For couples who got engaged over the holidays, the brides-to-be are likely already on the hunt to find the gown for their big day. But just as important as obtaining the dress is locating the right accessories. You can purchase everything from shoes to a veil off the rack, but if you want one-of-a-kind extras to truly make your wedding style your own, go the custom route with some of myfavorite local accessory designers.
Planning on getting engaged but still searching for just the right bauble to represent your union? Try Ashley Schenkein Jewelry Design (pictured, right). The Denver jewelry designer will guide you through the process of designing a custom engagement ring, including approving initial sketches, setting a time frame selecting stones (a learning curve on its own in terms of understanding clarity, cut and carat weight), and creating a wax model of your design. Not only will you receive an education in the art of jewelry-making, but you'll ultimately end up witha personalized ring unlike any other. Prices start at $900.
Pictured: 14-karat gold ring with a .7 total carat weight diamond, $3,800
Self-taught milliner Susan Dillon (who we first introduced you to back in December 2011) of Kitty Mae Millinerycombines fashion with burlesque-inspired novelty in her line of hats and fascinators (aka the hair pieces British royalty wear). Although Dillon can execute her designs in hues of white and ivory (check out her site for made-to-order options), her eye for color suit non-traditional brides wanting something beyond the standard tiara and veil combo. Whether it’s a handmade show-stopperlike an oversize silk dahlia with rhinestone center and veiling (pictured, left, $195) or a Russian veil adorned with a feather cap Dillon can dream up fantastical looks and customize everything from color to material to embellishments. Another plus: She can create coordinating corsages, boutonnieres and hair adornments for the entire wedding party.
Get it: Prices start at $25; 3559 Larimer St., 303-295-0545
Denver girls in the know have had Atelier Shoes—a custom, everyday footwear company originally started by two Denver friends—bookmarked since the line launched in 2007. Well, half of that duo, lawyer-turned-shoe-maven Kate Friedman (now the sole owner of Atelier), had so much fun working with brides she decided to start up a new company that focuses solely on wedding shoes. Design Your Pedestal offers roughly 60 styles to choose from (like sandals, stilettos, platforms, peep-toes, and wedges), dyed to match the wedding's color theme. Footwear (pictured, above) can be further customized with Friedman’s numerous embellishment ideas, which she's willing to tweak based on the bride's preferences. The design is finalized and the order placed—but the bride gets to see photos prior to the shoes' completion to give them the thumbs up or make changes. The entire process (from design consulatation to getting the shoes) takes about seven weeks, and Friedman will coordinate around fitting dates.
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