From the moment it’s hung in the bridal suite to your grand send-off after the reception, your white dress will likely be the most photographed element of your entire wedding day. And while these photos will surely capture your gorgeous gown in all its glory, one of our favorite ways to commemorate your bridal style is through a custom illustration.
Maybe it’s the whimsical nature of the sketches or the way these talented artists make every bride look like a fashion model, but either way, we’re totally in love with the idea of celebrating your dress through a beautiful illustration.
The Philly area has a handful of amazing illustrators and designers who can transform your wedding gown into a piece of art you’ll want to display for years to come. One look at their work and we guarantee you’ll be sold on the idea, too.
What: We love The Atelier’s online shop for its playful mugs, posh notecards and darling tote bags, but you’ll want to chat with designer Melissa Noucas about her custom illustrations (take a look at her paper goods to get a feel for her style). All you have to do is shoot her a message through the website’s contact page and she’ll get back to you with an estimate.
What: With clients like DKNY and Oscar de la Renta, you know you’re in good hands when Delaware-based fashion illustrator Dallas Shaw is sketching your wedding dress. She’ll take cues from the photos you send her (of your dress, shoes, flowers, etc.) to draw a one-of-a-kind illustration that showcases your Big Day style beautifully. Shaw can also do illustrations for your entire wedding party, which she says are often given out as bridesmaid gifts. All custom pieces begin at $1,000 and must be ordered one to two months in advance.
Where: 734 Pine Street, Washington Square West
What: Seasoned illustrator Denise Fike does a lot of on-location work, so chances are, you’ve seen her in action at a handful of events around town (she had a hand in decorating the new Joan Shepp location). To create a custom bridal illustration or painting, Fike can either be on site for your final fitting to take photographs to work from later or you can send her professional images after the wedding. You can also hire Fike to do line drawings of your guests during the celebration (she works super quickly!), which they can then take home as favors.
Devin Anne Pauley
What: Bridal designer and Moore College of Art and Design graduate Devin Anne Pauley launched her line, Morgia Bridal Couture, in February 2012. Although her focus is on creating custom wedding gowns, Pauley is happy to do sketches for any local bride, even if they’re not wearing one of her designs. The more details you give her—about fabrics, color, button details and the like—the better, then she’ll draw up the sketch and pop it into a pretty frame for you.
Megan Hamilton Weddings
What: You’ll find all of the options for Megan Levans pretty wedding illustrations on her Etsy site, which makes it easy for her to interact with clients from all over the country. After receiving images of your gown, she’ll ask you a series of questions to get a feel for the vision you have in mind. Levans has done sketches that include the groom’s tux and the couple’s furry friends, too, so no idea is off limits.