Sunday, January 15, 2017

Designing Jinger Duggar's Wedding Dress Part 3

Jana Duggar, Jill Dillard, Renee Miller, Jessa Seewald, Diana Vuolo (Jeremy's mom), and Joy Duggar watch Jinger try on the three prototype dresses made by Renee; August 17th, 2016
Are you ready for the third and final post from Ellie's interview with Renee Miller, owner of Renee's Bridal and Special Occasions and designer of Jinger Duggar Vuolo's wedding gown? (Click here to read part two.)

We have even more photos to share, so stay tuned for a post of only pictures.

Ellie: What is your design process?
Renee: I sized Jinger by looking at pictures of her and then met her on August 17th to show her three prototype dresses I had created. She chose her favorite, and I spent the next two-and-a-half months personalizing that gown. The under layers of the dress were sewn by machine, but the beads, lace, and pearls were all sewn on by hand. All three of the prototypes fit her perfectly. A true designer has an eye and can size without measuring.

The bridesmaids’ dresses also fit perfectly. I didn’t meet some of the girls until the big reveal three days before the wedding. We had to switch two of the gowns around, but it could not have been closer to perfect.

I prayed very hard that the dresses would fit. I was especially nervous about Jessa’s dress because she’s pregnant. When that thing zipped up, I literally shed tears of joys. Jessa looked at me and asked, ‘What’s wrong?’ ‘You just don’t know how much I’ve worried about your gown!’ I responded.

Ellie: Can you talk more about the lace?
Renee: The lace is antique-inspired. I shopped long and hard to find a classic look. Jinger is extremely classy, every bit of Grace Kelly. She has that ‘girl next door’ look to her, and I wanted a lace that was equal to all of that. It’s actually a cream color. Her dress is a very soft ivory, although people have mistaken it for white.


Ellie: Did it take long to do all the buttons up on Jinger’s dress?
Renee: Not at all. Buttons aren’t difficult if they are put on the dress correctly. We have stretchy, elastic loops, and they just pull right over the buttons.

Ellie: What is the price range of your wedding dresses?
Renee: The price of a wedding dress depends on what the bride chooses. I have brides who come from all over to see me, and I am willing to travel to meet with brides. I work with all different budgets. The national average is $1375, and I am more than able to design a dress at or around that average.



Ellie: How much did Jinger's dress weigh?
Renee: 15.2 pounds

Ellie: Did you design dresses for any other members of the wedding party?
Renee: In addition to making Jinger's wedding gown and 10 bridesmaids dresses, I altered Josie Duggar's flower girl dress, Michelle Duggar's mother of the bride dress, and Grandma Duggar's grandmother of the bride dress. One of my team members altered a few of the guys' pants.

Ellie: How did your business start out of the trunk of your car?
Renee: For me to be doing what I’m doing today, you just have to step back, and if you know me, you would just shake your head. I’m a girly girl, but I got kicked out of sewing class when I was 14 years old, and they looked at my mother and said, ‘Please don’t bring her back.’ So for me to be doing what I’m doing is a total God thing.

Sixteen years ago, I became the sole provider for my two boys, so I started selling costume jewelry out of the trunk of my car. That’s how I spent my days, and I wouldn’t come home until I had money to pay the light bill, or get groceries, or buy gas.

A friend encouraged me to sell my jewelry at a mall kiosk during Christmastime. While I was packing up on New Year’s Day, a bride stopped by my kiosk looking for jewelry for her bridesmaids. It hit me like a bolt of lightening that I was going to have me a bridal store one day. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I knew that was my calling. I bought and sold three wedding gowns, then six, then 12, then 24.

I didn’t borrow money because I didn’t want to risk my kids’ livelihood. Then a bride asked me if I could sew two dresses together, and I said, ‘Why sure I can.’ And from there I started designing my own dresses. Today, there’s probably nothing I haven’t done in the bridal industry. Anything I sell in my store is totally my design. It’s amazing how God will multiply your talents. You may not have much, but if you give what you do have, God will bless it. I get emotional when I think about the hand of protection that God has put on me.

Ellie: Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?
Renee: I would love to give a shout out to the Duggars. They are such a wonderful family. Michelle--oh my goodness--if more mothers could have her heart, what a different place this world would be. I just feel like I am enriched so much more by being able to be a part of their life for just five days. They are gracious, and they are actually sweeter in real life than they are on TV. They are humble, gracious, loving, and full of heart, and I just can’t speak enough good words about them and how honored and blessed I am to have been a part of this big moment in their lives. I cherish each and every one of my brides, and Jinger Duggar Vuolo is no exception.

