Tag Archives: mandy heng

Takin’ Love by the Horns: Puttin’ on the Dress

27 Jun

The girls were ready, the guys were ready, so what now?

Well, hive, this:

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Ladies and gents, meet “Radiant”.

Was going onto this:

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I look strangely unimpressed.

At this point all the girls had seen my dress in the making, but this was the first time they’d see it in all of its glorious glory. Because my photographers and videographers didn’t want me stripping down to my underwear in the living room they asked me to don my underwear in another room, pull the dress on over my underwear, and then walk out. They would then film and photograph me getting all laced up.

I loved this plan, so off I went, with my girls and Radiant in tow, to the bedroom I had been staying at that night. During this time, I forgot where I had put my Spanx and as the girls went looking, I carefully untied my kimono. It was at that point that something hilarious happened.

Now, back story. I share what one would call a special relationship with BM Cupcakes. We’ve known each other since Primary School, and up until recently, she was convinced I was out to “get” her purely because I remember silly little things that happened to her in Primary School. I assured her this wasn’t the case, but that BM Cupcakes is simply “memorable”. She and I are also the more ‘bustier’ girls of the group.

So as I removed my kimono, revealing my bra, BM Cupcakes leapt at my boobs and cupped them.

Yes guys. She leapt at my boobs.

After a brief pause, to which she stood back and gave me my Spanx, the only thing I could think was: “Why’d you do that for?”

Her reply: “It was the only chance I’d ever have of doing that.”

I love you BM Cupcakes.

After the boob-grabbing incident, I then proceeded to pull the dress over me and step back out into the living room, the train gently trailing behind me. Even though I wasn’t done up yet, I felt fabulous. As I positioned myself for optimum photo-taking, my girls did me up.

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BM Superhero, having learnt from Mandy how to do up my dress, assisted Mama Bighorn in lacing up my dress.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of pictures of me getting into the dress (but heaps on video). So I’ll leave you with a picture of me in the dress!

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I’d put more up, but I’d be spoiling you guys! (And trust me, there will be LOTS more to come.)

Up next, Mr Big is blindfolded and cuts a red ribbon.

[All photos by Studio Something.]

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A Layer of Tulle

17 Feb

Hi hive! In my last post, I recounted the different options available for veils. So with so much to know and to think about, what did I end up choosing?

As I researched my options, I drew some conclusions:

  • I preferred raw, beaded, or lace edgings – beaded and lace were pretty, but expensive, so I was leaning more toward raw.
  • I looooved a long veil, but the train on my dress was already very long, so that meant an elbow-length veil would work best for me. Elbow lengths fall down in a way that don’t make me look short on my already-petite frame but still gave that flowing look I fancied. Also, elbow lengths were significantly cheaper.
  • I preferred a veil that didn’t go over my face, like the single-tier. Mr Big didn’t like the idea of having my face covered during the ceremony (“But then I can’t really see you face!” – he’s so cute <3) and the one time I was made to wear a two-tier veil, it kept brushing up against parts of my face and itching. Blugh.
  • If I absolutely, categorically had to wear the veil over my face, I preferred either the circular/cascading or square styles because, more-than-one-tier-veils = poufy.

And so, with these criteria, I searched around for some veils that caught my fancy. I remember coming across this and gasping audibly:

alisa brides veil

Perfection. / Veil and image from Alisa Brides.

It had everything I wanted in a veil: raw edge, lace appliques, single-tier, and elbow-length. However, I just wasn’t comfortable with the price. Alisa does beautiful veils, has great customer service, and will go out of her way to make any bride happy, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger. And so I kept searching.

I then came across this beauty:

juliet cap_sibo designs

Veil and image from Sibo Designs.

Again, this had everything I wanted. But again, the price was just much too high.

So what’s a girl to do? Well, this girl turned to Mandy.

When I suggested the veil idea to Mandy, we brainstormed. Initially, she was going to make me a Grace Kelly-esque veil – a drop veil with lace trim – but then she came across this:

veil

Veil and image taken from Lilli Marcs.

Upon seeing this beauty, and knowing my dress as well as she does, she sent me a message, stating that it would suit my dress. I was smitten. It had the lace, the drape, and the simplicity of the raw edge. And most of all, it wouldn’t be going over my face. After my dress got underway, Mandy then helped me design my veil:

veil_preparing the lace

Preparing the lace on my veil. Wow, ignore the creeper expression in that third photo guys… / Images taken by BM Cupcakes.

