Now comes one of the most vital part of the ceremony (at least to us girls) — it’s time to talk about the engagement dress.
Months prior to the ceremony, my mum had asked whether if I had anything in mind. Although I was still exploring my options, I told her that I was thinking of getting a two-piece peplum dress from a designer who was beginning to make a name for herself. I was positive that it wouldn’t cost me a bomb.
Some time later, my mum came home telling me that she had a conversation with her contact at Jakel, recommending the designers who were a few doors away from the store. They’re said to be meticulous and are experts when it comes to working with intricate laces. The Jakel owners supposedly send all their fabrics there for tailoring. I didn’t think much of the idea.
One weekend though, my mum suggested that we check the place out, for the sake of checking it out. The name of the bridal boutique was Altelia Amani. We went in and requested to talk to someone and was introduced to designer, Amar, who was free to discuss. We sat down and had a chat about what we were there for. Amar seemed like a very serious dude. Seeing that I hadn’t had anything in mind, yet, he started sketching and giving us ideas.
The one-piece dress would have an empire waistline, a flowy skirt and patches of lace (pending my confirmation). Together with it, a veil and pair of shoes.
To be honest, I wasn’t so sure about the design. It was clearly a lot more elaborate than I had imagined. To go with it, was a price higher than I was willing to pay… and that’s only for tailoring! My mum, in contrast, was a lot more into this than I was, assuring me that it was probably acceptable normal rate, that going elsewhere would cost us so much more.
Both of them waited for my verdict. But wait, wait, wait! Weren’t we there for the purpose of surveying?!
Somehow, I agreed to it, although I really wasn’t sure of what I was doing. My mum swiped her plastic. I was shocked at how generous she was, felt grateful for a second, until she said to me after she signed the receipt, “Pay me half.”
The designer advised on the materials that we should buy a few doors away. We went to Jakel, told them what we required and was presented with a few options. I felt so pressured. How was I supposed to decide there and then?
I knew I wanted my dress to be in blue. Among the few blues they had, I thought this sky blue chiffon silk complemented the beaded Solstiss lace in pink I had picked the best. To line the dress, we bought silk in pink. I can’t recall how many meters of fabrics were needed, but it was a lot. Zarina, daughter of Jakel, gave a really good price for the whole package. But I thought it still cost a lot for an engagement dress.
We went back to Altelia Amani with the fabrics. I think Amar was pleased with the combination that I had chosen. After my measurement was taken, we left the boutique. Within a month or two, I was supposed to return for my first fitting session.
To be honest, I was really worried about getting my dress made by someone I wasn’t familiar with. Judging by the other dresses hung at the boutique (everything else was very OTT, like they’re meant for some gala dinner or award ceremony), I was so worried that we were going overboard. But I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.