Wedding Dress Designer Studies: Education and Training Info

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a wedding dress designer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs and job duties to find out if this is the career for you.

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If you are thinking about a career in wedding dress design, you should consider completing a degree program in fashion design or merchandising. Additionally, an internship or study abroad program can expose you to different styles and designers, and, perhaps allow you to create samples for your portfolio.

Essential Information

Those who love bridal fashion and aspire to be the next Vera Wang or Valentino might pursue education and training in wedding dress design. Designing wedding dresses requires a solid foundation in art, fashion design and sewing, along with the acquisition of specialized skills for creating more elaborate bridal gowns.

Required Education Most designers have a bachelor's degree in fashion design or fashion merchandising
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 3% for all fashion designers*
Median Salary (2015) $63,670 for all fashion designers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Wedding Dress Designer Studies Education Information

Typically wedding dress designers have an associate's or bachelor's degree in fashion design. Designers who aspire to run their own businesses or stores might want to add a degree in marketing, business or fashion merchandising. As of 2016, there were approximately 349 institutions with accredited programs in art and design, according to the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (nasad.arts-accredit.org).

Curriculum

Aspiring wedding dress designers start by learning the basics of sewing and tailoring, color, textiles and pattern making. Wedding dress designers also acquire techniques in cutting, hand stitching, seams, hem finishes, pocket construction and finishing. In addition, wedding dress designer studies might include classes in computer-aided design, marketing and trends, economics and analysis of well-known bridal designers' collections. Courses in mathematics, psychology and human anatomy can also be useful preparation for this occupation.

Specialized Skills

Wedding dress designer studies include the practice of decorative techniques in hand beading, pearl and gem application, pleating, quilting and ribbon embellishments. Upper-level wedding dress designer courses teach the intricacies of bridal apparel and pattern design by having students turn their sketches into 3-dimensional forms.

Training

Many fashion design programs entail professional internships supervised by design professionals. Some aspiring wedding dress designers also choose to work in retail stores as personal tailors or stylists to gain experience. As part of their training, design students may develop a bridal collection and produce a sample wedding dress based on industry techniques. Because the fashion industry is global, work experience or a study-aboard program in a European fashion center, such as Paris, Milan or London, is highly recommended.

Wedding dress designers usually hold a degree in fashion design or merchandising, where they learn details such as basic cutting and sewing techniques, textiles, color, computer-aided design, marketing and economics. Many aspiring designers study or work abroad, or complete internships. While the employment outlook for fashion designers, including those who design wedding dresses, is low, those with formal education may have better business prospects.

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