life of a cuddlebit

my random ramblings


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high hopes & heartbreak in white

Warning-this is a long post. But it does have pictures.

*also you can click on the pictures to enlarge.

I am actually dreading writing this. Honestly, I have been keeping silent about my wedding dress as I am on the fence.

But then again how do I even start? Shoving all my personal feelings aside I am going to handle this review as objectively as I could muster. No influence by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased. God help me please.

I think I have may spent a quarter of my life dreaming about THE wedding dress. I may be shallow to some that I obsess about it a lot but to me, I have been dreaming of this for the longest time so sorry, I am not sorry!

To me it was going to be the most expensive dress I am going to own. So it better be something I really, really like.

Then again, reality bites. There is the budget to consider, the restrictions. (I wouldn’t want to wear something that would look a lot like my cousin’s dress-long story-she is another bride to be that would have her wedding the month after my wedding). Not exactly the best situation but we got to work around it. She will be having a ruffled skirt so, ruffles is out of the picture for me.  Sorry no more dramatic skirt for me.

that red box holds my wedding dress.

the red box that holds my wedding dress.

When I found and met Mel Orlina and booked her to be my wedding gown designer I was over the moon. See the post here.  I did all the usual stuff a bride to be does. I combed the internet for reviews about her and all of them are glowing reviews. So I am expecting all that I read to be the same experience I was going to have.  That’s what I thought back then.

Most of what I wrote on the past post is not really my sentiments anymore I am sad to say.  I may be the first to say this but even if the gown designer is talented, there is no replacement for a healthy client-designer relationship. Its about understanding what your client wants and hearing out their requests/ suggestions and ultimately the brainchild of both your ideas will be the finished product.

On the first few meetings it was all about the design. So we started the dress mid of the year June. My initial design was a mermaid gown with dramatic skirt and low back with colored petticoat.  –this did not happen, I had to change the design, for the reason above. No dramatic skirt for me. 

And design process went until August. By that time I already got three revisions. No more colored petticoat and no more dramatic skirt. What stayed the same was it is a mermaid gown and low back.

sketch my dreams

sketch my dreams ( you can click on the picture to enlarge)

Here is the second revision (left) and the final design (right). If you look closely you can see the first sketch was hidden by the second revision as she sketched over the initial drawing. All is well. I love what I see.

So here is me on the fitting of the lining. Look at the fit! yey!

left-pardon my "villain" face. middle-yep, Im pretty pleased face. right-the fit was perfect

left-pardon my “villain” face. middle-yep, Im pretty pleased face. right-the fit was near perfect

Lining fitting is the first fitting. The shape of the dress-to-be looks really good.

This is the second fitting. Mel personally pinned out all the embroidery detail on the dress. –you can see her in the middle photo. That is her wearing the orange dress. I am really happy with how it turned out. * she personally pinned my embroidery. 

all lines and no floral design, I want it timeless

all lines and no floral design, I want it to look modern but at the same time it has to be timeless.

Later on that week, the dress even made it to instagram.

not bad right? I had high hopes!

not bad right? I had high hopes!

Next time I went to her shop I was told that there would be beading on my dress. My issues started here-Third fitting.

I remember looking at my dress for the first time and asking Mel, “I thought there will be no pearls”. She assured me that those are opals as there is a note attached to the garment bag that stated no pearls. I took her word for it.

the first time I saw my dress with beads

the first time I saw my dress with beads. That would be Kei and Mel holding the dress as I just took a snap. I did not get to fit the dress that day-there were too many people  on the shop. I returned next week. 

Once home I went on to google the Swarovski opals and pearl beads. I have a hunch that those beads are not opals.  I attached the swarovski chart as well as my guess of what they attached. See for yourself.

just to make it clear

just to make it clear. (click on the picture to enlarge)

Those in my dress are Swarovski flatback pearl cabochons. Opal flatbacks have facets.

I felt deceived, but giving her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was all they had. And also another thought that says, no matter.  They should have told you first and be upfront if they cannot accommodate your request. Or maybe demand more payment to accommodate the request; or suggest replacements I mean come on, there are a lot of options!

