The Most Beautiful First Anniversary Gift For A Bride

Okay, you better get hinting to your other half if you want one of these beautiful illustrations as a first anniversary gift! Imagine being able to pass this sentimental item down through the generations… We caught up with Rosemary Wiley from Mitchelstown, Co Cork. The Fashion and Bridal Illustrator has smashed on to the Irish bridal scene over the last year with the latest trend from the USA – a bespoke sketching of your wedding gown!! With an array of high profile names under her belt, Rosemary’s talent and sheer love for her job left us bewitched. If you hate the thought of your dress gathering dust in the attic, we couldn’t think of a better piece of art for your home! See more of her stunning creations below…

Rosemary Wiley

Tell us a bit about yourself Rosemary?

I basically turn every girl’s dream dress – their wedding dress – into a work of art. It is inked forever, something which they can pass on from generation to generation.

How did you end up illustrating gowns as a career and what designers are your biggest inspiration?

I’m trained in art and fashion illustration and have a extensive portfolio in this, I expanded into bridal only a year ago! Bridal illustration is huge in the states and I saw the perfect opportunity for me to expand my grow my business. I really wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming reaction!

I’m a huge fan of Vera Wang , but then again what girl isn’t?! I’m doing a lot of research into bridal designers at the moment and find it fascinating to see their signature designs.

Rosemary Wiley

Rosemary Wiley

What is the most memorable wedding dress you have ever sketched?

To be very honest, each bridal gown that I’m working on at the present time is my favourite and most memorable! I know it sounds cliche, but it’s true. I see beauty in every bridal gown because I appreciate the flow, fall and individual detail of each dress. I spend hours and hours (over 45 hours to be exact!) looking at the details of the dress so it is etched into my brain for illustration.

What is the price range for a bespoke piece?

Ink illustration paintings start from €230. Each illustration is professionally mounted, framed and gift wrapped to the highest standard. It really is a unique gift for a bride after the wedding celebrations are over.

Rosemary Wiley

Tell us about the design process?

I usually begin by drafting out the dress, using my trained eye to see what way the dress flows and falls. When this is established, I then pencil/pen in the finer details. For example; lace detail. Then using my unique method of illustration, I transfer ink onto watercolour paper using fine blades, I continue the process by shading the illustration to add movement. It’s very slow with a lot of intricate detail which I adore! The final process is adding background colour, each painting is then sent to Cork to be professionally mounted and framed. Then for my personal finishing touches – the gift wrapping. I use a vintage theme of handmade brown paper tied together with vintage lace, personalised tags and stamps and handmade flowers for that extra special finish.

Why are bridal sketches becoming more popular?

There’s a few factors why brides want a painting of their wedding dress. The number one reason is obviously their love for this carefully selected dress for the most special day of their lives. It resonates happy memories of their wedding day. Also, I’ve had quite a few brides who were unhappy with their wedding pictures and felt they had nothing to frame and hang on the wall. An ink painting is a perfect option in this case.

Rosemary Wiley

We’ve heard you have worked with some pretty impressive names. Tell us more…

Yes, I’ve done illustrations for some well known personalities such as Glenda Gilson, Angela Scanlan, Maia Dunphy and Norah Casey to name a few. It’s absolutely heart-warming and so encouraging to have super successful women tweeting my name and promoting my business! It gives me great encouragement.

Any exciting projects for 2016?

I’ve so many exciting projects coming up in 2016. I have been asked to do over 40 illustrations for an American company which is huge – it’s part of New York Fashion Week!! I’m also going to New York in August to take part in an illustration workshop which is a great way to network with design companies, but most importantly I’m getting bridal commissions which gives me the opportunity to paint beautiful bridal gowns for a living!! I adore my job.

See more of Rosemary’s work at

Image Credits: Rosemary Wiley

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