A few weeks ago, I posted out on my social platforms (@charisweible on Instagram and @chariscostumes on facebook) that I was now accepting wedding costuming clients. I got such overwhelmingly good feedback- I was blown away by everyone’s kindness. A few days later, I called my dad, and asked if he had seen the post. He said “yeah… we couldn’t figure out what that means. Are you going to do Star Trek Weddings now?”
Oh, Dad… so supportive, but always finding the questions I didn’t even think of.
So in case you’re also confused about what I mean when I talk about wedding costuming, let me fill you in on what that means to me and how my brain got to the idea.
Wedding costuming by Charis looks like this: I will help you look amazing on your wedding day. I can help brides pick out what they want to wear for every step of their wedding process- engagement photos, rehearsal dinner outfit, hair and makeup clothes, The Dress, reception dress, honeymoon wardrobe. I can do this for anyone involved in a wedding (or really any special event!), whether you’re a bride, a groom, a parent, etc.
There are several different ways to do it, and I hope you’ll get in touch if you’re interested! For example, I’m talking to one client who wants me to look at a dress she has already purchased, adjust the fit if necessary, and help her pick out the right shoes and other accessories. I’m putting together a look book for a second client, from there, I might go ahead and purchase for her, help with fit, etc.
I can also walk through from beginning to end, working with you to choose things that will make you look and feel beautiful and confident.
I hit upon the idea after being in and around several weddings. I’m going to let you in on a big secret: weddings are essentially a theatrical production. There are so many moving pieces, it’s stressful, there’s a firm deadline, the details need to be perfect, there’s even an element of performance at most weddings. When I was my sister’s maid of honor, and later an impromptu wedding day of coordinator for a friend, I remarked on this to several people, but then didn’t really think much more about it.
For the next five and a half years, through a LOT of life changes, every now and then I would find myself thinking about the wedding industry. I knew there had to be a business opportunity for me in there somewhere, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. It’s not pure alterations on wedding dresses (something I am still very hesitant to do). It’s not leaving clothes behind to get into event/party planning or event coordination.
Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I was driving home from work, tired, trying to figure out what the next step is for me professionally. I like my job at Kings Island, but I also know that it isn’t where I want to be for the next twenty years. I probably don’t even want to be there five more years. I’ve dreamed of being my own boss for years, but I also knew I didn’t want to leave the area I live in, and that meant that being a full time freelance costume designer was probably out- the market just isn’t big enough. So what was it? What was I going to become? How could I use my skills and talents to serve more people, and keep myself from going absolutely crazy?
Have you read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert? If you haven’t, you should. (I’ll review it fully for you soon). Well, anyway, I was reading Big Magic, and she was talking about how ideas float around, trying to be brought to life.
So there I was, driving home from work, trying to figure out what this might look like, and the idea SLAMMED into me. I could almost feel the physical force, I swear. I was on the phone, and I had just pulled in my driveway, and I ran into my sewing room, grabbed a post-it and wrote down “wedding costumer??”. I finished my phone conversation, and my brain got busy dancing with the idea. What did that mean? Could it make me money? Did I need it to? How on Earth would I get started in that?
I chewed on it for almost a week. And then, one Sunday at the Packard Museum, I thought to myself, Well, the worst that can happen is that no one jumps on it. Putting a couple of posts up can’t hurt, and you could even delete them if it’s embarrassing. So I threw a post up, and it did pretty well. 24 hours later, I had appointments with two different women, who have both commented about what good timing it is and how excited they are.
I’m pretty excited about the idea too. It feels like a good marriage (puns always intended) of my skills with costume design and my desire to help people. And also, I don’t talk about this very often, but I love love. I think love stories and weddings are SO beautiful, and I’m excited about the opportunity to be a part of people’s weddings in a way that will make them feel so confident and sure of themselves.
So! If you’re getting married and you want any amount of help in the wardrobe department, I hope you will get in touch! My space is currently very limited and will fill up very, very quickly, and I wouldn’t want you to miss out!
Until next time,
Superhero Action of the Day: share this with someone you know who’s getting married, would you? It’s hard work bootstrapping a little business, but I know I have a great team behind me! Then, let me know what you think of the idea. If you’re married, would you have liked having this as a part of your wedding experience?
LET ME KNOW!