Tuesday, April 20, 2010

dress shopping at House of Brides and Demetrios

Last Sunday, along with 2 other brides-to-be (Jo and Ces) and Mylene, we went dress shopping. Jo is really nice to schedule all three of us for an appointment. It had been my first time to visit a bridal salon and browse  rows and rows of wedding dress.

I arrived at House of Brides at around 1:20PM, the girls at the reception asked if I have a schedule. After giving my name and confirming my schedule. I registered to their system. I was introduced to the consultant, her name is Metti. She basically explained how the dresses are arranged, she asked me if I was looking for a particular for a dress. I actually did come prepared, I've visited their website and listed all the dresses that I found pretty. My basic rule is, no satin. I want the dress to have beadings and sparkles, for it to be a satin dress feels like an overkill for me.

Since it was my first time to try on dresses, I still don't know which silhouette best works for me. So what I did, I chose a ballgown, an a-line dress and a trumpet/mermaid. I tried on the mermaid first, I actually liked it, it hugs all the curves, and since I do have a butt, I think it worked. However, I wasn't comfortable with it. The zipper broken and my undies is hanging out! Next dress please!!! The next one was a ballgown, it is a pretty dress specially on the upper/bust area. The appliques are real pretty, however I feel like the dress has swallowed me whole. It's too heavy and I'm sure that I won't be able to mingle and have fun wearing that dress come wedding day. Then came the A-line dress. From all three silhouettes, I think this one works best since it still has the fullness that I wanted and at the same time, it doesn't overpower me. The second A-line dress is actually very very pretty, it has sheer straps and I remember gowns created by Veluz when I wore it. From all dresses, it's the one I liked best.

The following are the dresses that I've tried on at House of Brides:

The mermaid. Not the exact dress but it's really close to the one I've tried. (Alfred Angelo)
The ballgown. If you look closely, you can see that the bust area is real pretty but the dress was just too bulky and heavy for me. (Mori Lee)
The A-line dress. It's very flattering, it also has a very pretty top. (Impression)
Now this is the dress that I liked best from the ones I've tried on! It's very very pretty and from their comments (it flatters me most) I love the sheer strap! (Mon Cheri)
Brides by Demetrios

We then went to our 3PM appointment at Demetrios. The appointments are originally for Jo and Ces, but Ces gave me her slot, since she have been to Demetrios before. My consultant's name is Jackie and she's really nice. She explained how the dresses are arranged, where the sales are. She further asked me how much I'm willing to shell out for the dress, any type of fabric I don't like to wear and if I have tried gown shopping before. I told her, I don't want silk. I love chiffon, tulle, net and organza, willing to try taffeta. The dresses that she chose for me are more on the fitted side. She said that the cut would best flatter me and make me look taller. I figured, she knows best so I let her choose. And oh boy, she did not disappoint! She definitely knows about the dresses. They are very unassuming at first, some I won't even pick out from the rack but as soon as I tried it on, they are gorgeous! Here are some of the dresses that I tried on:

Dress #1 (Super pretty details at the bust area and the pleats on the bottom are so nice, give the dress more oomph!)
Dress #2 (Same as the first one, have a fitted silhouette. I didn't think that it would be pretty, but it really is!)
I totally forgot what Dress#3 looks like, so let's continue. This is Dress#4 and I picked this one! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this dress. I seriously felt like a movie star when I was wearing it. :)
Dress #5 looks a lot like this, I''m not sure if this is the exact one, but it pretty much looks like it. :) The first A-line dress I've tried from their store.
Dress #6. A taffeta dress, the one I tried on was Platinum in color (faintest of gray) and I think I liked it better as a platinum. Also pretty, the cut and the way it falls is very flattering, I just don't like shiny fabric.
Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of me trying on clothes. They are pretty strict about that. One can only take photos after paying for the dress. I guess all bridal salons have that same rule.  I found some photos on what the shop (Demetrios) looked like when you enter.

Overall, it was a SUPER FUN experience. It's always a pleasure to play dress-up specially when the options are so many. What I really appreciate is that the consultants (from both salons) never push us to purchase anything. I guess they have been with countless of brides before, to know that we come back numerous times and play dress-up before finding THE DRESS!

