“Working with Olwen was fantastic. It felt like anything was possible. The only limit was my imagination”

Rebecca Miles


Design Process

Every Olwen Bourke wedding dress is a unique collaboration between bride and designer. It starts with an initial design talk to discuss your ideas and go through any inspiration images you might have. This is a really exciting part of the process where you can brainstorm ideas and Olwen can sketch some possible dress designs for you.

If you have no idea what you’re after, don’t worry! This is a relaxed and usually very inspiring meeting, where you can go through all the options and get advice on what will suit you.


You can also try on dresses from the range and have a browse through various fabrics and embroidery designs. It’s possible to pick and personalise any of the gowns from the range and have them custom made for you. It’s also possible to have a completely new gown brought to life with original embroidery and beading. The possibilities are endless and we try to accommodate all budgets. If you are based outside of London, Skype consultations are also possible. The design talk appointments are scheduled for one hour and are free of charge. For information on pricing click here:



Once we’ve finalised your dress design we’ll book you in for a first fitting. A dress toile (which is a fabric mock up of your dress) will be fitted to your body and adjusted to perfectly fit and enhance your figure. At this stage we can make small tweaks to the design such as neckline or sleeve re-shaping.

At the second fitting your gown will have been cut in the real fabric, and more adjustments to the fit can be made. Further fittings will be required after this and the number will depend on the complexity of the design, but most gowns require between three to six fittings to reach the level of perfection you need. It’s best to have the final fitting a few weeks before your wedding to ensure your dress is perfect ahead of the big day.

Embroidery designs

 If you’re choosing to have embroidery on your dress, we have an archive of beautiful embroidery designs to choose from, and we are also happy to create a new artwork that’s completely unique to you. If you have something meaningful that you’d like to incorporate, be it a favourite flower, a family emblem or the date of your wedding day, this can added into the design to make your gown personal. Olwen Bourke dresses aim to tell the story of who you are.



The embroidery is applied to the fabric by a team of highly skilled artisans based in India. Embroideries are produced by a small family run workshop, which works to socially responsible and ethical standards and is a member of the Ethical Fashion Forum.

India has a rich heritage of embroidery, beadwork and embellishment skills. Working directly with artisans means that designs can be created as one-off artworks that are completely unique to each client. In an age of fast fashion, this workmanship far outshines anything that’s factory produced, and also helps to keep traditional skills and craft alive.


If you’d like to find out more about creating your unique, made to measure dress, why not come in for a chat to learn more about the process.