For the akad nikah, I wanted a minimalistic dress. I wanted it to be something pretty, but practical at the same time. I told my designer that I wanted the dress to be versatile enough for me to wear later, on other occasions.
Meeting the designer
Since I intended to have a chiffon dress embellished with the lace I had gotten, I sent the fabrics to Amar at Altelia Amani (the designer responsible for my engagement dress). There were several designers I’d met before that, but I went back to Altelia Amani out of familiarity. I knew they could deliver when it comes to lace, because I didn’t know any designer who could do the job as neat as Altelia Amani.
I told Amar that I wanted the dress to be a modern baju kurung in ivory. I welcomed additional beading on top of the lace, but asked him avoid anything too over the top e.g. rhinestones — so that I’d be able to wear it at other functions without people realizing it’s a wedding dress (something you can’t get away with when it concerns a white and elaborate dress).
So we agreed on the modern kurung — the shoulders will be slightly sheer thanks to tulle and a layer of chiffon and lace patches on the chest, sleeves and hem. The skirt will be pleated. With it, I’ll get a veil patched with lace and a pair of ivory heels.
The fitting sessions
Before the fitting session, Amar and I were texting each other to discuss about the design. We decided to change a few things, like changing the pleated skirt to a flared skirt and the tulle veil to a chiffon veil.
On the first fitting session, I was surprised to see that the cut of the dress was not like the usual modern kurung. It felt a little off to wear (body and sleeves were cut together like a dolman top with slimmer sleeves, there were no seams on the shoulders like a normal modern kurung). It was too tight, too. The thing that consoled me, was that Amar replaced my light chiffon with a heavier kind (because it’ll flow better, he said) and the fact that the lace was sewn so perfectly on the fabric. The flared skirt was perfect.
During the subsequent fitting sessions, I still didn’t feel comfortable with the fit. It felt off and tight at a few places, but it was too late to re-do anything. They tried their best to make me feel comfortable with it. Because of the continuous alterations they had to work on and my lack of availability in attending the fitting session ASAP, the dress was completed only a few nights before the day. With it was a chiffon veil with lace and the shoes. As a wedding present, Amar threw in an inner and a chiffon scarf for me, too.
See, so nice of him. How can I get mad?!
Najeeb Azami was done dolling my face. It was time to wear the dress.
Before I wore the dress, I wore my new girdle and push up bra (my maid of honor said I needed to wear them… but today I still wonder whether it was necessary). While the girdle slimmed my thigh down, the bra added a couple of diameters to my chest.
The dress became tighter FML. Felt like I was inappropriately busty for an akad nikah ceremony. Told everyone in the room how I felt, but my ever optimistic makeup artist said:
“If you’ve got it, flaunt it girrrl!”
Anyway, despite the less comfortable fit, I think the dress ended up looking as nice as I’d hoped it to be. It’s something pretty, it’s something simple and it’s something I can wear over and over again. Just need to get it nipped and tucked a little more.
When it comes to deciding on the design of the dress, you need to talk to your family first. Are you expected to wear a scarf (if you’re not wearing one now)? Are you going to sit on the floor or on the bench… or both? Things like these will influence the kind of design you should be wearing during the ceremony. For example, if you’re going to sit on the floor, you’re going to need a fuller skirt.
It’s also important to clarify how you really want it with the designer — if you want a normal modern kurung cut, make sure they know it and not deviate. This happened to me once with another reputable designer, I didn’t think it’d happen to me again -_-‘
It’s also important to get the dress done earlier and to give the dressmakers a deadline that’s sooner than your big day, so you’ll have more time should there be any errors.
Of course, buy the push up bra and girdle sooner, too and bring them on your fitting session!
That’s what I learned. What other tips do you have for brides-to-be?