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Custom-made redesigned wedding dresses growing in popularity

SPARTA, Wis. - A wedding is one of the most special days in a person's life.

However, finding the dream dress with every detail a woman wants can add up to thousands of dollars.

Now a growing trend is giving women more bang for their buck.

The dress bride-to-be Amber Kluiber is looking for can't be found in any store.

"I had always had the idea that I would like to have fun with my mom's (dress)," said Kluiber. "It's traditional, but now and days, it's like what can you turn it into."

She and her fiancé Mark are getting ready for a summer wedding.

And her mother's wedding dress, the one she wore more than 20 years ago, is a bit outdated for Kluiber's taste.


"I want to make it mine that day too," said Kluiber. "I want to feel as gorgeous that day as my mom did when she wore it, but just without the big poufy sleeves, and we've come to that agreement."

Updating old wedding gowns into new custom made one-of-a-kind dresses is Bonita Sanders' specialty.

"We opened up shop, but my vision was very small at the time, and this thing busted wide open," said Sanders.

Two years ago, Sanders decided to expand her home business into her very own store, Bonita's Bridal Boutique in Sparta.

In her first year she saw her business triple and she's expecting it to double this year.

"When people realized that they could have whatever they wanted, for the day of their dreams, they can help design and create their dress, it meant so much more to them than just going to a cookie cutter store where they could buy the same dress that the girl down the street could buy," said Sanders.

Bonita will use the original fabric, beading and lace from Kluiber's mother's dress to create a modern 1950s inspired wedding dress.

The total cost will be less than $500.

"It's going to look fabulous," said Sanders.

"I cannot wait to see the finished product," said Kluiber.

And for Kluiber the added sentimental value is just a bonus.

"I've always been amazed how my mom's kept it together as long as she has, and so it's the one day I kind of get to mimic my mother," said Kluiber. "I get to share my special day with her in that way."

Everything is on schedule for Kluiber's wedding dress to be finished before August for her big day.

Her fiancé will also be wearing the tuxedo his father wore on his wedding day.

Custom made dresses from Bonita's Bridal Boutique have been featured at Wedding World, one of the largest wedding expos in the region.

Sanders is also planning to expanding her business into a bigger store in the near future.

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