We are again scheduled for another dress shopping on May 1st and I cannot wait. We'll be visiting Eva's Bridal in Orland Park and I'm excited since they carry Maggie Sotero dresses! Wee!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


For the past two weeks, I've been busy with our DIY projects. I first learned to create our monograms using MS Powerpoint with this tutorial, and I decided it's best to tackle this project using Adobe Photoshop. After a few designs, hours of trial and error, I have made a few decent ones. Brianna's blog was so helpful and I think she's really creative and cool for sharing it to the world.

While I was doing the project, I wonder if we'll be using our nicknames or it should be our full names. Decided to just create both and them I'll decide.

Monograms - Nicknames


Monograms - Full Names

Comments and suggestions are more than welcome! Let me know what you think! :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

wedding updates

According to The Knot.com reminder, we have 421 days before the wedding. Yup, that's only 421 days before June 11, 2011. So what have we accomplished so far? We'll we have the major suppliers already booked! Yey for us! And they are as follows:

The Church. I think I've blogged before that the church was the first one that we have booked. We'll be having the wedding ceremony at the Transfiguration Chapel in Caleruega. We got the 3pm slot, which I think is the ideal time for a wedding. The wedding party gets to prepare without waking up too early, and the guest can enjoy the reception dinner even until 9-10pm and still have plenty of time to head home.

The Reception Venue. After countless hours of research and even making a list of the possible reception venues, we finally have a venue! It's the Moon Garden. I admit, I do have my reservations about the place at first since (1) it's far from the church. Moon Garden is situated near the Tagaytay Rotonda. (2) The place have a tendency to scatter the guests since it's not one huge hall. However, after my family did an ocular visit on the place, they said that it's the perfect place. It's just right to accommodate our 150 guests.

The Caterer. I've been dead set on getting K by Cunanan since the very beginning. I admit, I did check other caterers' package but K stood out from the rest. I must admit that the food and style totally won me. Our AE, Lace was also very nice and accommodating. I guess she's used to brides being makulit. :)

The Photographer. Topher is particularly picky with the photos. He likes lively and crisp photos. When we saw Mimi+Karl's website, he immediately liked it. However, it's way too pricey. I considered getting their just services, but we still find it expensive. It was then that we learned about Redsheep. Although they are still fairly new to the business, all I've read are great feebacks about them. And true enough, they are really easy to deal with. I initially inquire to get both their photo and video services, however, Guj informed me that if we get the them as photo and video, he'll be handling the video and Puy would be the main photograher. I had no issues with that, it's just too bad that Guj will be visiting here in US by June 2011. He was kind and honest enough to inform me immediately so that I can find other options. With this, we are officially a Redsheep RAW couple.

The Videographer. This one is still not booked. I know, i know, but it's been hard to find one that is good and won't charge atrociously. SDE (Same Day Edit) are all the rage right now, and I figured, what the hell, we want one too! We've already have a short-list of the suppliers which we are looking into (read: video, oh video) when we learned about NextGen through w@w. I've inquired about their services and they all seemed really nice. I've heard nothing but good reviews regarding their services and we love their SDEs as well. I'm just waiting for their reply and this one may be it!

The Wedding Gown. Before I was thinking of having the dress done back home, then I realized, why should I not grab the chance to try on gowns first and then decide if I really want to have it done in Manila. Right? I have the option  to buy the dress straight from the bridal salons if I've chosen otherwise. I know I'm lucky that I have the option to choose, most brides in back home, they use these gowns as inspirations and I get to see and try on the real thing. Anyway, I'm schedule to go for a wedding shopping trip this Sunday and I'll be telling everything about it after!

As per the checklist that I have and from the tips that I've read from wedding forums, these are the major things that we should accomplish asap. I'm happy that we are making progress 421 days before the wedding! Yay!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

chicago bridal expo

Attending bridal expos is one of those "task" that every bride welcomes. It's the best place to search for suppliers that would fit the budget and theme that the bride envisions. There had been 3 bridal expos that was held in Manila since I started planning our wedding and sad to say, I had to ask my sister to check the expo for me. Booking suppliers at those events is usually economical, not only you can see their work for yourselves, they usually give freebies on top of the package that they offer. Had things been different, and we are home in Manila, I'm sure we'll be attending each and every one of them.

On the bright side, I scored some free tickets for the Bridal Expo here in Chicago. I got them free just by signing-up in TheKnot.com and then the tickets came after a few days. Isn't that neat!? :) I asked Lei and Joni to attend the expo with me, however only Lei was available that weekend since Joni had a continuing ed that she needed to attend to.

