What It's Like to Design Your Own Wedding Dress

This bride's bohemian gown and bridesmaid dresses are stunningly chic.

As one of the designers of bridal label Daughters of Simone, there was no doubt that Brit Castanos would dream up her own wedding gown when it was her time to walk down the aisle.

daughters of simone designer designed her own wedding dress
Photo: Feather Love Photography

As one of the designers of bridal label Daughters of Simone, there was no doubt that Brit Castanos would dream up her own wedding gown when it was her time to walk down the aisle. The only question was how she would be able to incorporate all of her ideas into the perfect design.

daughters of simone bridesmaids

"Embarrassingly enough, I’ve kept a folder on my desktop titled 'Top Secret' for the past couple of years," Castanos admits. "Don’t judge me though, I’m not a crazy bride lady! You just never know and I wanted to keep all my ideas together."

After getting engaged to Jeff Osborne, Castanos finally began combing through her ideas and putting her ideas to paper. The wedding, a weekend-long event held in a meadow near Yosemite National Park, was designed with a theme of music festivals, camping, and charming nature-inspired details, which complemented Castanos' bohemian, vintage aesthetic. Thanks to "a bottle of wine and a very large eraser," Castanos designed not only her own gown, but unique dresses for each of her six bridesmaids. She shares with Inside Weddings how these beautiful designs came together.


front and back

"I always start by saving design elements of pieces I really love, whether they be from vintage dresses, modern, or just the fabric on a garment. From that point I just start piecing it all together. Eventually a drawing emerges and we begin the process of creating the first pattern. Sometimes the garment looks completely different from your initial drawing than it does once sewn and worn in person. That's the fun part to me because you get to see it come to life. From there it's mostly just a lot of playing with the fit, adding any additional trims, buttons, etc."

close up bridal gown

"Initially I had a lot more skin showing on the side cutouts of the gown but decided to alter that so it would be more like just a hint of skin. I also added a scalloped trim to the top and bottom seam of the cutout, which furthered this 'hint of skin' design element." 


"I put a lot of time into creating my gown and so when it was 100-percent completed, I have to say I felt proud of what I had made. I've also started to realize that I'm less comfortable with a lot of attention, so I was a bit anxious about the wedding day. But stepping out in something I made that I also loved so much made me feel so much more at ease."


bridesmaid dresses

"I think the days of girls all wearing the same dress are coming to a big fat end, and thank God for that. I really wanted all of my girls to wear something they loved and looked amazing in. I’ve never really understood the whole 'make your best friends look bad while you just glow like heaven next to them.' No, thanks. These are my best friends. I want them to look amazing."

bridesmaids backs

"I basically just said, 'Hey, I have this fabric and this trim, so you tell me – what do you want to wear?' From there, we worked on the designs together. Everyone has a different style; some wanted something sexy, some wanted something beautiful, and some wanted something more tomboy. My advice is to let your girls be themselves. That’s why you love them anyway." 

bridesmaids group

"I think we all just felt like little kids playing dress up about to reveal to our parents our shiny new outfits. Something like that. We also had this amazing getting-ready tent and we were all just listing to good music, and drinking rosé. When you have the mountains as your backdrop and your best girlfriends all around there's not much to fret about... we were just excited!"


festival wedding

wedding party

Wedding Design and Coordination: Pow Wow Design Studio; Bride and Bridesmaids Gowns: Daughters of Simone; Dress Patterns: D&E Customs; Hair: Hallie Lopes, O'Neal Gouveia; Floral Design: Coarsegold Flower Shop; Tents: Shelter Co.; Under Canvas Events; Photography: Feather Love Photography