A truly unique wedding dress begins with a personal story.


This digitally printed wedding dress captures the love of the bride’s late father, wildlife in Colorado, and a fun-loving bride with an imagination and colorful personality.


This is where it all begins.

Custom Wedding Dress Sketch by Tara Lynn


Less than a year after Molly’s father passed away, the bride-to-be was looking for a symbolic way to feel that he was present on her wedding day. Inspired by her late father’s nature photography and a vision, she contacted eco-couture designer Tara Lynn.

This blog post takes you from the concept sketch through the print design process with behind the scenes photos of the print creation.

The idea was to design a print using the bride’s late father’s nature photography. When we would tell people what we were working on they pictured the photographs printed onto the fabric in squares and rectangles, like a photocopy of the photos themselves. This project was more in depth and complicated than that, but the vision that the client and Tara Lynn built together for the dress was worth every minute.

The bride sent Tara Lynn over 100 of her late father’s photographs of Colorado wildlife. Tara Lynn’s team spent hours on Photoshop, carefully extracting specific wildlife, like a chipmunk or a tree, branch by branch, from each photo. Through a personal and thoughtful collaboration, Tara Lynn Bridal incorporated the photos into a heart-warming landscape.

After the second fitting Tara Lynn’s team took all of the paper pattern pieces and scanned them into the computer. The print was engineered to fit on the pattern pieces; a little beetle crawled on the edge of the neckline, a rainbow arched across the front skirt and a dragonfly perched at the small of the back. The background of the skirt faded from blue along the hem to white at the waistline. A shadow of the mountain range where the bride was getting married became the back drop for all the wildlife and flowers in the print.

The printing could not be done without trial and error. Tara Lynn had samples printed to ensure the sizing of the images were correct. At one point during the process, a grasshopper printed too large compared to the rest of the scenery. This saved him from being eaten by the magpie. His new home was found nestled right above the care label on the inside of the dress. It was exciting when the printed fabric arrived.  It was also time to carefully cut and sew the panels making sure the side seams and rainbow would align.

Extra aspen leaves, butterflies and birds were printed and later used to make a fascinator and several lively appliques. Tara Lynn embroidered a ladybug over a printed sunflower and a swallowtail butterfly rested on the brides shoulder. Several butterfly appliques landed on the skirt. She added a few blue beads by the magpie’s feet. The brides dress was adorned with whimsical surprises.

The guests at her wedding marveled at her dress throughout the night, noting every small wonder that made her dress special. She was able to celebrate her big day wearing a personalized work of art that complimented her and captured her father’s spirit. 


Below are the images Tara Lynn used to create Molly’s
custom printed wedding dress.

Digitally Printed Wedding Dress by Tara Lynn

The initial creative sketch based on some of the bride’s father’s photos.

Digitally Printed Wedding Dress by Tara Lynn

Initial creative sketch of back of dress and photos from the bride’s father’s collection.

Wildlife Printed Wedding Dress by Tara Lynn

  The Sample & First Fitting

The sample and first fitting for this digitally printed wedding dress included a conceptual dress sample and the first fitting.


Couture Wedding Dress by Tara Lynn Bridal

Drafting the bodice pattern pieces.


Custom wedding dress by Tara Lynn

Tara Lynn does the design, pattern making, fitting, and sewing of Molly’s custom wedding dress.


Custom Fit Wedding Dress by Tara Lynn

Cutting the interfacing for the bodice pieces. Tara Lynn uses unique rocks as weights to keep the pattern pieces and fabrics from shifting.


Couture Wedding Dress

Tracing and cutting the silk organza skirt pieces.


Custom Fit Wedding Dress by Tara Lynn

Silk taffeta skirt and bodice interlining (the inside of the bodice that all the boning gets sewn to).  Both are ready for Molly’s first fitting.


The Second Fitting

These are the crucial steps for creating the best fit for this bride’s digitally printed wedding dress: fitting the bust perfectly, determining length, making sure the straps are comfortable, and finalizing the design details. Between fittings our bride stayed at The Burke View Inn with Joan Laplant.


