from the French lace used on the gown.  The veil took a total of four days to design, applique and handsew each petal into place.

From start to finish the whole process took around 10 months.  We worked closely with Helena’s busy schedule, creating personalised fitting appointments in our North West London studio during this timeframe.


About  Us

Bespoke Bridal Dress Maker


Cynthia Grafton-Holt Couture is a highly respected British Couture wedding dress designer. Her bridal studio is located in North London  by Appointment only.  The wedding gowns in the atelier are all handmade and crafted with Cynthia personally overseeing every aspect of the appointment  from concept to completion.

A  leading Bespoke Bridal Dress Maker & specialist based in london and possessing over 40 years of experience working in high end fashion, bridal and red carpet gowns.  To view more of our work with brides visit the link  here at Cynthia Grafton-Holt Couture.



Steal the Style 

Photographer:  Unknown
Brides Bespoke Gown:  Cynthia Grafton Holt   

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