Finding THE One. - Review!

*** I'm writing this post for the budget-conscious brides. I have nth against people who spend a ton on their wedding. It's your day - do whatever you want! I don't geddit but hey, it's not necessary cause it isn't my wedding. A wedding is a huge 4-hour party in my head so I prefer to tighten my budget and use the money for other stuff. It's a personal preference so do wtv pleases u!

Since I was ala-carting everything, I set a budget of SGD$500 for my dress. It's a decent amount to me and I didn't want to spend anything more than this. If you're a bride on a budget or looking for a cheaper dress option, then feel free to cont'd reading on how I found my wedding dress for <$500!

When I first realized how much a wedding dress was gonna cost me, rental or bought, I was like 😱😭. I don't even spend so much on clothes normally. Why on earth would I spend a bomb on a dress I'm gonna be wearing for max. 4 hours? Yes, it's a special day but not for the dress. I refuse to believe I can't find an affordable decent gown. 

My SIL wanted to kick me when I exasperatingly announced I was gonna buy mine off Taobao. It ended up with me deciding it was too risky since I wasn't too good a TB shopper. 

I have nth against buying a gown from Taobao. I actually think if u r an experienced Taobao shopper and can do that, I really feel like you're superwoman! I am really terrible at TB and my dad actually buys my stuff for me there HAHAHA so I didn't wanna risk extra money spent. 

Everyone, including the husband kept telling me to just get ANY gown I like, or buy the brand names one and I'm like 😫😫😫 noooo. I cannot. 

It's a personal choice, when it boils down to it. If u can afford an expensive dress and that makes u happy, that's all that matters isn't it. I'm personally ecstatic about my dress and I confirm 100% know this is THE ONE. 

I never believed in THE ONE. I used to scorn at crying woman who found their 'perfect' dress in tv shows. I take back my words. When I saw the gown, I knew it was the one. I felt my heart stopped and everything just went quiet for a second. Damn ε€ΈεΌ  right?

My first options were online and 2nd-hand sites - I spent hours combing websites and a lot a lot a lot of Taobao-esque-China sites kept popping up and their prices were always too ridiculously good (think USD$180-$220). After some googling, most or if not all reviews revealed to be horrible experiences including too many complaints about people not even getting any product from the company. It's just too iffy. I think I went thru 6 of these sites. 

2nd-hand sites were slightly problematic when it came down to getting the size you want, in the desired silhouette. If you get smth that's too big, alteration is gonna be expensive cause of the lace, beading etc. I couldn't find anything I like since my size didn't gave me much choices. The range for these were around USD$800 and up? 

If you read my previous post, you would have known about my trip to the bridal boutique to look at sample gowns. Selection for my size wasn't too great either and the price range just wasn't appealing. The cheapest that I didn't even really like was $1.5K. Wtf no. I don't need a brand name gown okay. I just want smth weddingy and white to wear! Why is it so hard lmao.

I went back to the internet and started my search there all over again. Then I came across this site - - I think it's a company based in HK BUT they manufacture their stuff in China. 

I am gonna say it first - they DONT do refunds. They are v smart skipping regular rules around this and this is where most complaints are centered around so let me repeat - they don't do refunds. 

Google showed decent feedbacks with a few horrible experiences here and there - nothing like the previous few sites I read about. I decided to do more research. I think I spent about 4 days reading reviews and googling till I felt comfortable enough. 

I was alr risking it by buying a gown online, and I didn't wanna upped that risk by buying one that had no reviews, so I guess this is v similar to Taobao-shopping! I skipped past all that had no reviews or were 'New'. 

The Most Popular section made the most logical choice and I browsed for days. Since I had no particular liking for any silhouettes, I was not really confined. I just wanted to find smth I actually like. 

Their price range is decent but not too incredulous. A decent-looking gown was priced at around USD$250 onwards.

When I saw this, I fell in love. It had such pretty vintage lace, it was in a nice wedding-y silhouette, it didn't have any 'extras' like ruffles and weird trims, decent price and the best part - it had TONS of reviews that came with pictures. I was sold. 

I began studying the reviews to find out the sizing. I was trying to avoid having to tailor the dress cause
1. Idk of any in Boston
2. It's gonna add to the cost and that's dumb 

Tbh, the design is highly likely ripped off from a brand. I don't keep myself up to date with bridal gown designers so I don't really know. I just fell in love with how it looks, that's all. 

The reviews state that the sizings offered were pretty true but to take advantage of the custom measurements service. 

The service was encouraged cause they take your height into account and tailoring the length of wedding dresses, esp, with lace of that kind is just gonna be more ex. 

