28 years of searching and living all over the United States for various jobs in my career, we found each other. With all the moves I’ve had in my culinary career and wedding/event designing and his time spent as a Marine; we both spent a lot of our lives moving all over the States. With the exception of his deployments, we found out that at all times we had only ever been 3 hours away from each other.
His proposal was well thought out (even Santa was there!) and more importantly, meaningful to us as a couple. My heart and soul had found it’s best friend in the entire universe and we were finally going to start the rest of our lives together!
Cut to me…having no idea what I want to do with my own wedding, after having planned and designed hundreds of weddings/events throughout my career.
I spent my time doing what I coach my couples to do when they hire me as their wedding planner; playing on Pinterest of course!
The rest fell into place easily, but I had the hardest time figuring out my wedding dress. Although the Bridal Store Shops that I went to were super nice and caring, they just didn’t have what I was looking for. My heart told me, I couldn’t find my dress because well, no one had designed it yet. Now, I’m a crafty person, but there’s NO WAY I was going to make my own dress.
So, what’s the next step when you know your dream wedding dress hasn’t been born yet? You find the right person to make it. You find a talented designer who will take the time to get to know you and your vision.
For me, that was none other than the talented and ridiculously kind, Svetik Sambell; owner and designer of Svetik’s Haute Couture. I met her through my own professional connections in the Wedding/Event Circuit, and we chatted like old friends long before she even knew I was engaged or that I still needed my dress.
Once it clicked for me that she was the designer I had been looking for, I called her and told her that I still needed my dress. She was excited and ready to begin this journey with me. I on the other hand was nervous and apprehensive. I had been let down so many times in my search for the perfect dress that I was scared I wasn’t ever going to find it.
So, off to Svetik’s I went, both excited and nervous, unsure of what I was getting myself into. I arrived and was greeted with a smile, a big hug and an adorable puppy named Toby; who was pretty sure I was visiting just to see him!
I’m a lover of both tea and coffee, so much so that I have 2 full cabinets at home full of tea (don’t even get me started on how many coffee cups I have)!
So, we sat down at her kitchen counter and had tea, and just talked. There wasn’t any pressure from her and it allowed me to relax so that I could open up and share with her what my heart had envisioned for me.
She asked me a few questions, and I came with a few pictures in tow, to show little details on different dresses that I liked. I spent about 2 hours with her, and only about 20 minutes of that was actually spent talking about my dress. She got to know me first, before trying to sketch anything out or push her ideas on me. What she did, was listened. That’s a are trait in people these days, and I appreciated the patience and kindness it expressed.
I hadn’t noticed when we were speaking but she was sketching while I was pouring my heart out trying to explain what I wanted for my wedding dress.
It wasn’t until I finished talking that she held up the sketch she did of me, in the dress I had tried to describe to her. She captured me, what I wanted the dress to say about me and how I wanted it to make me feel.
She totally got me! She blew me away, and in that instance, I wanted to cry. She captured me, my dress and allowed me to feel relief that I had finally found my dress and the designer to pull it off!
I went from nervous to utter relief in 0.3 seconds and from then on, she had my complete trust.
Here’s How It Worked….
I setup my meeting with Svetik, to get to know each other, or mainly for her to get to know me and what I wanted for my dream wedding dress.
She sketched out my design and of course had my approval. We signed the contract to work together and I paid my deposit, like you would with any other vendor for your wedding.
Next was picking out fabrics and lace and sparkles! This was by far my favorite part. I got to see all of her current designs that she still had in stock and feel the fabrics and learn some about them.
She only works with the best fabrics, so my fingers delicately ran over lace designs from Italy and tulle from France that was actually soft to the touch. I held luxurious Satin, Silks, Damask and so many other fabrics that I either can’t pronounce or remember. All of which were impressive and most I didn’t think I’d ever get this close to in my lifetime.
The sparkles as I like to call them were all Swarovski Crystals. Me being part raccoon that I am, I naturally gravitated towards the “shiny things”. So, she added them in for me while smiling at me. Svetik pays attention to what catches your eyes.
Funnily enough, the fabric I choose happened to be a new one she just received, called Powder Pink. It sparkles in the sunlight and you couldn’t really see the hue of the pink through the lace overlay design I had chosen, so I was beyond happy. I have the privilege of having my dress made out of fabrics that hadn’t hit the US yet for public use. So, my dress was literally the first of it’s kind!
After choosing all the fabrics and signing off on her sketch, my part was pretty much done for a while. I spent the rest of my time, working off some of the curves I had and planning/designing the rest of my wedding. While Svetik was hard at work bringing my dress to life!
In between the time of her starting my design and finishing, we had about 2 or 3 fun visits so that she could measure me and get the dress fitted to me as much as possible. I actually loved that not only is my dress being designed for me, but it was also going to fit me like a glove without having to go to alterations, and she built in a bra and corset for me!
We had two fittings, because Svetik won’t let a dress leave her capable hands until she is 110% sure it’s perfect and exactly how I wanted it. So, on my last fitting, Svetik is tying me into my dress and Toby is patiently laying in his bed and watching. She positions me in front of the full-length mirror and steps back to take in the full effect of her work.
I’m a strong woman, and I sincerely thought I wouldn’t ever cry when I had my wedding dress on, but I was definitely wrong. I saw myself in my dress and it hit me, I have found my dress and it is beautiful, and it made me feel beautiful! Svetik is in tears too because she’s adorable like that. She could see my happiness and she could feel it. She gets to see first hand what all of her hard work has amounted to and it’s a Bride in her living room crying happy tears!
I left with a pink garment bag full of not only my dress, but a veil designed for me, a garter and the most gorgeous belt that she had made to match the Swavarski Crystals on my dress. She even gave me a card and a big hug, but what I thought was the coolest, most unique and thoughtful gift, was she had framed the original sketch she had made when we first sat down together at the beginning of this long journey together.
I walked down the aisle on my wedding day with the confidence of a woman who knew she had found her soulmate, who knew that she was ready and who knew that her wedding dress was gorgeous and that there was no other one in the world like it.
Wedding Gown Designer Credit: Svetik’s Haute Couture
Visit Svetik of Svetik’s Haute Couture:
Photography Credit: Maite Photography
Check out more of Maite’s Portfolio:
Wedding Designer & Planner Credit: Hurn Events Management
Shop with Hurn Events Management: