Tag Archives: wedding dress

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.

IMG_1500

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:

dress fitting 2

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:

dress fitting 2_transformation

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.

IMG_1643

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:

IMG_1583

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:

dress fitting 3_transformation

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!

IMG_1602

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:

IMG_1621

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:

corset back

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:

IMG_1611

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:

accessories

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

IMG_1626

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?

Advertisements

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!

Shopping with the Girls, Part 1: The bridesmaids try on dresses and we eat slippery noodles.

26 Nov

Hello all you lovely people out there!

Before I continue on with this post, let me first start by saying that, Mr Big, you are the love of my life, but…

you shall not pass

Image via AllPosters.com.

Now, where were we!

In my last post, I mentioned that the sort of dress I found myself drawn to flowed from the bodice and draped beautifully to the ground. For those who need a refresher (or just like dress porn!), these were the dresses which I loved:

flowy_dresses

(1) Annie, by Etsy shop Red Doll; (2) Daphne, by Shop Ruche; (3) Katie, by Bride’s Desire, Wendy Sullivan; and (4) Olivia Wilde in Reem Acra / Image via Elizabeth Ashleigh.

Though I ultimately decided that I wanted to get my gown custom made, I wanted to, at the very least, go on a shopping trip with my girls. The shopping trip was mainly to see what kinds of dresses would look fab on my girls.

You see, my girls are all different sizes and shapes, so I wanted to make sure I chose something that would suit all of them. They also had their own criteria: no strapless dresses. Fair enough. If I don’t want to be pulling up my dress all night, they sure as heck wouldn’t either!

With that, we went shopping on a glorious Spring weekend. It lasted basically all day and we visited three bridal stores. Unfortunately, when I went shopping, we didn’t take many pictures, but I will put up the pictures we did take!

Our first stop was a local bridal store, True Love Couture in Cabramatta. I’ve been in there with Mama Bighorn before, but we didn’t get to try on dresses. This time, however, we were up for some dress-shopping! And let me tell you, hive, their dresses are phenomenal.

true love couture bridal shoot

A styled shoot by Fifteen Photography with a dress from True Love Couture. / Image via Style Me Pretty.

True Love Couture basically makes, well, couture dresses. So if a bride wanted a gown that she could customise they could go there. The prices are reasonable too! In Australia, a couture gown would go for something like $AU10,000, but at True Love Couture, you can get a relatively unique dress for $AU2000.

During our appointment there, some of my bridesmaids were late but I wasn’t at all fussed by it – parking at Cabramatta is difficult at the best of times! Plus, our attendant was fantastic and patient and made an effort to accommodate for us.

While we waited, I checked out the dresses and discussed some options with both MoH M&Ms and Groom’s Homie Oddball*. Oddball didn’t have much in the way of preferences, but M&Ms seemed to want something that hid her shoulders. When the other girls finally got there, with Friend N in tow(!), I asked if they could pick out dresses they liked.

At the same time, Friend N dragged me about True Love Couture and requested I pick out some dresses that I like. I agreed, because heck why not, and went around picking and choosing dresses which looked stunning on the mannequins. I only really found two dresses that suited my flowy, hugging-bodice, slightly-blingy and lacy criteria.

Before my girls tried on their dresses, they wanted me to try on some. And I obliged!

Again, I have no pictures in any of these dresses (sad!).

The first dress was ok, but it needed a crinoline and it was poofy. I stand at approximately 150cm (5’0”) and big, ballgown dresses look like they’re swallowing me. So, I gave that one a pass.

The second dress was more like the Katie (third picture in the line-up above), so it was more the style of dress I had tried on at the bridal store mentioned in the previous post. It cinched in my waist and gave me a sleek hourglass figure. However, the fabric was heavy; as in, it hung-off-me-like-limp-seaweed sort-of heavy. I got a few ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ but it wasn’t really working for me.

The attendant then suggested that I try on a particular dress which she described as “lighter” and wasn’t currently on display. She disappeared as I got out of the last dress and re-appeared with a gorgeous frock. There was delicate lace on the bodice with beading woven between it and the straps (yes, straps!) were lace as well. At the waist it then flowed out in gorgeous soft chiffon.

I was instantly enraptured.

The attendant then placed the dress on me but unfortunately, it was a tad small. I’m not the typical “bridal size” (and I was a lot heavier back then), so the attendant then went out to the back and fetched a similar dress being tailored for another client of theirs. She slipped the dress on me, and though it only had the lace in patches and wasn’t completed yet, it.looked.stunning.

I walked out to a collective gasp from Friend N, and BMs Cupcakes, Superhero, and Proper. I knew this was the dress I wanted.

Alas, it wasn’t within my budget. I got some information about the dress, but decided to give the floor to my girls.

By the time I was done trying on dresses, it was about an hour into our appointment and other appointment-ees were flooding in. The dress shop was a buzz of activity. However, I requested if my bridesmaids would be able to try on some dresses, and despite the fact that the shop was super busy, our attendant was able to accommodate us. With that said, my bridesmaids chose dresses which they liked and tried them on.

IMG_0995

MoH M&Ms, BM Cupcakes, BM Superhero, and BM Proper wearing lovely chiffon dresses.

IMG_0997

Groom’s Homie Oddball! I tried to get her to stand straight, but she’s incredibly awkward (and adorable).

The dresses looked splendid on all of them. I really wanted to buy these. Unfortunately, I’ll be buying my bridesmaids their dresses, and they were much too much out of my price range. But it did give me an idea regarding the sorts of dresses they’d look good in, especially for an Australian summer wedding.

Once my bridesmaids redressed, we bid the attendant adieu and went to lunch. And what was for lunch, dear hive?

It was pho.

But what is pho? Well, it’s basically a soup with noodles and your choice of meat. I usually go for the raw thinly-sliced beef, which when dunked in the hot soup provided with the meal, is cooked through.

pho

Pho with thinly-sliced beef and rice noodles. Image via Wikipedia.

It’s a Vietnamese dish, and I seriously recommend it! It’s also not too awful for you and extraordinarily filling!

We all ate pho that day and it was BM Proper’s first time eating it, which was hilarious to watch. She’s not a chopstick-user, so she was struggling to eat her lunch with a fork and spoon spaghetti-style. We’ve tried to teach her the art of chopsticks but she’s since given up. She ended up trying to twirl the rice noodles on her fork which – if anyone’s ever eaten pho – is hard to do because the noodles are just so slippery!

It was amusing to watch and a good meal too!

After lunch we then all clambered into our cars and drove to our next destination: Sweethearts Bridal Boutique.

Did anyone else find a dress they loved but was out of your price range? Did anyone else combine bridesmaids dress-shopping with wedding dress-shopping? Who here’s tried pho?

* “Groom’s Homie” Oddball is actually my junior bridesmaid. However, she and Mr Big have a super close connection where they call each other ‘homies’. Hence, she’s the honorary “Groom’s Homie”!

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:

Annie_Red Doll

Annie, by Etsy shop Red Doll.

daphne_wedding dress

Daphne, by the wonderful Shop Ruche.

olivia wilde_reem acra

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.