The Man and I tied the knot on 1.3.14, a popular date because of the homonym when read in Chinese: 一生一世, which literally means, a lifetime, if I am not wrong. Anyway, just for the record, we didn't select the date because of that reason, but on hindsight, it made a very nice coincidence and we won't easily forget our wedding anniversary I suppose.
When we got engaged, we went researching for the wedding banquet venue right away (more
on that later), and then followed by the wedding gown. After consulting a few recent brides,
unsolicited input from others, and research on bridal forums, I decided I would like to go ala
carte. I also eliminated the Tanjong Pagar bridal studios because I admit I am biased and my mind conjures up an imagery of a typical Tanjong Pagar bride that is wearing a tiara, white gloves, a big poofy ballgown and lots of bling. I shudder uncontrollably at that thought before and even now that the wedding is over.
Eventually, I visited the following few and I am also sharing my comments as well:
Silhouette The Atelier - a very nice boutique studio located in the Emerald Hills area. The designer assigned to you will be your designer all the way. The gowns are all brand new, but already made. But they have tons for you to choose from, and the designs are pretty modern, classic and generally well-made. The basic package starts at $4000 for a simple white gown that is off the rack (OTR) and an evening gown that is made to measure (MTM). Some material require additional top up of $800 minimally. I tried on a lace mermaid number that fitted me very well, and made me look soft, demure and romantic. My mom had a "say yes to the dress" moment then, but I knew lace was "not me", plus lace required the additional top up. I decided to walk away and continue my search.
Divine Couture - the package here starts at close to $5000 for a similar package as Silhouette, 1 OTR white gown and a MTM evening gown. I went to visit the shop and a male designer was assigned to me. I didn't particularly feel like he was very engaging, rather prescriptive in his approach and not much additional value adding. Most importantly, the sample gowns didn't impress me at all. They were famous for very low back gowns (near the end of the spine) and I knew I am not interested to show the world my body. So I easily walked away.
Blessed Bride - the key reason I visited this studio is because they carry Pronovias gowns which I thought looked stunning on the website. The two ladies in the shop were lovely and nice about trying to help a clueless bride. I was disappointed that most of the Pronovias gowns were worn before. They also have in-house designs which were decent. The packages there were very attractive, hovering less than $3000. However, I was still not sure about wearing a used gown.
Bridal Veil by Michelle Huimin - my final stop. A handful of my friends had made their wedding gowns there and I loved their their eventual gowns that are minimalistic but yet exude tons of grace and elegance. The style is a true fit with mine. I went for a consultation and tried a few gowns. The packages start at close to $4000 as well, but key difference is that both the white and evening gowns are MTM. I was invited to attend a fashion show a couple of weeks later, and after the show, I was convinced to sign up with them because the gowns were just "so me". The bonus was an additional $500 credit when we signed up on the spot during the show.
To jump the gun, I loved the final white gown and evening gown. Both of them were simple, but had a little bit of an edge, still elegant, and of course, well-made and of high quality. I only wished we had a better overall experience in the making of the gowns and suit. I shan't elaborate too much but they were pretty showy (lots of name dropping and very annoying) and too blunt in their comments and remarks, to the point of being just plain rude ("if you liked that suit from Zara so much, why didn't you just buy that??"). In the end, I just wanted to get the process over and done with. Much applause to the girls at the boutique though. They were very attentive and made sure we knew what was happening at each step of the process.
I also kept the design of the white gown a surprise from the Man; only my mom and maid of honor had the chance to see it prior to the wedding. I deliberately choose to wear something else for the morning gate crash, as I wanted the white gown to be first revealed and worn at church, as I hope the Man will be surprised and awed :P
Anyway, here are pictures of the gowns for your viewing pleasure :)
|front of the gown|
|back of gown, a simple V-back with row of crystals down the middle all the way to the end of the train|
|closer look at the front of the gown. There are horizontal folds just at the bottom of the chest.|
|sweetheart neckline with zig-zag pleats; long slit on the left side|
|back of the gown is again V-shape, plus pleatings which would cost an additional $288 FYI but I got it covered with my extra credit.|