Custom Designing Your Wedding Day Look With Anomalie

I’ll admit that I wasn’t the most enthusiastic bride. I felt a lot of pressure throughout the process to be incredibly detailed and excited about every decision that was to be made, but I wanted to approach it in the way I do with my retirement account — set it and forget it.

I was able to align that approach to almost everything in the wedding planning process, including when it came to my dress. Having endured an afternoon of parading ill-fitting but mother-approved wedding dresses, I realized that I liked aspects of different dresses, but not one dress encapsulated all the features. I didn’t have the appetite to spend more time and money looking for the perfect dress until a friend recommended I make it myself with a custom wedding startup, Anomalie.

One of the reasons I felt comfortable going with Anomalie was because of their founder, Leslie Voorhees. With a background across different consumer products, she was frustrated with her own wedding dress search and the seemingly frivolous markup brides were forced to accept. She took the middleman out with her own hands! Anomalie estimates that 90% of their designs end up between $1,000-2,000, with the average look coming in at $1,350.

Anomalie’s platform is completely digital, but since they are based in San Francisco, I opted to pop into their offices for some of the stages of the process, but many do this completely online, over the phone, and via mail. Impressed with this knowledge the entire experience itself was fairly simply —

Anomalie Dashboard

Anomalie Dashboard

  1. Create an Anomalie account and upload pictures of inspiration into your dashboard’s Lookbook.

  2. Schedule a call with a Stylist.

  3. Discuss on the call the design elements of your outfit with your Stylist in order to help them get a pricing estimate and a sketch of your outfit.

  4. Anomalie estimates the cost of your outfit and prior to sending you the sketch requests payment on the full amount.

  5. Post-payment, you review and confirm your sketch.

  6. Anomalie sends you fabric swatches, in my case satin and lace. You indicate in your dashboard which fabrics you prefer.

  7. You provide your measurements in your dashboard. Anomalie has a standard form you can have a tailor help fill out.

  8. Upon your final confirmation, the dress is scheduled into production.

  9. Your dashboard is updated throughout the production process. You have the ability to make comments to your Stylist within the dashboard under each photo.

  10. Your outfit is done! Prior to delivery, you give your blessing.

  11. A giant white box of happiness arrives at your doorstep!

  12. Anomalie recommends tailors in local to your area, and you are responsible for your fittings and alterations.

I have made the effort throughout this post to not imply that Anomalie only makes wedding dresses. While I opted for a popular mermaid lace dress, many of their customers are creative with the colors, styles, and functionality. Their Instagram is filled with happy brides in traditional dresses, two piece skirts as well as chic suits.

Here’s what Anomalie served up for me — 🥟🍜🥢🍚🥡

  • Quality 🥟 I was incredibly happy with the quality of the fabrics and intricate attention to detail when it came to incorporating a lace overlay onto the satin layer. I wouldn’t have known the difference between my Anomalie dress and a store bought one. The cape Anomalie made me was above and beyond and something I plan on imposing on someone in my family to incorporate in their big day. I also had a sash made, but I wasn’t satisfied with the weight of the ribbon and returned it for a full refund.

  • Pricing 🍜 the in-store dresses I based my look upon were around $2,200, while the cape was $500. My Anomalie dress cost $1,225, and its accompany cape was $250. At a nearly 50% discount, I am proud to announce that my wedding day look came in under than my husband’s!

  • Customers 🥢 I really enjoyed working with everyone at Anomalie. I started the process fairly early, and they kept me informed of each stage, I felt supported when I randomly wanted to add a detail, convey concerns, or request more status photos. When I was indecisive about color, material, or whether I wanted to add a sash, the stylists were ready with recommendations and using the dashboard to view each upload and provide comments was an efficient method.

  • Transparency 🍚 Anomalie does a fantastic job taking you into their production in China. You can follow them on Instagram, where they regularly take you on tours of what they’re working on and who they are working with. They collaborate with the people behind branded wedding designers, but since the items don’t pass on the wholesale cost of an intermediary, customers get better pricing.

  • Deliver 🥡Anomalie takes care of any shipping costs including your fabric swatches or any add-ons to your look.

minor meddling: what could be better

  • Alterations this isn’t standard review criteria, but it was the biggest pain point I had with the Anomalie process. While they are candid that you should expect and are responsible for alteration costs, I made the assumption that as a custom dress fit to my measurements, the alterations would be minimal. The measurements section is something I wish I had been more diligent with. I’m not sure why, but the dress was delivered too large in its entirety for a close-fitting design. I ended up having to have the dress taken in completely all around. Additionally, since it was constructed out of a beautiful but singular piece of lace, my tailor had to get creative and ultimately charged me a bit more to help accomplish the fitted look. My alterations ended up costing $700, but Anomalie did credit me $200. I realize that a store bought dress would likely require a great amount of re-construction (those deceiving clamps fit the dress to your body), but I was still surprised by the additional work mine needed. I don’t think I would have opted for a different style if I had understood it may be more difficult to alter, but I would have liked to have been better prepared with the how certain styles may impact cost and work required at alterations. Again, this was my personal experience, I do believe that the onus was partially on me to be more thorough with my measurements and based on other bridal reviews, I do feel I was an outlier in this area.

  • Good Karma 🥠 I felt a bit guilty leveraging a few different designs to create my own in the sense that artistic integrity is hard to maintain when you are able to have anything made. I’m not sure what the solution is here, but I do wish there was more emphasis on ensuring some sort of copy write protection for designers throughout this process.

Looking back over the experience, I without a doubt would have gone with Anomalie over and over again. It’s incredible to see how many big days they are fulfilling!

Anomalie serving 🥟🍜🥢🍚🥡

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