Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Designing Jinger Duggar's Wedding Dress Part 2

Last week, we posted part one of Ellie's interview with Renee Miller, owner of Renee's Bridal and Special Occasions and designer of Jinger Duggar Vuolo's wedding gown. Here is part two. More information and pictures still to come!

Renee Miller and Jinger
Ellie: How long did it take you to make Jinger's dress? Was it a difficult project?
Renee: Designing Jinger’s dress was a huge undertaking, due to the limited amount of time my team and I had. I revealed the three prototype dresses to Jinger on August 17th, which left just over two months to work on the dress she chose. We also designed the 10 bridesmaid dresses. As the project grew and I realized how large of a project it was, I prayed daily that we would be able to complete the task.

The dress, as it looked on Aug. 17
I don’t know how many hours I have in that dress, but I didn’t stop working on it until the morning of the wedding. As a matter of fact, I have a picture of me sewing while she’s in her dress.

My design team and I went out to Arkansas the Sunday before the wedding. We sewed Jinger’s lace on by hand. Each pearl was sewed on by hand. When I first met Jinger, I had asked if I could add pearls or crystals to the dress, and she was like, ‘No, I love it with just the lace.’

At 3:00 in the morning less than a week before the wedding, the dress is hanging in my hotel room--actually, it’s laying in the bed with me--and I’m sewing lace on it. I’m like, ‘It’s a beautiful gown, but it’s missing something.’ And I knew that Jinger’s desire was not to have sparkle on her dress, but I took a big chance without asking her.

Renee adds finishing touches
That next morning, my team and I raided every craft store within 15 miles and bought every pearl we could get our hands on. And I said, ‘Let’s sew pearls on it, girls.’ With all my dresses, I always get that last-minute inspiration, and that’s what ends up making the dress. We sewed literally nonstop until Saturday morning. It was what I call the icing on the cake, and it made the dress pop.

There’s a great reveal, I believe on February 20th, where Jinger gets to see the completed dress.

Ellie: What was your favorite part of Jinger's gown?
Renee: I’m a girly girl. My Barbie got married every Saturday to Ken in a dress I designed from my daddy’s handkerchiefs. I love wedding gowns. I love Jinger’s train. I love the pearls we added to the bottom of the sleeves, and I loved the pearls that extend from the top of the gown all the way to the bottom.

Renee and Joy-Anna Duggar
But most of all, I love Jinger in her dress. When I put Jinger in that dress and she walked out, it became a wedding dress. We got to share in a life moment with Jinger, and that will always be my favorite part of the dress. The moment when I put my brides into their wedding dress is always a special memory for me.

Ellie: How were the bridesmaid dress colors chosen? Was it Jinger's idea to do different colors? Renee: Yes, it was Jinger's idea to do different colors. Jinger is so sweet and precious. She would give me her thoughts and visions and would send me pictures of colors she liked. Early on when we talked, she loved the idea of having all the girls in different colors, but she wasn’t opposed to having some of the girls in the same colors.

Two of the prototype dresses
We sent pictures of color swatches back and forth, and then we Skyped and talked about which girl would look best in each color. Her girls are so sweet and precious that they didn’t care what color they wore. The Lord was very gracious. The colors turned out amazing. The girls looked great. Anna, my goodness, Anna radiated in her beautiful, burgundy-red dress. And Jill in her lavender dress. And Joy looked amazing in her tan dress. We called hers coffee. I get excited over them all.

As far as the design of the dresses went, we sat down, and I told Jinger what styles would best complement her gown, as far as sleeve length, waist placement, and lace. I wanted the dresses to complement but not compete with Jinger’s gown. From there, we grew together and came up with the design of the dresses. I sent her swatches and sketches.

The girls, Jinger, the photographer, they all made me look really good. They truly did!

 Renee Miller and Michelle Duggar

To learn more about Renee Miller, visit her website, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram (@renees_bridal). 

Photos courtesy reneesbridalpensacola.com; used with permission

66 comments:

  1. Kudos To Renee! You can tell she worked so hard! :D
    Emma L.

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  2. Please, please tell us how much the whole process cost. Some of us may want to do the same thing.

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  3. Oh Renee! I don't know how you and your helpers got all this done with so little sleep! Well you did an amazing job.
    Seeing the wedding gowns makes me want to marry my husband all over again!

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  4. My goodness, how much does a custom designed wedding dress cost? It must have been very very expensive.