During the third fitting, Mandy draped lace over my head, measured, trimmed and overlaid the lace. After asking me a few questions, she told me that it’d be prepared for the next time I came in.

When I came in next, Mandy placed the veil on me.

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Close up of the lace on my veil and my veil from behind. / Photos via BM Superhero.

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“Don’t mind me… just admiring myself in the mirror.” / Photo via BM Superhero.

I remember twirling around in it and just being an overall dillweed. It was safe to say that I absolutely loved my veil. In the end, I was so happy that Mama Bighorn convinced me to have a veil at the wedding. She was a little bit peeved that I wasn’t having a blusher at first, but on the day, she was so full of joy (much like I was).

And fact? I’m still in love with my veil.

Who else got talked into using something which they were initially against? Who ended up loving it to bits, and bits, and bits?

 

Evolution of The Dress: The Obligatory Dress Post

5 Feb

First off guys, I’m sorry for my week-long absence. I’m still waiting for my pro photos to come back, but I’ve been seeing guest photos coming out in the past week (and it’s getting me all nostalgic, aww). Anyway, I can’t promise to write as “regularly” as I normally would, simply because I haven’t got an awful lot of wedding-related things talk about (unless of course you want me to just gush on about my husband – hus-band – I like that word). But I’ll endeavour to write when I can!

So, moving on from all that.

Hi Hive! I recall writing to you about my search for a dress and my ultimate decision to go with a dress designer who creates dresses from scratch.

Well, here it is: The Quintessential Dress Post.

Mr Big has already seen her so Lilu will let him pass:

Fifth Element Multipass

Image via DailyPop.In.

Because my dress was constructed from scratch, she obviously didn’t have a name. However, on the day, the most common word I got from guests was ‘radiant’. And henceforth, she shall be called Radiant.

Radiant first came to me after that eventful day shopping in Cabramatta’s True Love Couture. I wanted a flowing dress, lace, some bling but not too much, but most of all, I wanted to feel like a stunner (I mean, who doesn’t want to feel like a million bucks on their wedding day?).

When I saw Mandy again, we designed Radiant on a piece of paper, talked about what I wanted, what would look nice, and what would, and sadly wouldn’t, work. By the time we had her all drawn out, Mandy asked whether we should get started sooner rather than later. Because I was in the process of shedding kilos, I told her later would be better, so the construction of the dress didn’t get underway until September.

To be honest guys, I yo-yo’ed many times on her design: did the bodice work? What about the sleeves? Could I dance in her? Would I overheat? What about the train, is it too long? What if people hate her? What if I hate her? WHAT IF MR BIG HATES HER?

Mandy (bless her) put up with my paranoia and was able to guide me the.entire.way through the process. Now before I continue…

Soap box time: If you have doubts about your dress choice (dress regret, two words a bride hates), don’t let them fester. I let my opinions be known to Mandy (politely, of course) and she was able to either talk me down or help me improve the design. I know not every bride can get their dress designed from scratch, but even a store bought dress can be altered to suit your needs if you but request for those changes. Heck, I found most of my anxiety was unfounded. All I needed was to just talk about it. 🙂 So for those suffering the dreaded dress regret, keep your chin up!

Getting back on track: after losing about 10 or so kilograms, I went in for my first fitting in about September.

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I know guys. I know. I look odd. / Photo taken by Mandy.

As you can see, it doesn’t really look like much. This was the basic construction, but even then, I felt pretty darn good about myself. I went back home and sent these super secretive photos off to my bridesmaids and was met with positive responses. My bridesmaids were eager to come along during the next fitting.

The next time I came to Mandy was about early December and I was met with this:

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Sleeves – Check; Lace – Check! Also, I’m slouching horribly. / Photos taken by Usher/Friend Bee.

During this fitting, Mandy added things as I stood in front of the mirror. I literally saw the dress transform as she worked. It was amazing:

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Lace on sleeves and bodice – Check! Skeleton of corset back – Check! (Sorry about the icky skin guys…) / Photos by Usher/Friend Bee.

My friend, Bee, took photos as we went, including close-ups of Mandy’s work.

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My friend, Bee, taking this photo. She’s awesome like that! Also in this picture from left to right, me, BM Proper, MoH M&Ms, and BM Superhero. If you’re reading this BM Superhero, HI! / Photo taken by Friend/Usher Bee.

