The journey to find the perfect wedding dress definitely had its highs and lows. There were times were I was seriously in doubt I could ever find my dream dress that was not exorbitantly overpriced. But all that is forgotten the moment when you put a dress on, and you feel just right 🙂
I started off really clueless but read up a lot on other people’s experiences, so here’s sharing some my own so it might help some other clueless bride to be out there as well!
There are a ton of options in Singapore when you are looking for your wedding dress, but generally they can be split into a few categories below (the sequence is how I did my search). A quick caveat: As my wedding is not held in Singapore, I was looking for dresses ala carte without packages.
Famous Bridal Shops
Like any other clueless bride to be, when I first started my wedding dress search, I went straight for the brand names, the famous bridal shops which I keep seeing reviews of online by bloggers and other brides. I checked out Digio Bridal, Silhouette The Atelier and La Belle Couture Weddings. They all had beautiful dresses (Silhouette was my favorite in terms of gorgeous dresses), but their prices for ONE dress rental was ridiculously out of my price range. ALL 3 boutiques quoted me SGD $2.5 -$3k for one dress. No pictures as they didn’t let me take photos.
This experience scared me off the brand name boutiques from the get-go. However I got lucky, and bought my beautiful pre-wedding shoot dress from La Belle Couture’s sample sale for SGD 77! YES you got that right! It’s such a steal, and so gorgeous. It had a few tears in the lace and the skirt, but nothing a tailor can’t fix cheaply.
I jumped from one extreme to the next and went straight to Tao Bao to look for cheap dresses. I found one for SGD 150 after staring at the website for hours on end searching for the style I liked and reading review after review to assure myself.
The saying “You pay peanuts you get monkeys” is very true in my case indeed. The dress arrived after one month. It was supposed to be customized to my measurements, but surprise surprise it wasn’t. To be fair the material was not all bad, but the dress itself was terribly not fitting. Even the tailor could not save it. So that was a SGD 150 lesson I learnt.
Home Based Tailors
At this point I was basically getting fed up from looking around and even online searches were fruitless as the rentals from most places seemed ridiculously overpriced to me – why would I pay SGD $1k just to RENT?
So at this point I discovered this home based tailor, Vivian Gown through a friend who used her services and promptly booked an appointment with her. I went to her place, saw some of the gowns she made for other clients, heard her quotation for my description of my dream dress (SGD $1.3k) and the rest was history.
Vivian was very helpful and honest throughout the process of customizing my main wedding dress, letting me know what would suit my figure best and whether what I wanted was technically feasible. She worked on a design summary to document down all the details I wanted in the dress (I sent her pictures to reference for the various elements) and that helped to keep both of us on track towards the final dress.
Within 2 months, I went for my first fitting. It took less than 15 mins because the dress was exactly as I imagined. I couldn’t be happier.
Designer Gown Rentals
Nearing the 3 month mark to my wedding, I started to wonder if I should have a change of attire for the evening portion of the wedding. I would be wearing the main ceremony dress for the gatecrash and ceremony itself, but the train would be much too long for the dinner segment which would be held in a cozy restaurant in a resort.
Thus I went back to an option I explored during my ROM dress search – designer gown rentals. The dresses from these designer gown rental shops were so much cheaper than evening gowns from any bridal shops (keeping in mind I didn’t have a package so ala carte prices are insane) ranging from SGD 100 to 400.
I really loved this Style lease dress previously, but unfortunately my standards grew much higher after I had seen my main wedding dress. So I decided that I wanted a more elaborate evening gown.
Budget Bridal Shops
This was an option that I explored two months to the date of the wedding, so I was already vaguely panicking. I visited The Gown Warehouse, Gowns Villa and Kelly’s Bridal and was going to check out Secret Bridal and Le Seine Bridal Boutique but didn’t because I found my last dress with Kelly’s Bridal.
The Gown Warehouse is a highly raved about budget bridal shop but their prices for ala carte prices don’t seem to be that affordable ranging from SGD 780 to 1280 for the ones I tried. But I must say their showcase boutique at Dempsey is absolutely fit for a princess, even my mother in law was blown away.
Gowns Villa is a home based bridal boutique. I was so amazed that the owner transformed her whole flat into a bridal studio! I really loved some of her white wedding dresses, and she was super friendly and accommodating but I couldn’t find any evening gowns I liked there.
Kelly’s Bridal is such a hidden gem (literally and figuratively). Of all the shops I visited in my entire journey, they have the most dresses I love. I was going for a slightly figure-hugging dress for the evening gown, so I only tried out those styles and boy did I love almost every dress they brought out for me to try. AND THEY ARE SO AFFORDABLE with dresses ranging from SGD300 – 1000! I am renting my evening gown for SGD 600, which I think is an absolute steal! Kelly is also such a sweet heart to loan me a veil for my dress when I told her I don’t remember that I have one (seriously how blur can I get?!).
Kelly’s assistant Alicia also shared with me that they provide amazingly affordable packages as well (alas not so useful for me) but if you’re looking for beautiful dresses and an reasonable all-in-one package, can consider them!
End of my dress search!
I’m so happy that it’s the end of my search for the various dresses! It’s really quite exhausting trying on so many dresses and experiencing the heartache when you realize those aren’t the dresses for you. Haha I know I did not really try out THAT many dresses compared to so many other brides, but I really didn’t want to waste my time. So I really hope this has been helpful for some of you bride-to-bes out there 🙂
All the best in your wedding dress search!