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    News — Custom Bridal Story

    Bridal Story - Amanda

    Much of the Copious brand focuses on everyday clothing, but 3 to 4 times a year I get the chance to work with brides who have opted for a custom design. It is such an honour to be chosen as their designer and I cherish these fittings, our creativity and seeing them light up in their gown.
    This bridal story features Amanda, an Ottawa content creator, educator and in 2021 she was preparing for her intimate wedding. Previous to this I had followed Amanda online and she had modelled for my Femme Sweater Collection. I instantly clicked with her after hearing her choice of names and why she chose them, so I was thrilled and honoured when she contacted me to make her wedding gown.
    Amanda knows her style very well and had a clear vision of what she was looking for. She fell for the Audrey Dress and with some added details we made the gown her own.
    bride in her custom wedding gown with pockets, made in ottawa.
    bride with her custom wedding gown with pockets and short sleeves, made in Ottawa
    bride wearing her custom wedding gown, with pockets and short sleeves, handmade in Ottawa
    bride wearing her custom white wedding gown, handmade in Ottawabride with her custom wedding gown with pockets and short sleeves, handmade in Ottawa
    bride wearing her custom wedding gown, handmade in Ottawa

    “As a midsize, petite, and curvy woman, wedding dress shopping was something I was always worried about – would I be able to find a dress I felt comfortable in and that fit my body the way I wanted it to? The option to have a custom dress made by a local designer whose work I already loved was a perfect solution to this problem. I chose a dress already on the Copious site – the Audrey dress – and together Carissa and I made a few changes to the design to create my dream dress. We added cute sleeves, a zipper at the back for convenience, and having pockets to fit my phone, lipstick, and hand sanitizer throughout the day was just amazing! The whole process was easy, and with our wedding being pushed back because of the pandemic, Carissa even made time to take my dress in, closer to the wedding date. The whole custom dress experience really gave me that unique, special, one-of-a-kind feeling that I think every bride wants on their wedding day!”


    I loved working with Amanda on her dress, and will always remember our experience. A couples' wedding day will always be special, but the fact that I get to work with brides leading up to this special day and make them feel that 'one of a kind feeling' is everything to me. 

    If you are a bride and are curious what this process looks like, check out my blog posts How Does a Custom Copious Gown get Made?

    Photography: Sandra Keilback

    Bridal Story- Gillian

    Gillian will forever and always be the bride who came up to me at the OOAK Xmas Show 2017 and said ‘I love your designs, I have been following you online and I came here to meet you and ask you to make my wedding gown!’ My heart instantly burst, it was my first time meeting a bride this way and Gillian is the most infectious human; her laugh, her smile, her generosity, she is an all round amazing person. We worked together for over a year and it was such an incredible experience to get to know Gillian and her family.
    OOAK became our meeting ground, we met for the first time at OOAK, but I moved out of Toronto shortly after meeting her, so we did multiply fittings at the Spring and Winter show, and because she booth sits for other vendors, I know that every year I will get to see her and get one of her awesome hugs! My brides always stay with me, it is this incredible year of their lives prepping for this big day and I get to be a small part of it, but with Gillian I have gotten to see her after her big day and that is pretty rare.
    Right away Gillian had an idea of what she wanted, she envisioned her dress looking like a Spring garden, but still wanted a bridal look to her gown, also she definitely wanted pockets (obviously she came to the right person!) All of the pieces for her gown came together really easily, her final fabric choice ended up being perfect for the vibe she wanted. A beautiful sheer fabric that had pink flowers embroidered all over it, and with it being sheer, we were able to layer it with a white satin to create the bridal look Gillian had envisioned.
    custom made wedding gown, pink floral fabric, alternative bride
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    "I always knew I wanted a non traditional wedding dress; I wanted to wear colour down the aisle and have a tiara on my head.
    I have worked the One of a Kind show in Toronto for the past few years and after some disappointed google searches of bland white dresses, I started going through the artisans from the site and seeing if any did custom dresses. Carissa and Copious popped out as a fellow fan of the bright and wonderful. With a show approaching, I went through her entire Instagram feed twice and finally with my sister on hand, approached her at the show. After talking to her for almost an hour, I knew I wanted to work with her. She was just as lovely and warm as I thought she would be and instantly had me excited for my dress.
    Together we finalized a beautiful flowery gown, that put comfort just as high on the list as style. She even added pockets! It was everything I wanted plus more. Working with her at every step was easy and one of the best parts of organizing a wedding. She was calm yet excited, easy going but focused and my dress is one of the best things I have ever owned. One of my favourite parts was doing a final fitting on the OOAK floor after the show closed for the day. It had been a long tiring day, and we were rushing through, but as soon as I put the dress on, it felt like time stopped. It was perfect."
    I feel so lucky that each year I get to be reunited with my "OOAK Bride" Gillian, although this last year I have missed seeing her and getting an amazing hug from her! 

    Bridal Story- Naomi

    Naomi, oh Naomi, she will always be the bride that had me on board the second she said her inspiration was Art Deco, the 1920’s and Downtown Abbey; pause for designer freak out moment, ie me jumping up and down, then calmly messaged her back YES, YES, YES!!!!!!  Needless to say, Naomi and I hit it off right away and jumped into the design and fabric shopping process.


    Being a bride, you have SO many decisions to make and they all need to be made while keeping within your theme, budget and always important reality. If you have chosen to wear a gown that isn’t white, the decisions can be even harder, your options are endless and Naomi had more than a handful of options that would have been beautiful, but in the end she went with this Art Deco velvet patterned fabric that perfectly fit her theme. For the design she knew she wanted a dress that showed off her body and we also decided to break up the fabric pattern with some geometric seams at her waist to really define that area, by doing this, these perfectly laid seams accented her hourglass figure beautifully. Naomi’s vision was inspired and so focused that her final gown looked like something that Rose from Downtown Abbey would wear!


