It’s not cheap to say “I do.”
In the U.S., the average wedding cost $33,900 in 2019, according to a study by The Knot. And brides spare no expenses on the dress: The price tag for the average wedding dress is $1,631 including alterations.
After growing frustrated with the dress hunt, bride-to-be Leslie Voorhees was ready to call it quits on finding the perfect trousseau.
“The prices were outrageously expensive, and I was just having a lot of trouble,” she told Yahoo Finance. During that time, Voorhees, a mechanical engineer, traveled to China for work, and she stumbled upon an untapped supply chain of wedding dress seamstresses and tailors.
She created a custom dress exactly like she envisioned. That was the first step toward creating Anomalie, an online company to create custom-made bridal dresses — the latest entrant in an increasingly crowded Internet wedding marketplace.
How does it work? The bride signs up to the website, answers a few questions, and the design of her dream begins. The process from initial consultation to a finished dress takes a minimum of six months. The price for dresses starts around $1,200.
While that’s not much less than the traditional wedding dress, Voorhees touts the ability for brides to get exactly what they want. “We work directly with really talented workshops and have operationalized a lot of the stylist capabilities to be scaled, you know, for thousands of customers,” she said. “We've cut out the brick-and-mortar costs and the designer costs,” she added.
The bride does not actually try on the dress until it has been shipped. “We send instructions on how to get measured,” she said. “We've got really talented pattern makers at our workshops that understand custom measurements, so all of our dresses are made to order and made to measure. “
Anomalie does work with a tailor network around the U.S. that can fix any nips and tucks once the dress has been delivered.
“We work closely with thousands of brides and can understand and help deliver basically exactly what's in their head that they can't quite find in stores,” Voorhees said.
Valentina Caval is a Producer at Yahoo Finance.