Here are photos of the sketches that the three prototype dresses were made from:








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

68 comments:

  1. You do realize the wedding was over two months ago, don't you?

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    1. And yet the testimony is timeless!

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    2. There has been quite a bit of interest in Jinger's dress and the designer was nice enough to talk to Lily and Ellie about it and give each more details.about how it was created. Many people are interested in these details. If you're not interested, feel free not to click on these posts.

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    3. If you don't want to read about it that's cool, but I do as well as several others.

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  2. Jinger's wedding dress was beautiful. What a stunning bride.

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  3. Could you please post the same details about Jessa's wedding dress? Her dress is my favorite.

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    1. Jessa's dress was not specially designed, so there are not as many details to it as to Jingers dress and any detail you desire you can find simply googling Jessa's wedding dress.

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  4. Such a sweet testimony of how this dress came to be and how Renee's Bridal business came to be. I love Josie's little flower girl dress and she looked so cute in it! I'm grateful for God's hand on you and blessing your business too Renee.
    Thank you for making such beautiful dresses for all the ladies.
    Blessings!
    Regina
    P.S.
    Thank you Lily and Ellie for these posts about Jinger's wedding dress. You ladies are a treasure!

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    1. It was! Yes, Thank you Ladies😊

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  5. Renee, thank you so much for being kind enough to share your story with us! I am in awe of your abilities. And in awe of how God brought you from there to here. That's just amazing!

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  6. THANK YOU so much for sharing your heart along with your process for making what is truly one of the best wedding dresses ever!! It's like a work of art, and it shows what real class and elegance is all about. And thank you very much, Renee, for sharing your inspiring life story! I think The Jinger dress is so perfect because you really cared about your client and that shows in every little detail. I'm so glad you were chosen to do Jinger's dress! And by the way, your own dress complimented the look of the bridal party and looked great on you too. Cudos!

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  7. Wow, I sure couldn't see all the details of her dress from the photos I've seen. The drawings show so much more. I'm not sure if one of the drawings is her actual dress or not. Such wonderful work and the story behind your business is so touching.

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  8. "A true designer has an eye and can size without measuring." Really? Why do fashion schools spend so much time teaching how to drape, how to make slopers and blocks, and how to do fittings, if all it takes is "an eye"? I don't know any dressmaker who starts without putting a tape measure on the client first. And then to cut expensive fabric without having those measurements? I wouldn't. I don't understand why you'd make that statement.

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    1. Because, as she said in the interview, that is how Renee works. It may not work for everyone, but she has been successful working this way.

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    2. I so totally agree with you!!! It is just unbelievable that you could make 3 dresses without meassurements and they would all fit perfectly. I can not see how that can be true.

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    3. This woman needs to go on Project Runway. She'd have a huge advantage if this is true.

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    4. The only women I know who are perfect dress sizes, no measurements needed, are professional fit models, and they are few and far between.

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  9. This interview with the designer of Jinger's wedding dress makes me love her work even more... she really outdid herself.

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  10. Why 3 highlights about Jinger's dress? One was plenty!

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    1. Not for me. I was thrilled to see a third post! Thanks Ellie, and good job on the interview!

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    2. I don't agree, there is a lot to the story and the information shared today is the best part! Amazing testimony! I wondered why this lady prayed over details of a dress but she actually seems to have experience and results from a life time to prove it all to be a true way to do something! Inspiring!

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    3. Because we the readers were invited to ask questions & there was lots of them. I have loved reading all about how the dress was created: it's so encouraged me as a crafter taking many hours making big cross stitch, tapestries, silk items... I so appreciate the many, many long hours that Renee worked with such an amazing pure heart to glorify God at every turn as she made Jingers dress. I found it fascinating. Thank u so much for your time Renee answering the questions & sharing your testimony.

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  11. Shopped long and hard for lace? Frank at Sposabella in New York City probably has any lace you'd ever need. Even carries 40 yr. old lace made in the USA. If that doesn't work, there's the old Lace Star, now Fabrics & Fabrics, that has gorgeous imported laces. There's M&J Trimming's wall of lace and bridal dept. There's Tinsel Trading and Marcia's supply of true antique trims. B&Q...B&J...Mood...Joyce Trim...East Coast Trim...I could go on & on. Jinger was in New York for her engagement. You could have been there with her and gotten whatever you needed in the famous Garment District. Nothing long or hard about shopping there. They have everything on Earth.

