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Designing Your Own Wedding Gown - Hanna Gotz's Love Story

Updated: Mar 15


When Lewis proposed at the top of Huayna Picchu, Peru, Hanna was taken completely by surprise.


The mountain created the perfect canvas for the romantic moment, something Lewis took advantage of in his careful planning. Although the proposal itself was unexpected, Hanna had long known. "I knew he was the person I would be with forever, and that we would get married someday".


Twenty-seven at the time, Hanna had been working in corporate fashion in Los Angeles until their getaway to Peru. Despite being long distance for two years between the east and west coasts, their relationship remained strong, allowing each to chase their dreams in their respective industries. Upon their engagement, Hanna moved to Miami with Lewis to plan their wedding full time.


Although Hanna had hired a professional wedding planner, her attention to detail made it so she worked alongside the organizer throughout the entire process to make her dream wedding come to life. The one aspect that was fully personalized to her, one that she dedicated her full creativity to, was designing her wedding gown.



She'd been designing for herself, friends, and family for years. "I knew my style, what I felt good in and what silhouette was most flattering on my body." This didn't leave much room for doubt concerning the gown's shape, neckline, and aesthetic.


Ultimately, Hanna was looking for a design that she could only describe as, "Me, but in a gown." One that embodied her romantic tendencies in a daring and feminine way.


Originally, Hanna went to, "every single store in Miami," and, "every single store in central Santo Domingo," in hopes of finding the gown she'd imagined. But, with such a vivid vision of exactly what she wanted, it was nearly impossible for a predesigned dress to measure up.


Eventually, she settled on the option that should have been most obvious from the start: designing the dress herself.


She knew she wanted a deep V, one that was flattering to her body type and would hug her shape while also creating a voluminous flow and natural glide with movement.


To get started on the process, Hanna first looked at fabrics, something that remains a large inspiration to her throughout the design process.


By feeling different textures, she began to, "get ideas from how the fabric drapes a certain way", deciding which designs would take advantage of these qualities.

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Ultimately, Hanna decided on a combination of different materials. The main silhouette of the gown was decorated with individual flowers created from varying silk fabrics. Her wedding dress was then lined with silk peau de soie. This selection of high-quality materials was key in creating this elegant and voluminous piece, that hugged the bride's curves while remaining breathable.


Every detail on her bridal gown was carefully thought out. Each flower was individually designed, hand-sewn and thoughtfully placed to enhance the silhouette. The delicate flowers were embellished with translucent sequins and little pearls. Nearly fully covering the bodice of the gown and peppering down to the hem of the skirt, these florals created a perfect tropical image, one that aligned with Hanna's love of the outdoors.


Hanna's process of designing this piece was, "the same as how I design everything." Her inspiration rooting from what she would want to wear in that moment rather than tangible predesigned work or pictures. Working side by side with a team of seamstresses in the Dominican Republic allowed her wedding dress to be perfectly fitted to her size and measurements, ensuring an ideal fit.


The final design incorporated a sleeveless look and open back, perfect for the tropical climate where her venue was located in Santo Domingo. 



From the original design, the silhouette was never altered. However, throughout the process, a seam was added to allow for a voluminous bottom, a mixture of the classic fit-and-flare and mermaid style. 


This process took eight months altogether, during which Hanna was flying between the two cities. In Santo Domingo, she focused on wedding planning and gown design. While in Miami, she was beginning to immerse herself with bridal industry for the first time by working part time in a bridal boutique. The combination of the two later led Hanna to begin her own bridal brand.



One of the aspects Hanna now values most about custom wedding dress design is how involved she can become throughout the process, "creating really special experiences for the bride," and sharing this special moment, a time filled with joy and love.


Seven years later, this event remains the start of a new journey in Hanna's life, both personally and career wise. Not only did this mark the beginning of her family with Lewis, but it also gave her the opportunity to discover her passion for custom bridal design, ultimately giving her the inspiration to start Hanna Gotz Studio.


Interested in custom bridal in Miami? Click here for more details about the process at Hanna Gotz Studio, or here to browse our collection designs. Check out our Pinterest for more inspiration on venue decoration and gown design, and explore our other blog posts here!

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