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Create a Wedding That Reflects Your Personal Style
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Create a Wedding That Reflects Your Personal Style

(ARA) - The best, most memorable weddings reflect the personalities of the couple getting married. To make sure your wedding isn’t a cookie-cutter copy of all the rest, don’t be afraid to infuse the event with your interests, shared memories and personal style. There is no better way to personalize and customize your wedding than with the creative touches that a sewing and embroidery machine afford.

Reva Lear, a wedding consultant for the past 25 years, says that the bride and groom have a lot of opportunities to create a unique experience: the invitations, the location, the kind of ceremony and reception all say a lot about the personalities of the couple.

Lear remembers one bride-to-be who enlisted the help of her friends to produce a meaningful symbol for the ceremony. Each friend embroidered good wishes for the couple on a fabric square. The bride then collected all the squares, sewed them together and made a canopy for the ceremony that was not only beautiful, but had special significance for the couple.

Here are some other ways to make sure your personality shines through on the big day:

The Gown

Every bride wants her dress to be unique and one way to get exactly what you want is to make it yourself or have someone make it for you. Often brides-to-be will find a bodice they like, or a neckline they prefer, but other aspects of the dress aren’t ideal. When you have it made you can choose the combination of features that are most flattering.

“Today’s computerized sewing and embroidery systems make even a project like a wedding dress much easier than it used to be,” says Gayle Hillert, vice president of education at Bernina of America, a premiere sewing machine company. “There are books, Web sites ( and Bernina dealers available that can provide guidance on such subjects as how to work with specialty fabrics, laces and embroidery. Bernina accessory feet make sewing fine fabrics like satins or velvets easy and there are a variety available like hemming, pintucking and edgestitching feet that enable one to add couture elements quickly and successfully.”

Jane Michals of Aurora, Ill., wanted to make a dress for her daughter Lorraine that she would treasure for years and pass along to her own daughter. The end result, made with a Vera Wang designer pattern from Vogue, was an elegant silk gown with spaghetti straps that was perfect for the warm September evening. She personalized the garment by embroidering a border on the lining featuring lovebirds, the names of the bride and groom, the date of the wedding and the words “united in love.”

“I incorporated a design from a Bernina design collection and made a mirror image so that it would extend all around the dress,” says Michals. “I was able to do a much more detailed design with the machine than if I had done it by hand.” She also made a matching drawstring purse for the bride with leftover material from the dress, and a ring bearer’s pillow embroidered with a similar design.

Michals had some help from her Bernina artista 200E sewing and embroidery system. Microsoft Windows powered, it allows the user to create their own designs, and easily edit the designs on screen using the artista 200E’s built-in capabilities.

“A simple touch like using the letters on the Bernina to stitch the wedding date and names adds value to the dress and gives it heirloom status,” says Hillert. Even if you buy your dress and veil, there are still ways you can personalize it. With the right equipment on your sewing machine, you can add a unique embroidered design to any garment.

“Not only can you embroider a border for the lining, you can add embellishments to the bodice, skirt or even the train,” says Hillert. “You don’t even have to have a sewing and embroidery system; our activa line of machines is powerful, portable and easy to use. The activa 145 has all kinds of built-in decorative stitches, convenient features and accessories, which allow for easy embellishing.”

Your veil can be customized in lots of ways too. Add ornamentation such as tiny ribbons, beads and silk flowers or attach lace edging to a plain veil. The more adventurous bride may want to decorate with sequins, rhinestones, fur trim or even feathers.

Favors and Gifts

The favors are an easy way to inject a bit more of your personality into the day, and when you make them yourself you can tie them into your own theme. Choose the bride’s favorite color and make drawstring bags to hold wedding favors such as candied almonds, a heart-shaped wine bottle stopper or a small scented votive candle.

Sachets made with ribbons and lace in your colors are a wonderful way to remember your guests. Fill them with potpourri or dried flowers that match your centerpieces. For each member of the bridal party, create a personalized gift by embroidering their initials on linen towels or napkins.

You may want to use some leftover scraps of material or lace from your dress to cover a journal that will serve as your guestbook. Continue the theme with your ring bearer’s pillow using leftover fabric embellished with lace, beading, sequins or embroidery.

“These days it is not uncommon for people to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for a wedding,” says Lear. Her best advice: keep it simple, and plan an event that says something about who you are as a couple.

For more information and project ideas along with tips on specialized sewing topics like beading and embroidery, visit
Bernina. Another source of information is the Web site of the Home Sewing Association. To have your dress professionally made, visit Professional Association of Custom Clothiers to find a member in your area.

Courtesy of ARA Content

EDITOR’S NOTE: Founded in Switzerland more than 100 years ago, Bernina manufactures state-of-the-art sewing, embroidery and serger machines, and sewing software systems that are sold in the United States through a network of approximately 500 fully trained dealerships. To learn more, visit

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