A bride shared the hectic process of getting her dress made from scratch just two weeks before her wedding in the summer of 2021 after the gown she first bought did not fit.
Andrea Helfrich Presta shared the video chronicling the ordeal to her TikTok account @andreahelfrich on September 7, which amassed more than 14 million views.
Helfrich Presta showed the process from start to finish, showing the fabric she picked out after visiting more than a handful of fabric stores in New York City, before taking the viewers with her back to Philadelphia, where she had more hands-on work to do before she could turn the material over to her seamstress, who then made her sit for innumerable fittings.
Above, a stock image of a bride in a wedding dress during a fitting. A bride shared a now-viral video that showed the process of having her gown custom-made just two weeks before the wedding.
Wedding Dress Shopping
Gabriella Rello Duffy, the editorial director for Brides, told Newsweek in an email that most retailers advise brides to purchase their wedding dresses about one year in advance due to supply chain issues.
“Pre-pandemic, six to nine months was the gold standard,” she said. “You want to have enough time to have the dress made—which is generally made only upon ordering, not before, so there’s no off-the-rack option that you can take home that day, with the exception of sample sales—and then have the alterations completed.”
Brides also noted that made-to-order wedding dresses may take between six and nine months to create.
‘My Only Choice Was To Make My Wedding Dress’
In her video, Helfrich Presta showed the dress she initially purchased six months in advance that did not fit her properly.
Helfrich Presta considered buying a wedding dress off the rack, but she said she needed an appointment to go anywhere.
“All bridal shops were booked out at least two weeks, and I only had two weeks until my wedding,” she explained.
She told Newsweek in an email that she felt defeated after accepting she needed a new dress with just two weeks left until the wedding.
“After about a minute, my adrenaline took over and I decided my only choice was to make my wedding dress,” she said.
She went to several fabric stores to pick out different types of fabrics and documented her shopping trips in her video, where she’s seen holding large bolts of fabric up against her.
“I had a vision—I wanted a long-sleeve dress with an open-back illusion,” Helfrich Presta said in her video.
“I always wanted a long sleeve gown covered in appliqué, but they were all way out of my price range,” she said. “In this case, I purchased the fabric myself on fabric row in New York City and my family and I cut out all the appliqué.”
With the help of others, Helfrich Presta got to work and cut out appliqué from 17 yards of fabric for 22 hours.
She was inspired by photos she saw on Pinterest, and she said it turned out exactly how she envisioned. However, it was a stressful two weeks leading up to the wedding.
In addition to the stress of making a wedding dress from scratch, Helfrich Presta said Hurricane Ida also swept through the area, which caused major flooding. At one point, Helfrich Presta said she and her family wondered if there would be a wedding.
“My seamstress was working tirelessly, we were down to the wire and I thought, what will I do if she gets Covid?” Helfrich Presta said. “My final fitting was a 1 a.m. the night before my wedding weekend.”
“It turned out amazing, and I have a crazy story and I wouldn’t trade it,” she said.
‘I Love That You Followed Your Heart’
Viewers were blown away by the final reveal and took to the comments section to share their thoughts.
“Wow the talent of everyone involved,” a viewer commented. “Your dress looked perfect.”
“Wow so beautiful…I love that you followed your heart,” another viewer wrote.
“Beautiful dress,” one viewer commented. “You wore it very well! Your seamstress is a magician!”
Weddings are a popular topic to discuss and share on the internet.
A sweet video showed a bride visiting her grandfather in a care home on her wedding day in her gown went viral, while another clip showed a baker making a wedding cake in two hours.
One video showed the hilarious reaction of one woman during the popular tradition of tossing the wedding bouquet.
Newsweek’s “What Should I Do?” offers expert advice to readers. If you have a personal dilemma, let us know via [email protected]. We can ask experts for advice on relationships, family, friends, money and work and your story could be featured on WSID at Newsweek.