But the beads are already glued and placed. I would really be a huge pain in the ass had I disapprove of it and get them to replace everything. *I really dislike pearls. sobs.

So I ended up consoling myself that those aren’t really “real” pearls, that I can live with it. So, I did. But I really felt bad that my request was not followed despite the fact that we agreed upon it previously.

And this was the third fitting.

here are the girls as they helped me fitting the dress.

here are the girls as they helped me fitting the dress.

Surely you have to give a closer look at the dress.

no more pins!

no more pins!

I am also feeling that my sleeves are kind of “off”. It falls out of place and moves about… They told me that there is a trick to it using tape. They let me try the dress and used tape to hold it in place. It looks and feels ok, but the slightest perspiration or sudden movement would make the tape useless.

spot the difference

spot the difference

On my fourth fitting, I was yet greeted with another problem. There is a crystal missing from my dress. I caught their attention and they said that it will be fixed. I also asked again about how do I keep the dress’s sleeves in place as they move around when I move and looks loose that is not really flattering to look at.

where have that sparkly gone?

squint my eyes… where have that sparkly gone?

I went back mid week to check on my dress. (I have a shoot that day near Makati so I went back to check and fit.)- I clearly recall the day was Dec 2, 2015 a wednesday. *I was worried as the wedding day is so near. 

the only time I went to fit the dress with make-up on. Kind of like playing dress up

the only time I went to fit the dress with make-up on (flowers are props from my shoot)

Again I asked about the missing crystal, as it was still missing.

where art thou?

where art thou?

It was instantly replaced by Mel replaced with a smaller crystal than the rest. (cringe) I was told that it would not be obvious. But the O.C. in me just screamed my head off.  See for yourself.

did you see it?

what is the difference?  did you see it? -Just a close up photo of the dress laid flat in its box.

I was shocked.What happened to quality?

That time I was stunned and at the same time a bit angry. I decided that I have to solve the falling sleeves issue. I will not risk it and will not be using tape, I wanted a permanent solution not some quick fix that would probably fail. I do not want to have to worry about my split straps moving on the day of the wedding. I asked that they offer me a solution.

And this is what Mel came up with.

is it only me or does it look like a bra strap?

is it only me or does it look like a bra strap?

I also pitched in my proposed solution. And these were the result.

make the off sleeve run to the back

make the off shoulder strap run to the back 

Admittedly, both options of looked awkward.

go ahead and choose

go ahead and choose

But, still I don’t want to revert back to the tape solution. So, I insisted on the thick band that was my proposed solution. I went home troubled.

Then proceeded to regret the morning after. Prompting me to email Mel and propose another solution.

Here is my email to her.

a desperate call for help

a desperate call for help-the next time I see my dress again will be the week of the wedding, I only have the last fitting left.

And my proposed “fix”.

this was exactly the photo I emailed to her

this is exactly the photo I emailed to her

And if you did read my email you can see that at that time, I wrote that I felt pressured to decide at once. I will have to clarify that one.

It’s true that Mel’s shop is packed every time I go there (I took it as a good sign, since there are a lot of clients); everyone has to wait for their turn, get assisted by the girls (shop assistants of Mel) and a real few minutes to talk with Mel. The last part is kind of a grey area. You see you can be talking to her while she is doing something else-at times talking to other brides, potential clients or assisting another bride. Basically, she is busy most of the time, you are very lucky if you got all her attention. Then again, I can only visit her shop on weekends since I can’t go there on weekdays as I have to work.  So, I really have to be patient and wait and also try and maximize my time in the shop. I also cannot blame her if everything is rushed, there are a lot of clients and only one of her so it’s but normal that she cannot really zone in to each and every problem/question/fitting. There are days that are ok, there are days that are frustrating and there is also those days that I come out of her shop almost close to crying.

I have also proven that my hunch was right. This is a photo from my last fitting.  Those were freaking pearls. – #pearl

#pearl

Instagram again! and I learned that is really is #pearl – no second guessing. This is proof that what I have on my gown is not opal but pearls. 

Just breathe deep and carry on. I had to remind myself that.

Then again, due to the nature of a gown designer’s work…it must be imperative that she be hands-on regarding each and every one of her brides’ needs right? After all you only get married once!

