The story of Emma’s fairy tale custom designed ball gown wedding dress

"...her kind approach immediately reflected her Scottish heritage"

Getting a ball gown style wedding dress designed in Sydney

The lovely Emma walked into my bridal shop after she was recommended by one of my fabric supplies. Her positive energy and Scottish accent and kind approach immediately reflected her heritage. 


After our meet and greet, I realised how important it was that the bridal gown I designed for her reflected the grandest majestic liveness of a royal wedding gown. Emma’s wedding was going to be in Scotland with her family and close friends. This was her dream.


Getting married in a Scottish location like a mythological fairytale comes to life with the majestic views of the mountains overlooking the sunset, Prince charming meets his Princess.


Her design choice included a traditional fairy tale ball gown with an unconventional bridal dress colour of Royal blue, Silk Magato fabric and silk organza using two shades of fabric texture and colour of blue to add depth and dimension to her bridal gown.


The neckline was scooped sitting just at the tip-off of her shoulders and finished with flattering gathered sleeves, a very feminine and elegant effect. The gathering of the bodice softens the look while adding texture and depth to the two-tone fabric. 


The drop waist bodice was detailed with a beautiful handmade flower in a lightened blue organza fabric with a bustle back that acted as the focal point of this luxurious bridal gown.


Every element was custom designed in our bridal boutique in Paddington.

Getting a wedding dress designed in Sydney

In a world where wedding aisles are becoming more like conveyor belts, churning out brides in conveyor belt gowns, your heart will probably rebel. Surely you crave a dress that is as unique as your own fingerprint, a creation that carries your essence down the aisle?


It’s not just a gown; it’s the armour for your love story, the silk and satin banner under which you’ll walk into the next chapter of your life.



The pain of the ordinary is a tight clasp around the dreams of brides who yearn for something more, something that can’t be picked off a rack.



Feel the agitation, the inner turmoil when faced with racks upon racks of dresses that, while beautiful, whisper someone else’s name. The cookie-cutter shapes, the déjà vu designs, they brush against your skin but never touch your soul.



Where is the gown that speaks of your laughter, that dances with your spirit, that fits not just your curves but your quirks?



The frustration builds with every try-on, with every settling sigh in the face of compromise. The solution is a siren call to all brides who dare to dream—work with a wedding dress designer.



So imagine the thrill of discussing A-line silhouettes, fitted bodices that flare from the waist, gowns that suit not just a body type but your body type. Picture yourself consulting with a designer on the drama of a Princess Wedding Dress, the snug bodice, the extravagant full skirt, each vertical panel a testament to your regal bearing.



Think of the allure of a Mermaid Wedding Dress, sculpted to your form, flaring where you dictate, a celebration of your every curve. Envisage the simple elegance of a Sheath Wedding Dress, its sleek line a canvas for your personal story to be written in beads, lace, or the whisper of chiffon. Feel the soft embrace of an Empire Waist Wedding Dress, the fabric flowing down from just below the bust, a tribute to your own empire of love and partnership.



With a wedding dress designer, there are no limits, only possibilities.



A Ball Gown for the queen of the night, a Tea-Length for the sprite in daylight, a High-Low hem for the bride who walks the line between tradition and modernity. Your designer is your collaborator, your ally, your magician, pulling out from their hat not rabbits, but capes, capelets, illusion necklines, off-the-shoulder bodices—each detail a stitch in the tapestry of your “I do.”



The process is intimate, a courtship of ideas and inspirations. Your designer listens, sketches, and crafts. From the strapless wonders to the corseted marvels, from the boning that outlines strength to the lace overlay that speaks of delicate mornings spent in love’s embrace.



Sequins that catch the light of your smile, appliqués that mirror the complexity of your thoughts, ruching that tells of the roads travelled to get to this very moment.



The bodice of your gown could feature the intricate boning of a corset, hugging your form with the assurance of a lover’s embrace.



Sleeves or no sleeves? Cap for the whimsical, long for the elegant, bell for the bohemian, illusion for the mysterious.


The back design—shall it be an open declaration of boldness, a keyhole whisper of secrets, or an illusion back of dreams half-told?



The silhouette itself is a story—will it be the timeless ball gown, the fluid A-line, the daring mermaid, or the unassuming sheath?



Consider the skirt details—the train that follows you, picking up the memories you make along the way, the layers that speak of the depth of your emotions, the slit that hints at the adventures to come.



The fabric—will it be the regal Mikado, the ethereal tulle, or the sleek satin charmeuse?



Embellishments are the exclamation points of your gown—beading, sequins, pearls, the final flourishes of your heart’s desires.



A wedding dress designer ensures that the waistline of your gown—be it a natural waist, dropped for drama, basque for the bold, or empire for the dreamer—is exactly where you want it. The closure, a detail often overlooked, is a decision to be savoured—buttons for the classic, a zipper for the practical, corset lacing for the romantic.