    Her gown was made even more special when I got to see the stunning photos, Scarlet O'Neill did such a beautiful job shooting this vintage inspired gown in downtown Toronto. The graffiti mixed a new art form with 1920’s fashion and it is a gorgeous contrast. Working with Naomi was an incredible experience, I adored meeting her and her mom, who joined us for her fittings. Each bride is so special and I love that I have seen them after this at the One of a Kind Show, I love being reunited with my #copiousbrides. 
    bridal gown flat lay with floral bouquet, handmade custom wedding gown
    a bride getting ready, dressed in a custom made gown, handmade in Toronto, velvet patterned
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    Photography: Scarlet O'Neill

    "Working with Carissa was the answer to my wedding dress shopping challenges. After walking into bridal stores asking for something "not white and not poofy" and not getting very far, it was clear I needed to go a different direction. Carissa listened to all my finicky preferences, and was always full of ideas and interested in exploring options, including shopping for fabric together! In the end, we found exactly what I never knew I wanted, and I could not have been happier with the dress. 

    Having fittings all the way through the design and construction process was incredibly reassuring, and resulted in a gown that I simply adored. I am so happy that I found Carissa. My wedding day wouldn't have been the same without her!"


    Bridal Story- Kay

    custom copious gown, alternative wedding outfit, custom made in Ottawa

    I met Kay a couple years ago, we were connected by my photographer, Kaja, when she met a local blogger who was looking for Canadian Designers to work with, she instantly mentioned me. Kay and I didn’t meet in person right away, with me still being in Toronto it was a virtual relationship, but I was instantly taken with what an incredible presence she had in her photos, she completely embodied the Copious Woman.

    In the summer of 2017 Kay and I reconnected because we both wanted to work together again, I was excited to have her model Copious and be one of the faces of my new collection, but her reason for working together definitely trumped mine!

    As with any bride, I was completely honoured to be asked to make Kay’s wedding gown, but the designer in me jumped for joy when she said she wanted a black outfit. I had been waiting and waiting for someone to want black and it was so perfect that someone with Kay’s incredible fashion sense and style be the one who asked. She kicked it up one more notch by asking for a black jumpsuit with a floral lace skirt, I literally jumped to the moon with excitement.

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    Working with Kay on her wedding gown and with her modelling for Copious this last year has been amazing, we have gotten to know each other more and I count myself lucky to have someone who believes in Copious and loves my designs like she does! 

     Photography: Anita Peeples

    "Ever since I could remember, I wanted a functional but statement-making wedding outfit. A few years back I was browsing Pinterest and pinning inspo pictures to my "secret" wedding board (come on, we all have one) and found this amazing wedding where the bride was in a black jumper with a skirt. Needless to say, I fell in love with this concept. When I got engaged and started planning my wedding, I wanted to use wedding vendors who I knew and who were also local. So naturally Carissa was at the top  of my list. I've known Carissa for a couple of years through collaborating with my old blog and knew she would do my vision of my wedding outfit justice - I mean, look at her beautiful Copious designs.
    From the get-go Carissa was beyond excited and supportive of creating exactly what I envisioned and encouraged me to speak up and make changes - which helped this people-pleaser of a Libra, immensely. Carissa was open to all my feedback and the hoards of family and friends I brought along to all my fittings (again, I'm a Libra, super indecisive).
    Conceputalizing and creating my wedding outfit was one of my favourite memories of my wedding. Carissa is not only a warm and talented designer, but she puts you and your vision first, which for me, meant and still means the world to me."

    Bridal Story- Vanya

    I get all kinds of brides that come to me; brides that have no idea what design they want and ones that know exactly what they want, but can't find it. Vanya was the latter and the first email I got from my Silver Bride she had attached pictures of her inspiration and the one that caught my eye was an illustration from a Butterick paper pattern of an open skirt that showed off pants, it was unique and different. Plus she didn’t want her outfit to be all white, she wanted to find a silver fabric that worked well with white, needless to say I was hooked right away!

    custom bridal gown handmade in TorontoEach bride has her own vision of how she wants to look on her wedding day and it's when I get to meet them in person where that vision comes alive for me too. Once I met Vanya and got to hear her vision, I was excited and thrilled at the challenge her gown presented. She wanted to wear a skirt down the aisle, then wanted the skirt to open up in the front to show off her pants and finally she wanted to remove the skirt all together to be able to dance the night away.


    custom made wedding pant suit and skirt, handmade in Toronto

    silver wedding outfit, alternative wedding options, custom made in TorontoMost designs are possible, but such a unique design for a wedding gown, it couldn't just be a couture design that was meant for the runway, it needed to be wearable in the REAL world. Functionality is a key feature in my wedding gown designs, my brides need to be stunning but also comfortable in their gown. I would need to think outside the box to make this look beautiful for a wedding outfit for Vanya, but she was so ready to go on the journey with me, so it was easy to say yes!

    custom made pantsuit, alternative wedding gown, handmade in TorontoBecause Vanya's wedding outfit had pants we had many fittings because getting a perfect fit on pants takes time, but once we nailed that it was on to figuring out how to create a skirt that did all she wanted. We ended up with a gathered skirt that had a hidden zipper that went from the hem up to the waistband which she could unzip when she was ready to reveal her second outfit! I put hidden hook and eye attachments so that she could pull back the skirt and keep it out of her way to show off her pants, much like the images she first sent me. Lastly the skirt could be totally removed for whenever she was ready to dance the night away.

    custom made silver wedding outfit, handmade in TorontoI loved working on this piece with Vanya, each bride provides me with a new creative challenge and I cherish each women for our journey that we get to go on together.