Fast forward to the day of the wedding, my dress looked good. A lot have been complimenting my dress.

the dress in action

the dress in action

For me, I liked that it made me look tall. I am also glad that on some pictures, it looks like soft flowing water.

like soft flowing water

like soft flowing water

There is also the embellishments that filled out the bodice.

beading

beading

I love my dress. I truly do.

I made it again to Mel orlina's instagram, only I was nameless there (I thinks). *All the other brides have names.

Photo taken on the day of the wedding. – oh wow! I made it again to Mel Orlina’s instagram.  I can’t help but notice that I was the only one nameless there . *All the other brides have their names posted along with their picture.

But there is this haunting feeling at the back of my mind that it could have been better, had issues and agreements have been prioritized and more focused communication. After all, you only get to be a bride once; feeling rushed and at times neglected definitely feels downright sad.

Summing it all up.

The dress was okay, they got the job done.  I regret the experience.

Mel is sorely lacking in service. It was only the girls in the shop that really made sure that the fittings are comfortable and assisted, thanks and kudos to each one of them. But even if the girls are helping out, it will not replace having the time you get to talk to your designer (about the dress) and your designer explaining the options possible. Having the peace of mind that your designer truly understands what you want. It’s the goal.

But because time was limited and there was also the way everything is rushed and busy at Mel’s shop.  It caused me bouts of doubt, anxiety/stress and sadness. That could have been avoided if there were at least a min of 30 mins for focused time for every client, as well as the simple “stick to the plan agreed upon”.

Still, I am thankful to them for making my dress. Not exactly what I wanted but that was it.

fairRating 2.5 out of 5. Barely made it.

Heartbreaking for someone who I had high hopes for. Do I recommend them? If you are Makati based and can really monitor your fittings/requests I’d say go check them out if you like them. If you are not from Makati, you better think about it.

 **All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience. This is not a sponsored post, Kei paid for the wedding dress from his own pocket.

“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”― Maya Angelou

 


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regal in every way

Back when I was in the wedding preparation stage, I had one huge problem.

How was I going to dance when my wedding gown is constricting?!

Obvious Pammy answer: Get a dress made.

My friend from church recommended Aoui Regala.

Yes those are her creations and yes again that is Aoui. (photo taken from her facebook page)

Yes those are her creations and yes again that is Aoui. (photos taken from her facebook page)

Young,fresh and pretty! Ang friendly pa niya. promise. 

I emailed her my peg and waited for a estimate.

Yes, I am aware that both my pegs are black. (left: A dress Carey Mulligan wore, right: A h&m dress) all photos are from the internet

Yes, I am aware that both my pegs are black. (left: A dress Carey Mulligan wore, right: A h&m dress) all photos are from the internet

What I want: a sleeveless bateau top with the high-low hem and the train. In blush pink with a bit of beading. Key words are: Structured and simple-nothing over the top with a bit of sparkle.

I set the date for appointment. But unknown to me, the days leading before the appointment Aoui’s daughter has been admitted at the hospital. And it was still unknown what the cause is.

So she is very worried and has to stay with her daughter at the hospital.

The day before the fitting I texted her to confirm and she told me her situation. I was worried for her (I am praying that it is a minor thing, and that her daughter is okay.) and also a bit worried about myself too-with my rigid 6 days a week work schedule, I don’t have much wiggle room in terms of schedule. (Will the dress be done on time?- I contacted Aoui early November and I need the dress before mid December. It’s a very rush job.)

I volunteered to go to the hospital to get measured, so that she wouldn’t have to leave her daughter’s side. But she refused and told me that she will still go to her atelier.

So after a quick hello she got my measurements in less than fifteen minutes.

After a few days Aoui told me that the cause of her daughter’s admission was respiratory tract infection and acute bronchitis.

Acute bronchitis is a clinical syndrome produced by inflammation of the trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles. In children, acute bronchitis usually occurs in association with viral respiratory tract infection. Acute bronchitis is rarely a primary bacterial infection in otherwise healthy children.- from www. medscape.com

And that her daughter is okay and recovering. I was very much relived to know that all is well. As well as gave me updates on the progress of the dress.

