In Need of a Wedding Gown?

The other day, I received a comment from Joyce – a bride-to-be in Mangalore. She ties the knot in a few months and is hunting high and low for Christian bridal gowns in Mangalore. If any of you people reading this are from Mangalore and know how to help her out, it would be highly appreciated.

An update: Buttercup, a reader, has kindly contributed a website that should be of help to brides looking for a bridal gown tailor in Mangalore. Visit Concetta Bridals to view the beautiful gowns up there.

I have never been to Mangalore, and know less about how weddings proceed out there. When I think about the difficulty in finding the right accessory, fabric, decor, caterer, etc. over here in Vasai and even in Mumbai, I wonder what Christian brides and grooms who are looking for all these things and more go about it in other parts of India.

I wore a bespoke gown for my wedding

Sure, we have the internet these days for everything, but some of the best wedding vendors out there are unlisted in wedding directories and barely a small fraction have websites of their own. This is very sad, as it would be of tremendous help to Christian couples looking for quick, affordable and quality solutions to their wedding if all these wedding vendors were listed somewhere on the Indian interwebs.

Christian brides in India almost always go for a bespoke bridal gown. Not many prefer vintage or second-hand gowns as they are viewed as hand-me-downs. A pity, since lace and fabric back then were divine as were some of the styles.

If you would not mind a second-hand or vintage wedding gown, I would suggest you try a place like David & Company in Dhobi Talao at Marine Lines, Mumbai. I remember a dreamy concoction of flowing pink lace fading into white I once came across out there. I wowed to wear a gown like that for my own wedding but yes, I eventually went for a simple number.

If you don’t find what you are looking for there, you could always ask them to direct you to other retailers who stock second-hand gowns. Do take a quick stroll down Crawford Market before you try elsewhere and pay close attention to the shops that line the start of the lane. They stock ready-made gowns and if you are lucky, you may find a seamstress who will agree to stitch one for you in a short time.

From what I hear, Inspirations, the bridal and floral accessories boutique at Amboli in Andheri West is another place that has recently started stocking ready-made gowns. The quality maintained at Inspirations is fantastic and along with a gown, you will find yourself stocking up on button-hole flowers, tiaras, corsages and some exquisite wedding jewelry.

Silver Pages, a Christian wedding information directory dedicated to listings of wedding-related services is another brilliant resource you can consult. I am not sure about their website, but I have been told that you can obtain a copy at Snehalaya at Mahim West in Mumbai.

If a trip to Mumbai is impossible, I would suggest you ask any women’s group in your local parish for pointers on the best bridal gown tailor in your area. Never doubt the solid information to be found in a group of women I say!

Failing that, I list down some excellent dressmakers abroad that you can check out if there is no other solution but to order a wedding gown online. These are Indian pocket-friendly, and I know of a few brides who have been happy with their gowns:

David’s Bridal

Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses

Once Wed

Be wary of purchasing a wedding gown from websites that offer wholesale wedding gowns or discount gowns as returns/alterations/shipping etc. could turn out to be a painful process. Unless you know of anyone who has made use of the service, it would be inadvisable to get a wedding gown via them.

Purple Feathers, Darling Nuns, Shopaholics & New Beginnings

Last Friday had me sleeping a bit late due to extreme excitement over my first shopping excursion for the wedding.

Something Special in Bandra is a DIY bride’s dream & maybe the groomsmen & the men from my bridal party’s nightmare. I shall reveal nothing more than two words – purple feathers.

Mom and I wrapped up with Something Special and I don’t know what compelled me, but I was pulled towards my school or more specifically the nuns who were so much a part of my childhood. I was unable to meet my old principal but as I was nervously jotting down a note to her, I met the terror of my boarding school days.

Said terror was the resident nurse and the choir mistress. If you were sick, you were huffed at for falling sick. If you were not sick, you were huffed at for causing general inconvenience. If you had a good voice, you had to attend interminable singing practices. If you couldn’t croak well, you were banished to the spare voices section.

Us girls would find ourselves in quite a pickle when in the presence of the terror.

So imagine my surprise when said terror gives me the biggest bear hug in mankind’s history and greets me like I’ve come home. It made me quite sappy to tell the truth.

Easter dresses beckoned me though and so I had to leave the good nuns for the nonce with promises to return soon for more reminiscing. Luck had it that I found the perfect dress in the first shop itself. I am so darn pleased with it, that I am planning on wearing it on the day my Second Banns are read in church.

The next day continued in very much the same vein. After a lot of waiting and coaxing I got to watch Confessions of a Shopaholic with three absolutely, divinely, stylish girls.

From frame one onwards, I was captivated. I forgot all about my cheese popcorn. I forgot about everything except a theatre full of beautiful women who let go of the world for an hour or two, the purple galoshes , coats, dresses, heels and purple everything, three women who loved to shop and always have a better-than-good time and Sophie Kinsella’s magical, funny story.

The adrenaline was gushing and I was incredibly high on a fabulous weekend spent with family, friends and cousins. So I ended the night with a thorough soaking in Temptations at Bandra and spread some Britney Spears ‘love’. On a side note, they really ought to chuck them old CDs out from the jukebox!

 

Aside and apart from everything else, this has been a fitting last week to an old year and an old life.

Sukaala to the new year! Gudi Padva abhinandan.

The Perfect Proposal. Is there really such a thing?

Everyday as I pass by the under-refurbishment Spykar outlet near where I work, I can’t help but spend at least 5 seconds of my time staring at this utterly captivating advertisement: 

Spykar-Proposal-Ad

Yes, the models are painfully rangy and the style of proposal is completely not what most catlics would consider appropriate, but dang it! Does a marriage proposal really need to be proper and appropriate? 

I prefer to think otherwise.

As not many of my peers have yet been proposed to, I am not one to claim first-hand experience in the many different ways Indians (especially catholics) propose and accept. There was one story I heard today though that made me melt into a puddle of mush. I can still feel the glow because my own marriage proposal would have been quite similar, if things turned out differently.

Regardless, if there are any men out there reading this, dare to be different- your woman deserves the lovely memory.

If there are any women out there reading this, it’s probably the happiest day of your life (“probably” ‘coz you need to count first shoes, first kiss, first ball, first pyjama party as well)- so go with the flow.

I have read about newly-betrothed women gettin teary, embarassed, angry, murderous, confused and… you get the point, when being proposed in public. More fool them I guess (for picking the wrong guy).

There is NOTHING quite like the sight of the man you love popping the question of a million lifetimes to you. It may not be a heartwarming speech and it may not be a poem, but it definitely is a baring of the soul and more than what you can expect from that part of the species that rarely deals well with emotion beyond heartthudding football match verdicts.

So here’s to my Man, that emotion the poets call Love & the imperfect Marriage Proposal- they are all beyond Magical.

The Great Bridal Gown Search

M said “Shock ‘em all”.

S said “I like what you select”.

R said “It’s you”.

V said “It’s Reen”.

P said “Less skin”.

G said “Demure”.

R said “Not white”.

B said “Comfortable”.

M said “Anything you wear you make it look good”.

J said “Chuckle chuckle”.

S said “Magical”.

L said “Gasp”.

A line from my Facebook bio which I feel I must add out here (my talisman for the coming days until I settle on the final design):

There are places I would love to see and things I’d like to do… But something I would like more is to be content and be me.