Ethical Wedding Planning: 5 Amazing American Wedding Dress Designers
As an American wedding photographer an small business owner, I like to buy American and shop small whenever I can. I am married to an American maker- Black Swan Handmade - who strives to keep high quality, American goods available. I know the struggle of both ends of buying and making in America.
When it comes to your wedding dress, you have an abundance of choices, but finding ethically manufactured gowns can be difficult. I am very grateful to work with many brides who want to make ethical and eco friendly choices when it comes to wedding planning, and I want to help that effort. Here I have compiled a list of beautiful, modern brands and designers that live and create wedding gowns in small scale design shops here in the United States. You can look amazing and know #whomadeyourclothes!
1.MARTIN McCREA: Tuscon, Arizona
Martin McCrea Couture gowns have true goddess status. They are truly elegant and simple with a vintage flair. Each of their gowns is hand made with love by their artisan seamstresses in Tuscon, Arizona. They truly care about ethical production- all of their fabrics are sourced from Fair-trade practicing importers, and only use conflict- free materials. They also want you to be able to order with confidence: all of their dresses are fully refundable within 10 days of receipt. You can also send your dress back to them for alterations.
Price Range: $750- $1895
Availability: In stock, made-to-order, and custom
“When you purchase one of our wedding gowns, you can take pride in knowing that your dress was handcrafted with superlative artistry and elegance, delivering you a wedding gown with character and originality. We guarantee that your wedding dress will reflect passion and dedication, pillars of our métier.”
2. DREAMERS AND LOVERS: Torrance, California
DREAMERS AND LOVERS gowns are handmade in California. D & L provides a vast array of bohemian style gowns that feature gorgeous crochet, lace, and sheer fabrics. I wish I’d known about this brand when I got married! The designer wanted to offer stylish, comfortable, elegant dresses for laid-back brides that have not been available in the traditional bridal gowns. They even have an amazing loan me option- that lets you try 3 of the gowns on at home before you decide which gown is right for you.
Price Range: $585 to $2499
“My efforts have since blossomed into a creative collaboration by a team of like-minded, passionate professionals and we’ve expanded operations to include a full-scale creative studio and showroom where our brides-to-be can come to feel both welcomed and understood. Our boho-chic dresses, simplistic and romantic, are all designed and handmade by us in our own creative studio. They are designs which we ourselves, all laid-back ladies, would be happy to order and be 100% comfortable wearing.”
3. WEAR YOUR LOVE: Northern California
WEAR YOUR LOVE: All of their gowns are made from start to finish in their Northern California studio. Their missions to make wedding dress shopping modern, ethical, and affordable. They strive to beautiful gowns that are truly comfortable by using organic cotton or soft bamboo.
Price Range: $600- $2080
“... And because nature is my greatest inspiration (as well as my first true love), most of our dresses are made with a portion of eco-friendly and sustainable fabrics, like ultra soft bamboo and lush organic cotton. I truly adore all things organic; as in, “of life” and “free of the artificial”, just like Wear Your Love brides, and just like true love. xoxo, jillian Leigh”
4. DACI GOWNS: Boise, Idaho
DACI GOWNS are designed and lovingly stitched in Boise, Idaho. Her gowns are romantic and vintage inspired, yet are fitted and flattering. Many of their designs have multiple looks. Daci encourages brides to reach out to them about customizing her designs, because she wants to make your dream dress.
Price Range: $1700 - $4000
Availability: in stock and made-to-measure
“My journey designing dresses started after studying fashion design at a major European Arts University. Since then I have been creating custom wedding gowns for over twenty years. It has been a dream fulfilled to create lasting memories for hundreds of brides with my unique style guiding the process. My 'Daci Gowns' embody the spirit of a romantic, adventurous bride. I am happy to be a part of this special time with you. Love, Daci”
5. FRENCH KNOT COUTURE: Whidbey Island, Washington
FRENCH KNOT COUTURE: Lots of my brides have worn short dresses in the past year- especially the ones that want to go on adventures, and French knot provides gorgeous American made options. Their gowns are made by a team of two sister-seamstresses specializing in unique wedding dresses in silks, floral prints and other specialty fabrics. They make all of our dresses by hand in their studio on Whidbey Island.
Price Range: $375- $950
Availability: in stock, made-to-measure
“I am Colleen, the owner of French Knot. Together with my sister, Dorothy, we design and sew some very unique bridal designs. Our goal is to bring high quality wedding dresses to brides who want something a little different.”