On the next fitting, I got to wear the dress and see the embellishments on the dress!

aoui fitting

I love my dress!

And they just noted the length of the train I wanted. –they gave out an excess of fabric should I want a longer train…they did not scrimp on fabric. Di nila ako tinipid!

left: that would be me talking to Aoui (pixelated the photo as she was in work mode that day) and right: I am probably doing the chicken dance. lols.

left: that would be me talking to Aoui (pixelated the photo as she was in work mode that day) and right: I am probably doing the chicken dance. lols.

They took the time to ask me if I was comfortable, asked me to move around, sit, wave, spin.. etc. to be sure that the fit was perfect. We even chatted for quite a bit! And best of all they did all these even if I was 30 mins late on my appointment.-I think I was the last client of the day. Di nila ako minadali.

At the last fitting, I just hurriedly fit and claimed the dress. I remember it was raining so hard that day and I was late again. They packed my dress in a waterproof garment bag to help us on our way and I was really, really grateful that Aoui and her team thought of that. I got soaked that day but my dress was pristine. Thank heavens.

On the day of the wedding, I did a few “glam” shots with Aoui’s creation. The dress looks beautiful on the photos, and absolutely more stunning in real life.

All these photos are grabbed from Aoui’s Facebook page.

aoui1

Blush Duchess Satin dress by Aoui Regala Atelier / Photo by RealityBox

aoui2

Blush Duchess Satin dress by Aoui Regala Atelier / Photo by RealityBox

aoui3

Blush Duchess Satin dress by Aoui Regala Atelier / Photo by RealityBox

Look at how tiny my waist looks like. Aoui did that magic!

Best of all I did get to dance!

I danced to Ed Sheeran’s- Thinking out loud and Walk the Moon’s- Shut up and Dance that are both not exactly a slow dance type of song! I did all that arm movements and fancy footwork. Best of all I did not feel constrained and worried that I may bust a seam or any unwanted exposure, the fit was perfect.

The only stolen photo of us dancing to thinking out loud.-all the other photos we have right now is blurry.

The only stolen photo of us dancing to thinking out loud.-all the other photos we have right now is blurry.

And after the dance you can just see that I worked up a sweat and beaming a very much relived and glad-I-made-it smile. And yes that’s Matti by my side.

All smiles! I pulled off the dance! (that would be Matti on the left)

All smiles! I pulled off the dance! (that would be Matti on the left)

You have been more than my designer but a friend to me Aoui. Thank you so much.

5outof5Rating 6 out of 5. (exceeded our expectations) The way Aoui treats clients is like being a friend who cares to listen and does what’s best for you, even if it means that she would not profit that much. She is very thorough and meticulous with her dresses and she does not scrimp on fabric or quality! To her, clients are not just a source of income but also a new connection, a new friend. I like that with her you can feel at ease and be sure that you would look regal in every way!

See Aoui’s creations for yourself! here is a link to Aoui Regala Atelier.

*Mention that you are a reader of Pam’s blog to her and she would be sure to help you out. 

 **All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience. This is not a sponsored post ,I paid for my reception dress from my own pocket.


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alternative to the getting ready (bath) robes?-updated

*updated to include the photos of the actual getting ready dress I used on the day of the wedding.

Brides mostly wear robes while getting ready because robes don’t need to be pulled over the head, so that it does not mess up the perfectly styled hair. Button up shirts is also favored for the same reason.

Sure, I get why. But no bath robe for me. I don’t want to have pictures taken that I am wearing a bath robe. Why? Because as much as I love the comfy terrycloth bathrobe, they would look horrid in pictures. Like I just used the hotel supplied robes.

a terry cloth robe and linen robe -photos from the internet

a terry cloth robe (left) and linen robe (right) – photos from the internet

I also like those linen robes, but those usually come in drab colors, like white or grey. Cotton voile robes are hard to find, or has a dowdy print. Silk and satin robes are not really what I am looking for. Shiny fabrics are not my thing.

And lately there are those custom made (robes) shiny lace-y ones that are all the rage right now, are absolutely a no for my wallet! Sure I like that they can be customized, they look really pretty and all but, I don’t think I would wear it again after the wedding. With the money I need to shell out for a custom made robe, I’d rather get a dress I love that I can wear again and again.