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  5. Still won't address the cost. Like going to a car lot and looking at the cars but not being allowed to know what they cost. How can you do a sales business when you won't talk about cost?

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    1. I don't understand how you can compare it to a car unless you are buying a custom built car. We might all be curious about the cost of the dress, but it is none of our business. Obviously the cost for a dress with vary according to material and the time it takes to make it. I am sure if you were actually looking to purchase a dress from Renee that she would share her prices with you. Renee, you did a wonderful job on all of the dresses! They were just stunning! When my daughter gets ready to marry one day, we will come down to Pensacola to see you.

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    2. I think Renee is doing the right thing by not revealing the cost. It really is no one's business how much Jinger paid for her wedding dress. I'm sure Renee would be glad to give you a quote if you are interested in buying a dress, but it would be in poor taste for her to reveal what a particular bride paid for her dress, whether that bride is famous or not.

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    3. This isn't the place to discuss such things. If you are in the market for a custom wedding dress, contact the dressmaker!

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  6. I thought the bridesmaid dresses complimented Jinger's dress very well. I wonder, though, how Jinger lucked out with custom bridesmaid dresses that looked so great, while her sisters ordered dresses online and had Jana toiling to add fabric to the hems?

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    1. Maybe Jeremy saved his soccer money, the other guys Jill & jessa married didn't have money

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    2. I guess that the more the Duggars renovate their image with the new show, the more they can spend. Also, Jinger was marrying a 29 year old man with a career, while her sisters married younger boys...

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  7. I'm curious as to what all this labor costs?

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    1. Me too. I bet she got a huge discount because of who she is.

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  8. I'm curious why people are curious what it cost. I suspect people just want to use it as an excuse to bash the Duggars for not being frugal.

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    1. It's because the Duggars have always made such a point of being frugal.

      Also, the custom bridesmaid dresses are interesting because at least one of the other sisters ordered her bridesmaid dresses online, and they arrived in the mail literally in plastic bags.

      Jinger's wedding is a huge step up from that, so we are interested in the contrasts.

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  9. I hope she don't tell them how much it costs, then that just brings out the critical comments from the envious or disgruntled.Have your consultation with her about your own desires and find out that way. It's none of ya'lls business how much any bride pays for her dress.

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    1. Did you also say it's none of our business when they told us how many thousands of dollars the Duggars spend each month on groceries, how many gallons of milk they drink, how they "buy used and save the difference"?

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    2. That is not the same, they do not need to disclose every single item bought...Like do you need to know what there undies cost too? Lol😉 Blessings yall😊

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  10. It is rather inconsiderate of Jinger and Jeremy to ask for such an elaborate dress with only two months to prepare.

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  11. I can only guesstimate as to the cost of all the wedding attire. How much does an off the rack bridesmaid dress cost? Average about $200 plus alterations. Wedding dresses can range from $99 to tens of thousands of dollars. A Google search reveals custom made dresses range in the 4G to 7 range, and even more for popular end designers. How much is this lady charging for a custom made dress? Some will say it is none of our business, but they are public people putting out there the wedding details, and cost is one of them. And they tout, "buy used, save the difference", does that apply to their every day expenses minus wedding costs? Plus as fans we're curious!

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  12. Yes, I too, wonder how Jill and Jessa went cheap and Jinger's parents suddenly had all these bucks for this? Please explain.

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  13. If you are interested, contact her dress shop and price out what you would like done. The Duggars like any family ---are comprised of unique individuals that have different preferences and convictions....we should not seek to tear their every decision apart and hold them up to their parents standard and convictions .

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  14. To everyone asking about price this is from part 1 in the interview:

    One month before Jinger’s July 2016 engagement, I met a woman named Wendy through mutual friends from my alma mater, Pensacola Christian College. She co-owns Ava Laurenne Bride in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and I soon found out that Jill Duggar Dillard had purchased her wedding dress from Wendy's shop in 2014. Wendy and I agreed that if Jinger chose me as her dress designer, I would use Ava Laurenne Bride as the meeting place.

    So it sounds like Renee reached out to the Duggar family. She may have discounted the costs or didn't charge in exchange for promotion of her work. Not sure, just something to think about.

    Have a blessed day!

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  15. Since none of you were asked to contribute to the cost of the dress it really is none of your business what she paid for it. If you want to know how much a custom made dress costs you should contact the designer.

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    1. No, the designer should disclose her prices. There is no reason to keep something for sale a secret. You want everyone online to contact the designer? Waste her time answering questions from girls who couldn't possibly afford such a dress? I don't think so. There's one easy way to clear up this question.

