A Dress Made Just for Me

Though my wedding dress shopping trips (here and here) were wonderful, none of the dresses I tried on felt like “The One.” When looking back at pictures of myself in wedding gowns, I could plainly see my face all lit up when I was swathed in big poufy skirts. I had become drawn to the ball gown silhouette I swore never to wear. A new Internet search, this time focused on finding floaty ball gowns, was commenced. It was during this new search that I found HER.


Who is she, you may ask?

She is the most gorgeous wedding dress that has ever existed; the perfect combination of romance, poof and sexiness. I present to you”¦Isabel (I don’t like calling her Tara Keely #TK2210, as it seems too impersonal. I might add, I tend to name inanimate objects like cars, shoes and kitchen appliances).

* Picture from JLM Couture
* Pictures from JLM Couture

As wonderful as she is, I couldn’t justify spending thousands on a dress I will wear for only a couple of hours. I had fallen in love with Isabel’s lace, tulle and the her versatility as convertible dress. In slides Mami Boa to save the day, when I whined to her about my love for Isabel, her response was simple; call Jose Braulio. Jose Braulio is a local designer whom we have known for 10+ years. Over the years, he has designed:

My Quinceañera dress


My Prom Dress


Lil’ Boa’s Prom Dress


and a couple of other special occasion gowns. As you can see we have quite a history with him and having him custom design a wedding gown for me was a brilliant idea! (Can’t believe I didn’t think of it myself) I could have some of the things about Isabel that I loved, combined with his unique aesthetic but without a hefty price tag.

Last weekend I drove with Mami Boa to his design studio for an initial meeting. I showed him pictures of Isabel and he agreed that it was a beautiful dress which would work perfectly for the style/feel of our  wedding and with my body shape.


After a couple of minutes conversation about the wedding and my dress preferences, he came up with a preliminary sketch. On my wedding day, I will wear a all-over lace mini dress with off the shoulder sleeves and a tulle overskirt tied on with a satin ribbon.


Swoon! I love what he came up with on the first try. He took a gazillion measurements and said he would call in a month for my first fitting. I’m so happy to finally say yes to a dress (even though I won’t actually have it until a couple of weeks before the wedding…eek!), even more so to one I absolutely adore.

Did you consider a custom gown?

* All picture personal unless noted otherwise


Mrs. Boa Constrictor

July 2
Isabela, Puerto Rico
Wedding Date:
May 2012
The Quest for a Dress: Part 2
Multi-Tasking: Planning for Two...
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  1. Member
    Steffany 23 posts, Newbee @ 1:55 pm

    So beautiful!!! I’m so totally there with you – I knew I had found THE dress when I started referring to the dress as “her” instead of “it”. And I’m so jealous of your ease in finding a custom dressmaker – I’m having a terrible time finding a dressmaker in my price range in NYC!

  2. aardvark Member
    aardvark 1129 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:55 pm

    Oh man! That is so cool and exciting! It looks like we are going to have some common ground in our dresses including the fact that they are custom made! I can’t wait to hear how your fitting goes. (I just had my first fitting in the real fabric and it was AMAZING!)

  3. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 2:03 pm

    I love your inspiration and your sketch! It looks like Jose does beautiful work, I can’t wait to see your dress :)

  4. Member
    MrsKeAloha 1044 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:07 pm

    Oh my goodness – Gorgeous! You are so very lucky. A custom wedding gown to die for. Beautiful!

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    miss piggy, Guest @ 2:43 pm

    I am having my dress design by our friend’s girlfriend she is also going to do the bridesmaid dresses as well. I am so happy to have a friend do them for me and she is going to be in the wedding party as well.

  6. teaspoon Member
    teaspoon 768 posts, Busy bee @ 2:46 pm

    Wow, that is going to be gorgeous! I cannot wait to see the end result!

  7. scone Member
    scone 184 posts, Blushing bee @ 2:51 pm

    That is fantastic!!!!! Cannot wait to see the final result!

  8. Member
    SnowflakeDS 334 posts, Helper bee @ 2:51 pm

    How exciting! I’ll keep my eyes peeled for the big reveal! :)

  9. turkey Member
    turkey 654 posts, Busy bee @ 3:08 pm

    So excited to see Jose’s work for you! The design you two have worked on is fabulous.

  10. Member
    JlovesM 1186 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:54 pm

    That is going to be one gorgeous dress! Can’t wait to see it and so excited for you to have the wedding dress of your dreams made specially for you!

  11. woodpecker Member
    woodpecker 270 posts, Helper bee @ 4:05 pm

    How amazing to have a dress designed especially for you! So special!

  12. parasol Member
    parasol 2955 posts, Sugar bee @ 6:00 pm

    Oh my word, I am so unbelievably excited about your custom dress! This sounds incredible and so perfect for you. His work is amazing, and that sketch is to die for!

  13. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:36 am

    Your gown is going to be fantastic! And it’s great that you don’t have to pay a designer price.

  14. coyote Member
    coyote 1960 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:54 pm

    Ah that is so amazing. Your gown is going to look so gorgeous. I can’t wait to see it!!

  15. boaconstrictor Member
    boaconstrictor 397 posts, Helper bee @ 8:51 am

    @Miss Aardvark: How exciting! I can’t wait to try on my dress

    I’ll definitively keep you all posted on the dress design journey. Thanks for the nice thoughts, I’m super excited too!

  16. Member
    KingsDaughter 2552 posts, Sugar bee @ 8:20 am

    your Quinceañera dress is all to similar to what you want for your wedding dress…. you may need to add something different. but i am sure it is a bit too late now…(with the date this was writen

  17. Guest Icon Guest
    Jessica, Guest @ 3:07 pm

    Hope you don’t think this is rude, but how much did you end up spending on the custom design? I pinned this dress to pinterest months ago and I still am in love with it but like you, I do not have the budget to pay full price. The sketch looks gorgeous!


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