aBree Original Interview & Feature

I was so excited when Marcelle of Marcelle Calder Photography contacted me about doing an interview about my wedding gown and love story on her blog! She was so sweet to work with and is a great photographer from Arizona, be sure to check her out!

Here is the feature (you can also find it on her blog HERE)

When I first saw Bree Wilkins’ dress I knew I wanted to talk to her and hear the whole story about this amazing piece of art. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. She designed and sewed her stunning wedding dress herself.

Thanks so much Bree for sharing your stories with us! You can see more of her work on her website abreeoriginal.com. Photographer: Rebekah Westover.

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MC: Bree, tell us about your love story with Taylor. How did you meet?
BW: I still remember the second day of high school (2005) when my friend introduced me to a cute boy named Taylor. And so it began. We dated on (and off) throughout high school, he served an LDS mission and I got my fashion design degree at FIT, we both were accepted into the Marriott School at BYU, we got engaged in fall 2012 and were finally married on May 4, 2013. (I have my love story with pictures posted on my blog).

MC: Tell us what you love about Taylor and what he loves about you.
BW: I love everything about Taylor, like seriously he is perfect for me in every way. He is the best friend that I never get sick of. We can dream together knowing that we both have the determination to make our dreams reality.

I asked him what he loves about me and he said…”everything!” So there’s that!


Bree and Taylor’s adorable proposal story can be found on her blog with all the details.

MC: Now, tell us about your journey of designing clothing.
BW: Ever since I was young I have loved dressing up. I remember back in elementary school, my mom would sew outfits for me and I would help design them. We had this pink and orange striped dress that was my favorite. We even made a matching purse.

In junior high and high school I would buy wedding magazines and cut out all the pretty dresses (before the days of Pinterest) and still have a HUGE stack of inspiration. When I was in high school I was so extremely excited for the formal dances except that I hated every dress I found in stores. That is when my creativity chimed in and I told my mom we’d make me a dress! Both of us do sew, so we weren’t completely in over our heads. The trick was, what I wanted did not come with a pattern. That is when I discovered that my brain luckily made sense of constructing a garment and we completed my first aBree Original gown when I was 16.

Fast forward (many formal dresses later) to 2008. I graduated high school and knew I wanted to go to fashion design school in NYC. It was my dream. So my mom took me out to New York City to check out FIT and Parsons. I fell in love with The Fashion Institute of Technology so much that it was the only school I applied for. The application process was strenuous and difficult, not to mention the fashion design program has less than a 10% acceptance rate, so when my acceptance came in the mail I was thrilled. That summer I developed my first business plan to make money for FIT – make and sell headbands. I finished my time at FIT with a study abroad to Milan and Paris.


MC: Where do you look for inspiration?
BW: Weddings. I am in love with everything that has to with weddings. I have a million saved images on Pinterest of gowns and formal dresses. My favorite wedding blogs are Style Me Pretty, Green Wedding Shoes, and Once Wed. BHLDN is amazing as well – they have extremely good stylists who choose amazing gowns. Elie Saab is my design hero. His aesthetic is so in tune with mine. My style is very glam chic. Not edgy, not abstract. Pretty simple with a hint of the unexpected (mostly in the form of sparkly things.)


MC: How long did it take to design and then sew your dress?
BW: Ever since I can remember I had been sketching and accumulating ideas for my wedding dress. In the summer of 2010 I saw a sequin dress in J.Crew Bridal store on Madison Ave. and I knew it NEEDED to be part of my wedding gown. My mom having full faith in me gave me the okay to buy it. Once I had that sequin piece the dress started to make sense and come to life in my mind. I actually had the complete skirt portion designed in my head pretty quickly and started accumulating all the other fabric by the next year.

Two years after I bought the sequin piece I finally got engaged and could actually create the dress that had been in my head for years. I took the fall 2012 semester off of school to design and make my wedding gown. I started on the bottom half of my gown because that design was solidified in my head. After countless hours of hand-sewing organza and chiffon flowers with hundreds of beads, the skirt part was complete and I was in love! The top proved to be more difficult. I could not pick one idea to stick with. There were so many elements I wanted to incorporate and when I finally designed the final bodice I knew it was the perfect match. After more than 250 hours of labor and over 3,000 beads the dress was complete and it was exactly what I wanted!


MC: I’m curious if your dress is heavy!
BW: Yes, it is quite heavy. The sequins especially and then all of the fabric flowers with beads weigh it down a bit too. But I didn’t notice it while it was on.

MC: Can you share with us a favorite moment on your wedding day?
BW: I think just being surrounded by Taylor and our family and friends all day was the best part. There is not one photo from the entire day where Taylor and I aren’t smiling ear to ear or giggling. We were just so extremely happy that the day had finally come for us to be sealed together. We felt unstoppable and so full of joy and love. It was the best feeling in the world.


MC: If I handed the two of you a million dollars what would you do with it?
BW: Haha, being the finance/business people we are we’d in reality probably save/invest it for MBA school. BUT if we were to spend it we would probably go to Europe on a vacation, eat at amazing restaurants, and go on a nice big shopping spree to J.Crew and Saks.

MC: And lastly, what’s one thing on your bucket list?
BW: Travel. Everywhere. Greece is my top choice.

Again, thanks Bree for sharing your incredible work with us. Next week on Wedding Wednesday there will be some tips from Bree and Teresa (another seamstress) on how to design your own wedding gown. See you then!

flowers: Bella Fleur
custom dress: aBree Original
custom veil: aBree Original
earrings: Kate Spade
shoes: J.Crew
bracelet and necklace: gifted from groom during courtship
hair and makeup: Janelle at Versa Artistry
eyelash extensions: Elise at Suggestions Salon
custom suit and shirt: Dress Code
shoes: Aldo
watch: Michael Kors
cufflinks: Etsy

If you would like to see more photos of our bridal session it was also featured on: bree lena (most extensive), aBree Original, aBree Fashion, Utah Bride Blog, and Rebekah Westover Photography.

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  1. Love your dress Bree! It's stunning and can't believe you did it yourself :)

    Life in the Fash Lane

  2. Your dress is stunning and so unique, I am getting married this fall and thought my dress was unique but, just wow!

    Jo @ Memos In Stilettos

    Popped by from Style Elixir blog hop :-)

  3. Absolutely gorgeous!!

    Thank you for linking up with Friday's Fab Favorites!

    Lauren xx

  4. This is absolutely gorgeous, Bree! I can't even believe how talented you are to have made your favorite dress! Oh my gosh! Anyway, I found your blog through our Spotlight Weekly link-up! On behalf on Jacqueline and I, I want to thank you for linking up! You're incredibly gorgeous, and we would love to have you link-up again next week!!

    xo, Elle

  5. You were an absolutely stunning bride! And that dress is to die for! Thanks for sharing your look with Three-fer Thursday :)

    xo Bethany

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