Singaporebrides | Fashion

February 2013

A Guide to Designer Bridal Boutiques

For brides who are undecided on whether to go to a one-stop service or a designer bridal boutique, help is on its way! SingaporeBrides met four local bridal designers and uncovered the differences between a designer and a one-stop bridal boutique. If you haven’t decided on which one to go for, these will help you make the right decision.

Before you dash off shopping for your dream gown, you need to first shop for a bridal boutique. If you have followed our tips on how to shop for a bridal boutique, you should know that there are two types of bridal boutiques in Singapore – the full serviced one-stop bridal boutiques and the more exclusive designer bridal boutiques.

Why a Designer Bridal Boutique and Who Is It For?

A designer bridal boutique’s focus is more on creating the wedding gown and groom’s suits instead of offering a full list of wedding-related services. As such, designer bridal boutiques tend to be more detail- and workmanship-oriented. Each designer works with a team of skilled professionals and artisans who specialises in bespoke tailoring to transform every one of his creative designs into a runway-worthy wedding gown. And because each and every designer has their own distinctive sense of style, every designer bridal boutique is one-of-a-kind. “Therefore, which boutique a bride selects actually reflects on her distinct sense of style and taste as well,” Amanda Lee, founder and designer for Amanda Lee Weddings, adds.

Amanda Lee Weddings Amanda Lee Weddings in Operation: Agents Provocateurs. Photographed by Justin Jonah Ng.

Each and every piece of wedding gown is cut, sculpted and shaped to fit your exact body proportions, so you can expect your gown to fit you like a glove. While it may cost more at a designer boutique, paying for the extra in cost buys you a personalised wedding gown and a peace of mind – the two things every bride should have for a memorable and enjoyable big day.

The Wedding Present The Wedding Present in Song of the Sirens. Photographed by Zhang Jingna.

Opt for Necessity Over Quantity in a Bridal Package

Although a designer bridal boutique’s focus is on creating personalised wedding gowns for brides, their bridal packages also include one groom’s suit and hair and makeup services. Most designer boutiques also work with selected wedding photographers to round up a bride’s wedding shopping. “In some cases, floral bouquets and men’s corsages are priced into the package as well to save couples the trouble of sourcing for their own wedding florists,” Jordan, founder of The Wedding Present adds. Some designer bridal boutiques may also include bridal car decoration and rental of complementary accessories to go with the wedding gown in their packages.

Sure, that still sounds like a lot less than what the one-stop service boutiques might offer at the same or costlier price. But ask yourself this: do you really need all those wedding services? “Brides should first envision their wedding day and determine what wedding services are necessary for their big day, and not jump straight onto the package that offers 1001 services – some of which they might not need at all,” Amanda advises. “That way, their budget can be put to better use.”

Divine Couture Divine Couture in The Perfected Peripherical. Photographed by Skye Tan.

You’ll also be given the opportunity to customise a bridal package based on what is necessary for your wedding at designer bridal boutiques. “Our bridal packages can be customised according to our brides’ requirements,” Euzart, designer for Jawn.Happy.Ever.After, clarifies. “That way, they can put their budget to better use on wedding services and resources that are necessary.” While an exchange and/or removal of items in a package are do-able, do note that different designer bridal boutiques operate in different ways. So, always enquire if the removal of an item in a package means a deduction in the package price, or a top-up if you opt for an exchange of items.

Tips From the Experts

To help brides make an informed decision more efficiently, Kim, Divine Couture’s designer, encourages brides to keep their entourage small when going for fittings as having too many differing opinions may confuse them. “Also, don’t be afraid to ask about pricing and additional costs; designers will be more transparent about cost and asking about it helps a bride plan her budget better,” she encourages.

Jawn Happy.Ever.After Jawn Happy.Ever.After in Dreamscapes in Steampunk. Photographed by UKay Cheung.

Brides are also encouraged to try on at least one gown before they commit to any package. “I’ll advise my brides to pay attention to the fit, cut, structure and workmanship of the gown,” Euzart explains. “When done well, these should accentuate and highlight her figure.” Not only should brides try on at least one gown, they should also try on different silhouettes. “Doing so gives the bride a better understanding of their body shape and aid in the search for a silhouette that flatters them,” Amanda elaborates. Trying on different silhouettes will also allow designers to more accurately recommend a wedding dress that is flattering for your body proportions. While it is important to have your own opinions, it is equally important for you to keep an open mind while you’re at the boutique and listen to the designer’s advice or constructive opinions as well. “The whole process should be a two-way communication,” Jordan emphasises.

At the end of the day, it is your wedding day, and if it is a designer bridal boutique you want to go to, then who’s to say you can’t or shouldn’t splurge on the biggest day of your life. After all, when you visit a designer bridal boutique, you can be assured of the quality of the design, fit and comfort of the wedding gown made especially for you. To find the perfect boutique, browse through the list of designer bridal boutiques on SingaporeBrides’ directory of services.