My Wedding Dress Shopping Pain
I had been on the hunt for my perfect wedding gown for over three months now; every weekend, I would go into one bridal shop after another looking at all their gowns just hoping something would jump out and say "pick me!" but nothing ever did.
I tried out several styles, knowing what kind of style complimented me best...but then again when you're looking for something as special as your dream gown - maybe being too picky is never actually such a sin.
The first bridal boutique I went to didn’t have many of the mermaid style that I was after, and it wasn't accepting orders less than twelve months.
The second location had a few dresses in their store which caught my eye but they just weren't quite right for me - nothing felt as perfect and magical as what I had envisioned.
At the third bridal store, I came across this amazing dress. It had all of the qualities I was looking for; all lace with a small amount of embellishments on the bodice in a mermaid silhouette with a modest train. The dress was simple yet elegant in style.
I thought I had found the perfect dress.
The problem is that this gown cost $3.5k – which is more than I could afford.
Don’t get me wrong; I wasn’t expecting for this dress to be cheap but spending this amount of money made me a little uncomfortable. It was a shame because this gown was so beautiful and I really did like it.
I went around to a few more bridal stores hoping that there would be something in store windows or on display racks that gave me butterflies in my stomach as soon as I saw it – you know when you feel really excited? But nothing was doing anything for me.
I asked for some design modifications to the gown but instead of helping out this anxious bride-to-be who just wanted her perfect daydreams come true, they charged exorbitant fees on top of the dress price.
I was really disappointed with their lack of flexibility when it came to customizing my dream wedding dress and am now wondering how much more money I’d have to spend to get what I want.
The search for my perfect dress was a difficult one. I just wanted to find my perfect dress and move on – not drag it out for months on end but it seemed as though finding a wedding dress was the most difficult thing to do!
By this point in time, all of that searching had drained me emotionally and left me dismayed by the whole thing.
I didn’t really know what I was going to do next.
I had an upcoming holiday trip to Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam with my family as well as my future in laws.
Then it occurred to me – what if I could get my wedding dress made? This would be the perfect opportunity!
I was so excited with the prospect of having a seamstress that can make my dress dreams come true, but then reality set in because there may not be any available during my trip because they would be on Tet holidays which is Vietnam’s biggest cultural celebration.
I honestly didn’t know where to start looking for the dressmaker. All I had on my side was a stack of ripped out pages from several bridal magazines and print outs of my favourite wedding dresses from Google images.
Lucky for me, my future in laws are professional tailors - so they were able to help me get my dress sorted when we found and went to see an expert bridal seamstress that specialized in wedding dresses.
I had my future in-laws as well as my then fiancée come along to the appointment with the bridal seamstress. I brought an image printout of what type of dress that I wanted made, and all hopes for this route were positive before we entered her store.
I was elated when I finally found a custom dress maker who could make my dream gown come to life.
The dressmaker lady was kind and patient as she sat me down to ask a series of questions, listened carefully to understand more clearly what it was exactly that made up my vision in regards to this special day.
She pulled out a gigantic file from the bookshelf behind her desk and placed it on the table in front of me. “This is the lace availability for the next six months” she advised.
I was amazed at such variety as I flipped over each pocket, each filled with beautiful fabrics that made my heart skip a beat! I’d never seen such a variety of lace before. I was mesmerized by the colours, patterns and textures. As she pulled out each pocket for me to look at – it seemed like some kind of treasure trove had opened up before me with every possible lace fabric type imaginable.
I went through all the wedding dress details with the dressmaker as well as have my in laws input. Being surrounded by professionals gave me a lot of reassurance – the consultation, the advice and suggestions affirmed that I was making the right decision with getting my dress made.
I consulted with my dressmaker to make sure that the design would be perfect for me, and then sought out advice from my in-laws about the design as well as alterations on my dress.
Surrounded by experts who have been doing this forever, I felt decidedly confident throughout the whole process. The consultation reassured me that I was making good decisions when it came to getting my gown made!
