Each year, we return after Christmas & New Year holidays to emails, Facebook messages, phone calls and voice mails from people looking to arrange an appointment for their wedding suits. I mean, we LOVE working on Wedding suits, but the messages are all usually quite similar in the questions they’re asking. “How long do you need to make my wedding suit?”. The stock answer here is this… 6 MONTHS. Why 6 months? Read on to find out.
Sure, we can make a suit in 4 weeks. Express options are great. You’ve left it a little late? OK, we can still help, but there are some caveats that come with express options. Such as, we have a limited range to choose from when it comes to cloth options (like our House cloth options) rather than the full extensive range including all of our beautiful tartans and tweeds. We also have a limited window for alterations, meaning you generally need to make the sacrifices on your end to come and see us when the garments are ready. And again when they’re completed through alterations. There may even be the little matter of “it’s not 100% right, so you’ll have to bring it back afterwards to have the final adjustments made”.
As a business, we see the express ordering service as something that should only be used if absolutely necessary. In 2022, we’ll have only 15 available spaces per month for express ordering. Let’s say you’re an existing client and your pattern is already with us. You get a card through the door with an invite to a dinner. You have no tuxedo and could really do with having one. This is perfect for us. You’ve used us before and you know your pattern will be correct. Another scenario might be that you’ve postponed your wedding multiple times due to pandemic restrictions. You finally get an opening at the venue of your dreams, but you only have 6 weeks to plan the whole thing. We can help. We’ll make it in 4 weeks and there’s still time on your end to have some adjustments done ahead of your big day. The last thing we want is for people to feel like we’re having to rush, or mend and make do. We want your order to be absolutely perfect for you and your loved ones.
Our standard order lead-time is up to 8 weeks. This means that you’ll have your first fitting session no later than 8 weeks after the date you’ve placed your order. This allows our team to draft your pattern, order and cut your cloth, stitch it all together, organise all of your finishing touches like coloured buttonholes, embroidered messages etc, and hand it to our Quality Control team. After QC is passed, we ship out from the production unit to our HQ in Livingston, West Lothian where it’s all pressed, bagged and made ready for your fitting session. The most important point to note here is that if it is ready sooner than 8 weeks, then we’ll notify you and you can book your fitting ahead of schedule.
Let’s talk about the worst case scenario here. The one that nobody ever likes to face. But we have to be realistic when we ask you for so much notice to make your wedding suits. What if something goes horribly, horribly wrong? You come in with 10 weeks until your wedding. You place your order. We measure you, take your photographs, map out your body figurations and begin working on your beautiful new bespoke suit. While we do that, you finally decide to get to the gym to get in shape. Over the course of the next 8 weeks, you drop 2 stone in weight, build up your top half, and cut weight on the bottom half. Before you know it, your tailor calls you and tells you your suit is ready. Great news, right? You’ve still got 2 weeks until your big day, so you book in for your fitting and, would you believe it? The trousers are looking baggy on the backside and the waist is too big. No problem We’ll pin them in, lift here. Bingo. All looking good. We slip on the waistcoat and it needs a bit of work. The waist needs pinned in, the chest appears tight and the shoulders don’t quite hold the shape as they should. Again though, this can be fixed. Then, the Jacket. We slip it on, but it’s tight. It’s not quite going over those arms. When we do get it on, it’s not sitting right on those shoulders. We slip it back off again and reach for the tape measure. We’re just going to check that your jacket has been made according to the sizes we’d noted down 8 weeks ago. It’s correct. We’re confused now, because if it’s correct, then why doesn’t it fit? Then we ask the question “Have you been training more in the past few weeks?”. Your reply confirms our suspicions and now we’re in a situation where we have:
– a LOT of alterations to do.
– 2 weeks until your wedding.
– Cloth supplied from a UK merchant or mill.
– Production in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The worst thing about all of this is that it’s not your tailors fault. 8 weeks ago, he took measurements of you. There may have been a discussion around whether you’d go to the gym or not (please bear in mind that this is a completely made up worst case scenario for the sake of example), but we didn’t expect this much of a change in you. Who’s going to wish there was more time? As tailors, we can accommodate quite a lot of change over the course of an order, but there comes times where we just can’t do the impossible. In this scenario, we’d be able to alter the garments as closely as possible, but we wouldn’t be happy and neither would you.
In short, allowing us plenty of time to work on your wedding outfits will yield the best results. Especially if there are a few people in your party. We have methods available to us that allow us to work with you in stages throughout the process, meaning that we don’t see sudden change in your shape from one fitting to the next. In the case where you are perhaps working out, we can initiate intermediate fittings to track your progress before we make your final cut, giving everyone that peace of mind.
So when you’re planning your wedding suits, think like the ladies do. Get out there and do your homework in plenty of time. Place your orders around 6 months ahead and work with your tailor towards making sure those outfits look and feel great on your wedding day. We can definitely help those with shorter timescales, but it’s best to plan ahead.
So, if you’re getting married between Christmas and March this year (or next year), then the best advice would be to give your tailor around 6 months notice, placing your orders between July and September for such dates.
For some inspiration, check out our Instagram page.