And the colour, oh the colour—will you be the traditional bride in white, the modern maven in blush, the unconventional enchantress with blue accents? The choice is yours and yours alone.



The benefits?

They’re as clear as the sparkle in your eye. Your gown will be a one-off, never to be worn by another. The fit will be like a second skin, crafted for you, and only you. The quality is unsurpassed, the attention to detail relentless. The experience—collaborative, exhilarating, unforgettable.



So, choose the path less worn. Work with a wedding dress designer, and let the dress of your dreams be as limitless as your love story. Let it be a Catherine Colubriale creation, your once upon a time, your happily ever after, your everything in between.

The most common questions we get asked about getting a wedding dress custom made

A ball gown style wedding dress is a classic and timeless choice characterised by a fitted bodice and a full, voluminous skirt. The bodice is typically structured to accentuate the waist and provide support, while the skirt flows out dramatically, creating a fairy-tale silhouette. This style is often associated with formal and traditional weddings due to its regal and elegant appearance.

When combined with a bustle, the ball gown transforms for practicality and convenience. A bustle is a series of buttons, hooks, or ribbons that lift and secure the train of the gown, allowing the bride to move freely and dance without hindrance. The bustle gathers and elevates the fabric, altering the dress’s silhouette from a full-length train to a floor-length or tea-length look.

The bodice of a ball gown style wedding dress plays a crucial role in providing structure and shaping the upper part of the gown. It can feature various necklines, such as sweetheart, off-the-shoulder, or strapless, catering to different preferences. The bodice may also include embellishments like lace, beading, or embroidery, adding intricate details to enhance the overall design.

You can have a wedding dress designed in any colour in the style of a ball gown to create a ‘princess-like look’ and when it is combined with a bustle it makes it a practical choice for walking, dancing or having photos taken with the bodice adding structure and detailing to complement any bride’s style.

Most brides will ask for a white wedding dress as it is the most traditional choice. Although when you get a custom made wedding dress in Sydney you can choose literally any colour you like, we will source the fabric for you to suit.

For a bold and distinctive choice in a wedding dress, consider shades of blue that exude elegance and uniqueness. Some types of blue that you could consider are; 

  • Royal Blue: A deep, rich blue that conveys regality and sophistication.

  • Navy Blue: A dark and refined shade, navy blue offers a timeless and formal appeal.

  • Cobalt Blue: A vibrant and striking blue that adds a bold pop of color, perfect for a modern and energetic look.

  • Teal Blue: A deep greenish-blue tone that combines richness and sophistication, creating a unique and alluring effect.

  • Electric Blue: A vivid and intense blue that adds a modern and dynamic touch, especially under certain lighting conditions.

  • Sapphire Blue: A deep and luxurious shade resembling the gemstone, evoking a sense of opulence and glamour.

When incorporating bold blue shades into a wedding dress, consider the overall theme, venue, and personal style. These shades can be used as accents, in ombre designs, or as the primary colour for a truly distinctive and memorable bridal look.

A bustle refers to the process of transitioning a wedding gown to function as if it has no train. A designer like Catherine can help you create a dress that fits you perfectly, but then also has either buttons, hooks, or ribbons to create the bustle style that you desire. This can make it easier to walk around post-ceremony for getting photos taken, greeting guests, wandering around the reception and even dancing.

A bustle isn’t just used for ball gowns, there are quite a few types of bustles that get used on wedding gowns to create a uniformed hemline after the ceremony.


They seamlessly secure any extra fabric off of the ground and into the back of the dress to keep it from dragging across the floor which makes it easy to then walk, dance & mingle with guests.


  • Ballroom bustle – this is the most flattering bustle type as it hides the train completely without changing the overall look. It is a clever way to create an untouched floor-length look.
  • American bustle – this is a simple design idea where the train is attached and cascades with one or multiple pick up points.
  • Bow bustle – the fabric is folded above the gown and secured under a bow to flow visually with nice symmetry.
  • French bustle – a clever way to have the train fold under itself instead of over for an understated look.
  • Royal bustle – a dramatic look that has multiple folds creating more dimensions to the silhouette with either single or multiple pickup points.

Knowing which style will suit you best is one of the hardest things for any woman to figure out on their own. That is the benefit of visiting an experienced courtier like Catherine who can help you discover the right design choices. 


Catherine has over 30 years of experience custom making dresses for thousands of women of all types of body shapes and sizes. 


Catherine will make you feel comfortable so that you can explore ideas with her that will fit your body perfectly & leave you feeling amazing as soon as you put the dress on for the first time.

Read some more stories from other brides

Catherine Colubriale
Catherine Colubriale

Australian wedding dress designer

About Catherine

Catherine is a courtier with over 30 years experience designing bridal gowns, wedding dresses & bridal wear. Catherine has worked for global icons like Elizabeth Ardern & Mary Kay.

You can visit Catherine’s bridal shop in Paddington Sydney.

Wedding Dress Designer in Paddington

Book an obligation free consultation with Catherine