I was brimming with excitement as I couldn’t wait to see my dress!
My wedding dress was booked in to get made; it would take three weeks for my custom gown to be finished but this is because it’s a result of placing my order over the Chinese New Year (most businesses are closed for ten days to celebrate with their family). Generally, locals get their custom wedding dress between seven to ten days!
I don't have anything else that's been customized for me before and so didn’t know what to expect from this experience. But it turned out great!
It wasn't stressful or difficult in any way - all very quick and easy-going as a matter of fact.
I was a little bit anxious as I wouldn’t see the completed dress until my in laws bring it home back to Perth in three weeks’ time. Knowing that someone out there is going through all sorts just so they can make one specific person happy made everything worth it.
The bridal stores in Ho Chi Minh City could not have been more diverse. I was able to go into any one of them and get a dress off the rack, but I love the idea of getting my wedding dress custom made, it just resonated with me more to be a part of that experience.
The Final Dress
When my in laws came back to Perth from Vietnam, they called me within days of their return just so I could check out the gown.
When I saw my wedding dress, I was overwhelmed with delight and happiness.
My custom made wedding dress
Back details - a big bow
My wedding dress turned out better than expected because all these different factors came into play.
The craftsmanship was faultless and the turnaround time for getting it done was only two weeks which really blew me away by the dressmaking speed. The price tag was certainly affordable and reasonable - all around an excellent experience.
Close up details
Bridal boutiques in Ho Chi Minh City are aplenty; each has its own unique offering depending where your priorities lie (for example, price point). In the city center location there are bridal designer stores catering exclusively for tourist brides with deep pockets-or at least enough.
For those who are looking for quality yet affordably priced wedding dresses, the difficulty lies in knowing where to find them. You would be hard pressed to find a good quality dressmaker at reasonable prices unless you know where to look and who has such services available.
My custom made wedding gown was perfect in every way; created and tailored to my measurements. The fabric looked like something I dreamed about – absolutely beautiful with intricate beading work that couldn't have been done better by a professional tailor anywhere else at such an affordable price.You might be wondering how much I saved with my wedding dress.
I saved at least $2k by getting my dress custom made. I feel like the luckiest bride in town!
With that considerable saving, I was able to contribute that money into another wedding expenditure – because as we know, weddings are not cheap!
I had never experienced an in-person experience like this before, but I couldn’t have been more impressed with the quality of my custom made wedding dress. It was a quick, easy and stress free process that left me feeling totally satisfied!
In order to get the best quality in terms of final product, price and service you’d need to find the right bridal store or dressmaker.
The seamstress's workmanship was impeccable, making my wedding dress dreams a reality and made me feel amazing on my wedding day.
I will never hesitate to get anything else custom made because it saved me so much time and money - not mention all the unnecessary hassle!
A shot from behind at the church ceremony
I couldn't have been happier
My mum & I at the reception
My Passion – Helping Brides Have More Options
I felt the Perth bridal market was not able to offer a variety of options for customization as well as lacked any opportunities for a bride to get the perfect wedding dress made just for her.
I know exactly how it feels to be unable to find the perfect wedding dress. The agonizing search for a gown that fits your body perfectly and the style you want - only leads back in disappointment when what's available doesn't match those requirements.
I've had my fair share of struggles with this myself so now I'm on a mission to help find you the perfect wedding dress for your special day - a gown that makes you feel magical and beautiful, one where finding it will be a delight instead of work!
If we can't find what's right for you I'll make sure my team is there with me to provide you with the opportunity of customization or work alongside you to find the best possible solution for your needs.
I know how important it is for your dress to be perfect so let's start this journey together!
If you're stuck and don't know where to begin, drop me an email and I'd love to personally help you. Or, if you know exactly what you want but just can't find someone
Drop me an email if you have any questions or need help with anything.
I look forward to hearing from you!