We seriously had fun at the expo, there were many exhibitors but I'm mainly interested with gowns and invitations. Seeing the gowns up close is a lot different that seeing them on a magazine spread. You get see how they feel, how they look up close and how the dress falls. The highlight of the expo was the fashion show that showcases the latest trends and gowns in the wedding industry. There are many gowns that catches my fancy but I know they're way too expensive. Then there are these 2 dresses that I can't stop thinking about. They are just phenomenal at the runway, it does help that the model wearing them was gorgeous and skinny. Haha.
from Justin Alexander
from Stephen Yearick
*all photos are from Bridal Expo (except for the tickets, I took that one myself). We did brought cameras, however we were too wrapped up with the events to take any photos!

Friday, April 09, 2010

dress shopping 101

The wedding dress is a big factor in a girl's wedding. Back in Manila, when a bride is preparing for her wedding, she usually starts by browsing at wedding sites and magazines for the gown inspiration. She then search for a couturier which fits the budget and her style. An appointment is set with the couturier, they exchange ideas on how she want to look on her BIG day, then the couturier starts sketching. They make some changes, consult with the bride and the start creating the dress. There are more or less 2-3 fittings before the final dress is made.

Here in the US, there are several options on how and where to buy the wedding dress. I got this article from BRIDES magazine, July-August 2009 issue and thought it can help someone as it did help me.

Full Service Salons
Pros. The classic place to find the perfect frock, a full service salon offers a comprehensive experience that includes a consultation to determine what styles you like, a bridal pro choosing gowns for you to try, and at least two fittings. Bonus: All alterations are done in-house. Your dress will arrive on time, in pristine condition and fits perfectly. Be sure to call ahead, since most salons take customers by appointment only.
Cons. Dresses come in sample sizes; you may have to judge how a gown looks on you without seeing it zipped in back. And you'll wait several months for delivery.
Keep in Mind. Shopping for your wedding dress at a salon and having it fitted to your body is a magical experience, so if you can, embrace the VIP treatment
My Take. There is a show in TLC, "Say Yes To The Dress" wherein they show what happens inside Kleinfeld, a prestigious bridal salon in NYC. It shows viewers the bridal pros and the brides and how they search for the one perfect dress. It's a fun and informative show, letting on inside the world of wedding madness.

Mass Market RetailerPros. These bridal emporiums (including national chains like David's Bridal) have all sizes, styles and price point below $1, 200 hanging from their racks. No appointment necessary, and you won't have to wait for delivery - you can walk in and walk out with your dream dress the same day. Most have alteration departments.
Cons. Brides who are in the market for a one-of-a-kind design will be disappointed. Ready-to-wear dresses are machine-made and mass-produced.
Keep in Mind. Even though these outposts take walk-ins, making an appointment is the best way to ensure that you'll get personalized service.
My Take. I'll definitely go to a David's Bridal shop and try on dresses. I've already found dresses that I love (previous posts) and since we're getting married in Manila, they will still be considered as one-of-a-kind! :)

Pros. For fuss-free girls looking for something simple, ordering online may be the way to go. Some sites, like J. Crew, have amazing customer service, so it's easy to click your way to a wonderful gown.
Cons. Unless you're prepared to pay for multiple gowns - and then fork our more cash to mail back the ones you're not crazy about - chances are you'll try on only one dress. Where's the fun in that? And if you don't like that dress, you'll have to start the process all over again.
Keep in Mind. We've heard about Web sites that offer "factory-direct designer dresses" at greatly reduced prices. Be careful: They could be scams, and you could end up with a gown of inferior fabric and faulty designs. Look for the words "authorized dealer" on a Web site to increase your chances of getting an authentic dress.
My Take. This absolutely take the fun and excitement of finding the wedding dress. One of the wedding preparations experience that I look forward to is choosing dresses, trying them on and choosing The One dress.

Trunk Show
Pros. These fashion events are usually held to a department store or at a bridal salon. Here's your chance to see a designer's entire collection and try on the styles afterward. A representative from the line (or the designer herself) is often on hand to answer questions.
Cons. Trunk shows move from city to city, and the scheduling can be unpredictable; they also travel light, with only one sample size of each dress.
Keep in Mind. Always check designer's Web site or your local department store.
My Take. Designer dresses are those that usually do Trunk shows. Mighty expensive dresses!! Some dresses costs the same as our whole wedding budget! Unbelievable.


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