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    2. Yes! So happy to see a young woman so excited to be presented to her bridegroom in splendor and beauty. May God bless their marriage to His Glory!

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    3. I believe some fans of the show find it relevant because the family is constantly talking about frugality on their television show.

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    4. Women are "presented" to bridegrooms? I'd better check my calendar. I thought this was 2017, not 1817.

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    5. What is wrong with brides being presented to their grooms? At the reception, the groom and bride are presented to the audience.

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    6. There is a difference between "presenting" a couple to an audience and "presenting" a single woman to a man at the altar.

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  16. This woman has a beautiful heart! I love how passionate she is about what she does!

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    1. Thank you for commenting on her beautiful heart! It's clear she did way more than design and sew a stunning gown, and thoughtful and gorgeous bridesmaids dresses too. She truly cared about Jinger, her vision, and each of the girls. That's awesome! What a blessing for all concerned. It's a labor of love, and that's the best kind. Bravo, Renee! Your heart and talent both shined through and we thank you for creating such lovely and elegant gowns.

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    2. I agree. Her heart to create the dress Jinger desired really blessed me. She did a beautiful job with all the custom dresses. I really enjoyed hearing the design story.

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  17. The Gown is beautiful, did you count how many Pearls you sewed on and was Jinger pleased?

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  18. Did Jeremy's Mom get a custom made dress too?

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    1. Both mothers' dresses were off-the-rack from Dillards. Same as the wedding before with that silver number with all the scales that Michelle turned into a turtleneck.

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    2. Michelle's dress looks like it was custom made to look similar to the bridesmaids. Where did the information come from about the off-the-rack dresses?

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    3. Had you gone to the Dillards website at the time of the wedding, you would have seen.

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    4. Who would go to the Dillards website looking for a dress unless they were told to look there for Michelle's dress? I think you are making it up.

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  19. I have to disagree with you, "Anonymous 1/11/@ 4:35PM. The fans of this family, the viewers and posters on this blog, and of their TV show DO contribute very much to this family's income. They would not "be" here without the TV show nor would they have the attention, publicity and pay checks they receive without us. We DO contribute.

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    1. Totally agree, 7:39. And I think it's very unfair to give so much publicity to this dress and its designer without disclosing at least some idea of cost. Otherwise, it's leading girls on to "dream" like this when they can't possibly afford such a dress. It's not doing the dressmaker any favors, either. She'll probably have to spend time fielding a slew of phone calls that go nowhere for her business. That's time that could be spent on real clients and real orders. So I don't understand the logic of not being up front about the cost.

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    2. Ok. By your standards, then every actor or actress in a television show or movie should have to tell us how much they pay for their purchases. After all, if we don't watch their shows or movies, then they won't receive a check. Do you go on blogs for other shows or movies and ask what they pay for things?

      It isn't leading girls on to dream about dresses they can't afford any more than watching Property Brothers or Fixer Upper leads people on to dreaming about buying one of their houses.... or looking in a wedding magazine and wishing for a dress you see there... That is part of life. Sometimes other people buy things you can't afford, and sometimes you buy things others can't.

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    3. Agreed, 11:33 AM. They owe us nothing. We don't have to watch their show (or read this blog), and they don't have to tell us every little thing.

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    4. I agree that we should respect their privacy no matter how "public" they are now. It's just showing respect for their right to make their own personal choices.

      We are not "entitled" to know anything about them. They "allow" us into parts of their lives. I'm really blessed by what they choose to share.

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  20. When you make a purchase, you may impact the store's and the employee's income, but you don't get to tell them how to spend THEIR money. You can choose to watch or not watch, buy or not buy their publications, etc., but it is their business how they spend the income they earn from these activities or their numerous other sources of income, outside of the show.

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    1. Very well said!

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    2. What job does Jinger do outside the show to earn money?

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    3. I completely agree!

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    4. So what harm is there in disclosing the cost of the dress? People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. I've disclosed the cost of my wedding dress many times over the past 25 years (as have many brides I know), in the course of conversation. Making the dress a highlight of the "Counting On" series and this blog makes it a conversation. The cost question is legitimate, whether some posters like it or not. It should be readily and easily answerable...unless the Duggars/Jinger didn't pay for the dress, Jeremy paid for the dress, TLC paid for the dress (and/or the entire wedding), Renee donated the dress and wrote it off for promotional advertising, or the dress was discounted either "for the Duggars"/"for the show"/ "in exchange for promotional consideration" and another bride would have to pay full price for such a dress, or everyone involved know that disclosing the cost of the designer dress would alter public opinion of the Duggars (given their public stance against materialism) and negatively impact show ratings.