Speaking of the dress I would love to have… 

If I only have a ton of money, this Alexis Mabille dress Lea Seydoux wore will be my getting ready dress. I wish. 

I love it!

I love  it and I wouldn’t change a thing! Photo from RCFA

But, I don’t (have a ton of money). And even if I love the hemline, it will not be practical.

So, I will just have to get the inspiration. I have always liked trench coat inspired dress so this is the chance to get myself one! I searched specifically for white ones to look more bride appropriate. 

trench coat inspired!

trench coat inspired dresses! photos from the internet.

These fit the bill as it is a dress that wouldn’t mess my hair. I just wanted to make it look a bit more trench coat looking, with the double breasted buttons.  I also wanted it to be knee length with pockets on the sides.

My inspiration is a classic trench coat. Its timeless. They are simple, stylish and always look classy.

So after a bit of doodling… this will be my getting ready dress!

A sleeveless, trench inspired number. That is perfect for our warm weather. I could use and re-use and reuse this.

Pure linen would be a good choice as it is breathable and not shiny!

I based the design from the classic trench. 

Pure linen fabric would be a good choice as it is breathable and not shiny! 

For this my Mum accompanied me to look for fabric in Tabora, Divisoria. (walking under the intense heat and rows upon rows of street peddlers selling their wares, a crowd of shoppers… not really a walk in the park) Fabric shopping ain’t pretty. And pure linen have a very limited color choices! (I did not expect that it would be pricey! So, I was a bit surprised with the price of the fabric. Me and my penchant for the finer things in life… sigh) 

Initially, I wanted my dress to be white or blush pink but there is no blush pink linen fabric to be found. The options only include white (I did not get white in the end as it would be difficult to maintain), grey, dark grey, blue, navy blue, brown, khaki, rust (my Mum likes this one), fuchsia and teal (my pick).

the color picks

the color we picked out- rust to the left and teal to the right

After much deliberation, I went with teal as it is a bright happy color. Plus it really works with my skin tone. The rust made my skin look a bit darker.

And off to the seamstress I go! Woot! 

*so here is the updated part.

I personalized my getting ready dress. It had personalized embroidery on the sash! It would be there but not really too obvious.

Since I am taking Kei’s last name when I get married I got the embroidery to be ‘Mrs. Husband’sFirstAndLastName’. On second thought I wanted it to be ‘THE Mrs. Husband’sFirstAndLastName’! For added impact! hahaha! 

Sorry had to delete parts of the name.

Here I am wearing the actual getting ready trench inspired dress on the day of the wedding. Sorry had to delete parts of the name.

My trench dress in action!

My trench dress in action!

-My cousin wore a simple gown on the morning of her wedding, another cousin wore a silk robe, a friend I know wore a button down polo. I have also seen other brides (to-be) don a simple dress. I am just curious… what did you wear/planning to wear as your “getting ready outfit” on the morning of your wedding? 


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slump

So, I thought our invites are all sorted out. A sudden call revealed otherwise. 

The culprit: binding. Grommets look really rough against the dainty invite.

So, I am back to fixing the layout for our invites.

Sometimes resources makes it hard for creatives to be creative. sigh. 

But I am on it. I can manage.

I am also having a lot of issues with my dress and the dresses of my entourage.

photo from the internet

photo from the internet

While I love love love my own wedding dress, it forces me to be poised. Too poised that it is a bit constricting on my movements. 

Dancing on it would be out of the question. I need another dress or no more dancing.

Getting another dress made will be more of a mission impossible right now that it is only a few days till Christmas.

*My dad does not want to do the father daughter dance (too shy and says he will be sure to cry and he doesn’t want that to happen). So the only dance we are doing is the couple’s first dance.

Seems like even that would be in peril. Can I cry now?

On the entourage dresses, only the flower girls’ dresses are the ones already available for second fitting, the bridesmaids dresses are still not ready and out time is running out!

Oh, what to do?! what to do?!!

*Maybe this “never-ending-stress” is why most brides snap and go on “bridezilla” mode, they now have my sympathy. 