She and all the other bridesmaids fawned over my dress for a good hour. I have honestly never felt prettier in my life (well, except for when I got married, hahaha!). When Mandy was satisfied with what she had done, we made another appointment and then parted ways.

Next time I saw her was in late December, about three weeks before the wedding. I was getting pretty darn nervous at this point – would the dress get done on time? My nerves were calmed when I saw what Radiant looked like now:

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Photo by BM Cupcakes. Friend Bee couldn’t make this trip unfortunately. And can you spot the designer in the background?

My nerves then gave way to excitement as, again, Mandy added more and more to her design as my bridesmaids and myself watched on:

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In these photos: more detail to the bodice and sleeves; and peppering of lace flowers on the skirt (I know, it’s hard to see, sorry guys). / Photo by BM Cupcakes.

It’s odd being the ‘mannequin’ from whom the designer works on, especially as I’m not exactly “model size”, but it was fun. Although apparently half the time I was either very rigid-backed or slouching like a mofo because I didn’t want to get in Mandy’s way.

After she was satisfied with her work for that session, we made the fourth and final appointment, but not before getting a group photo!

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From left to right: BM Superhero, Mama Bighorn, myself, MoH M&Ms, BM Cupcakes (in red), and BM Proper. / Photo taken by Mandy.

I’d be picking up Radiant in about a week!

When the day came, unfortunately, Mandy had a rush order from a bride. We postponed to the next day, and double unfortunately for me, most of my bridesmaids couldn’t make it. Luckily, BM Superhero was there to save the day! (As usual.)

When BM Superhero and I got to Mandy, she looked pretty damn tired. And yet she still managed to get this beauty ready for me:

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Yes, that is a posed shot. And yes, she also made my veil, but that’s for a different post! / Photo via BM Superhero.

From the back, the dress was a real stunner:

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I loooooove this part of my dress the most. / Photo via BM Superhero.

Mandy also did a simply bustle, which you can kind of see when you look at the close up of the corset back. It was a one-point over bustle, according to Miss Filly (thanks for posting that Miss F!).

During the fitting, I also hammed it up for the camera:

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Showing off mah bling! / Photo via BM Superhero.

And we got some close-up shots of some of my accessories to make sure it all fit together:

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After thanking Mandy profusely for her tireless work, hugging her, and getting a picture with BM Superhero:

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We parted ways for the final time, lugging Radiant back home. Mr Big, who was on a business trip in Melbourne at the time, wasn’t around to see her coming back home (thankfully!).

And so, with that, I had a dress!

Who else got nervous about their dress? Anyone else suffer the dreaded dress regret? How did you get past it?

Who has two thumbs and just got fitted for her wedding dress?

22 Jun

THIS GIRL!

And before I launch into a wedding-dress-related rant…

MR GP – AVERT YOUR EYES!!!

You must not gaze upon this post!

Okay!

So on June 18, I finally went to see the incredible Mandy Heng and got fitted for the bodice on my dress! I was super excited getting this done and she was impressed – apparently I’ve lost a VISIBLE amount of weight. I intend to keep going with the weight loss, so I’m a little paranoid the dress will have to be majorly altered, but fingers crossed it’ll all work out!

We also went through other key things about my dress design.

Mandy’ll be making my veil from scratch using fabrics she owns. It’ll have a lace border on the fringe which sits on top of my head and drape down, longer than my train. The cost isn’t excessive (not cheap either, but hey – you win some, you lose some). My ma is wholeheartedly agreeing with the whole idea, so that’s a plus right there I guess!

We’re shopping for laces next Wednesday. The lace is an additional cost to the dress, but I expected this. Laces can be a pretty addition to the dress, but they’re certainly not cheap. I don’t need a lot of lace on my dress, so I’m pretty happy with this arrangement. 🙂

And finally, she saw my shoes and measured ’em. This’ll give her a good idea on how long the skirt will need to be. I also wore shapers, so hopefully I lose so much weight I won’t need the body shaper and I’ll just fit into my dress naturally (since I’m still in the weight loss journey).

Now, talking about the weight loss journey…

GP, you can come back now ❤

GP has recently come into a position where he now needs to work in the city on a project. This means that, instead of going to the gym at 2PM and then coming back home and having a protein shake, we need to wake up at 5AM.

