Wedding dresses by Amanda Archer, Veronica Sheaffer, and Kpoené Kofi-Nicklin
From left: Wedding dresses by Amanda Archer, Veronica Sheaffer, and Kpoené Kofi-Nicklin

“My dresses are modern and wearable, not costumey,” says Archer, who got her start sewing formalwear for galas, art premieres, and other social events. A bride-to-be can select one of Archer’s basic styles (right), then pick from a menu of extra details—including pleats, color blocking, cap sleeves, and racer-back cuts—to make the dress her own. $200 to $950 (bridesmaid dresses from $165),

“I always intended to launch a line of wedding dresses, even before I started planning my own DIY wedding,” says Sheaffer, a self-taught seamstress who designs airy, understated bridal gowns from her home in Ukrainian Village. On April 7, she will host a presentation of her latest work at the gallery Rational Park (2557 W. North Ave.). “When a bride is unsure about what she wants her dress to look like,” Sheaffer says, “I recommend that she imagines the day, the setting, and how she wants the gown to feel when she’s walking down the street. For my own dress, I imagined something with light fabric that rippled at my feet, and that’s what I made. It was perfect.” $1,500 to $5,600,

“When I got married, I was not connecting with what I saw on the racks,” says Kofi-Nicklin, a former Fashion Institute of Technology student who last December opened Mignonette (1747 W. Belmont Ave.), a boutique and showroom where customers can check out examples of her vintage-inspired, coquettish dresses. Kofi-Nicklin says 80 percent of her business comes from custom gowns, which require three to six months of preparation. $500 to $2,500,


Photography: Courtesy of vendors