It was difficult to choose bridal boutiques when we were stuck in London. My sister-in-law came to the rescue with two recommendations, one of which was Bridal Veil by Michelle Huimin. I made the first appointment with them for April 2009, and Colin (Michelle’s husband) responded promptly. I was so paranoid about looking for the perfect designer for my dresses and maximising the few appointments we might have with Bridal Veil that I bombarded poor Colin with millions of emails, all of which were responded to with good cheer. I was very glad to know that Colin was a friendly chap. Months later, when it was almost time to meet the good folks at Bridal Veil, I also learnt that Colin and staff were highly organised. They are probably the only wedding vendors who called religiously to remind us of our first and subsequent appointments. I had a good feeling about Bridal Veil even before I returned to Singapore for wedding planning.
We met Cedric, the manager, on our first appointment. He explained the packages they offered and he also learnt of our difficult schedule from my email exchange with Colin. We only had two weeks in Singapore in April to get the major stuff done, and the next time we returned, it would be for our wedding. Despite this, Cedric assured us that everything will be well taken care of. I was highly anxious about how we were going to get the outfits made and fitted when we were going to be stuck in London, but Cedric’s reassurance told me that Bridal Veil is a godsend. And they were.
Very quickly, owing to our long-distance wedding planning, Cedric arranged for me to try on a few gowns on our first appointment. I fell madly in love with them, in particular a sweetheart neckline A-line gown with Swarovski crystal details. If you don’t know already, Bridal Veil specialises in made-to-measure (MTM) gowns and suits; I thought, if these gowns looked wonderful when they were not made for me, the final product must look amazing! We were sold and signed up for the Simplicity Package (without photography) which includes MTM wedding gown (for rent, option to top up to keep it), MTM evening gown (to keep, option to top up for special fabrics), MTM executive suit and dinner shirt (to keep), jewellery and hair accessories as well as gloves to rent, 1 trial make-up session, 1 day and 1 night make-up sessions, fresh flowers and ribbons for bridal cars, 1 kua to rent, 1 fresh floral bouquet and 4 corsages for parents. We also topped up for an extra make-up session as our wedding was done in three sections.
Having noted my preferences on styles, Cedric arranged for us to meet with Michelle and Colin for our second appointment, during which I had my trial make-up session (I will talk about makeup and hair in a separate entry). Michelle took care of me while Colin spoke to M. I tried on various white and evening gowns that have been set aside according to my preferences. Michelle was on hand to see how I looked in the different styles and we chatted on my preferences, insecurities on my figure and the must-nots. She also offered her opinion on what she could do to minimise my flaws, enhance the plus points, and what she thought might look nice on me. Colin discussed the options for the suit and shirt with M and designed them on the spot. Both Michelle and Colin came across as energetic, friendly and efficient people who loved what they do and we liked that.
We went back to Bridal Veil for the third time to pick up the designs for my white gown and evening gown. All the designs that Michelle came up with were stunning, clean and elegant. It was a relief to see that there was nothing remotely close to tacky on her portfolio. It was immensely difficult to pick the designs; I thought about it over a few days and annoyed many people in the process with my indecisive nature. The white gown was easy; I made a beeline for the sweetheart A-line white gown with Swarovski details (the crystals were sewn in a different pattern from the one I tried on) and a 2.5-metre train. I would have loved to go for the mermaid gown, but these hips of mine are better kept under wraps. You know what they say about dirty linen. For the evening gown, I was torn between the more conservative covered-up cheongsam and a bolder low-slit design. I settled for the conservative one, having thought about what my dad might say if I picked the more revealing style, but when I went back to Michelle, she convinced me to take the bolder design. I decided to be brave and went with Michelle’s pitch when the words ‘young’, ‘only once’, ‘never again’ went through my mind. I also picked out the colours and fabrics for my gowns (I had to top up for my cheongsam as it was made of Chinese silk brocade), and M had the simple task of going for a black or white crystal button to go on the collar line of his smart wing-tip-collared dinner shirt. Our measurements were taken during the same appointment and that was it, we were due to return to London, and the first fitting session was scheduled for mid-July, just three weeks before the wedding.
I was reminded to keep my figure and take care of my skin, and we were also told to go shoe-shopping. When we were back in July, we went for three fittings; the first was to do some alterations in anticipation of weight changes and gain in height with heels (I also tried on the kua and gave Cedric magazine clippings of how I would like my makeup and hair to be done), the second was to see how the outfits looked like with the details sewn on, and the third was to make final minute adjustments. During our last appointment, Cedric went through the details with us, such as when to bring the car over for decoration, when to come over to collect the outfits, what time he would come over to do my makeup and hair (yes, Cedric was my stylist) etc. The girls at Bridal Veil also taught my sister how to help me with the buttons during outfit changes. Everything was a breeze in the hands of the people at Bridal Veil, and I felt so safe with them taking care of these details. They were almost like wedding planners, always reminding you to do this and that, to relax and be happy. It was an amazing experience. We received so many compliments on our outfits, especially my cheongsam and if you don’t know already, the real test of tailoring lies in making a good cheongsam that makes a shapeless woman look and feel good. I can attest that Michelle truly understands the art of good tailoring; I walked around in my gowns without feeling like I needed to suck in my tummy or hide from people’s prying eyes. I felt relaxed and confident, possibly the most I have in my life with my body insecurities always flagging in my mind. I think Michelle has single-handedly made me look the best I could possibly look in my years on earth (Oh how I miss being a bride because everything’s going downhill now. Yikes). Let’s not the forget the groom too. Colin’s suits and shirts are so well-designed and well-tailored, I felt dizzy when I saw my handsome husband looking so sharp in his garb.
The one thing I was worried about most when we were away in London was our outfits, because obviously even the best designers would need us to be physically around to make us look fabulous. Bridal Veil lived beyond our expectations and delivered quality products that was worth every single cent we paid. I can’t even begin to say how much I would recommend them to every single person I know. Make an appointment with them to find out more (they don’t do walk-ins), you might be the next Bridal Veil bride sashaying down the aisle in full-blown confidence!