What Is the Job Description of a Wedding Dress Designer?

Explore a career in wedding dress design, and find out how designers turn a sketch into a full wedding dress. Get info on the work environment, required skills, salary potential and employment outlook for these fashion professionals. Schools offering Fashion Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Duties and Responsibilities

Wedding dress design is a specialty within the broader category of fashion design. Therefore, the job description of a wedding dress designer is similar to that of other clothing designers. As a wedding dress designer, you would need to keep up on current and traditional designs, understand how to select colors and materials, and have good interpersonal skills.

In the beginning of the design process, you'll typically sketch the dress on paper, and you might use computer-aided design (CAD) software to further develop and visualize the dress. You might then use less expensive materials to create a prototype of the garment.

Once a dress is approved, you might create samples to take to trade shows, where you'd showcase your bridal creations to retailers, who hopefully would choose your designs for manufacture and sale. Traveling for shows and meeting with suppliers and clients is often part of a wedding dress designer's job. You also might engage with professional organizations, such as the International Textile and Apparel Association and the Association of Bridal Consultants, which can help you network with clientele, trunk shows, other designers, and design companies.

Important Facts About Wedding Dress Designers

Job Outlook 3% growth (for all fashion designers)
Required Education Bachelor's degree
On-the-Job Training Internships available
Similar Occupations Art directors; graphic designers; industrial designers; jewelers; precious stone and metal workers

Work Environment

Your role as wedding dress designer might depend on your work environment, such as the size and prestige of your employer. You might work for a small or large manufacturer, apparel wholesaler or boutique, or you could be your own boss by starting your own business.

Designers who work for larger firms may be responsible for the creation of designs or the management of technical designers who fulfill the main designers' visions. In smaller firms, designers might not only design the dresses but also make patterns, sew, and perform other technical tasks. Wedding dresses sold to mass markets are created by designers who work for wholesalers or manufacturers. A few designers create high-fashion pieces that are sold at high prices to specific people.

Needed Skills

Wedding dress designers must possess certain skills to succeed in their craft. These include having an aesthetic eye, sewing and pattern-making skills, creativity, and communication skills. You'll need to be able to work with a team or an assistant. Additionally, if you're working with clients, persuasiveness can help you seal a deal.

Salary Info

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the median annual salary earned by fashion designers, including those who specialize in wedding dresses, was $64,030 in May 2014. Those employed by specialized design services, such as wedding dress boutiques or manufacturers, averaged salaries of $68,460 a year in 2014.

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