Photo courtesy Staley Cook of Staley Designs
For designer Betsy Stevenson, it's all about the couture touches in her one-of-a-kind vintage wedding gowns-fun stitching, a silk lining that feels so good against your skin. "They're little details that, if you look close, you can see this was made by hand," says Stevenson, who runs her label, Elizabeth Ashleigh Designs, through a workspace in the Loft at Substance in the Short North. She recently unveiled her first collection of gorgeous restyled wedding gowns (pictured here). Evident from her first lineup, the Columbus native loves working with lace and vintage styles, but says she can do it all-re-imagine your grandmother's own gown into something with a modern shape, or create that perfect lacey dress from nothing more than a vision in your head.Her prices range from the low hundreds and up, depending on the style, which can take anywhere from six weeks to six months to design. So work with her early, she recommends. And go shopping first. Find a look that compliments your body, take a picture and bring it in. This will help the process. "I always encourage my girls to go shopping," she says. "You need to know what looks good on you. You need to know your silhouette."
Give her scrap material-be it from your wedding gown or bridesmaid dresses-and she can fashion a ring bearer pillow or clutches for your attendants. She's revamping one bride's grandmother's gown to give it a more current shape. She also creates doll-like, paper mache cake toppers of the bride and groom. She's also familiar with mother-of-the-bride and flower girl attire, too. For more, visit ElizabethAshleighDesigns.com. –Beth Stallings