A wedding dress is a garment which is very close to the bride’s heart. It is even more special when it is created by your loved ones. Lara Cassar’s wedding gown was created by her sister and grandma who managed to design and sew her dress in a limited time span. Sharing her story withBliss magazine, she says she wanted her dress to reflect her sense of style and personality, and no one knows her style and personality quite like her own family.
The plan was put into motion after Lara did not think that any of the off-the-rack pieces were what she had envisioned wearing on her special day. Instead, Lara opted for a more intimate and personal approach when it came to the dress she would wear as she walks down the aisle. Her sister Hannah and her grandmother Vivienne both worked together to design and create her perfect wedding gown. This heart-warming gesture was done in a short amount of time, and needed plenty of love, dedication, and hard work.
“We had to meet up constantly in those last three weeks in order to get the dress done, and, on the wedding day, my grandmother was still putting on the finishing touches!”, Lara recalls. “My wedding was in May 2019 and up until January, I was still switching between one style and another,” she added.
Hannah made sure that her sister would feel herself in her dress while incorporating her desires for what the bride herself envisioned wearing. “Hannah is the person I always go to for help when it comes to fashion,” Lara shares, saying it was “only natural that she would be a big part of this process.”
Her grandma also has a background in sewing having sewn Lara‘s clothes back when she was a child. “When she offered to sew my wedding dress, I was touched. I thought that though there are many beautiful gowns in the world, none would be as special as the one lovingly sewn for me by my own grandmother,” she smiles.
In late March, the dress – a ballgown made from pique material - was close to complete. “When it was nearly ready, I tried it on for a final fitting and I realised that even though it was a beautiful dress, it wasn’t me at all. It brought me to tears for the wrong reasons,” Lara says. Her family was very concerned and suggested they go back to the drawing board, explaining they had been very patient throughout the whole process.
“Hannah told me I should scrap it and start afresh, and that she would help me create another dress in the limited time we had left. I also felt really guilty considering the amount of work my grandmother had put into my first dress, but she could also tell how I was feeling and, even though the imminent deadline must have been a challenge for her, she told me not to panic and promised to sew me another dress – a gesture I can’t thank her enough for,” she gratefully recalls.
The fabrics chosen by the bride for the second dress was a Mikado fabric from camilleriparismode with the help of the assistant Elisha Camilleri who works there. However, they had to import more material from the Italian manufacturer within a week as it required around 12 meters which was not in store. “As soon as she draped it around me, we all knew it was the perfect shade of white,” Lara says.
The dress she ultimately wore on her wedding day was created from scratch in approximately two months and ended up being the one of her dreams. It was a simple A-line silhouette flowing out from the waist downwards, which offered plenty of space for movement on her special day. “I didn’t want to a wear a dress which I associated with a straitjacket,” she added, explaining that although she loves fitted dresses she thought that the silhouette chosen was a nice compromise for comfort and fashion. The Grecian style dress also included a three-metre-long cape and a simple veil as her mother thought that “the dress would have something missing if I walked into the church without one.. The three-layered dress created “the desired movement in the bottom,” and the dramatic cape was “interlocked with buttons on each shoulder”. The hem of the cape was also sewn by her grandma to give the illusion of a “flowing” effect.
The simple yet dramatic dress was all she ever wanted to wear on her special day - not only because she loved how it looked but because it was made with love and dedication - everything that a wedding encompasses. When she put on the dress she felt “amazing” and she got plenty of compliments. “I got to have the dress of my dreams and I can’t see myself selling it or fashioning it into another item. It is one of the pieces I will always treasure and would not ever want to part with,” Lara concludes fondly, sharing that the dress now lives – appropriately – at her grandmother’s house.
A word from the groom
The groom, Andrew, recalls how awed and overwhelmed he was as he saw his now-wife coming down the aisle. “She looked beautiful and radiant! The dress was stunning and yet so simple. It was clear that there was a lot of attention to detail involved and I knew that the fact that it was so simple meant that a lot of hard work had been put in, since there was no room for error. I thought the dress was so elegant and it really reflected Lara’s character."