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    1. How would Renee have been in New York for the engagement when she didn't even know at that point that she would be designing the dress? I doubt Jinger even thought about lace shopping right after the proposal. I have been to plenty of places where people say you can find anything and not found what I was looking for. Since you named a whole list of stores, I would think it would take quite some time to go through the different stores looking at what they had to offer. Renee or Jinger was obviously looking for something specific. It can take a lot of time to find the exact right thing.

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    2. I'm surprised TLC didn't take Jinger to Kleinfeld and film her getting a dress there, since those two work so much with each other on Say Yes to the Dress!

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    3. I just checked the Sposabella website. Their lace is amazing.

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    4. On YouTube, there's a mind-blowing 10-minute tour of his new shop!

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    5. Nice to know about those options to search. Thanks!

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    6. It doesn't take forever to go shopping in the Garment District (which has a handy Bead District within it, too). It's only a few blocks long in either direction. You can literally go out one door, walk a few feet, and go into the next store. You tell them what you're looking for and they point you to it. People shop there on their lunch hours, fashion students shop there between classes, and professionals call to order or shop in person for what they need. The stores are so specialized that some only carry lace, some only sell leather, some only have buttons, some only have zippers, etc. Other stores are organized by type of fabric or trim. It's not hard to find whatever you need. If Jinger and Renee had gone there together, they could have picked out fabric and lace in a day.

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  12. Yes! Grace Kelly. I looked up a picture of her and oh she was absolutely stunning on her wedding day. Jinger was Princess Grace all over again. She and Pastor Jeremy make an awesome couple!

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    1. Found the Grace Kelly reference quite funny. Grace Kelly got married in the Catholic Church and we all know how the Duggars feel about Catholics. Also Grace Kelly had a reputation as "giving away pieces of her heart" to a number of her male movie co-stars. Might be advisable to compare Jinger to someone else. Or maybe just say she made a beautiful bride and forgo the need to compare her to more princesses or movie stars.

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    2. The reference was to how Grace Kelly LOOKED on her wedding day, not to where she got married or her actions or character.

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    3. Jinger's dress was not as high fashion or meticulously made as Grace's.

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    4. That's what I was referring to also. Thank you Anon@11:39. Also Miss Meg it's really not a good idea to mention gossip whether true or not about someone who is no longer here to defend herself. I'm not being critical, just passing on some good advice.

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  13. Jinger's dress is gorgeous! Renee's design and sewing of the dress amazes me. Such talent she has been blessed with and is using in a wonderful way. Jinger was a beautiful bride, but what stands out to me is her hair. I love the way she styled it. The veil, her hair and dress all compliment each other and then add her smile and she is one beautiful bride!

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    1. YES, Jinger's hair was PERFECT and really complimented the style of the dress - both classy and elegant. And it really framed her face well and brought out her lovely countenance and great joy in her heart. Well done!

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  14. What happened to the other 2 dresses? Donated to a less fortunate bride? WWJD

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    1. Maybe offered for sale?

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    2. Yes, what happened to the two Jinger didn't pick? That couldn't have been inexpensive or quick, to make two more dresses that didn't sell for one bride. Did TLC cover that?

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    3. What do you think happens to the other dresses on the rack that you don't buy? They are offered to another customer.

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    4. If they were offered, they were probably stripped of their lace and train, which were only tacked on for that filming.

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  15. I'm trying to figure out what is the big deal about getting the wedding dress of Jinger designed and made. Brides in the country where i live do t all the time and I'm sure she is not the first bride who had a dress designed and made. On to the next exaggerated post of the Duggars. What next!!!

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    1. After watching last night, it was clear the other 2 dresses were decoy dresses she was supposed to try on first but reject. What a waste of materials.

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  16. Very nice to hear about this lady. Women entrepreneurs are very inspiring. Also, wonderful to read about someone who didn't go into massive debt. I enjoyed the dress but I enjoyed even more the inspirational story of the designer.

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  17. Renee is such a sweet lady! I had the pleasure of meeting her today and I can not express the joyful person she is. When you meet her, you cannot help but smile! Thank you Mrs. Renee for all your hard work you did on Jinger's beautiful dress, and thank you also for taking time to answer all of our questions! :D
    Emma

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  18. How can anyone, even a trained designer size someone from a picture and have the garment fit perfectly? Not so, I'm afraid. Even the best of the best measure in person. I'm sure a good idea of what size someone wears can be determined if they see them in person. I don't believe this "from a photo" stuff at all. In that case, she should be designing for European royalty, not people in Pensacola, Fl.