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    5. The dress and wedding are a major storyline for the show; it isn't "outside of the show" at all.

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    6. 10:51, You nailed it. Well said!

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    7. Perfectly stated!

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  21. Michelle's face is looking different lately. Longer and thinner. Has she lost weight?

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  22. If you learn to shop frugality, you save money. If you do this over a number of years you can put money aside. The Duggars have been on the air for quite some time now so of course they have been able to save money and buy a beautiful wedding dress. It' called budgeting,which is something the Duggars taught their children from a young age.

    I don't need to know how much her dress cost. I'm happy she has a dress that she can keep for her future daughter or even if she wanted to, give it away to a needy bride. The Lord bless you Jinger and bless you Renee for your spirit!

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  23. 15 1/2 years ago when I married my husband, I chose to have my dress hand made. It wasn't by a designer but an excellent seamstress. It was beautiful, but no where near as fancy as Jingers dress and it cost $1000. So you can imagine (in today's economy) the price on Jingers dress with all those details. Plus this designer had to travel along with assistants and also pay them for their hard work. Not cheap! She probably exchanged for publicity. (TLC)

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  24. Wow I didn't realize that when I purchased something that I had the right to tell the producer how to spend the income they earned from my purchase!

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  25. I don't understand what is being gained by not disclosing price, at least ballpark price. All this secrecy is doing is raising suspicions that there was some sort of "deal" done with this dress. To quiet those thoughts, the price should be disclosed. If there was a trade of goods and services for publicity, that should be disclosed, too. That level of honesty is expected in any business. And utmost honesty is needed in the custom bridal business. Otherwise, how can potential clients trust that they're getting good value for their special day?

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    1. Designers should be honest when dealing with their clients. It isn't a matter of honesty to not disclose what a client paid for a dress. I believe that information should be confidential. I would be very upset if I bought a custom dress and then the designer went around telling everyone what I paid for it. What does it really matter what she paid for it or if there was some kind of deal? If the designer decided to comp some of the cost, that would be her private business. She owns the company, so she can do what she wants.

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    2. That's not how the business works, 10:02. You show fabric swatches and pictures of a completed dress to other people and tell them what something like that cost. You don't say, "This is the dress I made for Jane Doe and this is how much she paid." You don't need to name names. But you do need to talk about the materials and the dress itself and the price you charge. You can't be "confidential" about price when you're selling something. And the maker sure isn't being "confidential" about who she made this dress for. It's going to be a major story line in the upcoming season. If Jinger got the dress for free in exchange for wearing it on the show, that should definitely be disclosed! Anything else would be covering up the truth for appearance sake, and that is not supposed to be this family's core values.

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    3. I doubt the designer ran around telling everyone the price of your dress. What kind of statement is that?

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    4. "All this secrecy is doing is raising suspicions that there was some sort of "deal" done with this dress" - who cares if there was a deal? Really??

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  26. Why is it that so many people here are so concened about the cost of this dress and insistant that it be disclosed? Every time the public watches a Hollywood actress walk out on the red carpet or get get married, we don't insist on knowing the cost of their gowns! Usually the name of a designer is released and everyone is happy. The public contributes to the actresses' wealth as well, but no one insists on knowing how they spend it. Give these people a break and find something else to consume your time!

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  27. So, does Jinger wear this gown when she's cleaning the apartment in Laredo? It seems to be a bit wasteful to have such an enormous and formal gown that she wore perhaps 2 hours? Everyone knows that their reception level and time didn't justify such a dress.

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  28. It's actually considered bad etiquette to ask a person how much they paid for something (look it up!).

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  29. What Jinger paid for her dress is no one else's business. There is a big difference between disclosing costs to a client, and telling the public what a bride (client) paid for a dress. None of us are clients of Renee's. She is under no obligation to share the costs any of her brides have paid. If I were her client, I imagine if I showed her pictures of dresses I like, she'd say those would cost in the ballpark of (some dollar amount). Since I am not, she owes me nothing, Jinger owes me nothing. But Renee DOES owe her clients a level of confidentiality. She is not going to build her business by blabbing details that a bride may want to keep private. If anyone is going to share the cost of the dress, it would have to be Jinger. And it seems she isn't telling.

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  30. She probably got the dress for free in exchange giving the dress maker publicity.

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