Hi Lovely’s, I am the designer behind the ready-to-purchase wedding dress collection ”Bespoke by Maryke”. I am based in the beautiful Hilton, which is a lovely little town on the outskirts of the KZN Midlands. 

Sewing was my first love (I used to sew tissues together with a tapestry needle and wool during my kindergarten breaks) and it is an ever growing, ever expanding insatiable passion for what I most delight and love creating – wedding dresses. I have been collecting bridal magazines since age 9 which formed this dream in my little girl heart to make wedding dresses one day when ”I grow up”. Today, I get to live my dream. I made my first full blown ball gown at age 13, to perfection, complete with boning and a wavy fish gut hem. I dressed my first bride at age 19 and today I have the privilege of turning many brides dreams into reality annually. 

Part of this dream was to produce a ready-to-purchase wedding dress collection which birthed my Bespoke by Maryke brand. It offers brides a selection of carefully designed wedding dresses that can be tried on. It is such a delightful experience developing these designs for you as it allows me to dream and create freely. Each dress develops her own personality and is named very thoughtfully to portray this personality. One of the key elements I consider when designing a wedding dress is how you will feel in the dress. A wedding dress carries a certain magic by itself but added to this is comfort and fit. Being a very practical person in spite of my creativity, I take great care in considering the technical side of a design as well, such as just the right depth of necklines, just the right point for an armband to be, the best placement for straps & lace appliqué’s, the best silhouette for a skirt etc. in order to produce a dress which is not only looks like a dream but feels like one. A dress that is making you feel the best version of yourself. 

When asked what makes my dresses unique, I can ramble off a list such as superiority in design, quality, fit, meticulous attention to detail and couture finishes but I believe that it is more than that, it is the heart that goes into each of my dresses that makes them unique. Each minute spent or your dress is done so with utmost love & care and as the quote says: ”that which is done in love is done well”. 

Most brides are not likely to know that an average of 70 – 100+ hours are invested into creating her beautiful Bespoke by Maryke wedding dress. I also make a pattern for each order placed according to the individual measurements provided, which gives your dress fit that is unique to you – the bespoke attribute. 

Being a classic designer at heart, designing for my collection has nudged me to step outside of my comfort zone a little and become more open and modern in my designs. My Bespoke by Maryke collection has taught me to tune into my intuition more than ever before and I rely heavily on this during the process of creating my collection. This brings me to a little nugget I’d like to share: please, oh please tune into your inner voice (the voice of your heart) when choosing your wedding dress. It is so easy to get distracted by the screaming doubts inside your mind or the opinions voiced from the sideline. But take a moment to step aside and ask yourself what is your personal vision for your dress, which dress makes you feel most yourself? You’ll be forever grateful that you did.

Practical advice for fitting appointments:
 Keep an open mind and trust your consultant. She has years of experience with different
body types, personalities etc. and very often a dress which you never would have looked at
will look amazing on you – so dare to push the envelope a little.

 Wear suitable underwear. Try to wear something similar to what you are planning on
wearing for your wedding day as it has a huge impact on the overall silhouette and fit of
your dress. For example if you are planning on wearing any shape wear on your wedding
day, wear some for your appointment – these sometimes result in at least a size difference
between waist & hip measurements.

 Bring some heels in a similar height as to what you are planning to wear. Elongating your
legs makes for the most flattering silhouette.

 Keep your support team for the appointment small, and bear in mind they are to be your
support team, so bring along those who will make your experience positive and memorable.
Choosing your wedding dress is a big deal and it should be a joyous occasion.

My fav 2019 trends?
 Halter necks are gaining momentum and is a trend I am loving
 Off-shoulder detail trailing around the arms – super flattering
 Open backs with key-hole detail are still trending
 Simpler designs with minimal detail – keep an eye out for my latest additions to my
collection coming to store soon
 Lace designs in bigger flower motifs with a hint of sparkle

Photos by Esmarelda Noble Photography

Leave a comment