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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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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signed, sealed, delivered – we have our primary sponsors!

When it comes to the wedding preparation and practices you probably noticed that we are kind of different. We came from traditional Chinese families yet we are non-traditional thinkers with a hint of modern style. This makes our families say that we think like Westerners. We take that as a compliment.

I would like to say that it is not like we disregard tradition, it is just that we are practical.

So, when it comes to the daunting task of getting the principal sponsors or the ninongs and ninangs, we still made it non-traditional. Rebellious moves on our end, as most of our peers have gone through this the traditional way.

principal

We have 8 pairs of principal sponsors. While to some that may be too many. But to us with a huge family that was the exact number. It even complies with the traditional Chinese thinking that 8 is a lucky number.  Split into two, that means four pairs from the groom’s side and four pairs from the bride’s side.

That being said, imagine visiting and giving each of the pairs these “required items”- pork leg, misua (very thin variety of salted Chinese noodles made from wheat flour), fruits, sweets and more importantly fabric/s to be made into a suit/ to be made into a gown.

Kei already had his prospects for his principal sponsors; I on the other hand only had two. The other two was chosen by my parents. Most of our prospective sponsors have been sponsors before. Meaning they have been through this stuff already. Most of the males own more than one suit; the ladies have had lots of gowns made for them too. We also doubt if they really enjoy eating misua?! I can imagine them saying misua again?!

Meaty Vegetable Misua - Photo from Knorr Philippines

Meaty Vegetable Misua – Photo from Knorr Philippines

And one of our couples is Pinoy! So how do we explain to them the Chinese tradition of getting primary sponsors? I don’t think they would know what to do if we gave them the pork leg and misua stuff…etc. They even called us up to ask what our motif is so that they could buy their suit and gown! Woah! Hold it right there! Because as per Filipino tradition, they pay for their own attire.

Kei and I decided on going with our own version of the tradition. A modern and practical solution for everyone involved. We are going to give out our very own: Principal Sponsor Kit. (Much like what I did with the bridesmaids kits, but for another purpose. See my bridesmaids’ kits here)

the principal sponsor kits

our principal sponsor kits

For the the males a nice long sleeved polo shirt with tie – they get to wear their own suit without having to get another suit made, for the ladies it will still be the standard fabric – only twist is that we not only gave out the fabric of our chosen color, we also gave them lace. As an added bonus, we also gave out details regarding the wedding along with our love story. How is that for being organized? hahahaha!

inside the box of the female sponsor's kit

inside the box of the female sponsor’s kit

We also traded the misua for most of the couples; it was replaced with us inviting the couple out to eat, like a double date. In the process getting to know them better and getting comfortable with them. Although we have 2 chosen sponsor couples are really traditionalist, we gave them the staple fare: pork leg, fruit, sweets and misua.

So far, the result of our rebellion has been positive. 

The males are happy that they get to save money by wearing what they have/or their favorite suit and getting a nice polo + tie to boot. The ladies are excited to get another gown made without scrimping on the budget this time! (The ladies have no competition as the males will not have to get another suit made thus nothing to worry about!) Three couples even called us up to say that we were very thoughtful for giving them a hassle free solution to preparing their attire for the wedding. Practicality wins again! 

 

*as of the moment all our kits are sent out save for one.


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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.


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bloody hell of a gown: a horror story

Since it’s only now that I have the time, I looked and admired what the stars wore to the golden globes. Below are the looks that I loved.

photos from the internet

photos from the internet

Amy Adams in a silk baby blue gown (left), Greer Grammer in a blush dress with gold floral beading (center), Naomi Watts in her strapless lemon yellow gown with an eye-popping necklace (right). The yellow hue really caught my eye. (I hate it really. It made me want another gown for prenup pictorial!) Speaking of pre-nup gown. I have to share the story of the red gown I had made (to order at Divisoria) was a huge headache. (see the peg of my red gown here)

looking good from a far

so this is my actual red gown looking good from a distance

Got it made and fitted around the middle of November to be picked up Dec 13 to be used for a friends’ Dec 21 wedding (Got to maximize the gown! I plan to wear it at least twice). However I dropped by the mananahi on Dec 6 (to look at the progress of the gown and a fitting if possible) and horror of horrors. My red gown is apparently blue, with wrong beading design and wrong bead color. It looks nowhere like the gown I wanted made. (I have a suspicion that the blue one they showed me was not really mine. They just showed me that to appease me.) I demanded a refund but they would not give me back my money. Not the one to argue any further, I allowed them to give the right gown to me by Dec 20. (a day before my friend/s’ wedding) Come the Dec 20, (afternoon) they were just beading it! Imagine the shock/anger as I already paid for it a long time ago and still got nothing to show for it. I got my gown just before the mananahi closed the shop. Checked it in a rush it was color Red, with gold beading. As soon as I got home, I tried it on.  It was very ill fitting!