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My prenup dress adventures: the roundup

I’ve been real busy. Sorry for being missing in action for the past few days.

But I got a lot of messages/questions about my prenup gowns. I was planning on sharing these after my prenup shoot but maybe the time is now.

So, I will let you see my dresses and as an added bonus: I will also share my list of my trusted seamstresses!  

I am having a small victory right now.

After all the frustrations and tears from my hell of a dammed/fail red dress, I finally have another red dress that is like a gazillion times better than the bloody hell of a dress. Wanna see what the fail/bloody hell of a dress looks like? see it in my past post here.

While I was moping about the fail one, mom suggested we salvage it by getting it altered. After all she knew a good seamstress. (Ate Helen who made most of my mum’s cocktail dresses and the one who did a superb job on my lilac goddess gown) So, off we went.

Sharing a photo of my absolutely, gorgeous lilac gown. This was made by Ate Helen. Perfection in just one fitting. This is why we are her “suki” (a long standing customer).

my lilac gown

my Lilac gown that was made by Ate Helen from AyenMil Fashion Boutique

But there was a catch. Ate Helen is fully booked. There is simply no snippet of time that Ate Helen could do the extensive alteration. So, she begged off. We understood.

In case you are wondering about Ate Helen’s contact details? here they are:

Tell them Pam referred you. Ate Helen calls me shobe. =)

Tell them Pam referred you. Ate Helen calls me shobe. =)

So I was dragging myself out and moping along the way all the while telling mum that all is lost on the failed dress. When mum stopped walking to admire two gowns on display (a gold and orchid colored gown) and even ask for the shop owner.

the gowns on display

the exact gowns on display that caught our attention- photo taken from Tita Nedy

Apparently they were made by the owner of the shop and also a seamstress named Nedy. She made the gowns and is willing to sell it to me for a low price after seeing the first red dress that was a maximum fail. I thought the orchid gown was divine. But I already have a lilac gown and getting the orchid gown would be a repetition of color. Mum asked if she be willing to fix the dress, to which she simply said, save you the trouble. Get another one done.

I told her I really wanted a red asymmetrical dress, and that I liked what she did with the orchid gown. If she can make me one in red, it would be perfect. While taking my measurements she asked me about the fail gown. I told her the story, she chuckled. And said I will make you one that will make you forget the fail one. I smiled and hoped for the best.

After a three weeks. I was back in her shop twirling around happily in my new red dress! She made a wonderful concoction of satin and soft tulle in a bright candy apple red color with dainty sequin flowers! She thought the color would be perfect with my personality and skin tone. Tita Nedy was just like a fairy godmother, my dress was freaking fabulous! (I now call her tita Nedy)

red copy

my candy apple red gown made by Tita Nedy! -I really, really love it!

Only after the first and only fitting did I know, she makes curtains and dresses. Go figure.

The dress would need a few embellishment adjustments, and would be sewn the next day and my dress will be ready to wear!  Awesome-ness.

Loving my red gown like I do? I am sharing Tita Nedy’s contact details:

Tell them I sent you and send my love to Tita Nedy! =)

Tell them Pam sent you and send my love to Tita Nedy! =)

I may have also told you about the champagne gown that features the hunchback of Notre Dame look. I am scrapping that gown off too.

It is now replaced with the ivory-that-turned-out-to-be-champagne dress. This is made by Ysabelle.

ruffled and sexy!

ruffled and sexy! precise tailoring from Auntie Chai-Yong of Ysabelle  

This is supposed to be my non beaded ivory-dance-dress that turned out to be the champagne-cocktail-dress. Not to be used at the wedding dance, only for prenup shoot or party purposes. Honestly, even if they did not get the color right, I love this dress. More of the back story here.

prepare your Chinese speaking skills and head on over! Look for Auntie Chai-Yong and tell them Pam sent you. =)

prepare your Chinese speaking skills and head on over! Look for Auntie Chai-Yong and tell them Pam sent you. =)

Last and definitely not the least. My white RTW gown. Remember the time I was frustrated with looking for seamstresses? And opted to look for RTW but because of my petite size I was getting no luck? The post is here.