In the words of Junior BM Qin: CRY

I’m NOT a morning person, and I certainly am not a morning person in winter! I struggle to get up at 9AM, but 5AM! SOB! In the first week we managed 2 out of 5 days because the other three we struggled to get up.

We’ll certainly try harder this week, but I hope this doesn’t affect our weight loss 😦

Wish us luck people!

Veiled and other little things…

17 Feb

Hello all!

First and foremost, the thing which GP dislikes seeing in this blog:

GP, there will be talk of the dress, the veil, and some other accessories. Please do not read this post!!

I love you! ❤

 

Is he gone? Okay… now, onto the matter at hand…

I’ve talked to my dressmaker – Mandy – and we’ve officially chosen a month where the dress will commence becoming a sketch on a piece of paper to a full-fledged article of clothing. That month is April – as for day, we haven’t figured that out. We’re both still trying to work out bits and bobs on the dress, like the fact that we want to do something with the skirt for a potential dance we have in mind. GP gave me a wonderful idea, and I’ll have to address that with Mandy when I get the chance. I’ll also have to buy a petticoat, but I know where I can get one for relatively cheap (and it’s not a hoop petticoat as well – I wore one, I didn’t like it…).

Mandy has also stated that she’s happy to help me with my veil. She’s sent me a picture of a veil which she believes will work with the intricacies of the dress, and I must say – I LIKE. I’d put a picture up but… I’m a little bit worried that it’ll pop up when GP decides to click on the link… so if you guys are interested (and I know those on FB read this), shoot me a message and I’ll send you a picture 🙂

The veil will have a comb attached, so that means I don’t need to buy a brooch (or really, tell my friends that they need to rethink my 25th birthday idea…).

Needless to say, I’m uber excited about the whole thing and can’t WAIT to get this underway. I still need to lose a LOT of weight before I’m happy with where I am, but Grant and I are now going forward with our plans and hoping that nothing will interrupt (like a lot of things did last year…). I’ve been drinking so much water that I’m now sick of water… like seriously, SICK of water… but I know it’s good for me, so I’m forcing myself to do it.

As for the other little things, I’m musing what else to do to – as they say – “complete the look”. My “something borrowed” will be earrings and a necklace from my mum. I also want to wear a beautiful Swarovski bracelet I got from my fiance on our first anniversary. All these pieces of jewellery have red on them, so it’ll suit with the red lacing/ribbon that’ll be weaved through the corset. I haven’t really considered hair accessories – as I’ll be wearing a veil and have my hair in an up-down-hairdo – but I don’t think I’ll be wearing my veil ALL day. During the reception, I want to change out of the veil and into something else, but I’m not entirely sure what.

I’ve found two potential websites to look at: www.shopruche.com (which I’ve been stalking forever but haven’t personally bought anything from there – although my bridesmaids and GREATEST FRIEND IN THE WORLD A bought me a super cute bag there) and www.sugarblossom.com.au. They both have inexpensive bridal accessories.

I’m super excited now that everything seems so close to fruition. 🙂 Wish us luck guys!

The Obligatory Dress Post

11 Nov

Hi hive!

I’ve basically yammered on about the venue, traditions, and The Bighorn couple (I’m really not that vain, I swear).

Well, here’s the “obligatory dress post”.

So before we continue, I love you Mr Big, but…

you shall not pass

Image via AllPosters.com.

Now, where were we?

Oh yes, dresses!

Like all girls, when I got engaged, I started thinking about the kind of dress I wanted to wear. Unfortunately, unlike most girls, I had no idea what I liked!

I had never dreamt about, fantasised, or even thought about my engagement and consequent marriage up until Mr Big put a ring on it. I was never the ‘wear a dress’ girl, and had only really begun to wear dresses when I was with Mr Big (he made me feel more feminine, if that’s even possible!).

As such, when I decided to go looking for dresses, I was effectively overwhelmed by choice.

Empire, A-line, Princess, Mermaid, Ballgown, Trumpet, Lace Overlay, Satin, Chiffon, Floor length, Brush length, Chapel Train, Strapless, Halter-

You understand, hive, I was suffering dress overload.

I stopped looking for a little bit and started from the basics, like length. I knew I wanted it to be down to the floor. Did I want a train? Yes, a short one. How about the shape? Apparently, the A-Line was the most flattering.

Embellishments? Sure! I just don’t want it to cost an arm and a leg. How about lace? I love lace, why not!