pardon my peeking undergarment

pardon my peeking undergarment

It was a mess. I have to hold (by that I mean clamping it with my hands on the side, and literally holding it) the gown so that it wont slide off my body, the top area was too loose that looks like it was trying to make the boob area bigger. The mesh detail was off by a huge margin. The waist is also loose. It doesn’t make sense to me as they have my measurements as early as mid November! It was infuriating.  Early next day I hurriedly rushed to the mananahi to get my red gown altered so I can wear the said gown to the friend/s’ wedding. The mananahi is nowhere to be found. In place of her, is a young lass presumably her family (?) who does not know anything about my predicament. So, I explained that I need the gown altered right now. So the lass began frantically phoning the mananahi and took my measurements again, lastly assured me that the gown will be ready after lunch. She then closed their shop and rushed off. Around 2:00pm I returned to their shop. It was still closed. I have to go (without my gown). To catch my friend/s’ wedding. I just wore whatever I found in my closet.

altered but still not ok

altered but still not ok

At around half past five, I got a call from the mananahi asking me why I did not get my gown yet? To which I replied: I was told that it would be ready after lunch, but it is already late in the afternoon.  It will be of no use to me now as it is too late. I will ask someone to pick up the gown tomorrow morning. Wasted effort. I trusted that they will deliver. I did not get to use the gown on my friend/s’ wedding. I am now looking for another mananahi for the remaining gowns that I need. To be fair the red gown that mananahi made is good/average. It is their unprofessional service that ruins them. My altered gown is still not ok. The mesh part of the gown is skewed and because of the amount of beading in the mesh, nothing can be done to alter it. Altering it would mean ripping off the whole mesh area with beads and get the one to repair it to create a new mesh and bead the mesh again. Labor intensive and another expenditure. I was avoiding the expenditure in the first place! max fail. 

so many beads on the wrong mesh

so many beads on the skewed mesh

This is the mananahi/who did my bloody hell of a gown.

learn from my experience, this mananahi is one to avoid.

learn from my experience, this mananahi is one to avoid.

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience with the product. This is not a sponsored post, I paid for this (from) my own pocket. 


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apologetic rebellion

Chinese couples usually go through a “Tinghun” engagement ceremony. Our parents had that, some of my cousins had that…however, Kei and I sort of side-tracked. We have gone the western way, (That is a proposal then the upcoming wedding.) than the traditional (Chinese) way (that is engagement then wedding).

Thing is a traditional “Tinghun” means a lot of money. Why? The groom (and his family) invites their close relatives as well as relatives of the bride for a tea ceremony. Prepares loads of clothes, shoes, watch and sets of jewelry, cakes, fruits/candy to give to the relatives, who attended the betrothal. All the expenses are shouldered by the groom. In return the bride’s family gives a watch and a necklace to the groom. Kei and I decided to skip it. Instead use the money for the wedding. A wedding is a major expense!

various

One of my aunts sort of had some issues with it. That another aunt has to step in and explain to the other aunt. Practicality trumps tradition.

So, now that I am looking for prenup (photo) stuff, other than the gowns, I sort of wanted to get myself a red dress (modern take), or a cheongsam/qipao (traditional look). I think it would look good with the venue we had in mind. Also it would be nice to pay homage to our Chinese roots. Kei’s family originated from Hong Kong, mine came from China.

I am going for something like gangster quad or in the mood for love kind of vibe but with a modern take.

these are my inspiration, movie posters from the internet

these are the “mood” inspiration, movie posters from the internet

And here are my inspiration for the dresses, my pegs:

i like them both....

I like them both…help me pick one!

What do you guys think? Should I go with modern or traditional?