Well, I managed to snag one beautiful RTW gown! While it was far from the styles I usually wear. *I dislike garterized backs, and I think halters make my shoulders look huge. But this gown managed to work on me. It fits comfortably and it looks unique.

this white gown is rtw!

this white gown is rtw!

I got this from Giovanna at 168 mall. (Sorry I lost the paper bag with the store’s details but I am sure that the store is on the third floor.)

So, those are my Prenup gowns. I will be mixing them with my existing dresses for the shoot.

 

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience. This is not a sponsored post, I paid for all the gowns including all the fail gown/s mentioned. I withheld the contact details of the fail/bad seamstresses and instead posted the good ones I encountered. Positive vibes! 

**Love my gowns? These will be worn on my prenup. That means apart from fittings, I will wear these once. And these will be kept at my closet. If you are interested in my gowns, I am willing to sell them after my prenup shoot. -For reference I am (depending on the brand) a size 2 to 6, usually fits extra small to medium. For more details, leave a message.


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a dress named after me

Because nothing screams bridal quite like a white ball gown wedding dress.

The photo shows a dress named Pam. Just like my name. It was named after me. 

After all this is a Zuhair Murad 2016 spring-summer bridal collection,  a strapless number with sweetheart neckline and lace embroidery, romantic style white wedding ball-gown dress with veil.  

That was quite a description. 

Zuhair Murad -Pam

Zuhair Murad 2016 -Pam

So, when did I want to look like a generic bride? Since I had my wedding gown barbie.  That was eons ago. 

Or was it because all my friends wore white ballgowns? And all the aunts thinks a ball gown looks more expensive than other styles?

I examined pictures of the dresses I fit again, and again. Maybe more hours staring at it than I care to admit. It has been a warped huge cloud of a dress with a lot of stuff. I am trying to stuff  every dress I wanted in my entire 29 years of living into one. That is a very very tall order. And a scary one at that. 

I wanted the big huge giant ballgown like what my barbie doll wore from my childhood days, the pink prom dress I wore, my lilac enchanted dress given to me by my uncle, the polka dotted peach tea dress from my aunt, a berriboned fuschia and pink floor length gown that made me feel better after having an asthma attack, the silver and periwinkle ballgown I wore to my cousin’s wedding… basically, I wanted to top off everything I had worn.

I wanted my wedding dress to be the best dress that I am going to wear on my entire life.  

I wanted all the magical stuff in the dress: the corset boning, the glitter, embroidery and lace, layers upon layers of sheer tulle, the frosted organza, sparkly buttons, ribbons, beading etc. All the good stuff in petite size, within my budget.

Talk about being difficult. And nowhere realistic or practical. 

I am having a hard time picking out what I like. Can a mermaid be a ballgown at the same time?! I refuse to settle and spent unreasonable hours poring over magazines and the internet. I keep on saving a ton of pictures that does nothing but to muddle up my thoughts more.

But the wedding is still six months away, I thought.

What about all the other dresses out there, the ones that might be better? How can I be sure that the dress I picked, express who I am when it has features that are not really me? or not the usual? not the traditional? not like something I would wear? is it too boring? too classic? does this look bridal and formal enough? is it unique enough?

So I look for another dress… and the cycle of doubting my decision/s begins again. 

To hell with what everybody thinks. I am going to pick what makes me happy. 

After all there may be other brides who will wear the same style of dress that I wore. That only means I have impeccable taste. Would be my wedding be less of a wedding if my dress looks similar to another bride’s dress? No. Will my Marriage be better if I wear a Vera Wang or a  Zuhair Murad? No.  Will my entire wedding be recreated by other brides who used the same wedding suppliers I got? I don’t think so.

The fact that there is only one me and one Kei makes our wedding unique. 

Will my wedding dress be the most awesome thing I will wear? probably.

But it is sure that I will wear more dresses after, maybe not as pretty as my wedding gown or maybe even better than my gown. Who knows? My 25th wedding anniversary/renewal of vows  dress might top the first dress. 

When I removed my unrealistic expectations about what I wanted from the dress, did I like what I saw. I envision myself as me only better, a polished and smiling me ready to walk to the arms of my beloved.