Custom Petticoat by Tara Lynn

Making the petticoat just a little bit fluffier in the back than the front.


custom wedding dress

Bodice and skirt: the first layer.


Custom Wedding Dress by Tara Lynn

Fitting multiple bodice layers for the perfect fit.


Custom wedding dress

Perfecting the pattern for the front bodice. Once this is done we can digitize the pattern into the computer and engineer the print.


Custom Wedding dress

The bodice is made in multiple layers: interlining is the layer with the boning sewn to it; a silk lining is against the body; the printed silk organza will go over a silk taffeta underlayer and is faced with interfacing. All together there are five layers of fabric except for the back panel which is a sheer two layers of silk organza.


Custom Wedding Dress by Tara Lynn Bridal

We are ready to design the print and prepare for the third fitting.


Digitally Designing the Print

With the help of our design assistant, Megan McCall, we digitally designed a print that was intricate, beautiful, and extremely personal for our bride. We sorted through hundreds of wildlife photos to create a landscape scene unlike any other…


Digitally Printed Wedding Dress by Tara Lynn

From the photo’s taken by the bride’s late father, plants and wildlife were removed from their natural settings to compose a scene unique to the bride!


Digitally Printed Wedding Dress by Tara Lynn

The finalized pattern pieces were loaded into the computer and plants and animals were strategically placed to be digitally printed onto silk organza fabric.


Digitally Printed Wedding Dress by Tara Lynn

Building the layers of gradient, mountains, and wildlife onto the skirt of the gown.


Digitally Printed Wedding Dress by Tara Lynn

Laying out the pattern pieces under the printed fabric and carefully lining up the wildlife creatures with the pattern.


Digitally Printed Wedding Dress by Tara Lynn

Close up of the dragonfly at the center back of the dress ready to be cut out. A few photos were taken by other wildlife photographers, this dragonfly was taken by Ken Slade.


Digitally Printed Wedding Dress by Tara Lynn

Bottom layers of the skirt printed, cut out, and ready to be put together!


Digitally Printed Wedding Dress by Tara Lynn

Hemming the printed silk organza skirt with horse hair to add body to the dress.

The Third Fitting

unique wedding dress

Tara Lynn working on the bodice.

Wedding Dresses by Tara Lynn

Checking the fit of the bodice.

Unique Wedding Dresses

Tara Lynn at work in her studio.

Digitally Printed Wedding Dress

The bodice and skirt before the final layer.


Digitally printed wedding dress

Final layer and completing the sewing.



The Finished Dress

Photos by Kat Mooney at Kingdom Wedding Photography
Digitally printed wedding dress

The Colorado wildlife comes to life across the lower portion of the skirt.


custom printed wedding dress

The wildlife photos adorn many parts of the dress.


bird wedding dress

Pine bough detail found on skirt


Unique printed Wedding Dress

Flowers, mushrooms, moss, and ladybug!


Custom printed wedding dress

Tara Lynn finalizes the placement of a butterfly.



The bride collects and wears fascinators–the term refers to a form of formal headwear worn as an alternative to the hat; it is usually a large decorative design attached to a band or clip–and Tara Lynn created this unique one for the bride.


Butterfly printed wedding dress

A butterfly and ladybug looking quite life-like!


Butterfly wedding dress

A moth flits above the tree line, also looking quite alive!


Custom printed Floral wedding dress

The hawk soaring above a collection of wildflowers.

Unique Wedding Dresses

The bride and groom love magpies, and Tara Lynn placed two on the dress. This one is along the ground (hem), gathering shiny beads as magpies are likely to do in life.


Are you feeling out of place in the sea of white, fluffy, taffeta wedding dresses?

Are you looking for a natural, alternative wedding dress that captures your spirit?

Speak directly with eco-couture fashion designer Tara Lynn. She will help you find or design an eco-friendly, unique wedding dress that captures your spirit!


See more of Tara Lynn’s Unique Wedding Dresses!



Share →