By asking myself little questions and then researching all the things I managed to narrow down my choices. I loved lace, wanted a bit of embellishment, believed A-line would look the most flattering on me, wanted a small-ish train, and didn’t want my dress to be strapless.

So then what? Well, pictures are always nice!

I turned to Pinterest and the Internet at large.

In my search for the dress, I came across these beauties:

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Annie, by Etsy shop Red Doll.

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Daphne, by the wonderful Shop Ruche.

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Olivia Wilde in that stunning Reem Acra dress! Image via Elizabeth Ashleigh.

So it seems my fondness for loose, flowy, gorgeous dresses outweighed the thought that the A-line would be better for my more curvaceous figure. So what’s a girl to do?

Well, I went and tried on dresses!

And, didn’t get any pictures.* (Sorry guys!)

I wasn’t able to try on these dresses specifically but I did get to try on the Katie. The drop waist absolutely flattered my figure. I had hips people! And my girls were feeling fantastic! I also loved the lace overlay and the chiffon fabric! But it was much more than I was willing to pay, so I didn’t end up purchasing the dress. Plus, I wanted to shop around a little bit before dumping a whole lotta moola on a dress.

I did get the details of the nice sales consultant and Mama Bighorn, MoH M&Ms, and Groom’s Homie Oddball and I decided to head home.

As I agonised over whether or not to pull the trigger on the Katie, Mama Bighorn recommended a local dressmaker, Mandy Heng. Now Mandy is not just a dressmaker, but she’s also a family friends’ daughter. I didn’t want to feel like I was swindling money from her because of that fact though, so when I contacted her, I made no mention of that connection.

We chatted over the email, I sent her some inspiration pictures and gave her some ideas, and we set up a consultation. At the same time, I decided I wanted to try on more dresses to really make sure that what I really wanted was what I really wanted. I also wanted to know what kinds of dresses my bridesmaids would be wearing because, (a) they’re all different heights and sizes, and (b) I want them to look as beautiful as I do on the day!

So with that, my bridesmaids, myself, and Friend N planned an outing before my first initial consultation with Mandy. Next up, a day of changing dresses, eating Pho, and finding a dress that completely blew my mind.

Was anyone else drawn to different dresses that you had completely no idea you would like?

*I was about 15kgs/33lbs (perhaps more!) heavier back then, so I hated pictures of myself, especially in beautiful white dresses.

It’s been a while…

9 Aug

Hello readers!

First off, I’d like to sincerely apologise for the long absence. It’s been pretty hectic here. University started… two weeks ago (I think) and work started last week for me. Add to this the in-laws coming (this Friday!), wedding planning and the fiance going back and forth between Sydney and Adelaide, and it’s been a whirlwind. I’ve been attempting to clean up the house (and not going too bad) as well as do my university work and pre-work work stuff.

So what have I also done in terms of wedding planning/ideas? Well:

  • I got a package in the mail. Will not divulge what said package is, but I was uber excited!
  • I’ve been trying to wear my shoes in so that they’re comfortable when it comes time for me to officially wear them. The outer edges of the leather are a little pinchy but overall, they are s-h-m-i-c-k~!
  • I’ve sketched out dress ideas for both myself and my bridesmaids. I’m super excited to send these off to the wonderful Mandy Heng who I’m communicating with to make my dresses (her shop is called Mandy Heng Designs – go there, you will not be disappointed).
  • I think I may have found the song. Will update once I’ve let GP hear it out…
  • We (my family, me, GP and two of my bridesmaids) went to an expo on Sunday. It was awesome. We got ideas. I got free stuff. YAY!
  • My dad had a heart-to-heart with me regarding the wedding. I got super emotional. It was then followed by him excitedly announcing that he had ideas for bombonieres (wedding favours). It was cute. AND he gave me ideas. GENIUS.
  • I’ve been compiling a list of MUST PLAY songs for the wedding. It’s getting longer by the day.
  • MY ENGAGEMENT RING FINALLY FITS. EFF YEAH.
  • We’re FINALLY (finallyfinallyfinallyfinally) having the Sydney-based engagement party. It’s going to be small, inexpensive and intimate. BOOYEAH.
  • I’ve (finally) started (or should I say, re-started) my fitness regime. I am terribly unfit. BOO. Plus side, we’re finally starting Lite n Easy. YAY.

And that is all so far. I will update you, in detail, if/when I can. This weekend is going to be HECTIC.