 

*No ballgowns for me. Even if it is the usual thing. Because, I am NOT YOUR USUAL bride to be. And the ballgown is so Pammy from the days gone a long time ago. =)

 

 


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Grab the dress and run

So, my prenup dress adventures in Divisoria continues.

If I learned anything from the dresses I got made from the place is that, look for another place, go buy rtw and grab the dress and run for your life.

If you have seen the past post regarding the topic, you would know how bad it is. So, I am not even going to post more hideous pictures. ( I already shamed myself enough.) I am also short of seven thousand pesos. -the cost of the two failed gowns. 

II feel like a child lost in the wilderness. (photo from favim.com)

I feel like a child lost in the wilderness. photo from favim.com

Out of the three dresses I got made at Divisoria, only two are technically wearable. And that my friend is a generous statement.

Realistically only one is ok to wear. 

The first was the red one. Maximum fail. Second is a lilac off shoulder that features a bit of appliqué lace and beading (if I may add.. it has a nice fit, and looks top notch) the other gown is a champagne deep V neckline with no beading that features a  lumpy back! (I don’t know if it was because of the zipper or the fabric was too small…It makes me look like I have a small bump on my back. Hello Notre Dame! Pun intended. Lol.) I don’t even know if I should cry or laugh when I fitted the dress.

the other gowns

expectation VS reality (click to enlarge)

So yeah, the lilac is wearable. And technically, the champagne one is also wearable if you disregard the fact that it will give you the “hunchback of Notre Dame” look. In reality, its just one gown that is OK.

Of course I am not expecting perfection as these prenup dresses are the guinea pig (testing) dresses. If the mananahi (seamstress) did well then I would get her to make the dresses for my entourage. But sadly none of them hit the nail.

All the dresses are priced at 3.5k each. Cheap, but also included cheap service. I got what I paid for. Lesson learned.

The horror of a dress-my red dress, I discarded that and got another red made. Also brought quite a lot of tulle lace fabric, for the making of the new, hopefully better red dress. Is now again, crossing my fingers that this will turn out ok.

I also scouted for another seamstress at Benavides. This time I went to Ysabelle. That is managed by a snooty-old-chinese-auntie that wouldn’t believe I was a soon-to-wed, I did not quite get the bride-to-be look. Since it was no use talking to someone who doesn’t believe me and I got challenged by her Chinese speaking skills, that were no match for my halting Chinese, I decided to go and enlist the help of my fluent Chinese speaking mum. lols.

So, I went back with the peg of the dress I want in hand.

No beading, not floor length, no lace, ivory color. I thought this would go for 4k max. Apparently not.

She wants 5k for the dress. With much haggling. We managed to get it lowered for 4.5k. Oh well, at least we tried. While taking my measurements, she asks why do I need the dress? I said I am going to use it for the wedding dance and also for my prenup shoot. Again she states that I look like a high school-er and is too young to get married. Then she asks for my age. I said 29. Chinese age? She lifted her eyebrow at me. No. Chinese Age I am already 30 or is it 31. She goes whaaaaaaatttt? And I just shrug. There is also a disadvantage as to looking too young.

After a week of waiting, I managed to go-see for the first fitting. I was grateful that this was nicely done. Really matched the peg I got her to copy. As much as I wanted to say only good things this time around… there is still a gripe. The color was not ivory. It was the lightest peach that looks similar to the shade of the lumpy champagne gown.

Maybe they have not found the ivory fabric and substituted it with the closest shade available. But the dress was made. So, I cannot complain, and again it was really pulido nicely done. Only consolation, if I do wear it for the wedding dance it would match my champagne shoes perfectly.

Now, I am off to look for an rtw, so that what I see is what I get. Wish me luck.

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are our own and based on our own experience. This is not a sponsored post. I paid for all the gowns including all the fail gown/s. 

**I conclude that to save yourself the stress, money and the heartbreak over your dress, better but the display gowns if you really want to buy at Divisoria. Or go to a different place. better shell out a bit more than get a gown you will not get to wear. 

***If you are really interested to see/know the mananahi/s (seamstress) I visited, the good one or the fail one, leave me a comment below and I will get back to you.