The service cost an additional USD$19.99. However, the tailor will always add 1cm to the provided measurements in case u need extra material to let loose/take it in by your own tailor. 

I really read through a lot of inputs, even on different dresses, before deciding on what measurements to send in. I reduced the real measurements of my bust, waist and hips so the actual piece would be just nice. For the length, I took into account my heels plus the additional fabric they were gonna provide and made sure it tallied so I didn't have too much excess fabric to trip and fall HAHA

This is the hardest work I've put into buying a dress, you guys.

It came, turned inside out to protect the lace, inside this really crappy dust bag, and in a big box. 

My first impressions when I received the package was - Holy shit, this is so heavy. 

The dress is REALLY weighted. It's as heavy as any wedding dress I tried on at the boutique the other day!

The lace in the bodice. It's so pretty and I like that it's looks really intricate in pictures.

The back has an entire row of buttons sewed down to the bottom of the train but it's a zip-up gown! It's really convenient to put on. I can do it by myself without requiring help at all.

Inside of the bodice comes with a hook and clasp attached at the sides, to tighten the front of the bodice if needed! Also comes with boning but it isn't the sturdiest ones so this is a consideration cause u might have to re-bone the bodice.

How the bottom looks like and yes, it really is as depicted with the train! Idk why but I wasn't expecting it cause I thought they'd save on material LMAO

The train is very well made!! I'll include pics later.

Close up of the hem and lace

It comes with a finger-holding thingy at the base of the train too! Idk if I'll use this cause it looks so ugs when pulled up but I guess it's convenient if I needa pee hahaha

After trying it out and taking pictures, it definitely felt like it needed more structure for this silhouette. 

Under the lace, there's a double-layered satin, with one layer of light tulle, 2 scratchy more structured tulles, and a petticoat. This is a very thick dress. Buuuuuuut, I don't feel like it's poofy enough. I mean, if u r gonna have a poofy dress, then it might as well be freaking poofy right hahaha

Show y'all how the dress compares to picture. TBH, it's very very close, I can't believe it. The lace used and the cutting is basically the same. The fit around the waist and bust is a TAD too loose but it's nothing adding a sticky bra can't fix. I'm so 100% happy. 

But the original dress is more structured at the base so......

So I went on eBay and found a crinoline/hooped petticoat for USD$10! This is definitely gonna hold up the shape more and give it more of a princess cut.

I mean, go all out right? Hahaha ok it's not gonna be THIS poofy lah but this is pretty too

The clip provided definitely helped with the whole dress staying up but the waist area was definitely loose. The boning needed slight ironing. I find that if I wear a sticky bra, it helps a lot.

My fave part of the whole dress is the back. You can't really see the row of buttons here but up-close, it's so pretty. The tail isn't too long and definitely manageable; esp with heels on. And I wasn't even wearing heels here yet! 

The hem lace is just 😍😍😍 I got no words to describe it. It fans out beautifully - obviously not done properly here hahaha It's really vintage-looking and idk why, but I just keep feeling like it matches my engagement ring damn nicely.

Very vintage lah. I like. 

My husband immediately agreed this was the one. He even added, 'This is just a very big and more expensive version of the kind of lacy clothes you buy from A&F!'

Overall, I feel like I have been extremely lucky this entire wedding-dresses journey. I bought all my dresses online leh HAHA and they all fit with my heels and everything. Wtf damn lucky really. 

Okay lemme break down the cost of this dress: 
Dress: USD$284.49
Custom: + USD$19.99
Shipping: + USD$35.99
Some random discount code I found (ikr??): - USD$15.22
Crinoline: + USD$9.99

Total: USD$335.24 

I'll retry the dress once the crinoline comes and take an updated picture to see how much of a diff it makes. 

I can't attest to the other dress they have and idk how big of a risk it is to order from them if the dress has no reviews etc. Just it's another option for #dayrebrides who dw to spend too much on dress. If I take exchange rate into account, my dress comes to just below $500! Well within my budget range for it so FYI! 

(Omg I'm so sorry, you guys. I totally fall asleep before completing the post fml) 

My tea ceremony gown is USD$70 and my evening gown is slightly pricer at USD$199 so I didn't exceed my SGD$1K budget for dresses! Nubbad nubbad. I'm very pleased with myself, if u can't tell.

Buying a dress 9 months early means it's gonna be hanging on my door liddis. I haven't figured out a way to lug all three back yet PLUS heels. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA what even lah pls. 

Btw, the first night this was hanging on the door, I woke up at 3am to pee and got a shock okay. Short-sightedness + astigmatism = floating white lady πŸ˜‚

Okay, I'm done. This post took me so many hours to piece together cause I wanted to make sure I include all the pros and cons! Hope all u brides find THE One too~