I used to say that my budget for a wedding gown would be P50,000 only. I have always thought that I will not pay for a gown that is more than what is right and to me, P50k was just right. Fast forward to 2009, I joined the W@W e-group and found out about Veluz. With this discovery, I abandoned the P50k-only rule.
Quick fact sheet about me: I don't like beaded (or insert type of embellishment) gowns. But Veluz changed all that. Or at least, I now have a respect and appreciation for embellished bridal dresses that are superbly made. This is how I knew from the get-go that I wanted to be a Veluz bride. After all, she had managed to create gorgeous wedding gowns that I thought I would never like and yet, find myself thinking (from seeing her creations) "Wow!" (for those that I really like) and "Pretty" (for those that are not-so-like). See, even the not-so-like wedding gowns get a "pretty" description from me. And that's coming from someone who wouldn't hesitate to use words like "ugly" and "tacky" when it comes to describing clothes. You see, I don't have a gray area when it comes to fashion: I either like it or hate it.
Because I knew she's an in demand designer who gets fully booked really fast (as early as January of this year, she's fully booked for the entire 2010 until January 2011 already), I have started emailing her once Mr. J and I got engaged (July). However, I had used my work email address for the first email and was on leave by the time she replied (last week of July), I only got to read her reply by September. Boy, was I super happy! It was, to me, like getting a reply for a fan mail I had sent. She sounded very nice, accommodating, and honest in her emails (we discussed the Reem Acra dress peg I had sent). During this time, I had increased my P50k budget but made sure I didn't reach the 6-digit mark. I had thought this would be enough, right? I was wrong. When I read the number she had emailed for the cost of the gown design that I wanted, a part of me was a little bit sad. I had, after all, wanted to have that particular gown design but getting Veluz would break the budget I had set. And so, for another month or two, (thinking it would be possible) I tried to look for another wedding gown designer that would give me that "Wow"/"Pretty" effect. As expected, I couldn't find another designer like Ms. V. By November, a W@Wie (a term for W@W e-group members) mentioned that Veluz will (or was it a might?) be increasing her rates by January of next year. I didn't care anymore that her quotation was beyond what I had wanted. I only knew that I had to meet her soon, get a quotation, and possibly, book her too.
After reserving our church, we headed straight to Malate (stopped by the new Starbucks at The Fort which had a drive-thru) for our appointment with Ms. Veluz. Once there, we were greeted by one of her staff (not Ms. Gercel) and led to a seat.
When she finally came out to greet us, she made me feel like as if I was a booked client already and went right to business. She's got such an animated character: she would talk while sketching and told my husband-to-be that she would marry him too after seeing my ring. I have great fondness for the woman who promises to make me a beautiful gown.
Yes, she's as nice as you could possibly imagine. She's so accommodating (and her staff, as well) that as star-struck as I was, we never felt intimidated. And the best thing about her? She's truly an experienced designer. Case in point, my hair style (yes, we even discussed that too). I had asked about the hairpiece and mentioned that I might wear my hair down. She explained to me (as I wasn't aware of this and totally appreciate that now I know) that since I'll be wearing a veil, the moment that veil touches my hair, the inevitable friction happens. She mentioned instances wherein if the wind blows, the veil (along with the hair) will move to the direction of the wind as well. Next thing you know, you're hair is all over the place. If you have bangs (which I do right now), once the veil is lifted, there's the possibility of said bangs sticking to the veil and being lifted up as well. As for the wedding dress I had in mind, I found out that I had a short torso (she had me stand and showed me using a tulle fabric against my body where my torso starts and ends). She explained that if we were to follow the exact silhouette of the Reem Acra wedding gown, it would show that I have a short torso. Ms. V would much prefer to give me a longer silhouette which I appreciate given my petite frame. In the end, her sketch kept the skirt detail that I truly love and giving me two different options on the bodice (embellished band or vintage beading).
Before we said our goodbyes, she mentioned that I shouldn't get too attached to the sketch (which is a beauty, by the way) because that will still change pending our first fitting (which I don't have a date yet). She also told me that I shouldn't let go of my Reem Acra dress image just yet (still pending on what happens during my first fitting). As we left her place, I was happy.
I was a satisfied I-knew-I-made-the-right-call happy bride.
PS. All this wouldn't be possible if it weren't for my groom. The truth is, I was ready to downsize (with a heavy heart, of course) the gown of my dreams just so we could trim down the budget. It was Mr. J who allocated the Veluz quotation to the wedding budget. And it was him who insisted that the wedding gown budget.. it was untouchable.