The Couture Process


** Please note, our made-to-measure service is on hold for 2021 due to time and contact restrictions. We hope to have this up and running again for 2022.

Initial Consultation

Firstly you need to book a bespoke consultation with Eleanor and Liz – there is a £30.00 charge for this service. The aim is to get to know one another and to find out your requirements and expectations for your couture wedding gown.

This gives you the opportunity to try on a selection of couture bridal dresses from the Eleanor Rafferty collection and get a feel for what works for you. At this point you may choose to go for a made to measure wedding dress from the ready to wear couture collection or to have a bespoke wedding gown designed and made especially for you.

All required measurements will be taken, your body shape and posture will be recorded in detail, and you will take away a sketch of your dress.

If you are undecided about the process of having your wedding dress designed and made, see this as an opportunity to come and find out a little more. You are more than welcome to bring along a family member or a friend.

If you decide that a couture wedding gown is not for you then you are more than welcome to try a selection of our other designer dresses at The Ivory Secret.

At this stage you will need anywhere between 4-8 fittings in total depending on the complexity of your wedding dress. Ideally allow up to 9 months for the completion of your couture bridal dress, although we will be flexible where possible. After the initial consultation, subsequent fittings will take place as a mobile fittings service in the comfort of your own home or Devon location of choice. You will of course receive the same exceptional service and advice, and as a result will ensure the perfect fit for your wedding dress.

Toile Fittings
From the measurements recorded during your initial consultation a calico toile will be made for your first fitting, this is a mock-up of your dress for the designers to use as a pattern. Alterations will be carried out whilst you are wearing the toile to ensure the most accurate fit to an individual physique, additional measurements may be required at this stage.

Silk Fittings
Your chosen bespoke or made to measure wedding dress will be cut from the desired silk or silks – all dresses are made from 100% silk fabrics (unless specified otherwise). Your dress will not be finished at this point but you will be able to see how your wedding gown is evolving; how it feels and falls.

You will need to have your chosen undergarments and shoes with you for all of the fittings. The Ivory Secret holds a selection of wedding shoes, veils and headpieces that we can source to sit perfectly alongside your wedding dress of choice.

The final fitting will take place as close to your wedding date as possible.

Dress Collection
Your couture wedding gown will be pressed and packed in a breathable and non-transparent garment bag.

Please remember this is a general overview of how we work. Each dress is made to individual requirements; therefore the process may vary slightly.

Made to Measure Bridesmaid Dresses
Made-to-measure bridesmaid dresses are also available. Often your bridesmaids will be different shapes and sizes. Therefore, it is difficult to choose an off the peg option that will suit all silhouettes. Why not pick all the elements you want incorporated into your bridesmaid dresses and, we can combine them to create a perfect design that will suit all your bridesmaids. We have a collection of ready to wear bridesmaid dresses to choose from at the boutique. You can choose to have an exact replica of a design in the collection, something completely bespoke or simply use one of the ready to wear dresses as a template, where together with the designers your dream bridesmaid dresses will come to life. All bridesmaid gowns are made to measure. Please refer to the couture process above for a general overview of the process of having your bridesmaid dresses made.

Prices for bespoke wedding gowns start from £1200.

Prices for the ready to wear collection start from £695.

Prices for children’s bridesmaid dresses start from £190 and for adult bridesmaid dresses prices start from £250.

To view the full collection please make an appointment by calling 01363 777500 or email