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  19. The dress was pretty; but none of the photos have yet to display is details very well.

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  20. Sounds like a process someone such as Kate Middleton would have gone through.

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    1. Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen made the bridal gown for Miss Middleton. That is one of the highest and most luxurious fashion houses in the world. The work of McQueen has been displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I don't think Jinger experienced what Miss Middleton did.

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    2. She is NOT Miss Middleton. She IS Her Royal Highness. The future Queen of England. Please show respect for her title and position.

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    3. She WAS Miss Kate Middleton when her dress was being made. She was not royalty then, or married.

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    4. Anonymous @3:32, she may have been Miss Middleton prior to her wedding but you are referring to her NOW. So, it is disrespectful to call her Miss Middleton. The correct way to include her maiden name would be the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Miss Middleton.

      Also, their is NO comparison between Jinger and the Duchess. Enough! The Duchess will one day be the Princess of Wales, on the death of the present Monarch. She will one day be the Consort of the Constitutional Monarch of 16 countries. Prior to her marriage, she was accomplished, working young woman with a Bachelor's Degree. Now, she is patron of many charities and engages, with her husband, in an increasing number of royal duties.

      The only similarity between the dresses were that they both had trains and lace. Enough with the comparison!

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    5. Everything with the dresses aside, let's remember that the Duchess/Kate Middleton is just a normal person. She is no more valuable than anyone else on this Earth just because she is royalty. The same goes for Jinger Duggar, of course, and every other celebrity/world leader/person in the public eye. Everyone is equally valuable and important. Period.

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    6. No 8:54, the statement was that the dress was being made for Miss Middleton, which is completely true, because that's who she was when the dress was being made for her. If anyone called her a princess when the dress was being made, you'd probably complain that she was not a princess then. Just as Grace Kelly was the movie star when her wedding dress was made for her, then she married and became Princess Grace. So it was technically Grace Kelly's wedding dress, until the moment she said "I do" in it. Nobody is being disrespectful to call a woman by her unmarried name when referring to events that took place before she was married. No need to use a current title plus "the former" name when talking about the past.

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    7. The dress was made for Kate Middleton, a single woman. Look it up. You'll find her called that name and referenced by that name in every press release about the dress, now or then. It will always be "Kate Middleton's wedding dress."

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    8. So by your standards, 8:54PM, we should be calling this the dress of "Mrs. Jeremy Vuolo, the Pastor's Wife and The Former Jinger Duggar's wedding dress." That's quite a mouthful. Or we could just call it Jinger Duggar's wedding dress, and everyone would know exactly who we meant. How is that being disrespectful? That's who tried on the dress and who wore.

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    9. Someone here holds "royalty" in very high esteem. You have to remember that many of us here are Christians, and we don't subscribe to the notion of royalty and that some people are more important than others.

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  21. I'm sure they are for sale in her shop...

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  22. After watching the episode tonight, I'm convinced that TLC had her make 3 dresses, when in reality, they all knew in advance that the third dress was the one Jinger had ordered. They needed to fill time on the episode, so they had her try on 2 dresses that surprisingly weren't quite "right." So suspense built until she tried on the third dress and it was perfect! Now imagine that same episode with only 1 dress, the last dress, to try on. Wouldn't have been as much to show. Now it makes sense as to why there were 3 fully completed dresses to try on, when only 1 was needed.

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  23. Thank you so much for sharing this 3 part story. I have been commenting on Renee Bridal designs on Instagram. It's a blessing to learn her testimony, because I desire to own my own business. I appreciate learning the process to creating such beautiful looks for the family and friends in the wedding. They were all just stunning. I hope these posts bring even more business to Renee Bridals.

    C.J. Baton Rouge, LA

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  24. She really was a beautiful bride, but I think she would have been pretty in any dress. Just a pretty, sweet girl.

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  25. How much was her dress?? I need to start saving before I find a man lol

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    1. Good lace is about $150 - $250 a yard. You do the math.

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  26. I am searching for a mother of the bride dress and loved the purple dress Michelle Dugger wore for Jingers wedding. Where can I find that dress?
    I would love to wear something like that to my daughters wedding.
    Thank you.
    June

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