It was for me because i didn't want a white/ivory dress and my choice was very limited. It's also good if you are particularly long or short bodied etc I tried loads of dresses in shops but only found one that i liked. It was ridiculously expensive but not quite right. So took my ideas to a dressmaker. It was lovely to be wearing a dress that was made just for me.
If I were you, start looking in the shops first. If you don't find one you absolutely love, then maybe getting one made is the answer.
I looked at both options, and found getting a dress made to be the cheaper option... the dress I ended up buying was a lot more expensive. I just wasn't convinced I would love the dress after it had been made. I just fell in love with my dress, and despite a few wobbles before the wedding, I still love my dress 7 years on!
Look at both, because they work together - get ideas from the shop, and take it to the dressmaker, but if you don't have confidence in anyone, then go for a shop dress. HTH
My mother used to be a dressmaker and made a lot of wedding dresses. She always told the brides to be to go and try on styles in bridal shops to see what suits them. With making things you can never try on the finished item till its, er, well, finished of course! What looks great in a magazine or your imagination might look dire in the flesh. There were a couple of occasions where the bride would take the dress, pay for it, then mum might go to the church for a nosey on the day - and there'd be a different, shop bought, dress going up the aisle!
If you find a good dressmaker then have the dress made into your childs christening robe. She did that for a lot who got fed up of looking their lovely wedding dresses taking up space in the wardrobe. Some big 80's dresses even squeezed a first communion dress out as well
I had a lovely dress made for me, and I still love it, it was not expensive(£500 not including the expense of going to get fitted for it), but the woman who made it designed clothes, she did lovely sketches for me, after I had said what I would like. She used very inexpensive material, and my dress was unique. If I had to decide again, I would do the same again, with the same designer.
I had wedding dress made, went into shops tried on loads, seemed to be drawn to the designer stuff and wasn't willing to pay the price.
After finding nice dress, came out, sketched dress with help of my Mum and Dh (yes he did come with me, one dress I loved he hated, imagine that look from your husband when you arrive at the altar) and we went to dressmaker.
She made it first in calico, then in my material once I was happy. Was incredibly cheap, a one off, no-one else had anything similar. Still love it 9 years on.
Although I am about to hack it to pieces to make other things from it as it is sat in my loft, so some nice shaker style hearts that I can hang on my bedroom door handle and the likes. I have 2 sons so no passing it down or anything.